When it comes to college football bowl games, back in the day it seemed to be a lot simpler than it is these days.
The number one and number two teams in the country went head-to-head on New Year’s Day for a chance to be named national champions.
When that game ended, the season ended.
Of course it’s not that way these days with the BCS National Championship format, which started in 1998.
According to Wikipedia, the game was organized by a group known as the Bowl Championship Series, consisting of the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl, which sought to match the two highest-ranked teams in a championship game to determine the best team in the country at the end of the season. The participating teams were determined by averaging the results of the final weekly Coaches Poll, the Harris Poll of media, former players and coaches, and the average of six computer rankings.
As with anything to do with sports, there are lots of pros and cons that will be argued and debated for years.
Take for instance Florida State. I’m no fan of the Seminoles, but I thought that was a raw deal for them being undefeated and not making the cut. I’m glad I’m not calling the shots.
Now this season there are two undefeated teams – Michigan and Washington and two one-loss teams, Alabama and Texas in the running for the championship.
One of them is going to win it all.
A change is once again on the horizon. The college football playoffs are going to a 12-team format to name a champion beginning at the end of the 2024 season.
According to an article from the NCAA, the format will include the six highest-ranked conference champions, which will receive automatic bids. The top four teams will receive a first-round bye to the quarterfinals.
Even in Iowa high school football, a team in each class has to play and win five games following the regular season to earn the championship trophy. And college basketball has a 64-team format with four additional teams given a chance to make the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.
And of course, there’s the transfer portal for players who leave one school and play at another school. I remember a time if a player transferred to another school, they had to sit out a season. That’s not the case anymore as players are shuffling around like someone playing a game of poker. As one person I was visiting with recently said, the NCAA needs to get this under control. Debbie and I are firm believers that no player should be able to leave a team or school until the end of the season, including a bowl game.
We were watching a game the other day and started talking about all the various sponsors of bowl games. Apparently, if you have enough money, a company or business can purchase the rights to a bowl game.
According to info on the internet, the lower-tier bowl sponsorship games played in early-to-mid December cost between $375,000 and $500,000. The more prestigious games, like the New Year’s Day six bowls, can cost tens of millions of dollars each year.
In some cases, according to one article, the title sponsor can also play a prominent role in the post-game festivities of their bowl game, and their products may even be incorporated into the trophy itself. For example, the victorious head coaches in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the Duke’s Mayo Bowl are doused with coolers filled with French fries and mayonnaise. The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl and the Cheez-It Bowl, both sponsored by brands of Kellogg’s, have similar traditions.
Outside of the top four teams, this year, 80 teams played in 40 bowl games starting Dec. 16 and continuing into New Year’s Day. I looked up the names of the various bowl games and have listed them below for your reading enjoyment.
Myrtle Beach Bowl, Cricket Celebration Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl, Isleta New Mexico Cure Bowl, Starco Brands LA Bowl hosted by Gronk, and the Radiance Technologies Independence bowl.
Other bowls included the Famous Toastery Bowl, Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl, Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla (Pirate Fest) Bowl, 76 Birmingham Bowl, Camellia Bowl, Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 68 Ventures Bowl, SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, EasyPost Hawaii Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl, SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl, Military Bowl presented by GoBowling.com, Duke’s Mayo Bowl, DIRECTTV Holiday Bowl, TaxAct Texas Bowl, Wasabi Fenway Bowl, Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl, Pop-Tarts Bowl, Valero Alamo Bowl, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, TranPerfect Music City Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, ReliaQuest Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.
Of course, there is the national championship bowl games at the Rose Bowl presented by Prudential and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. It’s interesting that the top two bowl games are sponsored by insurance companies. I will keep that in mind when getting insurance quotes.
I hope you enjoyed a game or two this season.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day.