Ramzy's Bowl Game Guide - 2002

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing this column and there was no mention of Ohio State in any bowl game. That, of course, was 1999 - a putrid season marking the beginning of a three year term where the Buckeyes were insignificant in the grand scheme of college football. The freshmen that year began their careers on the opposite sideline of the Miami Hurricanes, a team that was just coming off of their own term of insignificance, in the Kickoff Classic. Just like all good stories, things will be coming full circle as the freshmen from those two teams, now seniors, face each other in their final games as collegians. Football, if you had forgotten, is poetry in motion.

Tucked away at the end of this look at the upcoming bowl season is a Fiesta Bowl preview. You can scroll right to the end, since the BCS has made every other bowl game insignificant, or because all you care about is Buckeye football. Or you could read about teams you don't care about playing in games you'll be able to watch if you feel the need to start the off-season withdrawal coping process a little early. Either way, I'm not accountable for any lost bets, or for your incessant wagering.

The bowls:

New Orleans Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 17
7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cincinnati Bearcats (7-6) vs. North Texas Mean Green (7-5)

If the mascots played each other: If the Mean Green were Lou Ferrigno, then North Texas would tear the Bearcats apart. If the Mean Green were some illicit, potent herbs, they would get smoked by the Bearcats. However, by the looks of the North Texas Web site it seems that the Mean Green refers to some bird. It would be a good fight, but we'll go with the Bearcat over the Mean bird.

The game: I have to admit I haven't seen North Texas play since last year's New Orleans bowl. North Texas made it to that game with a 5-6 record. This year they're 7-5. The Sun Belt conference, however, is awful, and the Mean Green lost to every decent team they played. The Bearcats are the best football team in Cincinnati.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34, North Texas 21

GMAC Bowl
Wednesday, Dec. 18
8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Marshall Thundering Herd (10-2) vs. Louisville Cardinals (7-5)

If the mascots played each other: Lots and lots of dead, trampled birds.

The game: The first car-sponsored bowl of the year is the best of the lesser bowl games. You have two really good quarterbacks - Leftwich and Ragone - throwing for a lot of yards, which will set up some decent running backs - Carey, Wallace and Miller - to run for a lot of yards. There will be 1000 yards of offense in this game by the fourth quarter. Marshall wins bowl games as well as close games, and Louisville lost to Houston to end their season and is at risk of being flat. Houston is the worst 5-7 team (if there is such a thing) in all of college football.

Prediction: Marshall 49, Louisville 38

Mazda Tangerine Bowl
Monday, Dec. 23
5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Clemson (7-5) vs. Texas Tech (8-5)

If the mascots played each other: Tigers, as any dismembered African villager can tell you, are scary. However, Red Raiders carry guns, which is a distinct advantage. Raiders in a massacre, and they would easily defeat PETA afterward as well.

The game: Clemson trudged through the awful ACC, notching two unimpressive wins over December bowl teams as the highlight of their season. Texas Tech played a tough schedule and actually managed to beat a few pretty good teams. Texas Tech is on way up whereas Clemson is just kind of Clemson every year.

Prediction: Texas Tech 49, Clemson 24

Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl
Christmas
4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
UCLA (7-5) vs. New Mexico (7-6)

If the mascots played each other: Two furry, rabid animals, tearing each other apart. This is Animal Planet programming at its most graphic and terrifying, with the edge to the Lobos over the Bruins for being less cute and cuddly.

The game: UCLA fired Bob Toledo and will have a new coach for this game. Here is your easiest opportunity to pay for all of your Christmas shopping. This is free money.

Prediction: UCLA 42, New Mexico 20

ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl
Christmas
8 p.m. (ESPN)
Hawaii (10-3) vs. Tulane (7-5)

If the mascots played each other: The Rainbow Warriors fighting the Green Wave - hey, doesn't this happen in Hawaii on a regular basis anyway? Warriors win, pretty rainbow comes out after the battle, everyone sighs.

The game: Nothing says, "my family got in a huge fight and totally ruined Christmas" like sitting around watching Tulane and Hawaii play on Christmas night. If you actually bother to watch this pitiful game - and yes, I realize it's still college football - then you have serious social problems. If you happen to be in Hawaii on Christmas and you actually choose to attend this game, then you're a dangerous individual both to yourself and others, and I can only sit here safely in the Midwest, seething in jealousy.

