Hooray for mediocrity

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By Brian Blair

I love “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I especially love the scene where Charlie Brown is sitting with Lucy telling her about his problems. He admits that he knows he should be happy about Christmas, but says for some reason he is not.

By the way, on a completely unrelated note, why is Charlie Brown the only one with a last name? Think about it. There is Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder and so on and so forth. No last names.

Anyway, over the last week I have sort of felt like Charlie Brown but about something else besides Christmas.

It’s Kentucky football.

Last week, the Wildcats wrapped up the regular season the same way they have for the past 26 seasons. They lost to Tennessee. The loss dropped their record to 6-6. With the six wins, the Cats are again bowl eligible.

That is where my conundrum comes into play. I don’t know how I should feel about Kentucky going back to a bowl game again this year. It was revealed on Sunday night that the Wildcats will be heading to Birmingham for the BBVA Compass Bowl where they will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers. I am not sure what BBVA Compass even stands for, but I am pretty sure they could call it the Irrelevant.com Bowl and it would mean the same thing.

On one hand, I think it is great that my favorite college football team gets to play in a bowl for the fourth-straight season. On the other hand, I am not sure that a team that can do no better than 6-6 should get rewarded with postseason play.

It is not their fault. They did exactly what was asked of them. They won six games. I think it just comes down to the fact that there are too many bowl games and teams that finish no better than 6-6 or 7-5 should not have the chance to play another game. Why do we reward so many teams for being mediocre? Just as kids with a C average are not invited into National Honor Society, football teams who barely win more than they lose should not be invited to a bowl game. If everyone gets to go it is nothing special.

Currently there are 35 bowl games. Of the 70 teams that have the opportunity to play, 12 had records of 6-6 with another being 6-5. Another dozen teams had records of 7-5. That seems ridiculous.

I know, I know. It is all about money and sponsors. To me it just seems like the direction the rest of the country is going. We don’t make people earn anything and no one is allowed to lose because someone’s feelings might get hurt. Get a grip people.

I know what you are thinking. Am I going to watch the game? Yes, I will be watching. I may not like the system, but it is what it is and I will support my team as they look to win their third bowl game in the last four years.

Go Cats.


Brian Blair is the sports reporter for the News-Herald.