Revisit NCAA bowl rules
It’s not a new argument.
In fact, it’s commonly agreed that rules governing NCAA football are flawed.
Teams that deserve to make a bowl game often don’t go. Teams that shouldn’t be in a bowl (seventh-place-in-conference teams with 6-5 records) are given invitations because of conference contracts. A computer, not the players’ performance, decides who plays for the national championship.
This week, these old problems arose in what many around the nation would have, four months ago, thought of as unlikely venue. They have emerged in Tampa, at USF.
The Bulls are a solid team. Of that, there is little argument. But, because big conferences rule and USF is an independent, they are struggling to get into a bowl.
And who is this strong team that is the Bulls main competition? None other than the mighty Tulane Green Wave. How do these teams compare? USF is 9-2. The two losses came against Arkansas, the SEC’s Western Division champion, and Oklahoma, a top-10 team.
Tulane, on the other hand, is 7-4. Two of their losses, against East Carolina and Memphis, came at the hands of teams USF has beaten handily.
But, struggling for recognition is not new for the Bulls. Last season, while USF sat at home, two teams the Bulls beat played in bowls.
Such situations make the average football fan long for the NFL, where the best teams actually make the playoffs.
But, in college, the bowl system has become a money-hungry giant. Each bowl has a responsibility to fill seats. So, better teams that are not necessarily earners stay at home. It’s not fair. But then again, bowls are a business. And teams like USF are left out in the cold.
However, college football should not be that way. For most college seniors, a bowl game is their last time on a football field. If they’ve earned it, it’s not right to take that chance away from them. It’s time for the NCAA to revamp its bowl system. If there is room for 62 teams, then the best 62 teams should go and no one else. If they can’t figure that out, maybe it’s time for a playoff. Either way, the NCAA needs to reward teams like USF for a job well done.
That is only fair.