Take a Deep Breath, Kirk

Dec 5, 2012 by


Sunday I caught a segment of ESPN’s college football bowl selection show. (I know, like you, this would typically make me yawn as well)  What kept me from switching the channel to something more interesting was ESPN College Game Day analyst, Kirk Herbstreit.  Let me add to that.  What kept me from switching the channel was Kirk Herbstreit’s animated rant regarding Northern Illinois playing Florida State in the BCS Discover Orange Bowl.  I didn’t really listen to his explanation; instead I focused on his facial expressions.  I found it mildly amusing watching his face turn four different shades of red while expressing his discontent.  If I was the show’s host my first reaction would be to laugh.  Then I would be inclined to follow up with a direct question for Mr. Herbstreit.

“So Kirk, since no one except for fans of Florida State and Northern Illinois, give a shit (Florida State fans might in fact tune out) about not only the Orange Bowl but really every other Bowl except the one that features Notre Dame and Alabama, why so angry?” 

Since 1998, when the BCS was implemented, the only game that matters is the BCS championship game.  So it’s almost inconceivable someone can get worked up over who plays who in meaningless bowl games – BCS games or otherwise.  The BCS has always been flawed, but when hasn’t college football’s post season?  The fifty or so years prior to the BCS was just as ridiculous with the silly notion of determining a national champion without a playoff system.   2012-2013 college football’s postseason is no different than any other year.  So Herbstreit’s tirade comes off misguided or at the very least seems like a wasted emotion to express.

I would have listened with maybe more intent to Kirk Hebrstreit’s rage-filled diagnosis of another BCS failure but it centered on Northern Illinois losing to Iowa, mid-major bullshit, and so on.  If he discussed why Northern Illinois doesn’t deserve the millions they will receive for being selected to a BCS Bowl then that could be worth a listen.

Win or lose, Northern Illinois will be taking home some big time cash.  Much like it did for Wake Forest in 2007, when an unlikely football program is chosen to play in a BCS Bowl.  The cash received from a BCS Bowl game can come in handy to a non-traditional football powerhouse.   The 2007 win at the Orange Bowl did not make Wake Forest have an upper hand in recruiting the nation’s elite or lead to consistent ten win seasons.  The reality is that they are still fairly insignificant in today’s college football landscape.   However, their home stadium and football facilities received a major facelift.  I have to say, the Orange Bowl money received by Wake that year was spent on improvements to the front entrance of the stadium.  From purely a new cosmetic appearance, it is quite pleasing on the eye.  So I say good for Northern Illinois spend away and boost the economy!

Kirk is still fuming though.  Maybe after he watches five minutes of the Godaddy.com Bowl or the intriguing match-up of Pittsburgh and Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl he will then calm down some and redirect his anger at wasting his time watching these pointless games.  Maybe Kirk Herbsteit’s anger is not so much about Northern Illinois but more about the inadequacies of major college football.  Either way, the 99 percent of the bowls are irreverent to sports fans.  It’s the only immensely popular sport in America that completely makes a mockery of their postseason.  Postseason is supposed to heighten the interest in the sport; not dampen it.  Very strange concept when you really put some thought into it.

Some don’t see it the way I, and a host of others who love college sports do.  I know there is a small sampling of people (and companies) who completely disagree with me on the comedy I call postseason college football.  I am sure you know who I am referring to.

The NCAA and their corporate sponsors should get down on their knees and worship the very BCS computer used to determine who plays in the championship game.  The BCS Championship features Alabama versus Notre Dame.  Not only will this game attract casual American sports fans but it will entice internationally.  The Vatican has some deep rooted interest.  The ratings will be monumental and cash will rain from the sky right into the hands of the powers that be over at the NCAA.  Now that is what major college sports is all about!



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