Patrick Connelly / Allied News Sports Editor

Christmas and New Year’s Day have come and passed, but there’s still plenty of time for me to act like a Grinch this holiday season.

That’s because, according to the NCAA, the holiday season doesn’t officially end until Jan. 10. The 2010 series of bowl games will finally be over following Monday night’s Bowl Championship Series title game.

Just think if we had to listen to Christmas music this long, too. I’d be decking somebody’s halls, but maybe that’s just me. Seriously, though, how many times in the span of four weeks do I have to hear Mariah Carey sing lies and tell me all she wants for Christmas is me? She doesn’t even know me. Even if she did, I’m not her type. Nick Cannon is her type. Guys who are 10 years younger than her and have starred in awesome movies like “Drumline” are her type.

But let’s leave Nick Carey and Mariah Cannon out of this and get back to sports.

Where were we? Oh, yes.

The battle between Auburn and Oregon for college football supremacy will bring all the thrills of another season to close with maybe the most highly anticipated display of offense in a final game since Texas and Southern California met on Jan. 4, 2006, for the 2005 title.

Don’t you just love the ambiguity of NCAA athletics? The championship for one year is held in the next. That makes about as much sense as suspending players caught violating rules the season that follows rather than in the bowl game days away.

This Auburn-Oregon game is the matchup they’ve been shoving down our throats since the season ended on Dec. 4. Both teams were so good heading into the campaign, not one poll had them ranked. And yet, here we are.

Thirty-seven days and 34 bowl games later it’s time for the only one that’s worth the Tostitos its sponsored by. And I don’t think I’ve ever cared less.

Sure, I’ll probably watch it - unless something good like “The Replacements” or “Drumline” is on TBS. That doesn’t mean I care, though. It just means I’m too lazy to put a DVD in, sift through the plethora of nonsense on cable or read a book.

And, sadly, that’s maybe right where Division I-A football - pardon me, Division I Football Bowl Subdivision football - lands on yours truly’s sports radar.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to like college football, but you have to give me a reason to care. Thirty-five bowl games in some of the world’s most exotic locations like Shreveport, La., and Boise, Idaho, isn’t good enough.

There’s no reason these teams should be playing 12-game seasons when one of them is usually against a Division I-AA opponent and no reason there should be a 37-day layoff between games and then have the jingle bells to tell me it isn’t feasible or realistic to have a playoff system.

Call me crazy - I’m sure a lot of you do already - but college football these days just can’t hold my interest. At least not the way it’s currently setup. Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way.

The NCAA needs to give a little to get a little. Have the games mean something besides the dollar amount of a particular paycheck a university collects for making a bowl appearance.

Have all the meaningless bowls you want, but with that spike my interest by instituting some sort of playoff system.

And not one where only the programs in the six major conferences have a shot at a national title. Something in which every school and every conference is playing by the same rules and has an equal opportunity.

That doesn’t mean I believe Texas Christian should have gotten into the BCS title game with the schedule of cupcakes it played all season. I don’t and they didn’t.

The point I’m trying to make is the NCAA needs to take full control of the FBS postseason just like it does in basketball, not hand it over to a biased third party like the BCS. The NCAA needs to put in a new set of rules and take control of the regular season scheduling as well.

Having a playoff system should be a realistic goal for the NCAA, not an afterthought by its governing body.

It’s feasible to have one, so quit lying like Mariah Carey each December and put it in already.

Until you do, you won’t have me as a fan.

Patrick Connelly is sports editor at Allied News and can be reached at pconnelly@alliednews.com or 724-458-5010.


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