Try counting the number of bowl games these days on your hands and toes and you’ll fail miserably. The days of having only a couple of bowl games are over. Now there are over 30 bowl games for our enjoyment or lack there of. Not everyone thinks so highly of the plethora of games college football has created, while others are able to enjoy watching their favorite sport for another month.
It has recently become a debate as to how many games there really needs to be. I mean come on, the New Mexico Bowl? The MagicJack Bowl? The R+L Carriers Bowl? No one has ever heard or recognized these bowls as being important. Nor do many of these games provide the kind of teams that are worth watching. Who really wants to watch Colorado State vs. Fresno State, or even Southern Miss vs. Troy? I would be one of those. But others do and we shouldn’t take that away from them.
Not too long ago, before this whole Bowl Championship Series mess, there were only four or five bowls altogether, with one of them crowning the national champion. However, with endorsements and sponsorships galore, we sit where we’re at today. 34 bowl games to be exact for the 2008-2009 college football season. But let’s be honest, the only one that really matters these days is the BCS National Championship game.
However many games there are, it’s not all bad. Schools that are relative unknowns to the college football ranks are able to showcase their respective school’s talent with these bowl games. Before, many of these schools wouldn’t even be able to sniff postseason success. Now, many are able to prolong their season with the abundance of bowls games available. The sponsorships and endorsements that these extra bowl games provide allow unknown teams to get some kind of recognition. The schools are also getting paid a nice amount to participate. The games also allow an avenue for better recruitment. Recruits out there can watch these games and get a glimpse into different programs. The best recruits are obviously gearing themselves towards playing at schools like Florida, Oklahoma, USC, and Texas. Those less talented recruits are able to judge whether or not they want to play at programs like Wake Forest, Buffalo, or Northern Illinois. And as much as we think these matchups suck, there have been some pretty awesome games so far this postseason. Kentucky vs. East Carolina, Texas vs. Ohio State, West Virginia vs. North Carolina, Missouri vs. Northwestern all provided the viewers with great games. Not to mention the Utah’s of the world upsetting powerhouse Alabama, and yes I picked that game correctly (if you don’t believe me, check the BCS Bowl Games on the website).
What I think is most important about these extra bowl games, is it allows the school’s fans to watch their team play one last time. Hey, going to the University of Kentucky and playing in the SEC isn’t the best combo. But Kentucky has been to three straight bowl games, and has won all three; pretty cool for a school whose best football years came during the 50’s. All in all, whether you like it or not, I see all of these extra bowl games as being an advantage rather than a disadvantage. It’s something to watch whether you like the teams or not, and hey you might even get to watch an incredible game once in a while.