Monday, January 4, 2010
The Kiss Bobby Bowden's Ass Bowl
AKA: This year's Gator Bowl
Sickening, just sickening. This game made me cringe the first time I heard of its possibility. As soon as WVU wrapped up its 2009 season, rumors of a West Virginia - Florida State Gator Bowl were swirling. I hated the thought of it. The Mountaineers would be forced to play a Seminole team whose beloved head coach was bowing out immediately afterward. This was Bobby Bowden's last game.
WVU finished 2nd in the Big East with a 9-3 record. Florida State finished sixth in the ACC with a 6-6 record. The Gator Bowl is allowed to choose the second team taken from the Big East after the BCS chose Cincinnati. They chose second place WVU. That all works out. The Gator Bowl is then allowed the third choice of teams from the ACC after the BCS selected Georgia Tech and the Chik-Fil-A Bowl selected Virginia Tech. They chose sixth place Florida State. Why would they do this you ask? Here's an explanation...
This being Bobby Bowden's last game made the match-up matter to the rest of the country. People would tune in to see Bobby finish up his career in grand style. They'd tune in to the tribute before the game. They'd watch as he wandered the sideline trying to figure out the score. They'd watch Bobby search endlessly for WVU Head Coach Bill Stewart after the game to receive his congratulatory handshake. They'd watch him get carried off the field. And finally, nobody would turn the channel as Bobby accepted the Gator Bowl trophy. Everyone wanted to see Bobby!
It doesn't matter that FSU finished sixth in the ACC. It doesn't matter that three teams, Clemson, Boston College and Miami all had better records. The Gator Bowl was allowed to "choose the third team from the conference." the rules don't say they had to choose the third best team from the conference, just the third team. It's sad, but true. Merit and worthiness had nothing to do with this Gator Bowl, or any other bowl for that matter.
It works both ways, however... WVU probably would have gone to the Gator Bowl had they finished 5th in the Big East... which they would have if they'd lost their final game of the regular season and Pitt had won theirs. You see, WVU brings fans to their bowl games. The city of Jacksonville loves that and so does the Gator Bowl. Basically this was a dream match-up of economical proportions!
All that being said, I hated having to play FSU in the Kiss Bobby Bowden's Ass bowl. College football is an emotional game. Remember what happened when WVU sent Don Nehlen on his way? We creamed a heavily favored Ole Miss team. Remember what happened when Rich Rodriguez left WVU for the University of Michigan? We creamed a heavily favored Oklahoma team. Don't mess with college kids and their head coaches. I'd rather have played any of the aforementioned teams. Hell, I'd rather have played the Pittsburgh Steelers! Run the other way if your team is playing against a team with a coaching change. Run as fast as you can. Bad things are on the horizon.
And indeed that's how it turned out for WVU.... bad things happened.
Final score: FSU 33 - WVU 21
We got creamed in the Money Grubbing No Merit Kiss Bobby Bowden's Ass Bowl.