Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fiesta Bowl Turmoil: Jerry Jones' Dream

The Fiesta Bowl is in turmoil, firing its 30 year CEO John Junker, who had guided the bowl from its infancy to BCS-welterweight status. Jerry Jones must be salivating...

It's all part of the plan

Fiesta Bowl CEO Junker allegedly reimbursed employees for campaign contributions:
"The reimbursements, listed as at least $46,539, are an apparent violation of state campaign finance laws and the charter that allows the Fiesta Bowl its nonprofit status. The Arizona attorney general's office is conducting a probe of the matter."
While the Fiesta Bowl only dates back to the 1970s (and was originally modeled after the Peach Bowl), there is another older, historically prestigious bowl waiting in the wings to assume BCS status: The Cotton Bowl, which dates back to the 1930s and is soaked with history and cachet, which is practically currency in college football.

Right now, the BCS is in the middle of a TV contract with ESPN, locking in the BCS lineup until 2015. However, rest assured that Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner and the co-captain of the joint 1964 Champion Arkansas Razorbacks, is already blowing up the phone lines trying to line everything up. After all, the BCS Chairman has previously stated that he is willing to discuss the Cotton Bowl joining the BCS lineup with Jones.

The Cotton Bowl's prestige largely fell off due to the Southwest Conference's downfall, driven by recruiting scandals, as well as the 'Pony Express'/SMU Death Penalty in 1987. Additionally, until 2010 the game continued to play in the equally historic Cotton Bowl at the Texas State Fairgrounds, which is outdoors and not as modern as the ideal bowl site would be (ironically enough, SMU's downfall equally contributed to the Cotton Bowl Stadium's disuse, as the Mustangs had used the stadium as their home field until their attendance suffered post-Death Penalty).

With the right publicity and the ripe opportunity, no need for the Cotton Bowl to wait for the bowl system to change to a +1 bowl format or for the BCS to break up the rotating MNC game among current BCS locales. As the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association originally envisioned in their announcement, moving the game to Cowboys Stadium makes BCS membership ripe for the picking.

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