It’s the end of the (bowl) world as we know it.

This will probably be the only time I express this sentiment at GTP, but Roy Kramer’s right about this:

I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to rail about the number of bowl games that are played. Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer once told me that if two conferences and one community decide they want to have a bowl game, then more power to them. Nobody compels us to watch.

Ain’t that the truth.  They’re friggin’ exhibition matches.  They exist to offer something to watch on a cold winter’s night in mid-December when you’re jonesing for college football.

So, I know I’m in the minority on this, but I don’t get the concern over the possibility that a school with a losing record may get to play occasionally in an obscure bowl game.

But with 35 bowls approved for the 2010 season, the math does not look good. It means that 70 of 120 teams in Division I-A will participate in a bowl game. Last year 71 teams finished 6-6 or better. That’s cutting it pretty close. The rules say you have to be 6-6 or better in order to qualify for a bowl. There have been reports that the NCAA is working on contingency plans if there are not enough qualified teams for the bowls. I will have a problem if 5-7 teams are going to bowls. That is not good for the game.

Because?

Hey, look, it’s happened before and the Republic survived.

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11 Comments

Filed under College Football

11 responses to “It’s the end of the (bowl) world as we know it.

  1. anon

    I’m of the opinion that the entire bowl slate top to bottom isn’t “good for the game.”

    But they do seem to have value in the communities that put them on. Tourism dollars and outreach programs like when teams visit hospitals and schools are probably a major benefit, and if they’re no more than exhibition games anyway, I don’t really care that a 6 win team gets to play an extra game.

  2. AthensHomerDawg

    I’m not feeling it in a negative way. Seems like a win win. How is it not good for the game? Kids are playing…(getting extra reps,improving) fans get another look and maybe an additional “rah,rah..who’s the man” money is being made………….yeah, why not.

  3. ChicagoDawg

    I am a bit conflicted on this topic. If there is a CFB game on, I will typically watch it. To the extent is generates revenues and gives kids a chance to play another game, that is a bonus.

    However, I will say that the proliferation of bowl games has diminished the significance of the bowl premise (reward for success) in CFB. Back in the day, to play on January 1st was truly special. It was a significant event for teams and fans alike. The special nature of the bowl season has been diluted and has lost much of its prestige. Having said that, I am not suggesting we necessarily revert back to 4 majors on January 1st with only a few second tier games played the last week of December, but things have certainly changed and I am not sure if I think it is for the best. I do very much miss all of the majors being played on New Years Day. That for me is what has really been lost with all of the changes.

    How is that for an equivicating view?

  4. JK

    Bowls should be able to pick whatever teams they want when its their turn. Pick teams or matchups that people care to watch, and will actually draw a crowd to the stadium and the town. Instead, bowls are forced to be “fair” and pick teams they know nobody gives a damn about, but that a good number of people will watch simply because its a football game…. but not as many people as if the bowls had their choice.

    For example, Ohio U v. Marshall? Come on. Who cares? Wouldn’t you rather see, say, which conference’s nerd school is the best? For example, Vandy v. Baylor… whatever. Thats compelling TV. Everyone who cares about any SEC or BIG 12 team cares about the outcome of that game on some level. And they’re going to watch. Hell, i’d bet either of those teams in a down year draw a better crowd than Ohio U or Marshall on a great year.

    Or look at Notre Dame last year. Refused a bowl bid because they were going to have to play some team nobody cared about. I’m not saying I agree with their refusal, but that wouldn’t have happened if the bowl could have offered Notre Dame a better matchup with another team people actually care to watch who was having a down year. How much money do you think got flushed down the toilet because Notre Dame said no? How much less of an impact did that game have on the community where it was held? My guess is a whole lot. Its just stupid.

    Plus, while Notre Dame said no, there were several other schools who said yes but whose players obviously didn’t care about the game because they were playing someone they considered to be a nobody. SC v. UConn; UCLA v. Temple, etc. Shoot, put South Carolina against Notre Dame in a bowl game and everybody cares! Notre Dame’s downtrodden players get to try to prove themselves against an SEC school, and South Carolina….. well, everyone hates Notre Dame and wants to destroy them. Motivated players and excited fans; thats compelling football. Instead SC comes out painfully flat against UConn, and Notre Dame doesn’t even play. There’s any number of examples like that every year where we as fans are deprived of some potentially great games and instead are forced to watch either two nobodies, or a normally decent team playing flat against some nobody.

    The point is, bowl season has become “lets be fair to everyone who had a winning season” time. It should be “lets watch a bunch of compelling exhibition games” time. I think of the current garbage bowl games like sunday beer in Georgia. If its sunday and there’s a couple of beers in the fridge, i’m going to drink them whether its my beer of choice or some swill my cheap friend left in there on poker night… its beer and its sunday; i have no other option.

    We’re going to watch the crappy bowl games because its December and its football; what else is there to watch? But wouldn’t it be nice if the crappy bowl games were a little less crappy?

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I don’t think Notre Dame wanted to play another game. A busted season that lead to the termination of a head coach. In truth ND went Roberto Duran on their fan base…”No Mas!”

  5. mikey

    I agree that it isn’t hurting the game. My only problem with the number of bowl games is that it takes away a measure of success that college football used to have. You could once judge a program’s level of success by how many bowl games they went to over a period of time. Twenty or thirty years ago, going to 8 or 10 bowl games in a row was a pretty big feat. Nowadays, you can go 7-5, or even 6-6, damn near every year and still make it to a bowl game. As long as people recognize that they are nothing more than exhibition games that have no real meaning, then it isn’t a problem.

    Of course, a big-ass playoff bracket would give you football to watch all through December and January, Senator…….. ;-)

  6. Macallanlover

    You may be in a minority, but you aren’t alone. I will watch CFB anytime of the year, regardless of the matchup. Beats me why we cannot have a “spring season” like golf has a Fall season….5-6 games, extra reps and playing time, etc. It would be a nice reward for the redshirts. Players are practicing anyway so why not play against some live competition?

    I know that isn’t happening but I love CFB enough to watch it anytime so I never complain about excessive bowl games. It’s why I love the Thursday night games, extends the viewing time.

  7. Beave

    How did you find an article from 2001 to quote from?

  8. Vious

    I didn’t either at first but my god, there are just TOO MANY bowls games now.

    I don’t watch 3/4th of them and I never thought I would say that.

    We should be rewarding teams with bowl games….not just giving them out to everyone

  9. Badmarinara

    Just make the bowls have a higher minimum payout with no guaranteed ticket buys from the schools. Then let finances decided which game survives. The risk will be too high for these “toilet” bowls and small schools won’t have to lose money on the deal b/c they have to eat unsold tickets.