Big Ten powers' flops are more evidence of need for playoff

Pat Kenney • Jan 10, 2007 at 10:54 AM

The so-called experts were right, Michigan and Ohio State should have had a rematch of their "Game of the Century.: Only it wouldn't have been for the BCS Championship, but rather the "Who Can Lay a Bigger Egg Bowl" held just outside of North Wilkesboro, N.C. at one of the stinky poultry farms.

Never can I recall two programs flopping any worse than the Wolverines and Buckeyes.

OK, Notre Dame keeps getting trashed in bowl games its not really qualified to play, but the Irish do get to cash those $17 million checks to sooth their egos with a fresh coat of paint on the Golden Dome.

After Southern Cal dispatched Michigan 32-18 in the Rose Bowl, the pundits quieted down with all that rematch talk. Maybe the Big Blue wasn't worthy of a title shot after all.

But what Florida did to Ohio State on Monday night was simply criminal. That 41-14 beatdown was a mugging.

For the record, a couple of guys on the Times-News Picking Panel went with the Gators, but that was never mentioned on any of the postgame shows!

There was one nagging thing about the meeting between the Wolverines and Buckeyes in November that had bothered me. For supposedly the top two teams in the country, there wasn't much defense played in that "Game of the Century."

I was used to Big Ten grinders that resulted in scores like 10-7 or 14-12. But 42-39, that was a little disconcerting.

Yet based on what we saw that day we shouldn't have been so surprised neither team's defense showed up for the bowl games.

Certainly, I was shocked at the outcome of the BCS Championship game, but not as stunned as the national TV guys who had to eat crow.

Not many in the media saw this one coming.

The proud Big Ten was left to lick its wounds and wonder what hit them. After all, only Wisconsin and Penn State had pulled off victories for the league in postseason, both over SEC teams, incidentally.

And the Big Ten stars, Michigan and Ohio State, got pummeled in the two biggest showcase bowls.

Boise State's razzle-dazzle rally to beat Oklahoma turned out to be the most entertaining of all the bowl games. That, combined with the outcome of the other New Year's Day games, and of course the BCS debacle, leaves us all wondering about what a playoff system could have produced.

I don't know if Boise State could survive a two- or three-week playoff, but wouldn't it be fun to watch them try?

If Southern Cal had not lost to UCLA, Florida would never have had the chance to play Ohio State, much less pound them into submission.

After what we saw, wouldn't you just love to see Southern Cal and Florida go head-to-head?

A playoff would rid us of much of the rhetoric we are subjected to now and decide the issue of who has the best team where it should - on the field of play.

Pat Kenney is executive sports editor of the Times-News. E-mail him at pkenney@timesnews.net.

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