Except for this year.
That's because the guys and gals behind PlayoffPAC have brought the world of political attack ads to the BCS. By slaughtering the BCS in just 47 seconds. It's the best possible introduction to the Starting 11 bowl edition.
The ad aired in both Boise and Fort Worth during the game last night. Well done. Keep up the good fight. For the rest of us, let's dive into the bowl games thus far via the Starting 11.
1. Les Miles, Les Miles, how can you do it again?
Is there anybody less clutch when it comes to making decisions down the stretch than Miles? Here's the situation in the Capital One Bowl for those of you not watching.
LSU has a first down at the Penn State 49 with about 49 seconds left, trailing 19-17 with no timeouts. The clock is stopped because Jordan Jefferson has just run out of bounds.
With the awful field conditions -- the landscaper of the Capital One bowl should be put in the stocks in Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean attraction -- you probably need about 20 yards to get in realistic field-goal range.
What does Miles call?
A screen pass into the middle of the field.
Seriously, that's the LSU brain-trust decision with time to plan a play call.
LSU gains four yards, the clock continues to run, the Tigers are flagged for a bogus personal foul, penalized 15 yards, and LSU gets just two more plays off. The final hopeless play ends with no time left on the clock.
I ask this question, how in the world do you call that play in that situation?
It's an awful decision on several levels. Among them: A.) You can't throw underneath the first down marker in the middle of the field given the lack of timeouts because if you don't gain the first down you're losing 20 or more seconds B.) With everyone likely to be dropping into a zone how many yards are you likely to gain by completing a two-yard pass anyway? C.) You send your speedy wide receiver back into the muck in the center of the field where his speed is negated d. if you're going to throw under 10 yards you have to complete a pass somewhere near the sideline so at least your receiver can get out of bounds if he can't gain the first down
I could go on.
Right now LSU fans know exactly what I'm talking about. In fact, absent dumb luck how many LSU fans had confidence in Miles's decision making on this final drive?
You want early predictions for 2010?
Next year LSU is going 6-6 and Les Miles will be fired at the end of the season.
2. How does Northwestern not have a field-goal kicker?
I ask this question every time a rich private school fails in the kicking game and loses the game because of that failure. For years I've wondered the same thing about Vanderbilt.
I'll reiterate now: Every rich private school should be stocked with kickers.
Let's begin with this question, what percentage of the men at Northwestern played soccer growing up? I'll tell you, at least 80 percent.
It's a rich kid's sport.
My point? The majority of the undergraduate men on your campus have received some degree of training in soccer-style kicking.
Are you telling me one of those kids can't consistently make field goals of less than 40 yards?
Of course, someone can.
HIt the intramural fields to recruit and you win a bowl game.
3. Best postgame interview? How about Jeannine Edwards alongside Arkansas's Bobby Petrino after the Razorbacks beat East Carolina in overtime.
Edwards: "I know you guys wanted the SEC Championship, but now you've got the Liberty Bowl."
Bobby Petrino immediately took his sideline credential -- which he wore all game, what was someone going to come and take him off the sideline otherwise? -- and attempted to slice his wrist with it.
In Edwards' defense she might have believed that Arkansas was being rewarded with the actual Liberty Bell as opposed to the Liberty Bowl trophy.
4. Ole Miss' Dexter McCluster is the most explosive player in college football if he's healthy. And Jevan Snead is the least clutch.
McCluster gouged Oklahoma State for 184 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving. Now I'm trying to think of how McCluster could fit in the NFL if he had to play 16 weeks out of 17. And I don't think he could make it.
Because, as pointed out by my esteemed editor, the Ole Miss site lists him at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds. This means he's probably 5-8, 160 in actuality.
Has any non-kicker of this size ever succeeded in the modern NFL? By comparison, Darren Sproles is 5-6, but 180 pounds
I don't think so.
I've said before that McCluster is Chris Johnson-esque in his speed, and he is, but Johnson is much bigger than McCluster. Put simply, McCluster can't take the beating that he would receive in the NFL. Not unless a team drafts him and limits his touches to five to eight times per game.
Anyway, McCluster's emergence helped to overshadow Snead's continuing implosion. After tossing three picks on New Year's, Snead finished with 20 interceptions in 2009.
And he's talking about leaving early?
Who in their right mind would draft Jevan Snead? His best game this season came against UAB. His stats in that game: 15-of-22 for 240 yards.
This is the guy we were supposed to herald as a legitimate Heisman candidate? Snead was the seventh-best quarterback in the SEC.
