Bowling for Incompetence

One of my earliest sport’s traditions with my dad is getting the local paper for the Bowl Schedule. My dad and I would go down the list, alternating picks, and place a penny on the winner of each game. Before I get any comments like “What type of father would teach his young kid to bet” or “Gambling at your age will cause you to become addicted”, let’s just keep in mind that the reason that I turned out jacked up is the same reason that everyone in our society is messed up and that I don’t gamble at all- my dad was a normal dude doing his best. Actually, he set up some memories that I cherish, specifically Bowl games.

Despite the nostalgia, I have to admit that I am disappointed with our slate of games. We have 18 teams that are getting in with a 6-6 record. Rice actually has a 5-7 record; yes, Rice can win their Bowl game and still end up with a losing record. There are five Bowl games that feature 6-6 teams, so there will be a minimum of six teams, including Rice, that will get to thump their chest for making a Bowl and still end up with a losing record. Are you understanding what I am saying? Six teams will call their season a win while walking a way with a losing record. In all, there are 43 Bowl games, which means 86 teams make a Bowl. It is possible that 14 teams will end with a losing record. This could mean that 1 in every 6 Bowl teams had a losing season.

What is wrong with society that we are so willing to accept trash with a pretty bow on it? This participation ribbon society has gone overboard with everyone is a winner mentality and with accepting corporate greed that holds games like this. Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz has a great interview where he lambastes the idea of conciliation games, friendship brackets, and participation ribbons. He says it the way it is: win or you’re a loser.

I know what Walz would say on 6-6 Bowl games because people went home if they did win when he was young. You want a Bowl game? Win. It’s really simple. Yet, we have a society where we don’t want people’s feelings hurt. We don’t let kids keep score in youth sports; every little kid gets a trophy at the end of the season. This isn’t real life. In the real world, people fail at getting jobs every day. Listen to motivational speakers like Eric Thomas and Ray Lewis; these are guys that overcame horrible situations through grinding. The Animal Kingdom doesn’t celebrate failure- you get eaten if you’re slow.

Allowing this blight on society needs to end. Change the criteria to get into a Bowl. In my state, high school football teams only make the playoffs if they can manage a 6-3 season. In the worst case scenario, teams that lose in the first round end with a 6-4 season, a 60% win record. Occasionally, the State has to let in a 5-4 team to fill a game, but the 5-4 team knows that this is an act of charity and that it was chosen because it was the 5-4 team with the best SOS and metrics. Regardless, this team will end up with a 5-5 record when they lose, which they will lose but not end up having a losing record.

As NCAAF fans, we deserve better than watching trash. Our post season should be filled with teams that deserve to be there and not a bunch of charity cases or cases of greed.

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