Saturday, December 21, 2013

Annual Rant

Today, my graduate alma mater, the University of Buffalo--identified almost always as UB when I was there--will be playing in a bowl game.

We, UB,  will be competing with San Diego State in the august Idaho Potato Bowl.  No, check that. I just glanced at the newspaper to my side and see that the game is called the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  (This first word, no doubt, inserted to separate it from all other Idaho Potato Bowls).

I am not unhappy that UB is gaining some recognition because of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  The point is that their season was only mediocre.  So they/we have no business playing in a post season game.  And the very existence of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is a joke. UB is 8-4 this year. San Diego State 7-5.  Neither team is anything special.  Of course compared to the New Mexico Bowl where a 7-6 team is pitted against a 6-6 team, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is a place to crown champions.

Division I college football is the one sport where the post season--except for one game--is made up of a series of exhibition contests. In most sports the exhibition games precede the season and a post season determines a champion.  Not in college football. The good people of Idaho want to make some shekels so they are hosting this meaningless game this afternoon.

As significantly, the teams that do compete for the championship are SELECTED by pundits. They do not emerge because of some tournament.  Some wizards with the help of a computer determine which teams compete. This year one of the combatants is competing because of a fluke play that occurred during the regular season. Auburn scored to beat Alabama at the end of a game on a play that you will not see occur for another 20 years. Just a fluke. And now Auburn will compete for a championship.

Ridickalus.  Ohio State should be able to compete. They, like Auburn, also lost only one game this season. But Auburn has been selected.

Okay. End of rant.  College football Division I is ridickalus. Next year, finally, there will be a mini tournament to determine the winners,  but even then someone will select the four participants. It is better than what is, but still there will be Idaho Potato Bowls (er Famous Idaho Potato Bowls) littering December.

Go UB, sort of.

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