The 2009 Bowls that Actually Matter

As you all know I am an outspoken critic of the BCS system. It was designed for one thing- to pick the two best teams at the end of the regular season and put them against each other in a bowl game to decide a national champion. This, as we all know, sounded like a good idea, but has failed spectacularly. 2004 saw it’s first hole, as there were four undefeated teams at the end of the year. It is very tough to just pick two teams to arbitrarily play each other as “the two best” under those circumstances. That and the BCS supposed you can determine how good a team really is based on who they play. Boise State could be the best team in the country, but because TCU beat better teams this year, people suppose TCU is better. How do we know Boise State wouldn’t have beaten those same teams by even more? And so the BCS, in its natural bias, is a terrible system for determining a national champion. Especially when all other divisions of college football have a playoff. And so, to reach parity in college football and some form of fairness, the only bowl games I will be caring about at all or those where BCS vs non BCS teams play each other. Here they are.

1. St. Petersburg Bowl- UCF vs Rutgers.

I’m pretty sure this game is in Florida, meaning it might as well be a home game for UCF. Rutgers does travel well though, and have played in Florida before. This would be a big win for CUSA over the Big East though.

2. Las Vegas Bowl- Oregon State vs BYU

This will be a high scoring affair. BYU never played defense after their first two games of the season. Oregon State never played defense. Yet each team sure knows how to score. Give the edge to BYU since Las Vegas is their home away from home…not to mention their 5th straight Las Vegas Bowl.

3. Poinsettia Bowl- Utah vs Cal

Another MWC and Pac-10 matchup. People, including me, have heralded the Pac-10 as the strongest all around conference this year. With runners up in both the MWC and Pac-10 playing each other as well as #3 in the MWC playing #6 in the Pac-10, this could really help put the MWC on the map.

4. Eagle Bank Bowl- UCLA vs Temple

The Owls had a fantastic season. UCLA, not so much. This is likely the easiest one for a non BCS team to win. That and UCLA only learned yesterday they would be playing, so they have had less time to prepare.

5. International Bowl- South Florida vs Northern Illinois

Isn’t this game played in Toronto? Not very sunny weather there in the end of December. Northern Illinois is experienced in cold weather…I don’t expect that from South Florida. This looks like another good chance for a non BCS team.

6. Liberty Bowl- Arkansas vs East Carolina

Ryan Mallet of Arkansas may be one of the best quarterbacks in the land that no one has heard of. But then again, so was Case Keenum, and plenty of people had heard of him. That didn’t stop the Pirates from beating Houston. They can slow down good quarterbacks. But what happens when they face a stiff Arkansas defense? Hopefully Skip Holtz has his boys ready.

With any luck, all of these games are winnable for the non BCS team involved. The only non BCS conferences involved are the MAC, MWC and CUSA unfortunately. It would have been great to get Boise State against Iowa and TCU against Florida, but the BCS powers that be knew that would be a bad idea for them. Imagine if TCU beat up on Florida worse than Alabama did, and Boise State demolished Iowa. Then you could still have 4 undefeated teams at seasons end, two of them from a non BCS conference. That would further the debate, something the BCS cronies don’t want, especially now that they have hired a professional lobbyist to stop Congress from intervening in their scheme.

So I’m rooting for the non BCS team in all 6 of these bowls. I’m also hoping Boise State takes down TCU, since many people feel TCU is the best team right now. That would show them that schedules don’t mean a darn thing. I would also like to congratulate the Texas Longhorns for their coming win over Alabama. The Crimson Tide have now been cursed with the Heisman winner, who is an astounding 0-5 in the last 5 bowl games. Alabama is destined to lose that game for sure.

I’d also like to predict that this year’s Orange Bowl will not come close to selling out, and that Iowa/Georgia Tech will draw the lowest ratings of any BCS bowl ever. I’m also calling a big Cincinnati win over Florida. Florida is demoralized and Cincinnati now has a chip on their shoulder with something to prove. Everyone is calling them down and out without their coach. Trust me, that’s all they will hear for the next few weeks. They will have something to prove, Florida will not. Try to keep the tears in this time Timmy.