I don’t care about college bowl games, but there’s one moment in time that still does it for me.
The date was Jan. 1, 2007, and heavily favored Oklahoma faced Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.
It was a mismatch. Clearly a mismatch. The Sooners—led by Adrian Peterson, one of the great halfbacks in college football history—were favored by 7 1/2 points over the undefeated-yet-largely untested Broncs from the small state commuter school.
What transpired, however, was both one of the greatest upsets in modern college football history and one of the greatest games in all of college football history. Breaking out one trick play after another, Boise State shocked the Sooners with a breathtaking 43-42 victory that ended with the night’s hero—halfback Ian Johnson—scoring the winning touchdown, then kneeling to propose to his cheerleader girlfriend.
[She said yes]
It was amazing.
It was brilliant.
It was mesmerizing.
It was something the NCAA seems to have no interest in.
In case you’re not paying attention, tonight undefeated No. 9 Coastal Carolina played No. 23 Liberty (with just one loss) in something called (stupidly) the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. It was a fantastic battle, with the Jerry Falwell-less Flames pulling out the 37-34 win.
And it never should have happened.
Teams like Coastal Carolina deserve a shot at Iowa, or Texas, or Auburn. Teams like Liberty deserve a shot at Georgia. Or Oregon. Or Oklahoma State. There is nothing better than the opening minutes of a David v. Goliath game, and nothing nothing nothing better than the closing minutes of a nail-biter David v. Goliath game. By matching up the two Davids, however, the NCAA or the blah blah bowl committee or Alvaro Espinoza (or whoever is responsible) decided to take the (yawn) boring way out.
It’s just not fun, and the end result is another year of predictable matchups between this big money school and that big money school in the multi-million dollar CTE Awaits You Bowl.