Airwaves: Savoring the remaining bowls

| January 03, 2009

Ugh ... the bowl season goes on. Thank you to our readers. We had a wonderful response to our column last week about the bowl announcers and my opinions of all that. In fact, it was almost overwhelming. All good stuff in terms of what our readers really think. I will continue this week on the same theme. Again, there is an argument about the national championship, a playoff and too many bowl games that is legitimate on all sides.

However, it is what it is and we are now facing a week of decisions of what will determine the best in college football.

Saturday
Yawn, yawn, we had the International Bowl, the PapaJohns.com Bowl (I hate their pizza), the Cotton Bowl, the Liberty Bowl and my favorite, the Alamo Bowl. Not a great viewing day, and I wonder how many readers actually watched part of these games, let alone any of these games in their entirety. That being said, the next few days have some cool games and matchups.

Monday
The Fiesta Bowl features TCU taking on Boise State: Between these two teams, they are 25-0. Think about that! What a great record for these two schools. The problem is, as I have written before, no one will watch this contest. It will be a great game, but even if John Madden were calling it, this game will be a ratings disaster. Fox cannot be happy.

Both squads, who I have great respect for, will score a bunch of points. By the way, I think they both belong in this game, but it will not challenge “Seinfeld” reruns or “NCIS” for ratings. TCU will play great on defense and win the game.

Tuesday
Oh my, the old Orange Bowl. It seems like this baby has been around forever. But the Georgia Tech and Iowa rivalry has not. Where is Florida State, Oklahoma and Nebraska? This game has lost its sex appeal. I love the coach at Georgia Tech, Paul Johnson. He is smart, innovative and a great “ball coach.” He and the staff have turned the Atlantic Coast Conference upside down with their crazy option offense, which defenses have yet to figure out.
Iowa is boring but will bring a great fan base.

Let me ask you a question: Would you rather be in Iowa in January, or Miami? Duh. Let me ponder this issue. Iowa has fat people who have never had a tan, wear black socks and have no concept of a martini or a nice pinot noir (2006 vintage is the best). Miami is a place where the bars never close and everyone wears skimpy clothing and every lady has a hard body. Let me take a few reflection moments. I pick Miami from a social standpoint and also pick Georgia Tech as a winner in the game.

Again, the game is on Fox.

Thursday
Of course, this is the big one: Alabama vs. Texas. This is the way it should be. All you moronic critics out there of the nonplayoff system, please take notice. These are the best two teams in the country playing for the championship. The system works! Let us all sit back and enjoy the game and broadcast. The great Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit will call the game for ABC. This will bring in record numbers and will be a fantastic game with a great broadcast. I think ’Bama wins, although I root for Texas and Colt McCoy and Mack Brown. This game and the build-up was made for TV.

Off target

I don’t know what to think anymore. Tiger Woods has gone into hiding, and this just looks bad for him and his image. He is a great golfer, obviously. But does he not want to hit this controversy head on and get it over with? Think Tiger, think.

Who said it

Urban Meyer
“I do in my gut believe that will happen,” said the Florida football coach about returning to the sidelines next season. First he said he was going to retire, and then a leave of absence. What is with these guys? They preach honesty and commitment and then they vacillate worse than any kid they are recruiting. Gee Urban, it is just a game.

Jim Caldwell
“The most important thing is to make certain that we are operating on all cylinders come the playoffs,” said the first-year Indianapolis Colts head coach. Caldwell and his veteran staff have done a great job this year. Here is one guy rooting for them to win the Super Bowl.

One to watch

The Sharks will take on the Los Angeles Kings Monday at the Shark Tank. The Kings have started nearly as strong as the Sharks, who earned the Presidents Trophy last year with the best record in the NHL. Anze Kopitar of the Kings has been dominant on the ice and is nearing the 100 career goal mark. San Jose veteran Joe Thornton has been a force, leading the team in points and assists.

Sports by numbers

5.28 million Homes that watched last weekend’s Emerald Bowl between USC and Boston College


7.56 million Total viewers who watched the Emerald Bowl


4.54 million Homes that watched the 2008 Emerald Bowl

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at agigantino@sfexaminer.com.

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