Prediction: Hawaii 24, Tulane 10

Motor City Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 26
5 p.m. (ESPN)
Boston College (8-4) vs. Toledo (9-4)

If the mascots played each other: The Golden Eagles and the Rockets…here I think we have our first draw. Rockets were made for many things, but defeating birds could not be considered one of their strengths. Birds, meanwhile, can only poop, feed each other vomit and kill rodents - even if they're majestic Golden Eagles. Push.

The game: Here we have our second home game of the bowl season, for Toledo (with Clemson playing at the Citrus Bowl being the other) and what looks like an excellent match-up, especially for the often-made-fun-of baby of George Perles. Consider that the Big Ten is so top heavy that it couldn't manufacture a bad team good enough to qualify for this game, so the Big East, in which every team not Rutgers or Temple (two wins) plays several non-conference games (four wins) in order to make easily it to the postseason, happily stepped in. The best team that Boston College beat was Notre Dame, and the drop-off in quality wins after that is astonishing. Meanwhile, Toledo beat Bowling Green and just about nobody after that. Two overrated teams, sharing 17 wins. What does this mean? Lots of points!

Prediction: Toledo 38, Boston College 35

Insight Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 26
8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Oregon State (8-4)

If the mascots played each other: There's a reason they don't coexist in nature. The Panther would use the Beaver as a chew toy, and sadly, we would have no naturally occurring dams. Thankfully, they have separate habitats.

The game: If this game is unfamiliar to you, it's because it used to be the Insight.com Bowl. They've dropped the .com this year but added the excitement of two programs on the rise. Oregon State kind of fell asleep in the middle of the season but otherwise had a very good, impressive, and un-talked about year. Pitt can play with anyone. They just don't beat them. Pitt's most impressive win was at Virginia Tech, when the now four-loss Hokies were undefeated and not known for the fraud that they currently are.

Prediction: Oregon State 30, Pitt 28

Houston Bowl
Friday, Dec. 27
1 p.m. (ESPN)
Southern Miss (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)

If the mascots played each other: More Golden Eagles. More armed men on horseback. More triumph of the human spirit over the pooping feathered beasts.

The game: Southern Miss lost five of its last nine games to end the season. Oklahoma State found its offense in November in the meat of its schedule and finished strong, including an unbridled ass-kicking of Oklahoma in its biggest game of the season.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 31, Southern Miss 20

MainStay Independence Bowl
Friday, Dec. 27
4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Nebraska (7-6) vs. Mississippi (6-6)

If the mascots played each other: A fat, overalls-wearing hillbilly and a mustached confederate rebel. This sounds like a bar fight in Nebraska. Or Mississippi. Push.

The game: No sugarcoating here: Both of these teams suck. Neither deserves to be in a bowl game - you should be allowed to lose five games in a row (Ole Miss) and play in the postseason, and you should have to win more than one road game (Nebraska) to qualify as well. If either of these teams were in the Big Ten, they would have nabbed the Motor City Bowl birth, however - again - the Big Ten's crappy teams are not as good as the SEC's or the Big XII's.

Prediction: Ole Miss 24, Nebraska 14

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Friday, Dec. 27
8 p.m. (ESPN)
Kansas State (10-2) vs. Arizona State (8-5)

If the mascots played each other: Mythical beasts, like Sun Devils, scare the daylights out of most people, and speaking for all of the Wildcats I know, they're scared too. Sun Devils in a terrifying romp.

The game: I have several strong opinions on this game: 1) Last year's match-up between Texas and Washington was a lot better of a game than this year's is going to be; 2) Arizona State was mauled by Nebraska, which just boggles the mind; 3) Kansas State is good enough to win a tournament for the national championship, if there was one; 4) This is going to be a slaughter. Moral victory for ASU can be found above under If the mascots played each other.

Prediction: Kansas State 52, Arizona State 17

Continental Tire Bowl
Saturday, Dec. 28
11 a.m. (ESPN2)
West Virginia (9-3) vs. Virginia (8-5)

If the mascots played each other: The Mountaineers and the Cavaliers…funny hats, antiquated weaponry, goofy costumes - this would make for a great Disney movie. Push.

The game: West Virginia started slowly (non-conference) but really came on once they hit their "best conference in football" schedule (cue laughter from Madison, WI). Virginia, on the other hand, was up and down, beating both NC State and Maryland but totally faltering on the road against teams that aren't absolutely terrible. This game is not at home, and West Virginia isn't absolutely terrible. Uh oh.

