The New Era Pinstripe Bowl is a good example of why, for many years, the nation’s college football coaches did not really want a playoff system.
Historically, the membership of the AFCA has always liked the bowl system and opposed the playoff.
Why? Because more than 30 football teams every year get to end their season with a win. In the current system, more than 30 groups of players are smiling at the end of the game and over 30 sets of coaching staffs walk off of a field as victors.
It is not like that in any other team sport. In all levels of college basketball, there is only one winner.
The same goes for baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, etc. Only one team is truly crowned a champion at the end of the year. Everyone else ends their season with a loss. It is also like that in Division II, Division III and FCS football.
In Division I football, even with the disappointing seasons WVU and Syracuse both had in 2012, the winning team of the Pinstripe Bowl gets to hoist a championship trophy at the end of the game.
Their players get to stand in front of a camera on the sideline and hold up a finger that says “we are No. 1.” Even, if in reality, it means that they are truly are number 31 or 41 or 51 or whatever the case may be.
In bowls such as the Pinstripe Bowl, the winning team gets to discard the disappointments of the regular season. Those disappointments will disappear in the cold, wintry, New York City night air, just as it did for Rutgers and Greg Schiano last season.
Fans can go into the off season with a win under their belts.
For the nation’s college football coaches, in a brutal and unfair profession, it is one of the best parts about their job. For the coaches, it is the beauty of the current bowl system.