During the 1990s, Taco Bell pulled off a legendary April Fools' joke when they took out full-page ads in newspapers announcing they had bought the Liberty Bell. That was a bit of marketing genius, but their partnership with the mafia known as the Bowl Championship Series shows again why there's little redeeming value in the chain.
College football fans know the BCS as the successful attempt by the NCAA to stymie any talk of a playoff system to crown a true national champion (a system employed by almost every other team-based college sport) by allowing computers to issue arbitrary ratings that favor big-money conferences. The end result are laughable bowls with out-of-sync teams that piss on decades-long traditions (nothing against you, TCU, but a Texas team has as much sense playing in the Rose Bowl as a California team in the Cotton Bowl) and make no one happy other than the people who rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and one school.
And Taco Bell sponsors this sham.
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They signed on as a BCS partner in 2007, and are firing up their synergy engines this time around by debuting something called a Touchdown $5 Buck Box.QSR Magazine says Taco Bell created the meal
--which comes with a hard-shelled taco, cinnamon twists, medium drink, and the eater's choice of a Beefy Crunch burrito-Crunchwrap Supreme or Volcano Beef Burrito--Volcano Taco combo--in conjunction with the BCS and ESPN, the better to brand everyone together. The one interesting thing about the Touchdown $5 Buck Box is that eaters can transform it into a mini-finger flick football field, using the taco wrapper as the folded-up football. I admit that's a cool concept--but then Taco Bell screwed up something as innocent as finger flick football by spoiling the makeshift field with BCS Bowl logos.
Is nothing sacred anymore? Actually, considering we are talking about college football, where schools who aren't currently cheating in some way are planning to cheat or already cheated, such outrage is actually, probably unwarranted. But one can still hang on to idealism, right?