Bowl committee gives shaft to Alabama, Auburn

Published 9:14 am Friday, January 3, 2020

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The College Bowl committee didn’t do any favors for Alabama and Auburn in the postseason.

I thought it was unfair to broadcast Alabama and Auburn bowl games at the same time on New Year’s Day. Back in the day, I remember ESPN broadcasting the Outback Bowl at 10 a.m., with the Citrus Bowl at noon.

I’ve heard a million times that no one outside the state of Alabama cares about the Iron Bowl, much less the Crimson Tide and Tigers playing in meaningless bowl games.

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I disagree with that logic. Alabama and Auburn have fan bases that extend beyond the state’s borders, especially the Crimson Tide.

In my opinion, the bowl committee screwed it up with the selection of teams after the College Playoff pairings were chosen.

To me, Alabama should have been playing Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, not Georgia. The Bulldogs won the SEC Eastern Division title, but they got clobbered by LSU in the league championship game.

Alabama (10-2) played No. 1 LSU the toughest, losing 46-41. If All-American quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was healthy, the Crimson Tide would have won that game and made the college playoff. You reward a team for that, not its schedule.

Winning in the ultra-competitive SEC trumps everything, even a weak schedule. Georgia also lost to a South Carolina squad “between the hedges” that Alabama hammered by three touchdowns in Columbia, SC. The South Carolina contest should have put Georgia in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan.

Alabama overcame a slow start and prevailed over Michigan 35-16 to win the Citrus Bowl.

I’m not discounting Auburn’s 48-45 victory in the Iron Bowl. The Tigers landed a nice destination in the Outback Bowl and will be considered a SEC title contender next year with quarterback Bo Nix, despite losing to Minnesota 31-24.

The pre-game coverage to the Citrus and Outback bowls was disappointing in the national media. All the Associated Press provided was a game preview, game story and looking forward to 2020. Not all in-state publications have the finances to send reporters to such games, meaning we count heavily on AP for coverage.

Here’s a suggestion for bowl officials: don’t have Alabama and Auburn playing bowl games at the same time again.