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BallHype: hype it up! Friday, January 4, 2008
The Rose Bowl did nothing wrong and doesn't need to apologize for their decision. What decision was that you ask? Their decision to invite Illinois to play the Pac-10 champion USC instead of the more popular Georgia or Missouri.

First off, I myself would have enjoyed the USC-Georgia match up and jokingly blamed Hawaii for ruining the possibility, but let's put to rest the ridiculous "why weren't we treated to a USC-Georgia match up" debate. It wasn't going to happen EVEN if the Rose Bowl committee felt compelled to provide college football fans a great match up, which they aren't. The Rose Bowl, having lost their Big Ten champion tie-in Ohio State to the national championship, are entitled to pick anyone who qualifies (top 14 in the BCS) to replace them. But wait, LSU is in the title game too, so doesn't the Sugar Bowl with the SEC champion tie-in get to do the same? You're absolutely right. But because Ohio State is number 1 and LSU is number 2 going into the title game, Rose Bowl gets to pick over the Sugar Bowl. So now the Rose Bowl is faced with the decision of who to face USC.

And in comes the hordes of mindless football fans who claim Georgia should have been the pick. But in order for the Rose Bowl to do so, they must receive permission from the Sugar Bowl because they have the SEC tie-in even if LSU is in the national championship. Think of it as the Bowls owning the rights to each conference. So the Rose Bowl can either go through the difficult process of negotiating a release of the SEC by the Sugar Bowl for a USC-Georgia match up or go with someone else. So the chances of the USC-Georgia match up were slim to none.

So Missouri? Hawaii? or Illinois? Sure the Rose Bowl could have picked Missouri to face USC to create an odd Pac-10/Big-12 match up or undefeated Hawaii for an even odder Pac-10/WAC match up, OR stick to their century long tradition of Big 10/Pac-10 that has built the Rose Bowl into the premier bowl in the nation. So it really wasn't a hard decision. With Illinois eligible, the Rose Bowl could spurn the Big 10 with whom they've had a century long partnership (and hence ruining the shot of the Big 10 in collecting 2 BCS bowl payouts) and feel the wrath of James Delany and go with a 'reach for the moon' shot of satisfying the mythological entitlement of a good match up football fans feel, OR stick to what has been so successful for nearly a century and live to play another day. So it's not surprising the Rose Bowl made the right decision without a bit of hesitation.

With all the backlash following the aftermath of the Rose Bowl blowout, it almost seems as if the Rose Bowl committee committed college football blasphemy when in fact they are the one remaining steady, shining beacon of tradition left in college football. Coaches come and go, Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino proved that quite well, players only get 4 years of eligibility and uniforms can be changed like diapers. But we always have the Rose Bowl and their traditional Big 10/Pac 10 match up and pageantry. Talking heads like Stewart Mandel, Lee Corso and Mark May threw the Rose Bowl under the bus this season and the blowout only seemed to validate their whining as if every single Rose Bowl game in its 106 year history have been classics. So get over yourselves. Obviously more people want to watch the Rose Bowl even despite the backlash than the Sugar Bowl or a classic Fiesta Bowl last year without a backlash.
posted by Nittany White Out @ 8:48 AM  
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