College Football is great. I will go as far to say in its current state it’s better than the NFL. Each week of the regular season means more in the NCAA, which creates more excitement. With all that being said, there are too many bowls—many of them turn out to be blowouts between teams who barely reached .500, and can’t even get their fan bases to attend the games.
For me the official bowl mania begins New Year’s Eve. That’s when the teams that deserve to be involved in a postseason take the field. By the way, thank you Duke and Texas A&M for saving the first week and a half of bowl season from being unwatchable with their 52-48 instant classic in the Chik Fil A Bowl.
Before that game, the average margin of victory in the twenty-one, yes twenty-one bowl games, was sixteen points. The winning teams averaged 33.9 points a game. To be honest, some of the points scored by the losing team, were when the victors pulled back and allowed those lower on the depth chart to play. This wasn’t exciting to watch, and in many cases was sloppy by both teams.
As a sports fan sitting at home glued to the Television, flipping from game to game, I couldn’t help but notice how empty the stands were at many of these games. Let’s be real, who’s going to travel to see their alma mater or current classmates play in the Skyline Chili or Home Depot Bowl—I know those aren’t real Bowls, I didn’t want to call out any one game—on Christmas Eve or Day, when the team barely made it to a record of 6-6? Who’s giving up family time with holiday traditions, and money to follow that team to some city they would never visit if their life depended on it, to watch a team that should be too ashamed to take the field until the next season?
My solution? Turn these bowls into rounds and host sites of a NCAA Football playoff that includes the top sixteen seeds. I’m thinking similar to that of the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball tournament. I know what you’re saying, here comes another “genius” with an idea to fix college football. Yes, you’re right.
These lower tier bowls in these small host cities would attract more fans and money if they were the first round meeting site for a number sixteen seed versus a number one seed. You don’t think Florida State fans would go to Saint Petersburg, Florida for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl to see a first round match up between their number one ranked Noles against the sixteenth ranked LSU Tigers the night before Christmas? That city would be buzzing. Throw in the excitement that with each win, it brings a team closer to a National Title and I guarantee everybody will be happy from the college presidents, Conference Commissioners & Athletic Directors, to the NCAA and even Vegas.
I’m sure smarter people have already thought of this idea I’m proposing and have already been shot down or are revising a better plan. Either way, this current system with useless bowls, even with the new playoff following the 2014 season is getting absurd. It’s too much and very bad. That’s why last night was the start of the true bowl season. Let’s just hope the more meaningful games with the best match ups live up to the hype.