5. You want pressure, Lane Kiffin is about to know a level of pressure he's never known before.
First, I think Tennessee drew the toughest match-up of any SEC team. Virginia Tech was the best team in the ACC by the end of the season and Tennessee played its best football in a three-week stretch in the middle of the season.
So betting on Virginia Tech was easy money in this game. Getting beat the way the Vols did is going to mean Lane Kiffin doesn't have an easy offseason. And you think things get easier?
Tennessee's first eight games in 2010 are absolutely brutal.
Don't believe me?
Try this schedule on for size.
How about Oregon and Florida back-to-back in the second and third weeks of the season? Then road games at LSU and at Georgia back -to-back. Followed by Alabama and then on the road at South Carolina.
All six of those teams will be ranked in the preseason. At least four of those teams will be preseason Top 10s.
And all of those games are played before October even ends. I defy anyone to find a tougher eight games to begin the season for anyone in America.
It's absolutely brutal.
And that's without even considering that Tennessee's team will be much worse in 2010 thanks to graduation gutting the offensive line, Jonathan Crompton and Montario Hardesty graduating and Eric Berry leaving early for the pros.
Good luck, Lane.
6. The Rose Bowl opening monologue defied comprehension with its awful pompous grandiosity.
Actual line: "This game is rooted in its meaning and shaped by its sense."
It's rare that I call for the immediate execution of writers because we all write bad paragraphs at some point.
But that sentence? Aside from how bad it is, what does that line even mean? Can the writer even explain it?
And how did someone do the voiceover for that line without saying, "Hell no, that's crap."
Execute the writer now so he doesn't have to keep living knowing he was responsible for this monstrosity.
7. Ruffin McNeill and Mike Patrick are engaged in a relationship that's illegal in most states, certainly those South of the Mason-Dixon line.
That's the only explanation for why Mike Patrick inexplicably turned into McNeill's agent near the end of the Texas Tech-Michigan State Alamo Bowl.
It was uncomfortable to hear Patrick essentially call the Texas Tech administration cowards if they didn't offer the job to McNeill on the spot. The last time Patrick made this much noise was when he got into Britney Spears' personal life in overtime of the Alabama-Georgia game in 2007.
By the way, here's a question for the national media, how did two Tennessee girls going to a high school game and holding up a sign end up a bigger story than 12 players getting into a brawl at Michigan State? One of the real issues with there being so few national sports outlets now is that when one decides something is a story everyone else falls in line behind them without questioning the legitimate news value of a story.
8. The coin-flip graphic on Fox is absurd.
As my editor points out, do we really need this?
Does anyone not know what a coin flip looks like or how it works?
Put another way, if you're playing a video game, do you sit and wait for the coin to flip or do you hit a button to get through that graphic and start the game?
You skip it right?
So if you're interested in network television additions, wouldn't an instructive template be how people respond to graphics in video games when they can choose what to watch or not?
Anyway, this made almost as much sense as All-State sending the bearded guy from their television network around the press box to meet writers before the game started.
A real guy from commercials?
In the flesh?
9. Does FOX realize that college football fans know the rules to college football?
I'm going to write an entire column about this, but if I have to hear one more Fox announcer explain that the clock stops on first downs, or that you're down when your knee touches the ground even if no one touches you, or that pass interference is only 15 yards in college, I'm going to scream.
Show me the demographics that prove college bowl games are watched by an entire crowd of sports fans that haven't watched a single college game all season, and I'll relent on this criticism.
Otherwise don't presume that because your network doesn't carry college football that means no one has actually watched the college games all year long.
This isn't 1964. We all have television remotes and watch more than one station.
10. Agree or disagree, Texas Tech's Adam James is going to end up living with Levi Johnston in Malibu before all is said and done?
I'm not sure they know each other, but they're going to meet and live in a beach house or condo. I'd almost stake my life on it.
11. Bowl conference records with just a couple of games remaining:
Mountain West 4-1
Big East 4-2
Big 12 4-3
Big Ten 3-3
Without a doubt, the Mountain West has been the most impressive conference this bowl season. Even with that TCU loss, the conference has proven that it deserves an automatic bid in the BCS more often than many of the big six conference teams. Meanwhile the Pac-10 has completely taken it on the chin. And the Big East, while 4-2, lost an awful lot of credibility when Florida treated Cincinnati like a four-dollar hooker.
And once Alabama beats Texas on Thursday the SEC, even with a comparatively down year, will win more bowl games than any other conference for the fourth consecutive season.
Clay Travis is the author of three books. His latest, "On Rocky Top: A Front Row Seat to The End of an Era" chronicles the 2008 Tennessee football season and is on sale now and makes a great stocking stuffer. You have a stocking for Martin Luther King Day, right?