Saturday, January 2

Rose Bowl Champions!

Congratulations to the OSU Buckeyes, winners of the Rose Bowl game for the 2009 season! This huge win helps erase some of the bad memories from OSU's past three BCS bowl losses and ends their season on a great note. Ohio St. finishes 11-2, with an outright Big Ten title, a win over Michigan, and a Rose Bowl victory to their credit. Not too shabby. Maybe now national commentators can stop slamming OSU (5-4 in bowls under Tressel, 4-3 in BCS game) and the Big 10 (3-2 this bowl season so far) for five minutes.

Can you believe that's just Ohio State's second Rose Bowl win in the past 37 years? That's hard to believe. In fact, it was just their second appearance in Pasadena in 25 seasons.

I've written before, here or elsewhere, that I'm actually OK with the BCS. It gives us good bowl matchups year after year, and consistently a title game between two deserving teams. People like to reflexively clamor for a playoff system without considering a number of factors; logistics and money among the unglamorous things, but there are two key ones:

1) They never, ever, give credit to the years that the BCS puts the definite #1 and #2 teams in the game. Think Alabama-Texas this year, or OSU-Miami in 2002. I don't feel like looking through the archives, but I know it's consistently the right matchup and no one says anything, then they start howling when there's some ambiguity.

2) More than one team can end the season on a good note. Look at the Bucks - you think this club was beating Alabama, Florida, or Texas? Nope. Put them in a playoff and the season comes to a bitter end. Put them in the Rose Bowl, and everyone in the state of Ohio is in a cheerful mood on January 2nd. No one ever points this out, but I think it's important, and appropriate for college athletics.

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