Ah, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Usually a really dead time for baseball news. Around this time of year, most people are focused on other sports. The NFL season is just about over, and people are wondering what the playoff picture will look like. The NBA season is normally getting into a groove, but this year, it just started, and many fans still haven’t been disenchanted yet. College hoops are kicking off conference play, and the contenders and pretenders will begin to be separated. There’s also college football, which kicks bowl season into high gear during this week. Starting yesterday and going until next Monday, there are 22 bowl games going on. Starting today, there are multiple games on every day until Sunday, when the NFL will be reigning supreme. I *love* bowl season. There’s nothing like getting home from work, and being able to unwind with some of your last grasps of the NCAA of the year.
Despite the hysteria over bowl games, there is still a sense of anger in the air, due to the presence of the evermighty BCS. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the drama this year, with a rematch happening in the national title game. But in any event, we’re going to try to recreate the BCS, along with some of the more popular bowl games, with MLB teams using the 2011 standings. Problem is, there are ten teams that go into the BCS every year…but only eight MLB playoffs teams. Hmmmm. Looks like I’ll need to get creative there. I tried to keep the interleague format intact, instead of giving out a bunch of intraleague matchups that no one really cares about.
National Title Game: Phillies vs Yankees
It’s #1 vs #2! The two highest ranked teams go at it for the almighty prize. In this year’s MLB playoffs however, neither of these teams made the World Series. In fact, both teams were eliminated in the LDS. Imagine if that happened if the NCAA ever went to a playoff, and the top two seeds were eliminated in the first round. DOGS AND CATS, LIVING TOGETHER!!!!
Rose Bowl: Tigers vs Diamondbacks
Arizona is Pac-12 country…technically. The state possesses a pair of teams in the conference (Arizona and Arizona State), but neither team is really at the upper tiers of the league. But the Tigers are right in the middle of Big 10 country, as are the NL Central champion Brewers. I decided to mix things up a little bit and give the people a matchup that we actually didn’t see in the playoffs this year. Ironically, both Michigan and Wisconsin will be heading to BCS bowls this year. Well done, central divisions!
Fiesta Bowl: Rangers vs Brewers
In the Fiesta Bowl, the Big 12 champion usually ends up facing an at-large team. With the Rangers being dead in the middle of Big 12 country (or what’s left of it), they seem to be the logical representative of the Big 12. And since we’ve already sent the Tigers to the Rose Bowl for the Big 10’s automatic slot, how about the Brewers for the at-large spot in the Fiesta Bowl? Big 10 teams don’t normally end up going to the Fiesta….aside from Ohio State, who’s been there four times in the last decade. This would have been a perfect tie-in, if only the Indians could have won the AL Central…
Sugar Bowl: Rays vs Cardinals
This one is slapped together. The Sugar Bowl is normally home to the SEC champion, and since the Rays are the only playoff team from the southeast….welcome aboard! The eventual World Champion Cardinals also get an at-large berth here too. The Cardinals are in a weird spot in NCAA terms. The team is based out of Missouri, who has been a stalwart in the Big 12 for years….but will be joning the SEC next season. I don’t exactly think of them as an SEC type area, though.
Orange Bowl: Braves vs Red Sox
The Orange Bowl always gets screwed over. It’s automatic tie-in is with the ACC, which is usually a pretty bad football conference. It’ll usually get an at-large team as well. The Big East is the only BCS conference without an automatic tie-in….they can get sent wherever the hell they want. So I figured this matchup would be good: the Orange Bowl getting screwed again with a pair of teams who lost out on the playoffs on the season’s final day. Makes sense, doesn’t it?