If a College Football Game is Played on January 10, Will Anyone Notice?
I watched Auburn and Oregon play in the BCS National Championship last night, if you consider watching having the television turned to a certain channel while reading, cooking, talking, and generally not paying a single second of attention to what was actually on the television screen. This game was supposed to be exciting. We were supposed to be stoked to see two undefeated teams with high-powered offenses play for the crystal football awarded to the NCAA champion. So why did it feel like any other meaningless bowl game between two teams I could not care less about?
The last meaningful 2010 regular season games were played on December 4th, more than a full month before the sports’s biggest game of the season. That’s more than enough time to kill any and all momentum built up from what BCS advocates claim to be the most exciting regular season in sports. Try to name who Auburn and Oregon played in their last games and I bet you have to think about it. Hell, name the teams who played in the Sugar Bowl less than a week ago. A month is an eternity in sports.
ESPN will no doubt hype the fact that this game was the highest rated program in cable television history, but the number was actually down 11.6% from last year. Part of that drop is due to the game being on cable television and not network, but that can’t be the full story. The only bowl game that matters at all is the title game, and if that starts to lose its luster, then an already anti-climactic postseason becomes entirely irrelevant. You could see and hear signs of that this morning if you listened to sports talk or checked out the sports sites. Sure, Auburn’s victory was the headline, but that was quickly followed by 20 different NFL week two playoff storylines. By tomorrow, the game will be all but forgotten. By this time next year, you’ll have a hard time remembering who won the 2010 BCS Championship. Just another in a long line of arguments for a playoff system.