Miller Lite Locks
by Jonathan Ellerbe

College football is the best, yet the worst.  If you’re not going to have a football playoff in Division I-A, then the bowl system needs to be re-formed. 

College football has 28 bowl games, 6 television networks airing those games and year-to-year floating bowl dates that leave the average college football fan in desperate need of a TV Guide.  Here’s what I would do to fix the problem:

Number One:  Cut the number of bowl games.  There are some bad bowls, worse bowl destinations and even worse, teams that do not deserve a bowl bid.  Let’s cut the number of bowl games from 28 to 22 to make bowl games more special.  There are 11 Division 1-A conferences in college football.  Let the champion of each conference go to a bowl.  That’s 11 guaranteed bowl bids with 33 at-large berths left (which leave Army, Navy & Notre Dame as independents up for grab too if they are bowl eligible).

Number Two:  Make the bowl destinations a reward to bowl teams, coaches & fans.  Boise, Idaho; Mobile, Alabama; Lafayette, Louisiana & Fort Worth, Texas are not exactly the top choice for vacation getaways in December or anytime of the year.  There are currently many good bowl sites to keep.  If the Georgia Dome can host the Peach Bowl, Falcons final regular season game & the Sugar bowl in one weekend, why not play multiple bowl games in more cities like Atlanta?

Number Three:  End the conference bowl tie-ins.  Let a bowl committee from the host city make the best decision on who they want to be in their bowl game.  Regional match-ups and sold out stadiums is what the college bowl atmosphere is all about.  Don’t have one team play another team across the country if it means 20,000 fans and an ESPN2 game in December at 4pm.  Once again, make it a REWARD for the players, coaches & fans.

Number Four:  Play all the bowl games after Christmas Day.  Bowl games mean extra practices for players & coaches to build for next year and a fun vacation for fans.  Most fans have more flexible travel plans and vacation time available the week between Christmas and New Years. 

Number Five:  Have bowl games run all day, every day that week.  Kick the first game off at Noon and play the last one in prime time at 9pm.  Fans of teams that can not attend the game could & would take time off to watch their team (television ratings anyone???).  A true college football bowl week would have the media, coaches, players & fans buzzing with excitement.  3 or 4 games a day for 6-7 days in a row, with it all building up to the National Championship Game, now that’s exciting! 

College football post season play should be special not stressful.  Players, coaches and fans should be rewarded for their tough season on the gridiron, not tortured.  Make the bowl season fun again and a reward for hard work on and off the field for teams and fans.  Teams that deserve it will earn it and their fans will show up to support it.  Seems simple to me, what do you think?

With all that in mind, here are your updated “Miller Lite Standings & Picks”:

Overall Standings:

Eddie King             25-13-1
Ellerbe                    19-19-1
AC Casey              10-9
Ian the Animal       18-21 

“Miller Lite Locks” for week 14:

Eddie King’s Locks:
Jaguars -3 @ Browns
Chiefs +1.5 vs. Broncos
Vikings -3 @ Lions

AC Casey’s Locks:
Eagles +4.5 vs. Seahawks
Patriots -10 vs. Jets
Steelers -3 vs. Bengals

Ian The Animal's Locks:
Seahawks -4.5 @ Eagles
Jaguars -3 @ Browns
Rams +3.5 vs. Redskins

Ellerbe’s Locks:
Texas -27.5 vs. Colorado
FSU +14.5 vs. Va. Tech
LSU -1.5 vs. Georgia

Until we greet you next week from the Miller Lite Sports Bar, have a great sports weekend.

Jonathan Ellerbe