Another year, another offseason filled with new bowl games.
According to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy, the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt will meet in the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla., following the 2015 season. The new bowl game will be the 40th postseason bowl after the Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.), Detroit Bowl, Bahamas Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl and Boca Raton Bowl debut following he 2014 season.
This begs the question, are there too many bowls?
Bowls are fun. Football is fun. If more cities, committees and television networks want to create events during the holiday season, bring it on. Andy Staples of SI.com agrees.
Hey, look. People are complaining about too many bowl games again. Sort of like complaining about too many varieties of gummy bears.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) April 15, 2014
Before you sprint to the comment section to complain about how mediocre teams with 6-6 and 7-5 records shouldn't be rewarded for their mediocrity, think about this for a second.
Bowl games are rewards to players.
They're rewarded with a national stage, bowl gifts and travel per diem. If you're for expanded player compensation through full cost of attendance stipends and other avenues, you're ignoring some of those same talking points if you're upset with the number of bowl games.
Is a check to cover the full cost of attendance the same as getting a new PlayStation 4 or some new Beats by Dre headphones? No. But those things are rewards for playing college football.
The pay-for-play debate and the number of bowl games are different discussions, but they are related in the sense that more games create more opportunities for players to legally benefit.
Should the backup offensive guard of a 6-6 program be rewarded with a trip to the Bahamas for a lower-tier bowl?
You bet he should. That guy earned it. He earned that PS4, too.
"But bowl games are financial drains to schools!"
Every winter, you'll see stories pop up about how teams lose money each year by going to bowls. But those stories typically ignore a team's share of the conference payout, according to sports business reporter Kristi Dosh, which comes at the end of each school year.
Mandatory ticket requirements are a bit silly, but a school can choose not to accept a bid if it feels that, financially, it doesn't make sense. After all, this is a business.
Are there too many bowls?
Besides, unless it's your alma mater or a school you have some sort of vested interest in, why should it matter?
Having a random football game on a random December weeknight between two marginal teams isn't taking away from the other games that are on that night because there are no other games on that night.
My B/R colleague Adam Kramer said it best regarding more bowl games:
Here's what I know about you if you don't want more bowl games: a) you're not a gambler b) you hate fun— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) April 15, 2014
Bowl games are fun, even when they involve two teams that you don't really care about.
See: the 2013 New Mexico Bowl.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report.