• phil cantor/@osgphil

Say Goodbye to College Football Bowl Games in 2020



With all the hullabaloo over "Conference Only" schedules or "Plus One" schedules, nobody has really mentioned one of several college football things that will go away in 2020 assuming we have a full season.


Bowl Games....


Yes, I know, honestly there are several tragedies that are about to come of the abridged season including multiple "Rivalry Games", not the death of--but regulating of the Group of 5 teams to second class citizens, but the most noticeable to me is going to be the end of the meaningless bowl games.


For a couple of decades, the list of bowl games for the 130 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) has grown to 41, not because of their immense popularity it most cases but rather because the groups putting on the games and ESPN makes a financial killing on them. Plus, most years there are not 82 worthy teams in the FBS so we end up with bad 6-6 or 5-7 teams getting rewarded for being mediocre.


With the Power 5 conferences and now some Group of 5 conferences limiting their games to mostly in conference battles, it will be much, much harder to determine moderately successful teams. Never mind that the SEC, Big 12 and others have also pushed back their immensely profitable "Championship Games" to late December.


That alone will likely be the cause of the annual bowl pilgrimage every December to stop.


Think about it. How are we going to know how the standings will sort out in conference with enough time to dole out bowl bids. Say for example the SEC plays their championship game on December 19th. It gives bowls less than 2 weeks to make offers and play their games before the 1st of the year.


Does anyone think we can play 30+ bowl games in 10-days? I'm leaving out the College Football Playoff games because they are a totally separate issue and assuming we get a full season--they'll go as scheduled.


Me, I don't really care if we see bowl games played in Boise, Idaho or Plano, Texas or Boca Raton, Florida or any other random city hosting a game. I don't watch those games and never have. Yes, I realize there are a lot of people who do, in part due to the lack of live sports options during the holiday season, but if you look closely, very few actually attend these games.


Will that hurt the towns hosting said games? No, not really. It might hurt not having the handful of fans who travel, but outside that, host cities don't get much from hosting a bowl game.


Bowl Games are a long standing College Football "Tradition" that have, to me, become less meaningful by the year. For a lot of teams, they are a break even or money losing proposition because of things like being responsible for buying tickets and eating the cost of those unsold along with your travel and expenses. Those are things most bowls could afford to pay for on their own, but it would eat into the 6-figure salaries of people running the games.




Truth be told, ending the antiquated system of bowls is truly inevitable. For that matter, we're about to see galactic change in College Football period as I fully expect "Conference Scheduling" to become a much more accepted practice and limits to be placed on out of conference games.


But that's another story for another day. We need to get through the shambles and what's left of the 2020 season first....

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