Best and Worst Free Swag at the 2014-15 College Football Bowl GamesDecember 8, 2014
Bowl season is here, meaning college football players who have earned the right to make their school additional gobs of money can finally go about snapping up free stuff without fear of NCAA reprisal.
As usual, there is an abundance of swag and gifts on the table for bowl-bound teams, and some of it is better than others.
SportsBusiness Daily's David Broughton recently published a comprehensive list of the gear up for grabs this year.
I've gone ahead and ranked the three best and worst gift collections of the 2014-15 bowl season. Let's start with the good stuff, which includes a custom Fathead and an Xbox One.
3. Quick Lane Bowl: $250 Best Buy card and custom Fathead
A number of bowl games are giving away gift cards to Best Buy, but the Quick Lane Bowl appears to be offering the coolest mix of additional goodies.
In addition to the $250 in Best Buy money, players will get Sony headphones and a custom Fathead of their likeness.
Custom Fatheads are a beautiful thing, and even benchwarmers will enjoy seeing themselves standing around on their living room walls.
2. Military Bowl: Xbox One and speakers
Boom! Xbox One and some speakers!
That combo alone cements the Military Bowl at the No. 2 spot on the list. Players will get the gaming console, some Mighty Boom Ball speakers, a beanie and an Under Armour backpack.
The best part is that sometime in the future, Microsoft will probably make a good game for Xbox One.
1. Valero Alamo Bowl: GoPro camera
From a sheer dollar-value perspective, the Valero Alamo Bowl stands alone.
Players will receive a GoPro Hero4 Silver camera ($400) and a 32GB memory card along with a Fossil watch, Oakley Works backpack and a mini helmet. They'll also get a "panoramic photo," presumably of the bowl game.
Even if you don't enjoy strapping cameras to your head, you can flip this technology for a sizable profit.
Now for the worst bowl game gifts.
3. Foster Farms Bowl/R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl/Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Fossil watch
This is a three-way tie because three different bowl games are giving away the lone gift of a single Fossil watch.
Again, this is one watch—from a brand you're supposed to stop wearing after high school.
2. AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Adidas duffel bag, belt buckle
In case players are looking to replace their mall kiosk-bought "Thing 1" belt buckle, sponsors at the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl are hooking them up with a new piece to strap to their waist.
Also on the table will be an Adidas duffel bag and a "cap"—items in short supply for most college athletes.
1. Hyundai Sun Bowl: Hair dryer, fleece pullover, backpack
I can't tell if this is a joke or an accident, but if you're playing in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, you're going home with a "Helen of Troy" hair dryer, among other things.
The dryer will pair up nicely with the "Majestic" pullover fleece players receive—perfect for that Eddie Bauer commercial they've all been waiting to shoot.
No details have emerged on what the participants in the College Football Playoff championship game will receive, but one can hope for an Xbox- and hair-dryer-laden grab bag.
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