Friday, January 04, 2008

On Saturday in this city, Rutgers will play something called Ball State in something called the International Bowl at something called the Rogers Centre. Ball State, according to Google, is located in Muncie, Indiana, which doesn't tell me much. Rutgers, I know, is located in New Jersey, which sadly tells me too much. The Ball State Cardinals tore up the Mid-American Conference, finishing second in its west division to Central Michigan University. Central Michigan, as we all know, narrowly lost 51-48 to Purdue in the Motor City Bowl. The game was no doubt thrilling, but a fictitious Purdue player was fictitiously quoted as saying: "never in my wildest dreams did I think it would all end here in Detroit with a narrow victory of Central Michigan in the prestigious Motor City Bowl. Hollywood wouldn’t accept a script like this."

College football bowl games, I'm told, are steeped in tradition and some other things, but you probably couldn't pay me to watch the Papa John's.com Bowl (sic) or the Poinsettia Bowl (sic) between Utah and Navy. Meaningless, obscure bowl games are yet another reason for why Division I football needs to switch to a playoff. Imagine if the World Cup of soccer was decided by writers and coaches voting on the teams they liked most, pairing the top two in the final and then pairing the remaining 30 teams in quasi-final games. Would you really watch Cameroon take on Paraguay in the 27th-place game?

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