By Bob Hiller –
How many college football games did you watch this year? With 35 to choose from, it was hard to miss one! I personally got nowhere near seeing all the games, though my New Year’s Eve and Day were chock full of the best the NCAA had to offer. Actually, the games weren’t all that great. The other, shall we say, more insignificant bowl games offered far more competitive games. My Colorado State Rams lost a heartbreaker to Nevada’s late game heroics in the renowned Arizona Bowl. I didn’t see it. Too many bowls, not enough time.
The question is begged: do we need that many bowls? 35 bowl games demand 70 teams (easy math, my friends). And I wonder, can you even name 70 college football teams? Can you name 70 teams that deserve to be on ESPN playing for a bowl trophy? What is more, do 35 teams really deserve a trophy? How excited does a program get over winning the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl? Did you really look forward to Boise State’s 55-7 curb stomping of NIU in the San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl? Do we really need this many bowls?
At first glance, it seems like this is college football overkill. Doesn’t this all just come down to the problem of entitlement where we give every kid a trophy? Or, maybe I should complain about how over-commercialized NCAA football is, how this is all just an easy money grab for the NCAA and 70 universities (schools make between $100,000-$22 million depending on their respective bowl game). What’s more, doesn’t having more games cheapen the quality of the product? Do we have too many college football games?
No! Good gracious, what am I saying? Why in the world would we want less football? The more football the better, that’s what I say! Complaining about too many bowl games is like complaining that a church preaches too much gospel. I’m not even sure that is a concept I can fathom, let alone find reason to complain about. I watched hours and hours of college football in two days and woke up on January 2nd ready for more.
To some of the questions: sure this might be every kid getting a trophy, but not every team does get a trophy. A lot of teams do make bowl games, but the reality is many are left out. And, of course, this is a result of the over-commercialization of college sports, particularly football. But, the product is fantastic, so why not make more? Because it cheapens the product? I guess. Sure, there may be a few dud games, but for a lot of these students, this is the biggest game they will ever play. These guys are going to play as hard as they can because this is their one chance at televised glory. The chances for a great game are pretty good. Especially with 35 options! As to the payouts: it’s the NCAA and a group of colleges and universities working together, what did you expect?
I can’t find any reason to be bothered by so many bowl games. College football is like the preaching of the gospel; you just can’t have too much of a good thing.