Final Thoughts On The 2011/2012 Bowl Season
Posted Jan 11, 2012

Wrapping up an exciting and wild 2011/2012 bowl season

Final Thoughts 

Bowl Season Wrap

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

- For all of the grief that the BCS takes - and we all know it's a lot - it accomplished its primary mission. LSU and Alabama were clearly the best two teams in the country, and Alabama proved that it deserved the crystal football with a simply dominating performance in the BCS Championship Game. If there is such a thing as a football equivalent to a perfect game in baseball, the Tide tossed a perfect game against LSU.

- We are headed for a Plus 1, and that's where it should stay. A Plus 1 accomplishes all of the goals that both sides of the playoff debate want. It will keep the sanctity of the regular season - the greatest three months in sports - in tact, and will give America a "true national champion." If we go any farther than a Plus 1, conferences would demand automatic bids for conference champions. Do you think Clemson, the team that just gave up 70 points, deserves as much of a shot at the national title as Alabama? No way.

- Don't use the SEC rematch this season as an argument for a Plus 1 though. No. 1 LSU would have throttled No. 4 Stanford, and No. 3 Oklahoma State wouldn't have been able to move the ball against No. 2 Alabama's stifling defense. You'd have the same game, just a different path.

- Who carries the most momentum into the offseason? Alabama for sure. Oregon, West Virginia, Florida State, Arkansas, Michigan State, South Carolina, Auburn and Michigan also exited bowl season on a big time high. Offseason momentum is big for a program, especially those that are expected to contend for a trip to Miami Gardens in early 2013.

- You don't think bowl games matter? Ask Louisiana at Lafayette what it thinks about bowl season. Some of the minor games provided major entertainment, and the Ragin' Cajuns got things going on the first night of bowl season.

- Best performance of the bowl season? Washington quarterback Keith Price. Even in a loss, Price out-Heisman'd Robert Griffin III. What an absolutely scintillating performance in the Alamo Bowl.

- Biggest disappointment of the bowl season? LSU's offensive game plan. Plan A was to run the option, and there was no plan B. Hello...Les...Alabama can run sideline-to-sideline and defend the option when it has a month-and-a-half to prepare. Be better than that.

- Best thing about bowl season being more Nelly.

- Worst thing about bowl season being more college football. Let's just make sure this offseason is less hectic than the last one.

- Cheers.

By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

- The BCS succeeded, because it matched the two best teams in the country against one another in the national championship game.

- However, the final result invalidated the regular season, which contradicts the entire purpose of the BCS.

- Kudos to both Conference USA and the MAC for posting 4-1 records in bowl games this year. These strong finishes will definitely spark some spirited debates at the BCS meetings.

- The Big 12 showed that it is the deepest conference, winning six of its eight bowl games, including Oklahoma State's exciting Fiesta Bowl win over Stanford.

- The SEC proved that it was the nation's best conference with an outstanding bowl season. Even though the Big 12 had a better winning percentage, Arkansas handily defeated Kansas State in the lone matchup between the conferences.

- If the nation's two top conferences only faced each other once during the bowl season, it is time for the bowl system to allow some flexibility to ensure more competitive matchups. No one wants to see Boise playing 6-6 teams in the Las Vegas Bowl every year.

- The Big Ten saved its best for last. Sure, the conference started out slowly, but ended up with a win in the Outback Bowl against Georgia, a win in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech, and an excellent showing by Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Keep an eye of this conference next year at this time – they will surprise.

- The Big East made a strong case to keep its automatic bid as West Virginia and Cincinnati posted impressive victories.

- Boise State joining in the near future will also help. They will play in the Big East Western Division.

- Did any conference have a worse postseason than the ACC? The conference finished the bowl season 2-6 and saw its champion surrender 70 points in the Orange Bowl.

- On the other hand, the WAC went 0-for-3 in bowl games this season.

- The 2012-13 Bowl Season should provide even more excitement with TCU, Texas A&M, Missouri, and possibly West Virginia changing conferences.

- Finally, the NCAA needs to institute a moratorium on hiring new coaches until the after all of the bowl games have concluded. Players are always coached to play until the final whistle, shouldn't we hold the coaches to the same standard?

Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

- Another year, another college football and bowl season complete. It seems like we say this every year, but this year in particular has been absolutely crazy.

Here are just some examples of the chaos that was this bowl season:
- Most glaring perhaps--Alabama, a team that finished runner up in its division, gets a national championship trophy. LSU got a division and conference crown, but at the end of the day it feels a lot like a sibling argument where the Tide can claim that its one trophy is better than the Tigers' two. Na-na-na-na-na-nah.

- Along the same lines, we had many non-BCS title games put up extraordinary numbers and offense, and THE BCS Title Game show little in the way of offense.

- There were more records being broken than in a retro garage sale. Two examples include the Alamo Bowl making people remember that offense is ruling college football by breaking the bowl scoring mark between two teams. If that wasn't enough, West Virginia put up seventy points on poor Clemson to shatter the bowl record for most points scored by one team.

- We had four games go to OT once New Year's Eve hit--with two being BCS games. It was good theater, and entertaining throughout. And we all suffered from sleep deprivation.

- For the first time ever, and maybe the last, a team with a losing record got "rewarded" by being invited to play in a bowl game. You're welcome Illinois.

- Speaking of which, the same bowl game--The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, had two teams that had fired their coaches playing for the ultimate in consolation prizes. And it looked a lot like the inmates running the asylum.

- The Gator Bowl matched up two 6-6 teams. But for the first, and perhaps last time ever, we had coaching purgatory, as Urban Meyer--no longer Florida's coach, yet also not quite Ohio State's coach, watched both teams square off. Like the situation, the bowl game was also an ugly duckling.

- The MAC, that's right the Mid American Conference--who gets the scraps from the Big Ten, finished with the best bowl winning percentage. That's the epitome of a mythical award if there ever was.

Other Notes:
- Is it too early to get excited about the possibility of what could come out of the BCS meetings? Count me in the company that would love to see at least a plus one model. Who's comin' with me?

- We'll all have lasting images of Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Washington's Keith Price putting up absolutely ridiculous numbers and out of this world plays. We'd all like to forget how clueless Jordan Jefferson looked in New Orleans.

- It was a shame to see Andrew Luck go out on a sour note. He deserved a better fate. Come NFL draft day, chances are he will..

- On that note, QUIT PLAYING FOR A WIN BY SETTLING FOR A FG. We saw it several times this bowl season, and taking the foot off the gas hurts more than it tends to help. It's the college football equivalent of a slow driver in the passing lane.

- Big Ten--When will you be relevant again? Let's put the conference in the same pile with Notre Dame shall we? At some point, its time to quit looking for those socks that get lost in the laundry. They may be gone forever, unless the new pair of Urban and Brady fit snugly.

- All of it--was fun--as it is every year.