COLUMN: Cotton Bowl should join BCS
Last week, the Fiesta Bowl revealed to the world what many suspected and many more have preached for years — corruption abounds in the bowl system.
The Fiesta Bowl was caught encouraging employees to make political contributions and reimbursing them to the tune of $46,539.
But wait, it gets better.
Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker also accrued a large tab due to his own excursions. He spent $33,000 on his 50th birthday party, is a member at four elite private golf clubs and racked up a $1,200 bill at a Phoenix strip club.
The Fiesta Bowl paid for all of it, and Junker was fired for his role in the scandal.
We could talk about how this happens in many bowls, not just the Fiesta Bowl, but that’s another column.
The Fiesta Bowl could very well lose its spot as a BCS bowl, and another bowl has to take its place if that happens.
The most logical choice is the Cotton Bowl, which would be great for Oklahoma and the entire Big 12 Conference.
Pretty much every major conference school has a BCS bowl game within reasonable driving distance, but Big 12 members have had to travel all the way to Arizona to participate in their BCS bowl.
Oklahoma knows all about long-distance bowling, having been to two national championship games in its opponents’ backyard this past decade — against LSU in New Orleans (2003) and against Florida in Miami (2008) — and making the drive to the desert for three Fiesta Bowls (2006, 2007 and last season).
The Cotton Bowl recently made the move to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, so the venue is excellent — perhaps the best of the BCS bowls. The Cotton Bowl is one of the most recognizable bowl games.
It’s probably a bit unfair the Fiesta Bowl has to take the fall for something that more than likely goes on in at least half of the bowl games, but the bowl’s actions show it is undeserving of a BCS rotation spot.
People know the Cotton Bowl. It used to be the pinnacle bowl game, but it has fallen off recently as more bowls have joined the postseason fold offering higher payouts.
But the BCS has probably been the biggest detractor from the Cotton Bowl’s prestige.
Any bowl, no matter how traditional, is less than stellar in comparison to the BCS bowls simply because of the “organization” those four bowls have formed.
If the investigative panel hearing the Fiesta Bowl’s case to remain a BCS bowl rules against it, the Cotton Bowl should be the first bowl on a short list to replace it.
The obvious advantages to OU and the Big 12 aside, any BCS bowl played in Jerryworld would be great for all of college football.
One of the most prestigious bowls should be returned to its rightful place among the top bowl destinations in college football.
— Luke McConnell, journalism junior