Time to Go Bowling…Again…and Again…and Again.

Over the next several weeks there will be a total of 40 college football bowl games played.  If you are a college football fan, medical this is heaven – and quite a change from twenty years ago.  During the 1995-1996 season, cure there were only 18 bowl games.  Sure, cialis sale we all know the “famous” bowls like the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl.  These marque bowls continue to attract the highest ranked teams in prime time slots, mostly due to conference agreements with the individual bowl organizations.

But did you also know that this year there is a Motel 6 Cactus Bowl featuring West Virginia vs. Arizona State in Phoenix?  The San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (Boise State vs. Northern Illinois) in San Diego?  And the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Ohio vs. Appalacian State) in Montgomery, Alabama?  Unless you are a fan of one of these football teams, chances are you were not waiting with baited breadth last Sunday for the announcement of what teams would be playing at these games.

So that begs the question:  Are there too many bowls in college football today?  Nancy Armour of USA Today had a scathing commentary for the state of college football’s bowl system:

With a whopping 40 of them this year, bowl games have become college football’s equivalent of the participation trophy. Seriously. There are 127 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, which means only about a third will miss out on the headphones, sunglasses, watches, gift cards and whatever else is stuffed into those goodie bags.

It is noteworthy that eligibility to play in a bowl game is generally 6 wins during the season.  This year, however, three teams with losing records (5-7) got invites to play at bowl games due to a lack of eligible teams with a total of 6 wins.

One bowl match-up has also had a lot of people scratching their heads: NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl will feature the University of Nevada against Colorado State: two teams from the Mountain West conference.  So, essentially, this is just another regular season game for both of these schools.  Would it not have been possible to pull another school into the mix here just to make things more interesting?  How many fans from these two schools are going to want to travel to see a regular season match-up?

The other side of the coin is that by giving more teams (and their fans) an opportunity to see their team play in a post-season bowl game, everyone wins. Plus, it is a great recruiting opportunity for the participating schools and allows the players returning next year to get more real-time action before the start of next season.  These are all of the justifications for more bowl games outside of the say, 10 or so bowls that have real significance and historical meaning.

Eventually, the NCAA is going to need to crack down on the number of bowl games played and should take a realistic look at attendance and ratings of some of the lesser known bowls. While everyone getting to play is a nice notion, making it to a bowl game should continue to mean something.  For a complete run-down of all the bowl games, here is ESPN’s cliff notes:  Ranking the College Football Bowl Season.

About the author: Raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, Michelle is a family law attorney by day and an avid Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan by night. Michelle’s favorite sports memories are watching Michael Jordan play in the ’98 NBA Finals at the United Center and most recently, cheering loudly when the Cubs beat the Cardinals to clinch their first playoff series at Wrigley. She graduated from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) with a degree in journalism and received her J.D. from St. Louis University. She is constantly searching for “more time” and believes that “Next year really is the year!”

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