Politics ruled the day when the final bowl pairings were announced
I've got mixed feelings about UofL's bowl game. I'm disappointed that it won't be in Florida where it's warm, but the Cards are playing a good opponent in a somewhat prestigious bowl.
I say somewhat because the Cards could have been selected to play in a bowl with a higher payout, but politics ruled the day and, as expected, the strongest personalities in the room made sure their teams went to the best bowls.
Don't get me wrong. I think the opportunity to knock off a perennial SEC power is worth whatever bowl the team plays in but there's no doubt there was some jockeying for larger payouts going on in the playoff committee meeting room. Why else would number 25-ranked Minnesota be playing in the Citrus Bowl against Missouri? Very simple - the Citrus Bowl has a $4,250,000 payout per team compared to the Belk Bowl's $1,700,000 and the Big Ten wanted to make sure it had enough bowl slots for all its bowl-eligible teams.
Why else would unranked Iowa and unranked Tennessee be playing in the Gator Bowl ahead of the Cards? A million dollars more in payouts per team is the simple reason.
Why not the Music City Bowl with its $3,000,000 payout? Wouldn't UofL vs. LSU be a better game than the fading Irish? Why not the higher-ranked Cards and Dawgs in one of the more lucrative bowls? That would seem fairer to me.
My hope for the entire playoff system was that a group of non-partisan, totally objective members would rank the teams in order of their success on the field, not by conference affiliation or TV potential. So much for that wishful thinking. It seems that the only conference with two members on the committee, the Big 10, had their way in several areas.
Tom Osborne and Barry Alvarez seemed to rule the day. Would Ohio State have been the fourth team in the playoff without strong inside advocacy? We'll never know but the Big 12 should be mighty upset with the sudden drop of TCU and the omitting of Baylor.
I understand much of these match-ups are determined by bowl contracts made before the season starters, but if we are looking for a fair bowl system then why are Big 10 teams ranked below Louisville going to more lucrative bowls? Minnesota to the Citrus- $4,250,000; Iowa to the Gator-$2,750,000; Nebraska to the Holiday-$2,825,000; and Maryland to the Foster Farms-$2,212,000.
Fair? Hardly. Eleven schools ranked below Louisville and Georgia are getting bigger payouts than the two ranked schools. Makes no sense.
But that situation has been settled so now the order of the day is to defeat Georgia. This is what the Cardinals need to gain respect in the college football universe. Already the Georgia fans are belittling the opposition as unworthy of an SEC power like the Dawgs. Good! It reminds me of the Alabama fans (1991), the Michigan State fans (1993), the BYU fans (2001), the Florida fans (2013 and the Miami fans (2013). LOL.