And so it begins…
This past weekend marked the beginning of the 2013-14 College Bowl Game Series. 34 classic gridiron match-ups played between December 21 and January 6 for our viewing pleasure! or so they would have us believe. The majority of the games are meaningless and have nothing at all to do with the National title picture. They’re played between teams with mediocre records who in my opinion have no business in a being in a bowl game. Perhaps a dozen or so may actually live up to the hype and be decent games but the rest- well who knows?
This weekend the bowl series started off with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Royal Purple Las Vegas, R&L Carriers New Orleans and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. What a line-up! Not! Of the four games only the Las Vegas Bowl featuring nationally ranked teams, #25 USC vs #20 Fresno State. This game also featured the teams with the best records of the day, Fresno 11-1 and USC at 9-4. This is the only game I chose to watch on Saturday. Being a USC fan I enjoyed watching them kick some ass! I didn’t even bother with the other so called bowl games. Next up is the Beef-O-Brady Bowl featuring two unranked teams that I have little desire to see play.
I can remember when making a bowl game had a meaning. Only top twenty teams went to bowl games. In 1969, my senior year, there were only ten bowl games. Ten! By 1979 there were 15 and by 1999 there were 25. This year there are 34 certified bowl games! Incredible! And the bowls all have their sponsors even the granddaddy of them all the Rose Bowl! Of course old grand dad presents their corporate sponsor a little more subtly. Instead of the corporate name followed by the bowl name or the corporate name simply being the bowl name, the Rose Bowl puts its sponsor at the end of the title “the Rose Bowl Game brought to you by Vizio.” Now that’s class, much better than the “Allstate Sugar Bowl”, “Discover Orange Bowl”, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl”, “Taxslayers.com Gator Bowl” or the God-awful “Little Cesar’s Pizza Bowl”! It’s just a matter of time until the company Toy-let.net (yes it’s a real web based company) has the resources to sponsor a bowl game. Can’t you see it? The “Toy-let.net Bowl”! Now that would be classic!
I don’t have a problem with having so many bowl games, I have a problem with the teams selected to participate in the games. How does a team with a 6-6, 7-5 or even 8-4 record get into a bowl game? It’s ridiculous! Do you know how many nationally ranked teams teams are sitting out the bowl season.? Too many! With 34 bowl games you’d think that every school in the top 20 would be in a bowl game. If it were up to me there would be only 15 bowl games matching the top 30 nationally ranked teams.
Makes sense right? But it will never happen. The bowl system is big business. It’s all about the money. Sell the name to the highest bidder brings in big bucks. Adding more bowl games means more colleges which means more money to be shared by schools and sponsors. Athletic departments love it. They all want a piece of the action. This is the reason there will never be a true playoff system in college football. Colleges say they don’t want to kill off the bowl tradition, but that’s simply not true. The real bowl tradition has been dead and buried for years now. This is about one thing only, making money. Going to a playoff system would shrink the money ball and that just ain’t gonna happen! Who wants to see a legitimate champion when you can see dollar signs…. So just kick back and enjoy the bowl games they’ll be around for awhile.