Prediction: West Virginia 34, Virginia 17

2002 Alamo Bowl Presented by MasterCard
Saturday, Dec. 28
8 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado (9-4) vs. Wisconsin (7-6)

If the mascots played each other: Buffaloes and Badgers. If Colorado's mascot was the "uncovered garbage cans" the Badgers would have a chance. Buffaloes in a stampede.

The game: The Badgers went 2-6 to finish their season, after starting strong, while Colorado, in the annual tradition of Gary Barnett teams, did pollsters the favor of eliminating themselves from championship contention in September before tearing through their division to get back to the Big XII championship game. Barnett is one of the best October and November coaches in the game, but he's also one of the worst September, December and January coaches as well. Wisconsin hasn't looked good against anyone with a pulse since they throttled West Virginia, but the Barnett factor and the disappointment of playing here for Colorado is too much to overcome. Here's our first upset.

Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Colorado 24

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Monday, Dec. 30
2 p.m. (ESPN)
Arkansas (9-4) vs. Minnesota (7-5)

If the mascots played each other: The Razorbacks would chase the Gophers around, as they dipped in and out of little holes in the ground. Then they would get frustrated and start rolling in mud while the Gophers would take a nap and admire their golf ball collections. Push.

The game: Arkansas, fresh off of counseling from the public assault they received in the SEC championship, gets Glen Mason's traditionally terrible-in-the-lousy-bowls-they-go-to Golden Gophers. It's going to be cold, it's going to be sloppy, and it's going to be boring. Don't skip work to watch this.

Prediction: Arkansas 30, Minnesota 20

Seattle Bowl
Monday, Dec. 30
5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Oregon (7-5) vs. Wake Forest (6-6)

If the mascots played each other: The Ducks would be ritualistically cooked and served at a meeting of Demon Deacons. Top to bottom, the ACC is barely better than the MAC, but they have great mascots.

The game: This is just a dozen or so bowls off of where Oregon thought they'd be playing this year, so you've got the how-excited-are-they-to-be-here factor. Wake Forest has trouble actually scoring considering the amount of offense they generate, but Oregon hasn't stopped anyone all year - and you thought they played defense in the PAC Ten! The Ducks will like playing Wake Forest more than they enjoyed the Washington Teams, USC and Oregon State. The gap in talent wins this game.

Prediction: Oregon 38, Wake Forest 24

Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31
Noon (ESPN)
Iowa State (7-6) vs. Boise State (11-1)

If the mascots played each other: The only mascot that can handily defeat men with guns is an act of God. Cyclones whip up on the Broncos.

The game: Boise State plays in their annual home bowl game on blue Astroturf that features a big conference disappointment. Iowa State hype disappeared faster than Cheetos at Ken-yon Rambo's house, once they hit the meat of their schedule. The highlight of their season was the sole defeat of Iowa; the lowlight has to be getting throttled at home on Senior Day by Connecticut, where every player on the team scored including Rebecca Lobo's giant teeth.

Prediction: Boise State 38, Iowa State 17

Wells Fargo Sun Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31
2 p.m. (CBS)
Purdue (6-6) vs. Washington (7-5)

If the mascots played each other: I see dead Huskies on railroad tracks.

The game: Purdue is "the best 6-6 team in the country" if you ask their fans. They handed Notre Dame a win back when the Irish were only ridiculously overrated, gave up six touchdowns in Little Bogotá to the Spartans, but were in every game that they played, including an inexplicable loss (okay, the refs were so bad they were suspended - but still) to Wake Forest. Washington, on the other hand, bottomed out in the middle of the season losing to a few PAC Ten chumps after graciously giving a win to Michigan, but really came on at the end of the year. Both of these teams are lousy on the road, so this is going to be a really interesting one to watch. Actually, there are too many games on New Year's Eve not to call in sick. This one should be worth playing hooky alone.

Prediction: Washington 27, Purdue 24

AXA Liberty Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31
3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado State (10-3) vs. TCU (9-2)

If the mascots played each other: A serene image of a glorious mountain lake, water lapping against the shore's edge, and a Ram taking a drink, with a mashed Horned Frog dangling grotesquely from one of his horns.

