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Volume 5, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

Bowls show little respect for tradition

The AP Top 25

Christian Schmidt

Every year about this time of the season this writer is disgusted by what he sees. There still isn't a Division I-A football playoff system (Div. I-A football is the only NCAA sport that doesn't have a playoff system).

I won't give a specific scenario for how a playoff system could work, or even give a look back at the number of mishaps the Bowl Championship Series had suffered in its short existence.

But it's this simple: There will be disputes as long as teams do not get to play for a national title on the field. It's ridiculous when the No. 2 team in the BCS standings isn't even the best team in its own conference (Ohio State 2002, Nebraska 2001), or when the team that's been dominant for the second half of the season doesn't even get a chance (Southern California 2002).

The BCS is better than nothing, but not much better. It's been time for a playoff system for years. Let's get something done.

The championship

It's finally official. Miami and Ohio State will face each other in the Fiesta Bowl. The Hurricanes are heavy favorites and should have little trouble repeating as national champions and extending their winning streak to 35 consecutive victories.

Two Rose Bowls?

This season, there won't be a Big Ten-Pacific 10 match-up in the Rose Bowl. With Big Ten champion Ohio State off to play in the Fiesta Bowl for the National Championship, the Rose Bowl was hoping to get Big Ten co-champion Iowa to face the Pac 10 top team.

That didn't happen. Iowa, considered by many to be a better team than Ohio State, was selected for the Orange Bowl, where the Hawkeyes will face Southern California. That's right, Southern California -- a Pac 10 team that just might be playing better football than anyone in the country right now.

That gives the Orange Bowl a Pac 10 vs. Big Ten match-up. It also gives the Orange Bowl perhaps the best match-up of any of the major bowls, with two of the best teams in the country.

USC brings a high-flying offense with senior quarterback Carson Palmer and an opportunistic defense that likes to sack opposing quarterbacks. Iowa has a balanced offense and an attacking defense. The result should be a great game.

The other Rose

Back in the real Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Washington State will face Oklahoma. It will be the Sooners' first-ever trip to the Rose Bowl.

Senior quarterback Jason Gesser, the toughest player in college football, leads the Cougars. Gesser has fought through a slew of injuries this season that would have kept a lesser man on the sidelines, and he's led his team all the way to the Rose Bowl in the process.

Oklahoma, on the other hand, is led by diminutive running back Quentin Griffin, a 5-7 sparkplug who makes the Sooner offense go. The Sooners also rely on a stalwart defense that has shut down opponents (except Oklahoma State) this year.

On the Smurf turf

What's the best match-up of this bowl season? How about Iowa State traveling to the blue Astroturf in Boise, Idaho, to face Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl. Boise State is the best team that most of the nation has never heard of.

No love for Bulls

The Trash Man (Keenan Singleton) told me he couldn't be happier the South Florida Bulls did not receive a bowl invitation, despite their 9-2 record this season. Go Bulls!

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