The 2014-2015 college football season is nearing its end. The bowl games are over; we are down to one final game for the D-1 championship. So what did we learn from these final games?
First – the SEC, as I’ve said from the beginning, is NOT the most dominant conference in the country. In fact, there is no dominant conference. The talk show hosts and guests are all making this same observation. It’s really amusing to me that the same people who spent the entire football season talking about the mighty SEC are now on the not-so-mighty SEC band wagon.
Second – Florida State is undisciplined. Everyone knows about Jameis Winston’s consistent trouble, but not much attention has been paid to the rest of the team until now. I got this note back in November, when there wasn’t much commentary on talk radio about them: “The coach who will probably get the award as the best coach in the ACC very clearly said b******t to the officials way when they had a call against them. When FSU players make a play they mouth off very clearly to the defender.” In their Rose bowl game, about 75% of the players pouted at their first loss in 2 years and walked off the field without shaking hands with the Oregon players. I will give Winston credit here – he sought out fellow QB Marcus Mariota and other players and congratulated them. None of this was lost on Kirk Herbstreit who pointed out the poor sportsmanship of the majority of the team.
Third – A playoff system has been long overdue, and an 8 team playoff is needed. Had the BCS system still been in place, there is a very real likelihood that Alabama and Florida State would have played for the national championship. While the 4 teams who were in this first playoff were appropriate and deserved their spots, there are still solid “what if” arguments for TCU, Baylor, and Michigan State. (I omitted #7 Mississippi State since they lost to ACC #2 Georgia Tech.
Fifth – There are too many bowl games, they have names with no meaning (or names that take away from the historic name), and they are not drawing fans. I have no idea what the attendance averages are, but I could see from the few shots of the stands on TV that most every bowl game was barely 50% full. I can name the bowl games I’ve been to: the Independence Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Tangerine Bowl (OK, that one is lame), the Hall of Fame Bowl, the Peach Bowl and the Orange Bowl. I loved bowl season when I was young; it almost always meant a trip to Florida around New Year’s (one of my favorite holidays). I’m pretty sure kids didn’t get excited about attending the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit the day after Christmas.
Overall, the good news is that most of the bowl committees selected good teams and gave fans something interesting to watch. Bowl season is kind of like the final five minutes of a fireworks show…a last taste of college football before we enter winter sports season.