NCAA Reportedly Will Add 4 College Football Bowl Games in 2014
College football's bowl season has reportedly expanded to 39 games.
According to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy, there will be three new bowl games taking place in Miami, the Bahamas and Boca Raton, Fla., during the 2014 season:
The new bowls will be unique in that the five conferences (American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) will provide the teams as part of a coalition, sources said. The bowls and five conferences will work together to determine which teams will play in the bowls each year.
"The non-power leagues were denied opportunities in other bowls, so they had to create opportunities for their teams," a source said. "The new bowls are a result of existing bowls not entertaining opportunities for those five [non-power] conferences.
"The old days for one conference to have a deal are dead. It will be very fluid."
Back in August, ESPN created a bowl game between MAC and Sun Belt teams in Montgomery, Ala., that will take place in December 2014. That's how you get to the 39 bowls.
With the power being more and more consolidated at the top of college football, it's important that non-BCS schools are being considered for bowl bids. As the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC have expanded, they've also taken up more of the bowl spots, leaving fewer and fewer for non-AQ teams.
This news will likely be polarizing for college football fans.
Is adding more bowl games the right move for college football?
The critics will argue that the bowls should be more exclusive rather than inclusive. By doing this, the NCAA is just watering down down bowl season, with 78 teams (61.9 percent of FBS teams) now taking part. Qualifying for a postseason bowl starts to lose some weight when so many teams can qualify.
From a commercial perspective, critics could also question how many casual fans are going to tune into games between middling non-BCS foes. In addition, this kind of game can actually cost more to the school than the revenue it brings in.
However, it could also be argued that this is a great opportunity for the smaller schools to get a big showcase at the end of the year, one they're not afforded at any other point during the regular season. Being in a bowl game is a good selling point to recruits, and it can get your current players noticed by NFL scouts.
That's something you can't put a price tag on.
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