I remember years ago as a kid how I would look forward to New Years Day for the Bowl games. That was an exciting day. Games would start in the late morning and go well into the night with either the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl finishing things off. Generally speaking, the games were good with close match ups with teams with good records. Once in a while the Cotton Bowl might not be so great, but I could almost always count on an exciting Fiesta and Orange bowl at the least.
Fast forward to the 2011 edition of New Years Bowl games. I am desperate to find something worthy of interest. Thank you Wisconsin and TCU for at least giving me and the viewing public a game that wasn't over before the marching bands were in their seats. Out of the six games on January 1st, four of them looked effectively over at half time. Northwestern's strong second half against Texas Tech brought that game back to respectability. I know that Oklahoma and Connecticut were not miles apart at half, but honestly did anyone expect it to be even that close at that point? I think the final score is more indicative of what people expected.Three New Years day games ending with the winning team holding a 28 point or higher differential is bad. Embarrassing to the NCAA. On New Years Day of all days. I understand that with the BCS the good match ups are now spaced out more over a period of days. Those games are supposed to provide the fans, sponsors, and advertisers with an opportunity to have a full game on TV and not interrupted or overlapping with another game as used to be the case. Well, lets quickly look at how that idea worked out this year:
Stanford and Virginia Tech, Orange Bowl, 40 - 12, 28 point difference.
LSU and Texas A&M, Cotton Bowl, 41 - 24, 17 point difference. Not too bad.
Ohio State and Arkansas, Sugar Bowl, 31 - 26. However, 28 - 10 at half time I'm thinking might have a good number of viewers turn the tube off thinking this one was over too. Good job by Arkansas coming out and working hard in the second half.
Finally, the BCS National Championship game. Auburn and Oregon, 22 – 19. The game itself may not go down as a classic but it provided us with a game that had much hype about battling offenses and turned into a battle of which defense would hold the opposing offense and the team that made the least mistakes would win. Overall out of 35 Bowl games, 13 games were decided by more than 21 points or more. There was 14 games decided by 7 points or less. However, those 13 games and more specifically the bigger games that get more coverage and more money thrown around have to make the NCAA decision makers again question the process by which schools, conferences and bowls select who is going to play.
There is a need to keep those “big games” as big games and not have them as blow outs and games that few people are watching by half time.