NCAA Football Bowl Games: Less Would Be More

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIJanuary 6, 2010

I Caesar Cliffius, hereby state that there are way too many bowl games in college football today. You may agree or disagree, but you have to admit with me, the bowl qualifications are too watered down.

In 1923, there was one bowl game, the “Grand daddy of them all” (as Jim Simpson would say) the Rose Bowl. It was the only “bowl” game in the country until the 1930’s. By 1940, the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Sun Bowl, and Hawaii Bowl were added.

When I was just a child of 10 in 1960, there were eight bowls. There were only four major bowls: Rose, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls.  They still had ties to conferences back in the old days.

The Pac-10 and the Big Ten winners played in the Rose Bowl. The Cotton Bowl always featured the Southwest Conference (later joining forces with the Big Eight to form the Big 12). The Sugar Bowl always invited the Southeastern Conference Champion, while the Orange Bowl invited the Big Eight Champion.

Those earlier days of bowl games rarely saw the best two teams in the country playing each other because of their affiliation with certain bowls.

Now, some conferences have nearly every team participating in a bowl game, providing they have the obligatory six wins. That is another rule that needs to be modified. Six wins and a non-losing season, pretty stringent, eh?

For example, the Texas Bowl played in Houston now features the No. 8 squad from the Big 12 and the No. 7 school from Conference USA. That is tantamount to watching a high school junior varsity game as opposed to the real game.

The scheduling of these bowl games is another fiasco. Years ago the games were all played on New Years Day, at least the four major ones.

In any event, no games were played past Jan. 1. It gets pushed back farther each year until now the title game is going to be played on Thursday, Jan. 7.

The first bowl to be corporate named (as far as I know) was the Fiesta Bowl in 1971. Time flies, it doesn’t seem nearly that long. Now there are so many obscure names that keep changing sponsorship of various bowls, most people can’t keep up with who is who.

I would like to see them reduced in size by 50%. It is no longer entertainment for even the most avid football fan. If people are that hard up for entertainment they should attempt to organize a community game between the “cops” and “robbers” or something.

When there are 34 bowl games to choose from, how many does the average fan watch? I would say no more than five; you tell me. This is not counting the East-West Shrine game and any other All-star type games that may still be in full vigor.

Sometimes my friends, less is more.

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