The BCS lucked out this year, getting USC and Texas in Granddad’s crib. The environs will be terrific and maybe the game will be, too.
But the whole notion of the Rose Bowl, a concoction to enhance a civic celebration and benefit a community where I lived and of which I remain fond, was, in my experience, more a regional thing. A chance for a team from the West Coast to demonstrate to those arrogant SOBs from the Big Ten that their presumptive view of themselves as the holy cradle of football was overblown.
To a lot of people in Pasadena and around the greater Los Angeles area, the BCS’s introduction into the Rose Bowl, every once in a while bequeathing a bogus title game, is more an intrusion. It does not bolster the color and pageantry of college football, especially in off years, it bastardizes it, and, then, congratulates itself for elevating a counterfeit champion.
There will be few such complaints tonight – if the Trojans win. Maybe even if they lose.
But the college football postseason is a jumbled mess right now, consisting of a bunch of bowls of almost no consequence, all overshadowed by one manufactured championship game that, in most years, isn’t even near authentic. We’ve all said it a thousand times, and, until it changes, we should go on saying it, that a 16-team playoff, incorporating the bowls, can add consistent meaning to those bowls that they presently lack.
I love the Rose Bowl. It’s traditionally been punctuation for a city’s celebration, a quaint little skirmish between schools from regions that want to punch one another in the mouth, all encircled in the usual winter warmth of the Southern California climate and, ultimately, settling bragging rights for another year.
Last season, Texas and Michigan faced off.
This year, it is a so-called title game, a darn good so-called title game, but a counterfeit, nonetheless, set up by random fortune. How great would it have been had it come at the end of a genuine playoff? As it is, the Rose Bowl is now an imposter, an alternating pawn in a corrupt system.
The Austin American Statesman’s Michael Corcoran, recalling Ashlee Simpson’s appearance at last year’s Orange Bowl, predicts that tonight’s Big & Rich halftime performance will “serve as an anger vent for fans on the losing side”. I’d prefer to ditch all partisan considerations ; in a world in which Big & Rich are considered suitable entertainment, we’re all on the losing side.