The college bowl season will mercifully come to an end with the national championship game Monday. Without question the two best teams in the country will face off to see who comes out in first place under the present playoff format.
LSU has had a magical season with Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow leading the way. LSU has always had top five talent, but they finally had a quarterback who could bring them to the championship game.
Clemson has become the new Alabama. Head coach Dabo Swinney is now challenging Nick Saban as the dynasty builder of the past decade.
The present Division I playoff system championship games have been interesting and competitive. However, at this point it has had a poor showing of teams in the semifinal games. Oklahoma was totally embarrassed in this year’s game against LSU. The Sooners are now 0-4 in semifinals. They have not done a good job of showcasing the offensive-minded Big 12 Conference.
Ohio State and the Big Ten have been very solid when they have made the cut for the playoffs. Without question, the Buckeyes finished the season as the third best team in the country.
It will be interesting to see if the NCAA will expand the playoff system to eight teams in this decade. Bowl games have become nothing more than exhibition games played in desirable travel destinations for the alumni.
More and more teams – like Georgia and Alabama – do not play any of their players who might get taken in the upcoming NFL draft. The bowl teams are starting second-team players that in most cases will be returning to play next year.
Most people do not care to spend a lot of money to watch their favorite college teams play exhibition games. It is understandable that college players do not want to play in meaningless bowl games as NFL prospects.
With most of the bowl games anticlimactic, the bowl season is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Football fans for the most part still enjoy the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls, but nearly all the other bowls mean nothing in the college football landscape.
It may be time for the NCAA to seriously begin to consider an expansion of the current system to eight teams. If a team makes the eight-team format, at least they would be playing for something meaningful and the players would not sit out because of an NFL future. The glory of the past bowl games is just not the same.
The main reason the NCAA and all the colleges involved in NCAA Division I football still hang on to the bowl system is money. However, that money train may slowly come to a screeching halt if front-line players do not participate in bowl games.
You can attend spring football games to watch the players in the next season and not spend thousands of dollars on a worthless game being played by second stringers. College football is about schools playing meaningful games with everyone buying in.
I have been a college football fan for nearly my whole life and have attended several major bowl games, but I would not waste my money to watch the second team play.
The future of college football will be determined by money, but the level of play will not. It might be time to expand the playoff system and sit in rocking chairs on the porch to discuss how exciting the old bowl system once was.
• The quote of the week comes from Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and social critic: “The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.