NCAA success was great, but probably short-lived

Published 1:07 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

Those that know me know that I am not exactly a fan of the NCAA. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE college athletics. As far as sports goes, I don’t think it gets much better than it does on the collegiate level.

It is because I am such a fan of college athletics that I become continually frustrated with the NCAA and it’s refusal to use common sense and look out for the best interest of the student-athlete.

Being the highly opinionated person that I am (quite the understatement), I rarely pass on an opportunity to bash the NCAA, be it to my friends or in this column. This however will not be one of those columns.

It is with gut-wrenching pain that I must admit that in regards to this years “bowl season,” the NCAA gave us one heck of a show.

I know what some of you are thinking…the NCAA doesn’t “invite” the teams, the bowl selection committees do. That may be partially correct, but make no mistake, the NCAA has their hand in every decision and you can’t do anything in college athletics without their approval or guidance.

In years past I had grown discouraged with many of the bowl games as they featured matchups that lacked interest and many times a competitive game. Sure, there were exceptions. Boise State’s win over Oklahoma is the first that comes to mind, but that game was certainly the exception and not the rule.

This year however, has not disappointed. In the 31 games played thus far the average margin of victory has been a little over 11 points. Over half of those games were decided by a touchdown or less and for this sports fan that means good football.

There were a few blowouts like there are every year, most notably unranked LSU’s 35-point thrashing of Georgia Tech and Florida State’s 42-13 win over Wisconsin.

There were however some thrillers as well.

Southern Miss scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to push Troy into overtime and then won with the decisive field goal in the extra session. There was also TCU grinding out a one-point victory over Boise State. The one that hurt the most was West Virginia’s single-point win over North Carolina. Pat White passed for 332 yards in what proved to be a shootout of a game that saw 35 points scored in the first quarter.

While it may not have been a close game, did anyone outside of Utah expect the Utes to hit Alabama in the mouth the way they did last Friday. There has been a lot of talk about the Mountain West Conference deserving to become a BCS conference and the Utes 31-17 victory over the Crimson Tide added quite a bit of credibility to that argument.

Kudos to you NCAA on this year’s “bowl season.” I’m certain its success was an accident and you will find some way to return it back to its previously shameful state next year.

I’d like to hear from you. If you agree or disagree with my opinion on something, have an idea for a column topic or just want to let me know someone is reading this every once in awhile please e-mail me. My address is