Friday, December 30, 2011

College traditions taking a hit


There is nothing like college football on Jan. 1 to ring in the New Year, but don’t ring this Sunday because only the NFL will be home.

Deck the halls with bowls of folly as college cedes its traditional day to the religious celebration known as “Tim Tebow versus Kansas City.”

No Jan. 1 college games this year — now that’s sacrilege. But let’s get over it. Look, it’s already been an oddball bowl season. Louisiana Lafayette used an “illegal stemming” call to beat San Diego State in the New Orleans Bowl.

Illegal stemming sounds more like an infraction a Rose Parade official would call on a float.

Missouri’s mascot, Truman the Tiger, accidentally dropped the trophy Monday before the Independence Bowl. The crystal shattered into tiny pieces before Missouri could joyously hoist it to dozens of fans celebrating victory against North Carolina.

The paid attendance in Shreveport, La., for that game was announced as 41,728, but on TV it looked more like the Indy Bowl “500.”

In other news, Craig James of ESPN recently announced he was running for the U.S. Senate in Texas. Also, before Santa went down the chimney, UCLA players went “over the wall” in a timeless but tired tradition new coach Jim Mora hopes to end along with 50-0 losses to USC.

Is the NFL really so powerful, though, as to force the colleges off Jan. 1?

The answer is no, it just seems that way. College football historically has not played on Jan. 1 Sundays, although Nebraska and Miami did in the 1995 Orange Bowl.

The Tournament of Roses has never staged its parade or game when Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday. That decision dates to an 1893 “never on Sunday” parade edict that had to do with not wanting to frighten horses tethered outside local churches.

Oregon and Wisconsin will play the 13th Rose Bowl game contested on Jan. 2, and the first since 1995. The unlucky Oregon omen is the Ducks were 38-20 losers to Penn State in that game.

Penn State also lost when it capped an undefeated season by finishing No. 2 to national champion Nebraska. The teams couldn’t play because Penn State was contractually obligated to Pasadena, but the controversy ultimately led to the creation of the Bowl Championship Series.

And that led to the Rose Bowl being played on Jan. 3 in 2002, two days after the parade, when Miami trounced Nebraska for the BCS title. The Rose Bowl was contested on Jan. 4 in the classic 2006 title-game matchup of USC and Texas.

The good news about Oregon-Wisconsin this year is that we can money-back guarantee you this game will be better than the first Jan. 2 Rose Bowl — played in 1922. Oregon and Wisconsin have the nation’s No. 3 and No. 4 scoring offenses, averaging a combined 91 points per game.

On Jan. 2, 1922, California scrummed Washington & Jefferson to a scoreless tie in the last Rose Bowl played at Tournament Park. Cal was a heavy favorite only a year after its “Wonder Team,” led by Brick Muller, roughed up Ohio State, 28-0. Washington & Jefferson, a tiny Pennsylvania school of 450 students, was not supposed to stand a chance.

One West Coast sportswriter quipped before the game, “All I know about Washington and Jefferson is that they’re both dead.”


texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

I love the line about Missouri celebrating in front of dozens of fans. Guess we know why Missouri went to a bowl game not affiliated with the Big 12 and had to fill in for a WAC school.

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

Years from now, after their regular SEC poundings, they'll look back longingly on this year's bowl game as a glorious memory.

amatxjayhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

That was such a waste-of-time article I thought Keegan must have written it.

Seth Nesmith 8 years, 1 month ago

I hate fizzou as much as any kansan, but when I looked at fizzou's SEC schedule next year I didn't think it is as tough as their Big XII schedule-

Sept. 8: GEORGIA Sept. 22: at South Carolina Oct. 6: VANDERBILT Oct. 13: ALABAMA Oct. 27: KENTUCKY Nov. 3: at Florida Nov. 10: at Tennessee Nov. 24: at Texas A&M

Outside of Georgia, S.C. and Alabama (Texas, OU, Okla. St.), I don't think it's that tough for them. You could make the argument that the Big XII is tougher than the SEC.

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure about that. I don't know enough about Florida's and Tennessee's recruiting to know if they're on their way back, but it's hard to believe they'll be down for long. And even if they're just mediocre, UF and UT are not exactly easy places to play. And then they have a third straight on the road at aTm to close the season.

The only easy wins in that schedule are Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

David A. Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

Deck the halls with bowls of folly as college cedes its traditional day to the religious celebration known as “Tim Tebow versus Kansas City.”

Seems like everyone wants to take their shot at Tim Tebow's faith. We all know that if this wasn't about Tebow, the phrase "religious celebration" would seem out of context. As a Christian, it just feels odd that we are always painted as the haters.

rhollinshed 8 years, 1 month ago

Please get over all the christian fanatic craziness. I am so sick of hearing about a quaterback that can't throw. Who gets attention because of his faith. BTW most christians are haters.

actorman 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't have a problem with Christians in general, but I do have a problem with the endless stream of proselytization from all corners. That being said, I don't have a problem with Tebow, as he's not as pushy about his religion as a lot of people are.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 1 month ago

I didn't take that as taking a shot at Tebow's faith. I saw it as a shot at all the people who tend to worship Tebow as though he's a religion all on his own. I'll never get over the TV announcer who claimed that he was a better person after meeting Tebow.

KJRFC 8 years, 1 month ago

Hey jhawkln,

It seems obvious that you're not very familiar w/ SEC football. I'm a KU grad married into a family of South Carolina alums and I follow the Gamecocks and the SEC very closely. First off, to say that Texas (currently) is in the same company as UGA, USC, and 'Bama is insulting and flat-out wrong. OutsidE of Vandy and Kentucky, and maybe TA&M, Fizzou will get rolled by all of the schools in their SEC scedule. Vandy will be better, but may not be able to beat the Tiggers in Methlumbia. Tennessee and UF wil also be better, but not SEC East Champs better. We will leave that to USC and UGA. I've got Sept. 22 circled as the day Fizzou regrets joining the SEC. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! GO COCKS!!!

danmoore 8 years, 1 month ago

Be careful there KJRFC. That last line sounds like something that will get your post removed. I've had several comments confiscated that were cleaner than yours.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 1 month ago

It brings me no pleasure to say this but colleges are basically farm teams these days.

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