I know I said that we'd be moving on to bigger and better Las Vegas bowl things today, but I cannot deny Mr. Fiskers his voice. Freedom of speech includes diabetic household pets. Our forefathers did not die in vain.
Like most Boise State fans and Kansas State fans and fans of logic, the Sugar Bowl's decision to invite Virginia Tech has Mr. Fiskers in a snit, which is both a word to describe his anger emotions and an actual device that helps regulate his thyroid. He tears into the Sugar Bowl after the jump.
Fisking is a point-by-point criticism that highlights perceived errors or disputes the analysis in a statement, article, or essay. Mr. Fiskers is OBNUG's fisking cat. He has hyperthyroidism.
When Mr. Fiskers changed the channel from Garfield and Friends to ESPN's BCS selection show yesterday evening, he was shocked to find out that Craig James did not have a tail and horns and that Virginia Tech would be going to the Sugar Bowl. Which Sugar Bowl exactly? The one that is held in the Georgia Dome and is called the Chick-fil-a Bowl? No? Oh for the sweet release of cat dental anesthesia!
The Sugar Bowl's brain fart will waft through eternity, but Mr. Fiskers refuses to let it waft with a clear conscience. Between cat naps and thyroid meds, he prepared an abbreviated takedown of the Sugar Bowl decision-making. AP writer Larry Lage did a professional job summing up the Sugar Bowl story, and Mr. Fiskers is now ready to add his footnotes.
Headline: Michigan vs. Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl
College football: Where every game counts, except the ones against Clemson.
The Sugar Bowl passed on the chance to take the highest-rated teams Sunday night ...
Other things the Sugar Bowl has passed on ...
Buy one get one free coupons. They only buy the one!
Being at the birth of a firstborn child. Not when Whitney is on!
The Showcase Showdown. They're holding out for the one with the dinette set.
Front row seats to the original Phantom of the Opera. Sorry. They already bought tickets on the Hindenburg.
... reviving long-standing complaints that the system is more about dollar signs than performance on the field.
In related news, the sky is blue and Robb Akey owns Jeff Foxworthy comedy CDs.
No. 13 Michigan will face 17th-ranked Virginia Tech in the Jan. 3 game at New Orleans, a showdown of storied programs that was patched together after the Sugar Bowl couldn't invite one of its traditional partners from the Southeastern Conference.
One of the four premier bowls in all of college football knowingly decided to pit the No. 13 team against the No. 17 team (AP rankings). Its other options:
- No. 8 Boise State. One loss all season and that by one point to the No. 16 team in the country.
- No. 11 Kansas State.
- No. 12 Michigan State. Beat Michigan in the regular season.
- No. 15 Baylor. Has Robert Griffin III.
- No. 16 TCU.
- Canceling the football game and holding Toy Story on ice instead.
Going strictly on the rankings, the Sugar Bowl's next-best options were Boise State and Kansas State.
The selection committee snubbed them both, going with schools that will likely bring more fans to the Superdome and drum up interest in a game that will surely be overshadowed in its own city (ed's note: by the BCS championship six days later).
Even Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer conceded the choice of his team involved more than results. The Hokies didn't beat any of the top 25 in the BCS.
No, Mr. Fiskers. Put down that Chinese finger trap. Life is still worth living!
Virginia Tech's non-conference schedule was Appalachian State, East Carolina, Arkansas State, and Marshall.
Their conference schedule was the ACC.
The only time the Hokies played a BCS Top 25 team was when they lost to Clemson. Twice.
"Our fans are probably as excited as we are,'' he said. "They certainly are one reason we're coming there. We do have great fan support. They're serious about Virginia Tech football. I know there are going to be a lot of those people down in New Orleans.''
As many as there were at the ACC championship games and Orange Bowls the past five years? Mr. Fiskers sure hopes so.
Virginia Tech (11-2) claimed a BCS bid despite losing 38-10 to Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. The Orange Bowl-bound Tigers handed the Hokies their only two losses.
"Over the years, Virginia Tech has built a name for itself,'' Beamer said. "We have a chance to win 12 games this year, which has never been done at Virginia Tech. The reality is we lost to one team this year. We just lost to them twice.''
Mr. Fiskers would like to point out that the team you lost to twice was the only Top 25 team you played!
This makes Mr. Fiskers's asthma act up.
... Boise State (11-1) finished seventh in the BCS standings, was ranked No. 8 by The Associated Press and has a well-known history of success when invited to a major bowl.
To borrow the Sugar Bowl's line of reasoning ...
Too highly rated!
Too historically proven to deliver a good product in a BCS game!
Kansas State (10-2) was one spot lower in the BCS and ranked 11th by the AP.
Not enough Darren Sproles!
"Obviously, it was a difficult decision,'' said Paul Hoolahan, chief executive officer of the Sugar Bowl. "We thought every team we had an opportunity to select presented us with certain unique credentials ...
Boise State's unique credentials: Being a better choice than Virginia Tech.
Kansas State's unique credentials: Being a better choice than Virginia Tech.
... In the final analysis, we just felt the two teams we have chosen really give us in the long run the best opportunity to put together a matchup that will provide a very exciting football game.''
Mr. Fiskers, fetch that "Bowl-speak to English dictionary." I don't understand a word he just said.
/flipping through dictionary
Here we go (translation in parentheses).
"In the final analysis (after seeing we didn't have to invite any non-BCS teams), we just felt the two teams we have chosen really give us in the long run (one month to 10 years from now) the best opportunity to put together a matchup (phrasing not available in this dictionary or any dictionary) that will provide a very exciting (break-even) football game."
Hoolahan said Virginia Tech's proven history of bringing fans to New Orleans was "extremely important,'' trumping their dismal showing Saturday night and not-so-stellar fan support while playing in the Orange Bowl three of the last four years.
AP writer zing!
"I think Virginia Tech has proven over the years the caliber of football team they are,'' Hoolahan said. "I think they will perform extremely well.''
Note: Hoolahan does not mean on the football field.
Virginia Tech will be making its third trip to the Sugar Bowl, its previous appearances including a 46-29 loss to Florida State in 2000 that determined the national championship.
The ugly loss to Clemson made the Hokies available for an at-large selection. The Sugar Bowl jumped at the chance to pick them after Alabama claimed the second spot in the BCS title game, just ahead of Oklahoma State and denying the Sugar one of its traditional drawing cards.
Wha ... er ... wait. I thought the Sugar Bowl guy just said it was a hard decision. What is going on here?
"We obviously had firsthand experience with them,'' Hoolahan said. "It's always been a very effective experience and so we really didn't have any problems selecting them.''
No, Mr. Fiskers. Put down that Christmas tree water. You'll hurt yourself! I'm sure the Sugar Bowl agonized over leaving out quality teams like Boise State and Kansas State.
/lying to Mr. Fiskers to keep him from injuring himself
The arguments against the Sugar Bowl choosing Virginia Tech are numerous and sensible, and you can now add cat pictures to them. You're welcome, college football. Better luck next year, Sugar Bowl.