Earlier today, Chris gave us some great reasons why you should be excited about Pitt's upcoming bowl game against Bowling Green. This isn't one of our true Point/Counterpoints because I'm not really here to tell you that you shouldn't care about the game.
That said, there are some things that make it difficult to garner a ton of interest if you're not a diehard Pitt fan. Here are my top five:
5. It's pizza, y'all: These guys are the mascots. At least they were before. Really. That is all.
4. It's a disappointment: Things could have been better. Beating an average Navy team like Pitt should have done probably gets them to a different bowl. Beating a North Carolina team after staging a furious comeback and getting to eight wins really makes the season a success. At 6-6, things could have been worse, but the season just has kind of a sour taste to it at the end of the day. It's a little disappointing knowing that making a few more plays could have resulted in a better situation.
3. It's the day after Christmas: Not the worst timing, I suppose, but close to it. It's within driving distance of Pittsburgh, but who in their right mind will want to pack up the day after stuffing yourself on good food and opening presents and drive for several hours to watch this game? People will do it ... but not many.
2. It's Detroit: So yeah, could be worse, right? The pro is that Detroit is a major city with things to do. The downside is that it's not a highly desirable location and it's in a cold-weather town. I've been to a single bowl game in my entire life - the Sugar Bowl back in 1995 when our high school band was fortunate enough to play at halftime along with three other schools. Pretty cool, right? Yep. Part of the fun was heading out into New Orleans with pretty nice weather and all. Doing the same in Detroit when it's freezing isn't quite the same experience.
1. It's against Bowling Green: Hear me out on this. I'm not here to say that Bowling Green is a bad team or even an average one. This is a good team, folks. They won ten games this season and have the tenth ranked defense in the nation. That said, it's hard to get up when playing any team not from a major conference. The MAC is a solid conference to be sure, but this isn't the same as playing a team participating in the highest levels of football. Sure, they're D-I, but even playing a team like Ole Miss last year was a bit more interesting than this. That's not to say Pitt can't lose or that Bowling Green isn't the best team. Rather, it is what it is - a game against a MAC opponent. The simple fact is that playing a team from one of the five major conferences is just a bit more desirable.
BONUS: It could be a loss: In terms of perception, this is really a lose-lose situation. If Pitt loses to Bowling Green (again), it just looks like a very bad loss even though the Falcons are a good team. No one will remember that three years from now and it just looks like a loss to a MAC team. If Pitt wins, no one on a national level will really care and those those unfamiliar with Bowling Green (i.e. pretty much everybody), it won't really look like a great win. You never avoid a game just because it could be a loss, obviously. All I'm saying, though, is that it's a bit of a lose-lose proposition when it comes to how the Panthers will be perceived nationally.
Playing the game is better than not playing in the postseason, so this isn't about ripping the game to shreds. But at the end of the day, if you're not excited about this game, I'm not going to blame you.
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