This was the best bowl season ever

Published: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
The one question that came my way more than any other on Thursday didn't have anything to do with offside on a kickoff (OK, I got a few from Iowa fans; let it go) or which players committed to Urban Meyer.
Did you stay up? Of course, I did. OK, I was tempted to hit the sack. At the half I set the DVR so I could watch it in the morning but once I made it through the halftime by watching a "Will & Grace" re-run, there was no way I could go to bed.
I'm not sure how many of you made it for the entire national championship game, but I've been told the number is close to the number of people who will be receiving "I Beat Dooley" T-shirts. Which means it set a ratings record.
Not only did I make it through Texas-Southern Cal, but through the sleep-deprivation that was the entire BCS. Couldn't help it. The games were too good to turn off.
We tend to have short memories, but I am declaring this the best bowl season ever.
To reach that lofty status, it had to finish with a flourish. There aren't enough adjectives in my Thesaurus to describe how spectacular the Rose Bowl was, a game that actually lived up to hype that bordered on the ludicrous.
By the way, those of us who voted for Vince Young will now accept the apologies of the 813 of you who did not. Any questions now about who the best player was in college football this season?
The game in Pasadena came on the heels of the best bad game ever played (FSU-Penn State) and what was almost an incredible comeback by Georgia that West Virginia thwarted only with a fake punt. There were a lot of gutsy calls throughout the bowls, none of them by officials who did not have a great holiday season.
We also learned that instant replay doesn't always work. Ask Lloyd Carr. Or Pete Carroll.
It was a great bowl season, especially if you are a Florida fan. Not only do Gators feel good about finally winning a bowl game, many will take comfort in the fact that the rest of the state went 0-4.
It was a great bowl season if you like great finishes, none better than the last college football game of the season.
It was a great bowl season if you like controversy, pageantry, big plays, big players, placekicks that went awry, lots of points and not much sleep.
It was a great bowl season unless you were a Miami fan ... or assistant coach.
It was a great bowl season. In fact, it was too great.
For those of us who want to see a playoff, the BCS is puffing on a cigar and telling us to back off. They got the best championship game anyone could ask for with no questions about who should have been there or who is No. 1.
Not only that but they got a bowl season that showed why they prefer the bowl games. You won't hear a bunch of squawking about playoffs this off-season or how the BCS is flawed. Even the mid-majors will back off because of the extra BCS game that will be added next season.
The Plus-One game possibilities took a hit with with two perfect teams playing an epic game. Can you imagine if Texas was now going to play Penn State next week for the national title? Believe me, this season set back by five years - maybe 10 - any momentum the pro-playoff people had gained with Auburn's situation last year or the split national title two years ago.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who is the new man in charge of the BCS, says he will look at all of the possibilities for the future, but this postseason will make it difficult for anything other than the winner-takes-all format.
Which is fine if they can promise us what we had this season. But nobody can because the addition of the 12th game on a permanent basis will make it that much more difficult for two unbeatens at the end of the year.
We're stuck with this for a long, long time.
That's OK if it turns out like this season.
As long as you can hit the snooze button.
You can reach sports columnist Pat Dooley by e-mail at or by calling 374-5053.

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