April 13, 2016 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
College Football: The Impact of Bowl Season
There’s no doubt about it, Americans love football. More people watched the NFL Superbowl more than any other sporting event in 2016. Professional football games comprised all but four of the 50 most-watched sporting events of 2015. The National Football League is the most popular spectator sport in America. What’s No. 2? Not the NBA, not Americas past time of Major League Baseball but its college football. And with college football introducing the playoff system this year, America’s infatuation has only grown.
Is there such a thing as too much football? A lot of people would argue that the most popular sport in America may have given us a football overload. The NFL’s postseason for the most part is one of the most exciting compared to other sports. The NCAA addressed one problem which was the hated BCS championship game. Now the other aspect of college football is being address which is the over 40 bowl games. As it stands today there are currently 128 college football programs. That means there are 82 of 128 teams. It’s getting too crowded. The number of bowls has doubled in the last 20 years and its unknown if there will even be enough teams to fill the slots.
The bowl games instead of being exclusive to winning programs now openly accept losing teams. The NCAA reportedly approved a three-year moratorium on adding bowl games. The move comes after Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State all earned bowl games while posting losing records. In previous years, bowl eligibility has been granted only to teams with .500 records or better. In the last 45 years only four teams have played in bowl games with losing records. The bowl formula means 62.5 percent of all FBS teams will have to finish .500 or better to fulfill bowl requirements.
That seems like an unrealistic goal to achieve, but there is a counter argument that can be made. Let’s take a step back and understand what bowl games are; they are rewards to student-athletes. Players often receive a trip to an exotic destination during bowl week; get to have new and different experiences with their teammates; receive swag bags that contain the latest and greatest in gaming, technology and apparel. It’s about rewarding young men who have put their bodies on line for the universities. Athletes don’t get paid so from the NCAA standpoint this is their reward for the season.
But truth to be told Only the Big 6 Bowl games truly amount to anyone. In the four-team national championship playoff era, the two national semifinals and eventual national title game overshadow everything else. The greed of college football has lead to the growth of the bowl games. TV deals demand certain amount of games be played to reach contractual agreements. Hopefully the talent of college football is on an upswing in the next few years because having multiple losing teams will only diminish bowl season.