Are there way too many college bowl games? | The Tylt
Are there way too many college bowl games?
Another year, another season of meaningless bowl games. Sure, the NCAA loves to promote those big name bowls with national championship implications on the line. But what about the Taxpayer Bowl, or Celebration Bowl? The national bowls feature teams that are the best in the country, while others have teams that are .500 (and below in some cases) and have mediocre their way to an insignificant bowl game with a modest payout. How is that entertaining?
Bowls are supposed to be a showcase of the best football teams in the country. Only the best of the best are supposed to come together at the end-of-the-year college football extravaganza to send the year off with a bang. But with so many bowl games, and with teams not even required to have winning seasons, fans have to tolerate uneven football that is mildly passable all because teams want paydays at the end of the year. It's disgusting.
Sometimes, less is more. If the NCAA wants to improve the brand of its bowl games, it needs to cut some of the irrelevant matchups out, and improve the quality of competition. The postseason will be better for it.
When it comes to college football, there is no such thing as too much. Real football fans know this. The regular season provides fans with sustenance, the main course of a delicious year fraught with peril at every turn. Bowl season is dessert, and if its anything like actual dessert, you'd be crazy not to want more.
People act there isn't quality football in the non-CFP affiliated bowls. Truth is, some of the best football happens at the bowls that don't have as much national recognition. In 2016, fans were treated to a 93-point shootout between Louisana Tech and Navy that wasn't decided until the final seconds of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. South Florida and South Carolina battled in an overtime thriller at the Birmingham Bowl as well. Cutting the number of bowl games would rob fans of the opportunity to see great games like this, and take away a schools chance at making an impact nationally.
People that complain about too many bowl games don't appreciate the celebration that is bowl season. It's about the end of a year-long struggle culminating in one last chance for glory and starting next year's recruiting season with some momentum. That makes for some great football. The more bowl games, the better.
Ty Duffy from The Big Lead had some thoughts after last year's 41-game snooze fest AKA bowl season:
Sure, you sound like grandpa yelling at kids making this case. People can consume what they wish on TV. But, if you still argue the bowl experience is special, 80 teams is too many.
The 12 games before Christmas were a blur. So were many of the games after. We had multiple 5-7 teams participating. That was not, necessarily, 5-7 vs. FBS. We had multiple teams playing home games in their stadium. There were five games sponsored by companies offering fried chicken variants.
Enough is enough. We’ve hit the saturation point. Which means there will probably be more next year.
Say what you will about the quality of the football itself, it still offers smaller schools in the country a chance to show their worth on the national stage.
Sure, $200,000 might not sound like a lot to universities like Notre Dame or Texas. But give that money to Appalachian State or Old Dominion, and those schools get a major boost in their budget that can pay for other sports.
Plus, the students are rewarded for their year of work when they wouldn't be compensated otherwise. Here is Barrett Sallee from Bleacher Report with more:
If you want to label that as a participation trophy, fine. But in your next sentence, you can't complain that players aren't compensated enough for playing college football.
Players often receive a trip to an exotic destination during bowl week; get to have new and different experiences with their teammates (for free, incidentally); receive a swag bag that contains the latest and greatest in gaming, technology and apparel; and receive a handsome per diem on site and for travel (which is often pooled together by several players in order to save a little extra).
Bowls are a legal form of player compensation—and the compensation distributed is much more tangible than athletic scholarships. I ask you, Mr. Bowl Cynic, do you want to take that away from student-athletes?