Ever found yourself faced with a conundrum?
That is where I find myself as bowl season prepares to get under way and I and the rest of college football fans will be faced with a national championship game featuring the Fighting Irish from the University of Notre Dame and Alabama, the champion of the Southeastern Conference.
Like most fans, unless you hail from SEC country, the thought of another year of listening to the rabid fans that surround Alabama is more than I care to deal with.
But, the alternative revolves around cheering for a Notre Dame program that 'used' the Big East during its tenure in the slowly dying, at least in football, conference while expecting to continue its abusive ways with its new home in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
At least cheering for the Golden Domers to treat the likes of Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, N.C. State, etc. the same way they dealt with prior league 'rivals' (except in football) brings a smile to my face, but it doesn't help me deal with watching the most important game of the post season and picking a favorite.
That being said, like most Americans, I will find myself sitting in front of my television set if, for no other reason, to see which team takes home the 'mythical' national championship.
A title that will change when Division I finally begins its four-team playoff in 2014.
But, before every local fan of Notre Dame or the Crimson Tide fills my message box up with hate mail and death threats, my disdain for the two doesn't come a lack of respect.
Call it envy. You can even call it jealousy.
Every fan wants his favorite team to advance to the sport's most important contest. If you don't, then you're not much of a fan.
By virtue of winning all 12 games in which it has played, Notre Dame 'earned' its berth in the title game.
The same can be said for Alabama, even though it suffered one loss. The Tide advanced through the toughest conference in the country and 'earned' its shot at the crown.
That doesn't mean the rest of the country has to like it.
As far as West Virginia fans are concerned, the old gold and blue will spend the holidays in the "Big Apple" as the Pinstripe Bowl will be the scene for the final game in a West Virginia uniform for seniors Geno Smith and Tavon Austin to put on one last show for their rabid fan base.
The opponent will be one very familiar to Mountaineer fans as the Big East has the automatic lock-in to the contest, played at Yankees Stadium and just as West Virginia was the geographic choice of the Big 12, New York-based Syracuse made the most sense for the Big East.
While many Mountaineer fans were hoping for a renewal of The Backyard Brawl against Pitt, playing Syracuse seems like a good alternative.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org