Johnson: There's A "Hint Of Hypocrisy" In Bowl Games

The number of New Year's Day targeting ejections left Mike Johnson feeling "nauseous"

Taz and the Moose
January 02, 2019 - 10:33 am

USA Today Images


While the College Football Playoff has been good for, well, college football, it hasn’t been good for bowl season. It seems the playoff has become an all-or-nothing proposition for many programs, and anything short of a spot in the semifinals is a letdown, often causing players to sit out of “meaningless” games.

Can this problem be fixed?

“It’s tough,” Backroads Sports Network college football analyst Mike Johnson said on Taz & The Moose. “To me, there’s a little bit of a hypocrisy with the way we look at college football bowl games right now. To me, watching some of the targeting calls yesterday and these kids get ejected, it makes me nauseous. We’re ejecting kids out of a football game for one mistake. There’s nothing malicious behind some of these hits. I know people out there say, ‘They’ve got to change the way they think. They’ve got to change the way they tackle.’ But if you look at a baseball game and you throw a pitcher out the first time he hits a batter, that’s really what we’re dealing with there. If we’re going to place importance on these kids playing bowl games, we’ve got to find a way to keep these kids in these bowl games.”

No. 11 LSU beat No. 8 UCF, 40-32, on Tuesday. By the end of the game – due to injuries, ejections and bowl-skipping – LSU had wide receivers playing cornerback. 

“Guys are getting kicked out, and guys are leaving,” Johnson said. “I think a lot of things have been pushed in the right direction allowing some of the redshirted kids to play in some of these bowl games, but to me, there’s just a hint of hypocrisy. You want these bowl games to mean something, and you want these kids to show up and give everything they want, and then at the end of the day, if they miss by a couple of inches and accidentally hit a guy’s face mask – there’s no malicious intent, but they’re spending the rest of the time watching it from the locker room. To me, it’s a little bit ridiculous. I want to see those rules changed.”

Johnson also wants bowl games to matter again. That, however, seems easier said than done.

“I definitely think there’s something wrong with the system,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is to bring it back around. Kids are going to start doing what they want for themselves. Maybe it’s a microcosm of some fo the things we see in society, but to me, that’s what you created with the semifinal games. You’ve created this beast where it seems like a great thing when you watch the semifinals, but some of the other games just don’t seem to stack up when you watch them on television.”