This FanPost is Part Three of a Three Part made-for-blogging mini-series....part one was a new OOC rivalry game...part two was a Pac-10 expansion that got comments from all SBN blogs, Ted Miller, JO, and Jon Wilner. This last piece I've saved for the climactic eve of the Bowl season.
For awhile I’ve been thinking about how to boost the prestige of Cal football and the Pac-10 conference. Opinions in college football count more than opinions in any other sport until computers replace humans. The Bay Area (thank goodness!) is not the South or the Midwest so it is nearly impossible for Cal and other members of the Pac-10 to surpass rural America with established programs. My friend is an OU Sooners fan and I tell him college football has the ability to make schools and states relevant that no one else cares about. I’ve developed three ideas that are fun to think about that would help boost the image of Cal (if it wins) and the other teams involved. I welcome any comments or critiques.
3) Add another BCS bowl with West Coast bias. It would be neat if we added another BCS bowl. Only this one would have a west coast/mountain west bias. Many folks from around the country enjoy trips to warm exotic (read: Orlando) climates. But there are several others who enjoy wintery climates that offer awesome skiing and snow boarding options. In places that don't already have Bowl games, this would boil down to Denver, Salt Lake, Reno/Lake Tahoe, and Vancouver.
Denver, is a large metro area and has professional sports teams in baseball, football, hockey, and basketball. While they have a professional football stadium and world class skiing, Denver has some of the worst weather this time of year and could make life hell for vacationing families.
Salt Lake hosted the 2002 Olympic games and renovated Rice-Eccles stadium. Rice-Eccles is home to the Utah Utes and seats 45 k:
Of course they have skiing...but this is Utah (can we just leave it at that?).
Reno offers excellent skiing, the beauty of Lake Tahoe, and gambling. The main drawback, is that UNR's Mackay Stadium seats a smidge under 30k:
Vancouver (home of 2010 Olympics) has Whistler, Victoria, and the beautiful Pacific Northwest. However, they currently only have an ice hockey arena that seats 18k - not going to get it done. Ahh, but the BC Lions are building a 60k soccer pitch to be ready for 2011! And it's indoors so fans won't have to brave the elements! We could call it the "Eh?" Bowl! (I think the "eh?" is more of Toronto thing, no?). Pics from the new BC Place:
Now who plays in the Eh? Bowl? Well, for starters this Bowl would be required to take a non-1st place Top 16 ranked Pac-10 team and a Top 16 ranked Mountain West/Wac team. This game would take the highest BCS ranked Mtn. West/Wac team. If the Pac-10 or Mtn. West/WAC cannot produce a second place team in the Top 16, than this becomes an at-large bid with no tie-ins. That would kind of suck, but I don't think this would happen too often. Oregon finished 17th this year in the BCS standings, behind BYU, TCU, Boise St, and Utah (too many non-BCS teams who haven't beaten anybody, in my opinion). However, with this added bowl, and almost certainly if my other crazy ideas were implemented, Oregon WOULD be in the Top 16 this year and would be playing Utah (# 7). Here's a look at the opponents who would be retrospectively playing in the Eh? Bowl:
2007: # 13 ASU vs. # 12 Hawaii
2006: # 7 Boise St. vs. at large (Cal's ranked #18 here and is co-Pac-10 champion...would added hype make the difference?)
2005: # 7 Oregon vs. # 14 TCU
From pre 2004, the BCS rankings pretty much have a highly ranked 2nd place Pac 10 team (Wazzou in '03 and '02) and a Mtn West/Wac team just outside the Top 16.
So this game could quite possibly provide two highly ranked western teams that would have otherwise had to have battled it out for an at-large BCS Bowl bid or end up in a place like the Holiday, Poinsettia or Las Vegas Bowls. What to do with the rest of the bowls? Not sure, but I have to get back to work. :) I suppose you could just bump down the Bowl tie-ins in the event two Pac-10 BCS teams qualify (like how the Big 12 without 2 BCS teams sends the Holiday Bowl the #3 pick but it is most likely the #4 pick).
Salt Lake would be serviceable but boring, and Reno would need to upgrade their stadium to be considered. Denver's a traveling nightmare and the game would be outdoors. I think Vancouver, with the new indoor stadium and other entertainment options would be the ideal place:
I welcome comments and critiques. I've ignored other things like advertisement and marketing because I have no interest in that and I'm sure there will be someone who is better qualified to opine on this matter. I think I'll also link this at AtQ, House of Sparky, and Block U to get feedback from them.