NCAA needs to rebuild the College Bowl system immediately

Published 6:50 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The NCAA really needs to rebuild its College Bowl System.

When the College Football Playoff format was introduced seven years ago, the bowl structure became an after thought.

Especially under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I applaud the SEC, Big 12 and ACC conferences for finding a way to fight the coronavirus from the beginning and not wait for permission.

All three conferences dealt with postponing games after opening the season in late September. The early start gave the ACC, SEC and Big 12  to navigate a way for a successful season.

In my opinion, the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences listened to groups who didn’t have the players’ best interest and made it a political issue.

Ohio State and Michigan both spent part of the summer wanting to  start on time. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and quarterback Justin Fields should be applauded, as well as Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

The Big 10 and Pac 12 almost missed the bus on starting a season.

I’m not a fan of having teams with losing records participate in Bowl games.

The idea of having Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Ole Miss earn bowl invitations was a joke.

COVID kept the Volunteers, Gamecocks, Razorbacks from competing.    I refused to watch the Rebels, Wildcats and Bulldogs compete in their respective postseason games.

For someone who’s a football junkie, that’s saying a lot.

Bowl games are a reward for schools who worked hard during the season to produce a winning record.

I’m hoping the NCAA doesn’t let this happen again.

From where I sit, the NCAA needs to address its players opting out of bowl games to turn professional early.

Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette started this trend several years ago by sitting out the Tigers’ bowl game.

             I get it: players with high       positions in the NFL Draft don’t want to risk injury.

At the same time, players are turning their back on schools that gave them a schloarship in the first place.

The way I see it, those players leaving early should give their schools a scholarship for a deserving player who wants to get an education.

Alabama should be praised. We all know if the Crimson Tide’s not in the College Playoff, the season’s a disappointment.

Look what happened last year. Running back Najee Harris, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and receiver Devonta Smith could have sat out the Citrus Bowl and turned pro.

Instead, the trio stayed and played in the 2020 Citrus Bowl win over Michigan.

A year later, Alabama is facing Ohio State for the national championship on Jan. 11.