In sports, when the regular season is over, it’s tournament time. Almost every major sport in this country has a tournament or elimination style playoff system. Every game is a step in the system. But for Division 1 College Football, only 3 games are within their playoff. The rest of the postseason are bowl games. What if I told you that Bowl Games needs to be cut down? Let me explain.
Purpose of a Bowl Game
The purpose of a Bowl Game in 2016 is to provide payouts to conferences and schools. Take out the fancy stadiums, vacations for teams and conference affiliations. The main purpose of a Bowl Game is a reward. It rewards teams who have winning records to play an extra game. I have seen programs start to win bowl games and the next season; upgrades are installed and their payout is a blessing. I know that conferences makes hundreds of millions of dollars but nevertheless; every dollar is valuable in College Football. Besides the money, BOWL GAMES ARE FUN.
There are matchups you barely can see during the regular season. Conferences that don't like each other. And even highly ranked teams proving why they are worth the hype. Bowl Season is pretty entertaining. It’s mysterious. Because honestly, it’s harder to predict a bowl game result than a regular season result. There are currently 41 Bowl Games. 41 games to watch and to fit into a TV schedule. ESPN literally has something called ‘Bowl Mania’ because it's so many bowl games. We have games starting at the most random times and it’s just awkward. And honestly, only a few of them should be played. Here’s why.
Why It should be Cut Down
The main requirement of a bowl game in 2016 is a winning record. In the 2015-16 Bowl Season, over 10 teams had a losing record or a .500 (even) records. The main requirement is a winning record. In an 11 Game or 12 Game season for most teams, 6 wins or 7 wins is the requirement. But sometimes, that rule is ignored. A team actually has to do a waiver just to apply for a Bowl Game if they have losing records. Honestly, some games are just a huge participation trophy. If you were in the middle of your division and you really had no chance to win your conference, then why are you in a Bowl Game? Maybe a few losses were close, it can happen. But I feel like some teams don't really try hard enough because most of them will end up in a Bowl Game.
The main reason it should be cut down because it waters down the product. By the time the important Bowl Games are on the schedule, America is already tired of the 20 other games that were on their TVs. Back in 70’s and 80’s, most seasons had less than 25 bowl games. It forced teams to really fight for a spot. And since all conferences had affiliations, every game counted. But as the 90’s came in, that started to change. It meant something to win a bowl game because less than 40 of the teams were there. Now in 2016, over half of the Division One teams are in one. Where’s the parity? In 20 years, I can see a mega playoff. In the Division Two, 24 teams are in the playoffs. In Division three, 32 teams are in the playoffs. This is where Divison One needs to be in 20 years. There should be more playoff games than Bowl Games. But currently, we are nowhere near that with 4 teams in a playoff. It’s a start and I’m grateful for it!
My Idea to Change It
When I look at the 2016-17 Bowl Schedule, I see 41 Games. Here are the games that should really be played: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, Quick Lane, Independence, Cactus, Russell Athletic, Alamo, Liberty, Sun, Music City, Orange, Peach, Fiesta, Taxslayer, Citrus, Outback Cotton, Rose, Sugar, National Championship Game.
You have over 15 games listed here. That should always be the number of bowl games. If you really want to make it competitive, have less than 25 Bowl games and the regular season is really competitive. Of course, there will be ties and confusion if the Bowl Season was actually like this. But to fix this, just judge teams by wins and strength of schedule then everything will be fine. No matter the format or playoff, I will always watch the College Football Postseason.
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