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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Little Caesars Pizza Pizza Bowl example of unneeded excess in college football

Despite all its flaws, I like the college football bowl system in Division I. Maybe not the system itself, but the games. They do a great job showcasing more teams and players, allowing more teams to finish their seasons on a high note on national TV, which improves their brand and recruiting — thus in many ways improves the quality of college football across the board. It's a March Madness feel without the playoff reality (I'm currently 6-1 in The Oakland Press office pool by the way, which is another reason for optimism).
Having said that, there's too many. While it's hard to convince a corporate accountant of this, just because a sponsor is willing to underwrite a game doesn't mean it should exist. Sorry, but that includes the Little Caesars Pizza Pizza Bowl in Detroit (by the way, if it must exist, it should be called the Crazy Bread Bowl). The herd needs to be thinned.
This year's participants, Western Michigan (7-5) and Purdue (6-6) both are below average football teams. Winning six games in a college football season is so easy Eastern Michigan can do it. I saw both the Broncos and the Boilermakers play in person this year and flashes of a few of their other games on TV. Western has a nice quarterback-to-receiver combo in Alex Carder and All-American Jordan White. That's it. Purdue can point to Drew Brees and Cliff Avril and say 'They went here'. That's it. The Broncos didn't beat a single team with an over .500 record this season. Neither did Purdue.
Bad football in Detroit is outdated, remember.
Save the argument that it's good for the downtown area. Even with two relatively nearby opponents, that crowd is going to be sparse. And I'm not just picking on the Motor City Bowl (excuse me, the Pizza Pizza Bowl. I momentarily forgot Detroit's auto companies got their financial priorities in order). It's just an example of the bowl excess in college football. I've attended one Motor City Bowl — it was in 2007 when Purdue beat Central Michigan 51-48 as quarterbacks Curtis Painter and Dan LeFevour put on an offensive show. It was without question the best game in the bowl's history. I could have lived without it. I will say LeFevour was fun to watch, and Central deserved to be in a higher bowl that year but got stuck at Ford Field for attendance and other monetary reasons. Yet, it was nothing more than two really good QBs tacking advantage of really bad defenses. In other words, mediocre to bad football.
At minimum, the college bowl field should be cut to 25 games (it's at 35 this year). That's the top 50 teams in the country, in theory, playing in the postseason. That's more than enough. Also playing Wednesday are Louisville and North Carolina State in the Belk Bowl (If you didn't know, Belk is a department store. It's the fourth sponsor for this game). Get your popcorn ready. Or, you could do what I'm doing and make other plans.

Yet, for those who do care, here's a preview of the game out of Kalamazoo


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