This year the bowl season has kicked off and college football fans and their universities are excited about their team’s bowl game. And why shouldn’t they be thrilled? Despite your team having a 6-6 record, it’s a bowl game and it means a chance to close out the season in winning fashion.
Is this what college football has deteriorated to?
With a total of 35 bowl games being played, (35!) and 12 already in the books, a quick breakdown is necessary to sort out what is going on here.
Of the 35 games and 70 teams, 13 teams have records of 6-6 and one (UCLA) has a losing record of 6-7, having to petition to get in to their bowl game. How can a team with a .500 record, the very definition of the word average, be considered for the postseason and rewarded with a berth in a bowl game?
Three of the games feature both teams with 6-6 records, and there is the one bowl game, The Fired Head Coaches Bowl, or officially titled Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, pitting a 6-6 Illini team without fired head coach Ron Zook versus the 6-7 UCLA Bruins team without fired head coach Rick Neuheisel.
A UCLA win and this becomes the first ever bowl game where neither team ends the season with a winning record.
The other match-ups with 6-6 teams competing for their slice of the Mediocrity Bowl Series (MBS) includes:
- Wake Forest vs. Mississippi State
- Texas A & M vs. Northwestern
- Ohio State vs. Florida, being dubbed as the “We used to play in the BCS National Championship Game” bowl.
If a playoff system for college football is ever instituted, a new bracket pitting all the 6-6 teams could be created with the winner being crowned MBS Champion, perhaps against the winner of the 7-5 team bracket. But don’t even get me started on those 15 7-5 teams.
Update: Of the first three 6-6 teams, 2 have won their bowl games and one has lost. Marshall beat Florida International 20-10, Purdue held off Western Michigan 37-32, while Arizona State lost 56-24 to #8 Boise State.