Monday Morning Quarterback
Like a lot of you, I grew up loving college football.
By the time I was 10 years old, it was all I looked forward to. I would get up early and knock out all of my chores so I could listen to the Clemson games on the radio or watch what I could on television.
I remember I was watching the 1982 Rose Bowl between Iowa and Washington prior to the 1982 Orange Bowl matchup between Clemson and Nebraska. Watching all the pageantry leading up to the game and then seeing how beautifully green the field was with the big rose in the middle just mesmerized me. Keep in mind, there was no high definition television in 1982, so for the field to still be that mesmerizing on television tells you how beautiful that field was and still is today.
Since then, attending a Rose Bowl has always been a bucket list item of mine. In a way, it probably is for every college football fan.
I thought in 2017, when Clemson took over as the top-ranked team in the country, the Tigers might go to the Rose Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff that year. Instead, Clemson was selected to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. And though covering a Sugar Bowl was on my bucket list as well, I would have loved the opportunity to cover a Clemson team in the Rose Bowl.
Obviously, it did not happen, so I set my eyes on 2020. Well, let’s just say COVID-19 could ruin that opportunity.
Once again, Clemson is on top of the polls and, in a normal year, if the Tigers stay on top, the Rose Bowl could be in their future.
However, the reality of not covering a Rose Bowl in 2020 is becoming clearer every day. The Pac 12 has already closed up shop for the fall and the state of California has shut things down again after another breakout of the virus.
The CFP Playoff committee already released the dates for the 2021 CFP. The committee will select its four teams on Dec. 20. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are the current host sites for the semifinals, which will be played on January 1, 2021. The national championship game is scheduled to be played on January 11, 2021.
And though I would love to cover a Rose Bowl if Clemson were selected to play in it, I just can’t understand why the Rose Bowl is still scheduled.
Given the state of the world we live in today, I think it is too much to ask a team to travel all the way across the country to play a game. The game is guaranteed to have someone from the ACC or the SEC playing in it, which means a team would likely have to travel about six hours.
That kind of travel goes against everything the ACC and SEC have decided to do. The Clemson-Carolina game was canceled this year, despite the two rivals being just 132 miles apart in the same state, because the two conferences have different protocols and guidelines in place.
Playing the Rose Bowl in 2020 just does not make sense. Instead, let the Peach Bowl or the Cotton Bowl host the CFP game this year and next year, hopefully, when things are back to normal, the Rose Bowl will host a playoff game.
Selfishly, maybe this will be my opportunity to cover a Rose Bowl and check another item off my own bucket list.
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