The game: TCU began their season losing to the Bearcats and hardly looked back afterward, losing only to pathetic East Carolina. Colorado State is going to find it humorous when they run all over a TCU defense that thinks they're stingy against the run. Unfortunately for TCU, Colorado State is not Memphis, East Carolina, Army or SMU.

Prediction: Colorado State 28, TCU 24

Silicon Valley Football Classic
Tuesday, Dec. 31
3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Georgia Tech (7-5) vs. Fresno State (8-5)

If the mascots played each other: A lot of barking, then a buzzing swarm of Yellow Jackets, then the sound of Bulldogs whimpering.

The game: For the second year in a row, Georgia Tech limps into to Northern California without George O'Leary. This amounts to a home game for Fresno State, whose seven wins came against six brutal teams and Colorado State. Go with the better bad conference here.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 17, Fresno State 14

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31
7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennessee (8-4) vs. Maryland (10-3)

If the mascots played each other: Davy Crockett would add a Turtle shell cap to his hat rack.

The game: Maryland is tough to figure out. They're a ten-win team with three blowout losses on their resume, which is extremely rare. Tennessee on the other hand only lost to "name" teams this year - Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Miami. They should be healthy for this game, and their defense is going to remind Maryland of their Notre Dame game, and possibly even their Orange Bowl throttling last year by Florida.

Prediction: Tennessee 27, Maryland 3

Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31
10:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Air Force (8-4) vs. Virginia Tech (9-4)

If the mascots played each other: Like my grandma says - a real Falcon beats a fictitious turkey, every time.

The game: In another joke that is the impressiveness of Notre Dame, Air Force at one time was actually considered one of their quality wins. Once again, this is free money. Virginia Tech comes in disappointed, unmotivated and lethargic, and still runs Air Force out of San Francisco.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 49, Air Force 14

Outback Bowl
Wednesday, Jan. 1
11 a.m. (ESPN)
Florida (8-4) vs. Michigan (9-3)

If the mascots played each other: Wolverines, barring sudden genetic mutation, would be Gator bait.

The game: Hey look - no South Carolina or Ohio State! Two teams with much higher annual expectations, relegated to the game you watch annually as you nurse a wicked hangover - only this year, no emotional investment required, unless you're hoping for the Big Ten to help with Ohio State's credibility. The last couple of times we asked that of Michigan, they were scoring 10 points against Utah and losing to Notre Dame.

Prediction: Florida 24, Michigan 17

SBC Cotton Bowl
Wednesday, Jan.1
11 a.m. (FOX)
Texas (10-2) vs. LSU (8-4)

If the mascots played each other: Longhorn and Tiger. This is straight out of Discovery Channel's more violent programming. Advantage: Tiger.

The game: It really should be pointed out that Chris Simms/Mack Brown have been involved in a big game victory together. Texas beat Kansas State, which makes them 1-1 against ranked teams for the year (wait, isn't the Big XII supposedly ten deep? Only two ranked teams on the whole schedule?). Unfortunately for Texas, they're playing in the Cotton Bowl, a stadium that has repelled wins from them for years via the Red River Shootout. But fortunately for Texas, they're not so bad in bowl games - do we smell a breakthrough win in Dallas?

Prediction: Texas 28, LSU 24…and Applewhite is still better than Simms

Toyota Gator Bowl
Wednesday, Jan. 1
12:30 p.m. (NBC)
NC State (10-3) vs. Notre Dame (10-2)

If the mascots played each other: The Wolfpack would ravage the Fighting Irish, but would then become quickly intoxicated on their almost-pure-grain-alcohol blood and vomit. Push.

The game: This might as well be the fraud bowl. NC State got fat on awful teams before losing three straight in John Cooper's least favorite month. For the first eight games of the season, Notre Dame's opponents put together a barrage of unforced errors the likes of which are rarely seen in that many consecutive games, allowing the Irish to win with an offense that makes a Maurice Clarett-less Buckeye team look like this year's Kansas City Chiefs. They had four first downs in the entire USC game - remember, USC plays in the defenseless PAC Ten, and they have only a decent defense this year (which by PAC Ten standards is Hall of Fame caliber). The Irish did it this year with smoke and mirrors, and there's no reason to believe that they won't be able to take down NC State the same way. That said - fear the Irish for as long as Willingham is there. If he can do it with this team, imagine what will happen once they actually get talent back in South Bend.

