Straight up bowl stuff
There was a time when playing in a bowl game was a reward, simply another added incentive to do well during the season. Now, we find ourselves looking at 6 win teams potentially playing 7 win teams which is just pure nonsense. The 2016- ‘17 bowl season will consist of 41 bowl games, and a national championship six games up from the 35 bowl games dating back to the 2010-2013 bowl seasons. So what I’m saying is that there has been a gradual increase of non-marquee matchups in a lot of these bowl games.
To understand why bowl games exist, you would have to go back more than 100 years. The first bowl game ever played, was the 1902 Rose Bowl which was held on the now historic field in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl was actually conceived as a complimentary fundraising activity for the evolving Rose Parade, which began in 1880 and would go on to flourish into a national phenomenon for years to come.
Some will argue it’s for the seniors or those who won’t play another down. Others might say it’s a stretch of games to start the New Year off for all the college football lovers who will be forced to hang up their remotes for a six month drought. But in my opinion, the majority of the bowl games are just a congratulatory pat on the back for the below 8 win teams for being outstandingly mediocre. Like seriously, I didn’t know it was an NCAA standard to make every college football player feel some sort of special before the seniors set off to write their next chapters in life.
So I look at it like this, college football is already more exciting (NOT more entertaining) than the NFL based off the fact you have a plethora of young men trying there absolute hardest Saturday in and Saturday out, just to make it to the next level. So wouldn’t it be much more competitive if the NCAA said hey, we have x amount of bowl games and only x amount of schools will be able to participate in them, assuming you’d not only have the schools competing for a playoff / national title spot, but also being able to play on one of the few season ending stages for all the college football fans to see.
Let’s be honest here, how many of you all took the time to set the DVR this season to make sure you didn’t miss the beginning seconds of the Dollar General Bowl? But how could I stoop so low to assume you all would really be watching a matchup between Ohio and Troy. How about that Fosters Farm Bowl, you know, the game between Indiana and 19th ranked Utah. That’s set up to be an instant classic…right? Wrong. Look, I love the game of football and the excitement that comes with college football just can’t be duplicated, so I’d prefer if the NCAA took a step back and reevaluated the whole bowl season.
If the NCAA can add three to six games every so often, I’m sure they can afford to take away six…or twelve games for the better of mankind. To put it all in perspective, how many opening acts can you sit through before getting to the main event? I understand it’s essentially a buildup to the National Championship game or even the two playoff games prior, but in the end when it’s all said and done, only six teams will / should feel like they played in a bowl game that really mattered.