The Shelf Life of a Twinkie: The Cupcake That Tastes Better During Bowl Season

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The Shelf Life of a Twinkie: The Cupcake That Tastes Better During Bowl Season

Every Saturday during college football season, I lead off my videos with the same saying: "It's my favorite day of the week during my favorite time of the year." I may start to skip that in certain weekends in the future.

During the first few weeks of the season, I read some great articles by some fabulous writers about cupcake scheduling in college football. Over on Bleacher Report top writer Lisa Horne got in on the act and other writers made a name for themselves in some truly entertaining pieces. While I enjoyed all of these articles and got a good laugh, no one was laughing when we got to bowl season.

I'm not sure when it happened but these games against 1-AA teams started to count towards the six wins needed to become bowl eligible. It didn't take long to make this glaringly obvious as on the first day of bowls this year:  South Florida thrashed a Memphis team who only had five wins against 1-A competition.

As the bowls went on, we saw more of the same as only one of the teams to qualify with five wins against 1-A teams walked away with a win, Kentucky, who won a disputed game against East Carolina on a very questionable call.

While it was bad enough the 6-6 teams were going to bowls and most of these teams lost and therefore had losing seasons overall, the story gets even worse.

On New Year's Day, once reserved for only the biggest and most prestigious games and teams, A Clemson team who had seven wins total but two wins against 1-AA teams was selected to play in the Gator Bowl over other teams who had identical records but not the fan base. None of those other teams had two of their wins come against 1-AA teams.

Now comes the scary part. In the Independence Bowl this year, neither the Big 12 nor the SEC had enough teams finish bowl eligible to get teams into this game. They both had to surrender their bids and we ended up with a La. Tech-Northern Illinois matchup leaving both of those big conferences out of the money when it came to the bowl game.

While the SEC and the Big 12 talk about the love of the game and tradition, they have both made it painfully obvious that money trumps anything and everything. These conferences passing up or risking passing up on a potential bowl appearance over the long term isn't something very likely nor something they would willingly do.

While Appalachian State did beat Michigan two years ago, the bulk of these games between 1-A and 1-AA teams usually aren't competitive nor do they have the Cinderella ending of that contest. These games are usually one-sided battles where the bench players get a chance to actually get on the field.

So with these games counting towards bowl eligibility and the fans buying tickets to and attending these games, what is preventing schools from scheduling even more cram puffs in the future? Why would teams not schedule more of them under the current rules when they can do nothing but help the school and program out financially and exposure wise when they get to a bowl game?

It's time for us fans to say no on many levels. It's time to question why these games count when in reality 1-AA teams play with 25 less scholarship players, hardly a level playing field. It's time we stop allowing teams to write themselves paychecks by creating a schedule that virtually assures them a bowl appearance.

One of the arguments for the bowls over going to a playoff system is that it rewards teams for a good season. It's tough to say it's a good season when it's actually the schedule make that got them to the bowl, not anything remarkable they did on the field.

Visit Mitch anytime at his site The College Football Place.

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