Prediction: Notre Dame 23, NC State 17

Capital One Bowl
Wednesday, Jan. 1
1 p.m. (ABC)
Penn State (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)

If the mascots played each other: Lions and Tigers in a good old-fashioned jungle war. Push.

The game: A great match-up between two strong, balanced teams that both finished their seasons well. The formerly-Citrus Bowl usually has the distinction of featuring two teams who just missed out on something much bigger and better, however this year Penn State moved into the two-hole for the Big Ten to prevent Michigan from going for three years in a row, while Auburn leapfrogged Arkansas to avoid the Music City Bowl. This should actually be a good, competitive game - Penn State is historically very good in the post season, and barring the sudden return of Cadillac Williams from injury, should make a positive contribution to the Big Ten's bowl record. And Larry Johnson has his last chance to not look mediocre against a good defense.

Prediction: Penn State 24, Auburn 13

Rose Bowl Presented by Sony Playstation 2
Wednesday, Jan. 1
5 p.m. (ABC)
Oklahoma (11-2) vs. Washington State (10-2)

If the mascots played each other: If you check up on your American history, you'll see that the early settlers of the West were often ravaged by wild Cougars. If they had weapons, maybe they'd have a chance. But the Sooner Schooner is no match for the long-toothed man-eater.

The game: If Oklahoma has a weakness, it's defending the vertical passing game (then, you ask, why do they always wipe themselves with Texas? Perhaps it's because Chris Simms isn't very good!) Washington State will be their biggest test of the entire season, especially if Gesser and their top three receivers are all healthy. Washington State doesn't even need a running game to divert attention from their passing game to be successful. While the void of no Big Ten team in the Rose Bowl - again - leaves a pit in this Midwesterner's stomach, there is no reason not to watch this great match-up. You are allowed to be bitter about it not being in the Orange Bowl though.

Prediction: Oklahoma 27, Washington State 24…and Gesser whines all the way home.

Nokia Sugar Bowl
Wednesday, Jan. 1
8:30 p.m. (ABC)
Georgia (12-1) vs. Florida State (9-4)

If the mascots played each other: Painted men with spears would have their way with the slow-moving and affable little fellas, then serving each other Bulldog kabobs.

The game: The Capital One, Gator, Cotton, Outback, Chick-fil-a Peach, AXA Liberty, Alamo, Continental Tire, (breath) Pacific Life Holiday, Insight, Motor City, and ConAgra Foods Bowls all have something in common: They all feature teams with as many or fewer losses than Florida State that play in tougher conferences than the ACC, but they'll only receive a fraction of the money that FSU will get for playing in a BCS bowl. That's the way the BCS contract works. Granted, a bad Florida State team is still better than many good teams, but four losses is four losses. And Georgia, provided they don't decide to switch quarterbacks again (which is why they lost to Florida) is as good as any team in the country. That Jim Donnan sure could recruit.

Prediction: Georgia 34, Florida State 17

FedEx Orange Bowl
Thursday, Jan. 2
8 p.m. (ABC)
Iowa (11-1) vs. USC (10-2)

If the mascots played each other: Gilded men with archaic weaponry against vicious birds. The ancient Trojans defeat the Hawkeyes, then create barbecue sauce in one of the greatest and most important creations in all of antiquity. I read The Odyssey. I know the whole story.

The game: Yes, it's the Rose Bowl East, the Orange Bowl, which isn't actually played in the Orange Bowl (this is kind of like playing the 'Horseshoe Bowl' at Cooper Stadium). Iowa has looked practically unstoppable since losing at home to pathetic Iowa State, which, granted, is a big rivalry game - but Iowa State still sucks nonetheless and they beat Iowa. USC's stock is soaring after finally exposing Notre Dame by playing good offense and not just handing them the ball at ridiculously opportune times. Trev Alberts, whose face not only looks like an ass but sounds like one when he talks, recently said that USC is the best team in the country right now. That is the new kiss of death - when Trev Alberts thinks you're the best. Trev's Hawkeyes get it done, and then they all graduate.

Prediction: Iowa 42, USC 24

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Friday, Jan. 3
8 p.m. (ABC)
Ohio State (13-0) vs. Miami (12-0)

If the mascots played each other: Take your pick - tasty little peanut butter chocolate balls, or poisonous nuts - doesn't matter - neither has any chance in a Hurricane. Like Cyclones, Hurricanes are acts of God and cannot be defeated by just any other mortal mascot, only God himself. So if you've been paying attention this whole time and somehow made it all the way down here without skipping through the other bowl previews, you now realize that in the mythical national championship of mascots, the Kenyon Lords are forever untested, and forever champions.

