Bowl system too watered down

Once again the NCAA will allow money to talk when it comes to the bowl game picture.

This year there is an all-time high of 35 bowl games on tap, beginning as early as December 21 in New Mexico, with the Gildan Bowl, and continuing through January 6 with this year’s BCS championship game in Pasadena.

That means 70 teams will be traveling over the holidays. Some are deserving, but many are not.

It’s bad enough the Big Ten doesn’t have enough teams to represent all of their potential bowl sites.

Only seven schools are and will be bowl eligible this year from the 12 Big Ten teams yet as many as nine bowls could come knocking.

They include seven minor bowls (Little Caesars, Texas, Buffalo Wild Wings, Gator, Hearts of Dallas, Capital One and Outback) and possibly two BCS (Rose and/or national championship) bowls depending on the outcome of last night’s game between Michigan State and Ohio State.

If that’s not bad enough, of the 70 teams bowling in December and January, 75 are currently bowl eligible – but 15 of those 75 sport a record of 6-5 or 6-6, meaning there are possibly only going to be 60 teams (75 minus 15) with seven or more wins prior to their bowl.

Thus at least 10 schools could finish below .500 (6-7) after returning on the short end of a bowl loss. What kind of a reward is it to go to a bowl game and finish your season below 500?

Stan Risser


Lions, not Buckeyes, showed class

Last Saturday, I watched Ohio State players start an ugly brawl in the Michigan game.

One of the ejected players gave Michigan fans the finger.

It was disgraceful behavior, in my opinion. Yes, Ohio State is undefeated (entering Saturday night’s Big Ten title game) and, if it beat Michigan State, could play for a national championship.

But the Buckeyes really are not winners.

The real winners are the Penn State players and coaches, who all season long conducted themselves as ambassadors for this great university.

Forget about the win-loss record. Our team fought hard the entire season against great odds.

They are the epitome of scholar-athletes, and, if thoughtful PSU fans focus on what really matters in life and what this team has truly accomplished this year, they will agree with me that our team and coaches are the real winners.

What a fantastic year.

Lee Grenci

State College

Saluting PSU effort

The only people who believed Penn State had a fighting chance at Wisconsin was the team and the coaches.

This was the best game State has played in the past two years, I think.

Christian Hackenberg was truly something else.

I think Penn State bottomed out this season and can only get better. I hope Allen Robinson will return one more year and reap the benefits of the New England Patriots offense system, which the present players coming back in 2014 will be ready to put into action.

What other team in the country could have done what State did with only 60-61 players on scholarship? Not Ohio State or Alabama.

I offer a salute to the 2013 team and its coaches.

Les Hart


Tussey fan appreciative

After seeking some attention for the Tussey Mountain Titans and especially for Darrin Sipes and Daniel Taylor – to no avail – you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to open the Mirror sports page on Tuesday, Nov. 6, and observe the “Sipes Lifting Titans” headline under the Athlete of the Week banner.

That was great.

Once the Titans got your attention, you treated them very well. All the playoff coverage was excellent.

I particularly liked the Nov. 27 feature article by John Hartsock highlighting the Tussey offensive line – giving those unsung heroes some well-deserved recognition.

It was appreciated.

Gary O. Howe