College football is adding three new bowl games this season. Now, I’m not complaining – when it comes down to it, college football is like beer; you can never have too much on hand – but I’m detecting a note of quasi-shame from the decision makers about it.
“I’ve quit worrying about numbers,” said Wright Waters, the Football Bowl Association’s executive director. But he and others in the bowl industry are aware they’re nearing a saturation point.
“There’s got to be one,” Waters told USA TODAY Sports, “but I don’t know where it is. Every time I meet a mathematician, I ask him to solve this problem for me. They all look at me and laugh.”
The math guys may laugh, but you know who isn’t laughing? The bean counters at ESPN.
Disney’s cable networks reported 9% lower operating income to $1.8 billion. The decrease was caused by higher programming and production costs at ESPN, which had higher rights fees for the college football playoffs, an added NFL playoff game and the newly launched SEC network. Cable revenues were up 11% to $4 billion.
Add three new bowl games, and you offset the hit to the bottom line a little bit. And every little bit helps.
“At some point this is gonna be a self-limiting thing,” American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco told USA TODAY SPORTS. “It wouldn’t be responsible to have bowls beyond that certain point – but I don’t know where that point is.”
Brother, that’s something you need not worry about. If that day ever comes, Mickey will let you know, for sure.