Although the first game that was recognized as being played in the Rose Bowl tradition occurred in 1902, with Michigan demolishing Stanford University, it wasn’t until two decades later that the name that now commands such respect was dedicated to the occasion.
I wasn’t around for any of that, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if that day was the first when someone in a trackcoat said the following eight words:
“The blankets were good for college football.”
Those responsible for this wonderful sport have been dealing with this hustle since I covered my first college football game in the fall of 1984, so it seemed almost inevitable that when they finally got their post-season game right, they’d find a way to get rid of by insisting To be the vessels in her heart.
Here’s the truth: The bowls were good for bowls.
As everyone will learn when the first true playoff game is introduced in 2026 – or maybe 2024, we’ll see – the bowls have been standing in the way of the best college football possible in generations. And they’re not completely finished.
Since the College Football Board has now decided that it would be wise to change its format to include a 12-team tournament that will include six automatic playoffs, they still choose to place matches played from the quarter-finals and semi-finals into the pot locations. There will be six such games in those rounds, so the “Six New Year’s” games will be the beneficiaries of this plan.
Four of those six toys are in the SEC’s imprint: orange, sugar, cotton, and peach. The others are Fiesta (Pac-12 area) and Rose (soon to be Big Ten country).
So under this plan, Ohio State or Michigan could be ranked fourth in a given year as the Big Ten champion thus earning a first-round bye and then sending them to Atlanta to play fifth-seeded Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Or it could be No. 5 Florida in orange, No. 5 Texas in cotton, or No. 5 LSU in sugar. There is no comparable bowl in Toledo or Cleveland, so there is no way the Buckeyes could ever have such a home advantage.
In the NCAA tournament, there are occasions when the lower seed might have a surprising advantage, such as when Connecticut in 2014 managed to play the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games at Madison Square Garden. But these huskies were seed number 7. No one expected them to continue playing into the second weekend of the tournament. It was, for UConn, a kind of happy coincidence. But one year the East was in the park, the next year it was at the Carrier Dome and the next year at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philly. Sites move every year.
The expanded CFP format is, by design, the responsibility of competing teams from the Midwest, Northwest, and East. With the possible exception of any championship matches played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, none will ever enjoy the short travel distances that enable fans to travel more easily for playoff matches.
The first round of the new CFP format, which includes #5 vs #12, #6 vs #11, and so on, will be played at the main locations of the top ranked teams. This should continue until at least the next round, so that the teams who really win the chance to play on their home ground – the top four seeded in the playoffs – get to fill their stadium along with the hotels and restaurants in their city, and the chance to wear their own clothes. Lockers and toys in front of their fans.
When the expanded playoffs are in place, college football will finally coordinate the tournament in the tradition of every other sport on the planet. Its competitors will understand exactly what is required to enter.
However, the CFP was unable to resolve his addiction to vessels.
Perhaps one day, college football will be a perfect fit for the post-season. We’ve waited more than a century to get this far, though, which means that day may not come until Captain Kirk’s kid plays wide in Iowa.