Bowl season is upon us, but it doesn’t matter. “Going Bowling” just does not mean the same thing it did 10 years ago.
Let’s set this straight in a letter to sports.
Dear Sports or the NCAA or the College Football Committee or collegiate athletic directors (and whoever that had a hand in taking down this time of year).
We used to love this time of the year. It was fun to see where the Hokies or our favorite college football team would be playing in December and early January. But you have taken all of the fun out of it.
Maybe this isn’t all your fault, but you sure had a hand in it.
I can step back to a time when people wanted to watch the Sugar Bowl or even the Cotton Bowl. Then it all changed. I think you let it start with sponsors and the tons of money that was poured into the games.
Thus, the Rolo Chocolate Mayonnaise Bowl (doesn’t exist, but it sure seems like it could be) was created.
Do you really know how many Division I football teams currently play?
There are 133 schools in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States.
Do you know how many bowl games there are as of this year?
There are 43 games on the 2023-24 bowl schedule, culminating with the CFP National Championship Jan. 8 at NRG Stadium in Houston. Thus, 86 teams play in a bowl game.
This leaves us scratching our heads that 57 teams are left out in the cold.
Of course, to make a bowl game, those schools must win six games. That didn’t happen, did it. There will be several bowl games with teams who have a .500 record.
I know it has come down to money just look at the recent media conversation. Bowl games will pay out somewhere around $375 million to conferences in exchange for their teams’ participation in the 40 non-CFP matchups alone, a figure similar to last year’s payout. CFP bowl games pay conferences $6 million for each participant, a number that will only grow in the future.
The NIL money has also led to this change and there are so many players are opting out of playing in bowl games.
So far, more than 150 players chose to enter the transfer portal rather than play in a bowl game and another 45 or so opted out simply to protect themselves from injury in their preparation for the NFL draft.
Why should fans care when those players don’t seem to.
Pass me the bowl of chips and let’s watch a Hallmark movie instead of this year’s bowl games.
And finishing out my letter, thanks for making the college championship series even less interesting.
Thanks from the typical college football fan. I think I will pass this year.