Florida International (6-6) vs. Toledo (8-4) (-1.5)
Games like this are what make bowl season so awesome. Toledo hasn’t been to a bowl in five years, and this is the first bowl appearance EVER for Florida International…and they get to play in Detroit the day after Christmas. Their fans are showing just how thrilled they are.
Plus, most bowl-bound teams lose money for their trouble (even more so when they screw themselves or another team out of a BCS berth and they’re a non-AQ. Looking in your direction, Nevada). The only reason these things are so important to the programs is because of the 15 extra practices they get, and the games themselves are fun for the seniors who are looking to get some exposure heading into NFL Draft season.
Look, I have no idea why either of these teams are bowl eligible and I may know the name of one player between these two programs. Games like this are the ultimate evidence for arguing there are too many bowl games.
My solution for fixing crappy bowl games:
- Eliminate the BCS and start a playoff system featuring all eleven conference champions and the five highest-ranked non-conference champs. Seed based on national ranking. Re-seed after each round. First round is home game for higher-ranked team, and every week after is a bowl game that currently exists. That takes out 13 bowl games.
- Give everyone the 15 extra practices after the regular season. Hell, it’s not like the non-eligible teams couldn’t use them.
- Crap bowl games would exist anyway even if there were a playoff since there will always be teams not involved in any playoff scenario, so let’s keep them around and let better, non-playoff teams play in the former Motor City Bowl.
- To that end, the NCAA should also eliminate the “six win rule” for bowl eligibility and make it five wins and also eliminate conference contracts with bowl games. Wins against non-FBS teams shouldn’t count and the tiebreakers should be wins over conference champs, conference championship game participants, and wins over ranked teams.
- Any team that finishes worse than fifth in its conference or third in its division is automatically ineligible for the playoffs and all higher-ranked teams must already be in playoffs or bowl before they too can be in a bowl.
- Push back national signing day and create a window after the national title game in which teams can hire new head coaches, thus eliminating the awfulness of a very successful team playing a bowl game with an interim coach because the head coach who said he was never leaving got a better offer.
Not a total solution, but it’s a start.
Pick: FIU because why not?