Bowl Games are still mostly a joke

Monteé Ball (right) and the Badgers will play in their third straight Rose Bowl despite losing five games this season.

Maybe it’s just me, but seeing Wisconsin going to the Rose Bowl with 5 losses doesn’t seem quite right. In the end, Wisconsin ended up being this year’s BCS crasher. The 8-5 Badgers  will be making their third consecutive trip to Pasadena after destroying  Nebraska in Saturday’s Big Ten title game, bringing the worst winning percentage  of any Rose Bowl participant since 1928.

What that means is a team like Texas A&M will play in the Capital One Bowl (with 2 losses I might add), against probably Northwestern.

There is still the slight possibility that 12-1 Northern Illinois will move into  the final top 16. If that happens, the Huskies would steal away Oklahoma’s  at-large berth and head to the Orange Bowl (Louisville would move to the Sugar  Bowl).

Wisconsin’s win shakes up the Big Ten’s expected Florida bowl lineup. The  Capital One Bowl had coveted Michigan, but neither that game nor the Outback  Bowl can take the eight-win Wolverines over the 10-win Huskers. If the Capital  One Bowl opts for 9-3 Northwestern to face 10-2 Texas A&M, Nebraska will  fall to the Outback.

That would likely send South Carolina plummeting to the  Gator, because the Gamecocks faced the Huskers last year, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl is obligated to select South  Carolina’s rival, Clemson, from the ACC. The lower half of the Big 12 pecking order is a bit muddy. I have the Buffalo  Wild Wings Bowl taking TCU, followed by the Holiday Bowl taking West Virginia,  but some think the Mountaineers will fall to the Pinstripe Bowl. If that does  happen, look for the New York bowl to take Pittsburgh from the Big East,  reuniting rivals and sparing the 6-6 Panthers a third straight trip to  Birmingham.

It just all seems too confusing. Some teams get a bowl game based on BCS rankings while some teams get bowl games based on how they are ranked in their conference. Have a look at this:As always, remember:

• After the No. 1 and 2 teams are slotted and replaced, the BCS at-large  selection order this year is 1) Fiesta, 2) Sugar and 3) Orange. The  highest-ranked champion  from a non-automatic qualifier is guaranteed a BCS berth if it finishes in the  top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of an AQ-conference champion.

• Most bowls are not obligated — I repeat, NOT OBLIGATED — to choose in  exact order of conference standings. For instance, “Big 12 No. 3″ means “third  selection of Big 12 teams,” not “the Big 12’s third-place team.” Bowls often  pick a team with an inferior record due to geography, anticipated fan travel,  the need to avoid a regular-season rematch, or just plain politics.

Seems like a lot of discrepancies could be allowed. And unfairness.

BCS bowls

DATE PREDICTED MATCHUP
Jan. 1 Rose: Wisconsin (Big Ten champ) vs. Stanford (Pac-12  champ)
Jan. 1 Orange: Florida State (ACC champ) vs. Louisville  (Big East champ)
Jan. 2 Sugar: Florida (BCS at-large) vs. Oklahoma (BCS  at-large)
Jan. 3 Fiesta: Kansas State (Big 12 champ) vs. Oregon (BCS  at-large)
Jan. 7 BCS championship: Notre Dame (BCS No. 1) vs. Alabama  (BCS No. 2)

 

Other bowls

DATE PREDICTED MATCHUP
Dec. 15 New Mexico: Nevada (MWC No. 4) vs. Arizona  (Pac-12 No. 7)
Dec. 15 Idaho Potato: Utah State (WAC) vs. Toledo  (MAC No. 3)
Dec. 20 Poinsettia: San Diego State (MWC No. 2) vs. BYU (BYU)
Dec. 21 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s: UCF (C-USA) vs. Ball State  (Big East*)
Dec. 22 New Orleans: Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt  No. 1) vs. East Carolina (C-USA)
Dec. 22 Maaco: Boise State (MWC No. 1) vs. Washington  (Pac-12 No. 5)
Dec. 24 Hawaii: Fresno State (MWC) vs. SMU  (C-USA)
Dec. 26 Little Caesars: Kent State (MAC) vs. Middle Tennessee (Big Ten No. 8*)
Dec. 27 Belk: Cincinnati (Big East No. 3) vs. Duke (ACC No.  5)
Dec. 27 Military: San Jose State (ACC No. 8*) vs.  Ohio (Army)
Dec. 27 Holiday: UCLA (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. West Virginia (Big  12 No. 5)
Dec. 28 Independence: Bowling Green (ACC No. 7*) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (SEC No. 10*)
Dec. 28 Meineke Texas: Minnesota (Big Ten No. 6) vs. Baylor  (Big 12 No. 6)
Dec. 28 Russell Athletic: Rutgers (Big East No. 2) vs.  Virginia Tech (ACC No. 3)
Dec. 29 Pinstripe: Syracuse (Big East No. 4) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 7)
Dec. 29 Buffalo Wild Wings: TCU (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan  State (Big Ten No. 5)
Dec. 29 Alamo: Oregon State (Pac-12 No. 2) vs. Oklahoma  State (Big 12 No. 3)
Dec. 29 Armed Forces: Rice (C-USA) vs. Air Force  (MWC)
Dec. 29 Kraft Fight Hunger: Arizona State (Pac-12 No. 6) vs. Navy (Navy)
Dec. 31 Music City: NC State (ACC No. 6) vs. Mississippi  State (SEC)
Dec. 31 Sun: Georgia Tech (ACC No. 4) vs. USC (Pac-12 No.  4)
Dec. 31 Liberty: Tulsa (C-USA No. 1) vs. Louisiana  Tech (SEC No. 9*)
Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A: Clemson (ACC No. 2) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC  No. 5)
Jan. 1 Heart of Dallas: Purdue (Big Ten No. 7) vs. Iowa  State (Big 12 No. 8)
Jan. 1 Capital One: Texas A&M (SEC No. 2) vs.  Northwestern (Big Ten No. 2)
Jan. 1 Outback: Nebraska (Big Ten No. 3) vs. LSU (SEC)
Jan. 1 Gator: Michigan (Big Ten No. 4) vs. South Carolina  (SEC No. 6)
Jan. 4 Cotton: Texas (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Georgia (SEC)
Jan. 5 BBVA Compass: Pittsburgh (Big East) vs. Ole Miss  (SEC No. 8)
Jan. 6 GoDaddy.com: Northern Illinois (MAC) vs. Arkansas  State (Sun Belt No. 2)

Teams in bold have accepted a bid.

* — Replacement team for a  conference without an eligible team.

Here’s my question: Why have a team ranked in the polls, if they can’t play in a post season bowl, like Ohio State for example? It just clouds the picture.

And bottom line is, does it seem fair to have a 5 loss team playing in a major bowl like the Rose Bowl, when a team with 2 losses are playing in a not so well known bowl like Texas A&M (with a probable Heisman Trophy winning quarterback) playing a team like Northwestern?