The game: It's the biggest game in Ohio State history - the first true national championship game that the Buckeyes have participated in, and only the fifth true national championship game ever. And if you watch ESPN, then you know that it is a shame because it is all for nothing. If the Buckeyes lose, it will be because they didn't deserve to be there, since unimpressive wins against eight bowl teams don't really count for much. Beating three teams ranked in the BCS top fifteen is just fluky. They barely beat (bowl team) Cincinnati (in the biggest game in their school's history) for crying out loud! Consider that the best team on Miami's schedule, West Virginia, has three losses, was crushed by Wisconsin, and beat Cincinnati by - is this even possible - a smaller margin than Ohio State did! Miami, whether they win or lose, will be national champions according to Trev Alberts, because if Miami should somehow lose to Ohio State, it would be because Miami gave the game away, not because Ohio State deserved to win. If this is true - and you know everything you see on television is - then I'm not sure why they're even bothering to play the game. If Ohio State loses, it's validation that they suck. If Miami loses, they suck. Skip the whole convoluted idea of deciding who is the national champion by actually playing a championship game and just go with what you think will happen. Miami's too fast. Miami's too good. Miami is not the Kenyon Lords, which is why they actually have to play the game to win the championship.

Prediction: Miami 24, Ohio State 16

There's your bowl game schedule and some haphazard predictions. Now that we're at the end of the season, I'd like to chime in on a few hot topics here - first, the Heisman Trophy. For some reason, this year more than any I can remember featured television personalities riding the hype train of whichever team or player had the best game that weekend with absolutely no regard to what happened in the weeks prior. Iowa State and Seneca Wallace for example - remember them? Oklahoma's vaunted defense that gave up over 30 points more than once? Notre Dame winning on other (average) teams' unforced miscues was suddenly "back" at the forefront of college football? Iowa, playing lights out football for most of the year is now suddenly excused from losing to a bad Iowa State team? Michigan State was given the preseason Big Ten championship, and then the smoke cleared, and all the contraband was gone as well as the Spartan defense. Whatever happened to judging players and teams on how they have performed ALL SEASON? This season was very much about the Flavor of the Week, with one exception: Miami, and their astonishing 34-game winning streak. They may have won a few close games against some so-so teams, but nobody questions their potential. However, if national champions are crowned on potential alone, then Ohio State in the mid-nineties…yeah. Potential means nothing, especially when you wet your pants against Michigan ten out of thirteen times.

Second, the new "controversial" commentators on television: Are Mark May, Rod Gilmore and Trev Alberts all really that stupid, or do they put on show for the sake of better ratings? All I know is that watching Mark May change his opinion of who the best team in football is several times in a single day is very entertaining for me, listening to Rod Gilmore drool over the magnificence of the PAC Ten with no logic or backing whatsoever always makes me laugh, and reading the hostility and ire all over the Internet directed at Trev Alberts is far more entertaining than picking apart a Braves/Mets box score in July. Even when college football is bad, it's still pretty darn good.

Third - the BCS. Ohio State is in the national championship game because they are 13-0 and Miami is in it because they are 12-0. Nobody else has a zero on the right side of their record. The BCS didn't work. The BCS was an innocent bystander to logic, whereas last year the BCS money train broadsided logic and knocked it off the road when it placed Nebraska in the championship game. The BCS is a flawed concept for a very simple reason: It has no tangible answer for when there are more than two undefeated teams or more than one one-loss teams eligible for its championship. Imagine NCAA basketball's March Madness consisting of one game with two of the would-be number one seeds playing for all the marbles. The best part of March Madness is you get a four seed like Indiana this year in the championship, or Villanova in 1985, or Arizona in 1997. Sure 1 vs. 2 is sexy, but tournaments that last a month a) make a ton more money than the BCS does, and for a lot more people, and b) are much better for a lot more fans. If the BCS doesn't die when the contract runs out in a few years, then something is very wrong.

But there's nothing wrong with Ohio State being undefeated Big Ten champions, playing the defending champions for the title.

Enjoy the bowl season.

You can reach Ramzy by emailing ramzy_bucknuts@yahoo.com and you can have him as your personal butler if you have a spare pair of Fiesta Bowl tickets.


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