A co-worker of mine asked me Friday evening before the Cotton Bowl if I'd be sad if Missouri lost to Oklahoma State.
After a quick moment of thought - consider I had my fan/alum hat on since I wasn't down in Arlington, Texas, covering the game - I replied with a succinct "No."
Would I have been happy? Of course not. But sad? Not a chance.
Why, you ask?
The Cotton Bowl just doesn't mean all that much. Sure, it's nice to close the season with a victory and beat an old rival from the Big 12. I guess the players get a bunch of free stuff too.
In the grand scheme of things, however, it doesn't mean all that much. Missouri doesn't advance to the next round of the playoffs. The Tigers don't get a shot to win a championship.
That's why I wouldn't have been sad had the Tigers lost. There wasn't much on the line. Now the Southeastern Conference championship game? That's a completely different story. I was living and dying on each play. I was extremely upset after Missouri lost to Auburn.
A shot at the national championship was up for grabs. Missouri could have been in that game. That's something to be sad about.
But the Cotton Bowl? Nah.
Two college football games were staged Friday night. The Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl (Clemson against Ohio State). Both were fantastic. There was no shortage of fireworks or late drama. Just sensational.
The same can be said about Thursday night's Oklahoma-Alabama contest.
Football fans have been treated to some special football games recently. If only they meant something.
Just imagine if these games were Sweet 16, Elite Eight or Final Four games. How terrific would that be?
I just hate the college football bowl system. I think it's stupid. I have never liked it, and to be honest, have never really enjoyed watching bowls that didn't include Missouri or the two squads pitted against each other in the national championship.
What if other sports decided their champion this way? It'd be bogus. There would be outrage.
Sorry, Kansas City fans, the Chiefs had no chance. It's Seattle against Denver in the Super Bowl.
The NCAA Tournament? Let's get rid of that. Forget that fun. It's Arizona against Syracuse in the title game.
The St. Louis Cardinals' wild World Series run in 2011? Never happened.
Let's have one game that means something and a then a whole bunch of glorified exhibitions! Man, that is a great idea.
Whoever thought of the bowl system is an idiot. Actually, never mind. That person is a genius. More money for everyone! No need for a fun and logical way to decide a national champion.
The best way to solve this problem? Do what the Football Championship Series does. A 24-team playoff. The season would end around the same time, just get rid of that ridiculously awful month-long layoff. Put together a selection committee, much like the one used to select the NCAA Tournament field, to bracket the best 24 teams.
I know it will never happen. The bowls make too much money. Cash is king. I can dream, right?
Missouri had a wonderful season. It was a blast from beginning to finish. The Tigers are a top-5 team.
The Cotton Bowl, after a sluggish start from a month off between games, turned into a classic in the fourth quarter. What a finish, what fun. What a great way for Missouri to cap one of the best seasons in school history.
Now if only that win meant something.