College Football: The Major Injustice of the Bowl Season
Hold on to your hat. Put on your snow boots in July. This could be the big one Elizabeth—I'm coming to join you.
Baby Tate is about to defend Clemson.
No, there is no need for hospitalization such as Florida Coach Urban Meyer required after losing the SEC Title Game.
What we have here is an insult to sportsmanship, competitiveness, and a slap in the face to everything one learns concerning the basics of winning and losing.
It is a travesty that Florida State is playing West Virginia in the Gator Bowl while Clemson is going to the Music City Bowl to play Kentucky.
Clemson defeated Florida State this season, 40-24. The Tigers won the ACC Atlantic Division while the Seminoles finished third.
The orange-clad men of Coach Dabo Swinney won eight games this season while FSU struggled to go 6-6 for the year.
In the ACC Bowl pecking order, we find that the Orange Bowl goes to the league Champion and that is where Georgia Tech is headed after defeating Clemson in the ACC Title game.
The subsequent postseason games of the ACC are the Gator in Jacksonville, the Chick-Fil-A (Peach) in Atlanta, and the Champ Sports in Orlando.
Down the line, we find the Emerald Bowl of San Francisco and the Nashville-based Music City Bowl. Further on down the road is the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Charlotte.
Why then do we find the loser of the conference title game in a Bowl lower than the ones in Atlanta and Jacksonville?
Orlando? Miami is slotted to go there. Clemson beat Miami at Miami by the score of 40-37 this season. Next case.
Fans traveling? You are kidding, right? Clemson's traveling show makes the fan bases of Nebraska and Ohio State look like wayfaring strangers.
Plain speaking, there is no reason on earth for Clemson to be going to Nashville while lower teams the Tigers have beaten this year reap the rewards of a Florida location.
Why and how did this happen?
According to Dabo Swinney, it is a case of politics. The following conversation was reported by Rivals.com shortly after the selection process was made public.
Now that you’re on this side of the ledger, how do you take the ACC title game loser and drop them to this level?
“There’s politics in everything. That’s just part of it. We had our opportunity to do something about it last night, and we didn’t take care of business....Politics get involved when decisions are being made.”
There is a translation of what the ultra-nice and respectful Coach Swinney meant to say. It goes like this:
"Coach Bowden wishes his final game to be in a Bowl game in the state of Florida."
"Instead of putting Florida State in the Champ Sports Bowl, the ACC is using the Gator Bowl to attract the highly visible West Virginia fan base. This also sets up a contest between the two major schools where Bowden was head coach, Florida State and West Virginia."
"The ACC owes Bobby Bowden for all the years he gave the profession and wants to reward him with a selection of what Bowl, location, and opponent he wishes in his final game."
Another translation could be "To Devil with Clemson."
Upon reflection of thought, Clemson's opponent in the Music City Bowl will be Kentucky, coached by the venerable Rich Brooks in his final game before retiring.
Why bother playing? Rich Brooks has been a great guy all of these years, just forfeit the Music City Bowl so Coach Brooks can "go out a winner."
But why stop there?
It is true that Kentucky lost to Florida during the season, finished behind the Gators in the SEC East, and do not have as successful a won-loss record this year, but why let that come into discussion?
Just ask Florida to step aside and let Kentucky go to the Sugar Bowl to honor Coach Brooks in his final game. The Gators will enjoy Nashville—that's good enough for them, they lost the conference title game like Clemson did.
It is difficult to believe Bobby Bowden would go along with this travesty—this shocking insult to the Clemson football program.
It is almost like Clemson has done something terrible in the past to Bobby Bowden.
Certainly, no one should suggest Clemson firing his son as head coach last year would have anything to do with this manipulation of the system for the Bowden family benefit and the detriment of the Tigers.
It's "just politics."
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