Among other things, BCS f'ed up New Year's Day

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 31, 2007



Remember when New Year's Day was the single greatest day on the football calendar?
 
It kicked off with festive parades and a non-stop cavalcade of big-time bowl games featuring rare inter-regional rivalries. All the best teams played on New Year's Day and they were often games on which the fate of entire states and regions rested, like the epic 1973 Sugar Bowl, a 24-23 win by Notre Dame over Alabama.
 
It was also the day on which we coined the term "football triage." You couldn't watch all the great football on New Year's Day. You had to pick and choose which games would live and die in your New Year's memory bank.
 
And at the end of the greatest day on the football calendar you'd have a college football champion. A disputed champion. But a champion just the same. And how is that any different than the current BCS system?
 
It's not.
 
Of course, among the other locust hordes, floods and pigskin disasters brought upon the world by the BCS – and probably the least publicized – is its ruination of the greatest, most traditional and most football-filled day in the football world.
 
Sure, we have six bowl games today, including some nifty interregional match-ups – Michigan-Florida, Hawaii-Georgia – and we have the Granddaddy of 'em All giving us a great Big 10 vs. Pac-10 battle (Illinois-USC).
 
But instead of it all ending in a glorious blaze of football, bands, cheerleaders and parades here on New Year's Day, the college football season will whimper to an end with a disputed "national championship" game in six days ... not to mention four meaningless games in between. Seriously, folks, is there any reason why Bowling Green is playing Tulsa in five days?
 
We didn't think so.
 
In any case, here's the remaining bowl schedule, highlighted by today's New Year's extravaganza, offered up with a tinge of nostalgia for the good ol' days when college football didn't pretend to give us a national champion, but at least gave us a day of unbridled pigskin joy that kicked off each and every New Year.
 
Now we get neither.
 
Outback Bowl, 11 a.m. (ET), ESPN
No. 16 Tennessee vs. No. 18 Wisconsin
 
Cotton Bowl, 11:30 a.m., Fox
No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 25 Arkansas
 
Capital One Bowl, 1 p.m., ABC
Michigan vs. No. 9 Florida
 
Gator Bowl, 1 p.m., CBS
Texas Tech vs. No. 21 Virginia
 
Rose Bowl, 4:30 p.m., ABC
No. 13 Illinois vs. No. 6 USC
 
Sugar Bowl, 8:30 p.m., Fox
No. 10 Hawaii vs. No. 4 Georgia
 
And here's a look at the whimpering-end-to-the-season bowls
 
Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2, 8 p.m., Fox
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
 
Orange Bowl, Jan. 3, 8 p.m.
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas
 
International Bowl, Jan. 5, noon, ESPN2
Rutgers vs. Ball State
 
GMAC Bowl, Jan. 6, 8 p.m., ESPN
Bowling Green vs. Tulsa
 
BCS "Championship" Game, Jan. 7, 8 p.m. Fox
LSU vs. Ohio State

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