I suppose I was aware of this in the back of my head, but still, this is pretty jarring to read:
Of the 35 bowls, 31 of them are on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. The four others? The Sun Bowl has been on CBS for years. The Cotton Bowl is tied in to FOX. And in the ultimate symbol of how the bowls have shifted from network to cable, ABC, which is also owned by Disney, has only the Rose Bowl and the Outback Bowl on a Saturday afternoon.
Of course, I’m grateful that Thom Brennaman’s access to my eardrums is limited at this time of year, but do those numbers (along with the fact that the WWL owns several bowls outright) complicate the debate about a D-1 football playoff? Would having to placate ESPN’s likely concerns that any playoff format might eventually lead to a situation where the bowls cease to be played factor into the equation?
It’s one thing to threaten members of the Kiwanis Club trying to keep a bowl game in Shreveport going. It’s another to upset the 800-pound gorilla of college athletics.