Hog Fans can Enjoy Bowls, Look Forward to Future
The bids are finally in. College football fans across the country tuned in to see the selection of this year’s bowl games. Razorback fans are, of course, disappointed that their team did not make it to a bowl this year, but can still enjoy the games that will take place.
Let’s start with the most heralded game of them all, the BCS National Championship game. Alabama survived a test against Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship game to find their way into a showdown with No. 1 Notre Dame.
The game will likely be a defensive battle. The Crimson Tide are No. 1 in total defense and the Fighting Irish are No. 6. These two historic programs will face off Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
A BCS buster was also amid the highlights of the bowl selection night. Mid-America Conference champion Northern Illinois earned a spot in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.
Northern Illinois defeated Kent State in their championship game to earn an automatic bid with a final regular season record of 12-1. Many people have a hard time accepting a team from that conference making a BCS game, but it’s nice to root for the underdog sometimes.
The rest of the BCS bowls were filled by more familiar names. The Rose Bowl will feature Wisconsin vs. Stanford at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif.
The Allstate Sugar will play host to Louisville and Florida, the game that Arkansas occupied just two seasons ago. The final BCS bowl is the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, which will feature Kansas State and Oregon.
To avoid monotonous naming of the vast amount of bowl games, let’s look at the importance these bowl games will possess. Many people not associated with the SEC are ready for the streak of National Championships to come to an end. Not only do they want the BCS championship dominance to end, but every team is aiming to knock off an SEC opponent in any bowl game to be played.
Along with the target on the SEC’s back, this is the second-to-last year of the BCS bowl system. After another round of this BCS system, a four-team playoff will be implemented to replace it.
I am in support of the new playoff system, but I will also enjoy the drama-filled environment the BCS does bring about. Right or wrong, we must live with it, so it’s better to enjoy the games than dwell on the system.
As a Hog fan, I hope that this time next year, the discussion will be focused on the Hogs’ opponent in whatever bowl game they might make it to. Whoever the new coach is, he will be working with some talent that gained valuable playing time this season. Although it was a losing season, many players received valuable reps in the toughest conference in the nation.
People are gearing up for the Christmas holiday, finals and even graduation for a few. This time of year is exciting for everyone in a vast variety of ways. Many players and fans will be excited for their team’s bowl game, just like a lot of people are excited to be away from class for a month. Whatever it is that makes you happy, I hope everyone has a happy holiday season..
Zack Wheeler is a staff writer for The Arkansas Traveler. His column appears every Tuesday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.