A week ago, when the College Football Bowl Association launched the ad campaign “America’s Bowl – It’s Worth Keeping”, I scoffed at the effort and saw it as nothing more than a pathetic attempt to justify a poor system.
I didn’t blame them because no one would lose more by the bowl system withering away that many believe the adaptation of a playoff would cause, but that didn't change my opinion.
Then again, I took my mom’s advice and tried to see the other side.
Admittedly, it’s easy to hate on the current system. Haters, like yours truly, point to the fact college football is the only major sport that doesn’t have a playoff, has a bloated meaningless, in terms of the national championship, bowl schedule, and hands out bowls to, oh I don’t know, whoever wants to sponsor them.
Since the inaugural 1902 Rose Bowl, the bowl schedule has gone from five in 1940 to 35 this season. A tradition once reserved for New Year’s Day now stretches from Dec. 18th to Jan. 10th. Bowl expansion has gone so far that over half the teams in the FBS play in a bowl game every season.
It if seems like a little much for an unsatisfying finish, it’s because it is.
Still, there was still that lingering thought in the back of my head. When I talk to many fans about their programs they often mention obscure bowls as the most important games of their programs.
The question was, “Why exactly?” And the answered is surprising.
So while I still favor a playoff for my own reasons as a fan, in an effort to not be completely hypocritical, I have to acknowledge there is some value to the current system whether we as fans like to admit it or not.