More Bowl Games on the Horizon: Will There Be Enough Eligible Teams?

David HedlindAnalyst IIMarch 9, 2010

DALLAS - OCTOBER 17:  An exterior view of the Cotton Bowl on October 17, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the already saturated market of college bowl games, there are three more on the list awaiting approval.

So far all three have fulfilled all the requirements and are now just waiting to see if the NCAA will give them the go-ahead.

The first new bowl is the Cure Bowl. I actually kind of love this idea for a bowl. The bowl is a benefit for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

It would be played in Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, home of the UCF Knights. The matchup would be between the Sun Belt and Conference USA.

I like that the Sun Belt would get a second automatic bowl bid, and I understand that since it is a CUSA stadium they want a team from that conference, but we already see this in the New Orleans Bowl.

Yankee Stadium is the setting for the next bowl. The partnership is with the Big East and the Big 12. There is some stipulation that would have Notre Dame take the place of the Big 12 if they are unable to fill the spot, which is a little weird since usually they are in with the Big East partnerships. From what I have read I haven’t seen who the sponsor is.

Now that the Cotton Bowl has decided they want their game played in the new Cowboys Stadium, the Cotton Bowl Stadium has elected to start a new bowl game partnering with the Big Ten, Big 12, and Conference USA. The Big 12 and Conference USA would alternate years. They are actually calling it the Dallas Football Classic at this time.

The next question is, will there be enough teams to play in these bowls along with the existing ones?

The addition of these bowls would bring the total up to 37. That means we need 74 teams. It requires a 6-6 record to play in a bowl game, 7-6 if two wins are over FCS teams.

Guess how many teams were eligible last season.

I will give you a hint: It wasn’t 74.

Only 71 were eligible. I honestly don’t know if there have ever been 74 eligible teams in a season.

What would happen if there is a shortage of teams? Are there going to be special rules made to fill the slots?

Maybe invite some FCS teams to play in a bowl. But would they give up their spot in the NCAA tournament?

How about inviting a team to play in more than one bowl? Play one at the start of bowl season and one at the end. But then if you do that, who gets that double invite?

Would either of these ways make any money? I don’t know if you tuned in to some of the early bowl games, but there were a lot of empty seats in some of the stadiums.

I am right in the middle on all this. I love college football and watch as much as I can. The chance to see more is great. However, we are already awarding mediocrity with 6-6 teams in bowls. I thought a bowl game was a reward for having a good season.

If this is going to happen, though, I have an idea for a bowl game that may be coming up short in their search for a team that is eligible.

After all the teams with winning records and 6-6 records are in, by conference contract or at large, then give the next available spot to a team that may not have made 6-6 overall but had a winning record in conference.

Last season only FAU would have met that requirement. In 2008 it would have included Northern Illinois. In 2007 there were three. It may only add one or two a season, but it is a simple solution.