Sunday, December 06, 2015

Bowl Bid Enrages Many in Falcon Nation

And then the Falcon Nation found out we were playing Georgia Southern in the GoDaddy Bowl.


People are really upset.  I'm not in the camp, for a few reasons I will spell out here.

First, the objections, which boil down to this:

We are conference champions and we deserve a better bowl with a better, more name opponent.

Among the things that have been said:

It is a garbage bowl.
I've never heard of Georgia Southern
We deserve better than the #3 team in the Sun Belt.
We should be playing Temple or Boise, both of whom got MAC opponents.
I don't care about the game, etc.

A few thoughts.

Bowl invitations are extended by the bowls...not the MAC or anyone else.  GoDaddy had the first choice of MAC schools and picked the champion.  The tie-in is with the Sun Belt and they invited Georgia Southern.

If you've never heard of Georgia Southern, you aren't a very big college football fan.  They took Georgia to OT in Athens and easily beat WMU this year alone.  They beat Florida two years ago.  This is a solid program.  The argument that you never heard of them belongs in the same place it belongs when P5 schools say that before they play us.

They are a good team.  They play an option style, which is always tough for teams to defend when they don't see it, and we haven't.

Also, they are a multiple FCS champion and are new to FBS.  This is their first bowl game.  They are going to bring people and they are going to be stoked.  If BG doesn't come ready to play, especially with an interim coach, they could get blown off the field.

Would be it be better to play Temple or Boise?  Sure.  Would a higher-profile game have been a nice reward for a truly special season?  Yes.  But that wasn't what was available in the contractual agreements the MAC signed on to.

Will it make a huge difference in anything?  No.  We weren't going to earn anyone's respect beating Temple or Boise...we're always going to be an oddity.  Maybe we had a shot at ending up ranked.

Now, as it relates to the GoDaddy bowl...I think this is the best of the bowl opportunities we have.  BG has been twice and Mobile really embraces the game and you get a real bowl-week environment, as opposed to, say, playing a bowl in DC.

So, hey, look, it isn't perfect, but it's a real game.  We just won the MAC Title.  Let's enjoy life a little.  Bask a while longer.  Lighten up.  And let's beat Georgia Southern.


joel said...

So I truly appreciate your take on the situation. A couple of points from the other side:
1. Ending up ranked would've been really cool. A much better shot beating a Boise State or Big 10 school
2. Beating a Big 10 school or Boise sets us up for some nice publicity leading into next year. With the right coach, next year could be really special too and would be nice to start as a team getting votes in pre-season poll. This is important because I hold out hope that BG will one day play in a New Year's Day bowl. May be a long shot, but it's a dream.
3. Going 3-0 against the Big Ten would've been really sweet. Not guaranteed, but a real possibility.
4. GA Southern might beat us, but the disrespect for the MAC champ playing a non conference winner from the Sun Belt is weak.
Thanks for another great year of coverage of a truly phenomenal season! You and your blog is much appreciated!

Orange said...

Hey Joel, thanks for the kind words and the feedback. And thanks for reading. I hear where you are coming from.

Anonymous said...

The bowl is what it is. Contracts are involved and all the whining is not going to change that this year. I do disagree with one of your comments though. You said BG would not get any respect from beating a Temple. In the final College Football Poll that determined the final 4 and other seedings, Temple was #24.

Orange said...

Temple is ranked. My only point is that the broader football world is not impressed when you beat a #24 ranked team. Maybe I am too fatalistic. Long ago, I came to the conclusion that they were never going to respect us no matter what we did.

Anonymous said...

Complaining about far the program has come. Georgia Southern would probably beat Minnesota and the other teams some wanted us to play. I don't understand what people don't like about bowls unless you don't like college football generally.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your take from the BG side of things. Funny, because Georgia Southern is not close to being ranked this season, nor did we manage a win over a quality opponent, GS fans were also a bit disappointed. We were hoping for an opponent we "know" or who has regional appeal. Word is moving quickly among Eagle Nation, however, of BG's strength. The MAC champ is a tough matchup. Mostly we are happy to be bowling for the first time and hoping to represent well. Those who attend will find our fans to be passionate and knowlegeable. I have a former co worker who is a BG grad, so I knew a bit more than most. Nothing but respect here. Good game, gentlemen!

Orange said...

Thanks David...very interesting perspective. Let's have a good game, looking forward to it.