The Big 12: We Want Mediocre Bowl Games, Dammit
As if most of the bowl games weren't bad enough to begin with, just think of how bad they will be when ESPN the Ocho is televising a bowl game featuring the Aggies and the Big 10 equivalent of the Aggies. The Texas Bowl is already on the verge of becoming unmatchable with it's new push to dump entertaining football teams like the Houston Cougars so that it can get awful Big 12 and Big 10 teams to play there instead.
And now the Big 12 is trying to make it mandatory.
Whatever happened to the days when a bowl game was a reward for a good season? Back when going to a bowl game really meant something?
If a team can't finish with a better than 6-6 season playing the type of schedule the Aggies play, then that team should be looking for a new coach, not getting the reward of a bowl game. It's already hard enough for schools in the minor conferences to get into a bowl game, but now the Big 12 is trying to make that near impossible.
Let's look at the Texas Bowl. Starting next bowl season, the Texas Bowl will host the number-five team from the Big 12 and the number-six team from the Big 10.
That would probably result in a game featuring the Aggies and Michigan State. And outside of College Station and Michigan, who really wants to watch these two teams play football?
You can't get much more boring than watching a mediocre Big 10 team play football.
The biggest crowd the Texas Bowl has ever had was for the TCU/Houston game two years ago. And the Rice/Western Michigan last year drew more people than the inaugural Texas Bowl which featured Rutgers against Kansas State. Yet the Texas Bowl somehow feels that featuring mediocre football teams is better for its survival. Which means that the game will only get so bad that we'll begging for it to die so as to put us fans of quality college football out of our misery.
But this is what the Big 12 is trying to force on the football community. Bowl game after bowl game of mediocre football teams facing mediocre football teams because the NCAA approved of the proposal to guarantee bowl slots to teams lucky enough to go 6-6 on the season.
It's already hard enough for teams like the Cougars to get invited to a decent bowl game, but this would make it virtually impossible, which I supposed the Big 12 would be happy with since that would mean the disappearance of some very good football so that mediocre programs like the Aggies and Baylor can find it easier to survive.
I can't blame the Big 12 too much, I guess. After all, there's only so many FCS teams that can be scheduled during non-conference play, and most of them play Texas. So the only way to guarantee that some team like the Aggies makes a bowl is to let them get into a bowl game by being mediocre instead of forcing the Aggies to actually become a good program.
But let me end with an obligatory request. It's really time for the NCAA to dump the bowl system and go to a playoff. It's time that we go back to rewarding college football teams for having good seasons. Though knowing the NCAA, it would still find someway to keep a team like Houston or Boise State or TCU or Utah out of the playoffs in favor of some 6-6 team from the Big 12.