How do we fix the bowls?

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Aug 16, 2012
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#61
In a normal season, not counting the NC Game there are now 39 bowl games. That's 78 of the 130 FBS Division I teams playing in bowl games. Bowls are having a difficult time filling them with teams that have an above .500 record. Outside of some alums from the schools involved, who cares? In fact, a number of the lesser bowls drew 15,000 fans or less - so apparently not many of the alums were very interested either. Overall bowl attendance is down versus past years because bowl game overload.

Fewer bowl games overall would focus more attention/hype/coverage of the remaining bowl games, and might get some of the magic back.
Right now, ESPN owns, not owns the broadcast rights but outright owns at least 14 bowl games:
Texas
Gasparilla
Bahamas
Birmingham
Celebration
Boca Raton
Potato
Frisco
New Mexico
Hawaii
Las Vegas (their first in 2001)
Armed Forces
Camellia
First Responder and next year,
Myrtle Beach.

Pretty much the slate of newer bowls that involve mid-level teams (or worse).

Thing is, attendance is not the money maker to the people who own the games, it is the broadcast rights and associated advertising revenue. ESPN is not in the stadium ownership business, they are in the broadcast business so they could care less how many people show up as long as it is being watch on TV.

Cities love them because they bring in people that normally would not be there. They have to maintain the stadiums anyway so giving it a spit shine to host a bowl game is easily offset by the increase in tax revenue. McKinney, Texas built a ludicrous, 12,000 seat, high school stadium that hosts the DII national championship game since 2018 and up to 2025 now. McKinney city and school district leaders (part owners) say they net over $2M each year so far on that game alone.

Sponsors love them because they are cheap advertising. Hell, we could probably pass a hat amongst OP members and come up with enough to sponsor a bowl, some going for as little as $300k. Bahamas Bowl a couple years ago was sponsored by....a suburb of Chicago. Yep, the "Makers Wanted" Bahamas Bowl was sponsored by Elk Grove Village, IL, "Makers Wanted" being the marketing slogan for their chamber of commerce. Mayor is on record as saying they have reaped millions from the sponsorship.

According to a 2018 article, in 2017, schools were on the hook for $25M in unsold tickets and had $113M in expenses associated with the game. They walked away splitting up $561 million so the tickets do not matter all that much. But temper that with the knowledge that over 80% of that comes from the NY6 games but the rest is enough that most schools will at least break even and hope the exposure brings in revenue other ways.
 

drbwh

Territorial Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
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#63
Expand the CFP to 16 teams and keep the bowl games


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Aug 16, 2012
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#65
Whatever the fix is, the Championship should be on a Saturday. That’s college football.

You don’t see the NFL moving the Super Bowl to a Tuesday right?
I agree, but it is all about when to get the biggest audience. On the weekends, they have to contend with pro sports with NFL playoffs, NBA in full swing and the NHL, and NCAA basketball that is already on the weekends. Putting it mid-week is guaranteed to draw the largest audience. No sport organizing body cares about tradition anymore, it is all about how they can maximize revenue. Goodell a couple of years ago stated there is a huge push to get the Super Bowl played on Saturday so people can party all night without having to worry about going to work the next day. Basically said he does not care because they determined that Sunday night is when they can maximize ad revenue since there is no sports competition.
 
Jan 13, 2008
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Corinth, TX
#66
As many have pointed out, the bowls, including the NY6 bowls have not only lost their luster, the opt-outs have further neutered the importance of the bowls.

The fix should not only make the bowls more important, but also add incentive for players to stick it out and play for the team because it means something.

My Proposal.

Make the bowls part of the CFP ranking criteria.
- Play the Conference Championships as currently designed the first weekend in December.
- Give the 5 P5 Conference Champions a bye into an 8-team CFP
- Play all the Bowls the 3rd weekend of December (Thur, Fri, Sat and Mon). Gives the teams an opportunity to spend most of a week at the bowl location as a reward.
- Determine the CFP rankings after the bowl results. Expand rankings to top 30.
- Create a Conference Champion Cup that goes to the Strongest Conference based on final CFP Rankings.
- Play first round of CFP (8 teams) at home stadium of top-4 seeds the first weekend Jan.
- Play semi-finals at neutral location the second weekend in January
- Play final the 3rd weekend in Jan

Thoughts?
I think the season needs to end before classes start up in January. So the Final should be played the same time it is now. There have been pushes to make basketball only a Spring semester sport, so I don't think people would embrace going an extra week. However it would only effect two teams. So I might have just talked myself out of that argument. :lol:

In order to have the Final the same time as it is now:
1) Keep the current regular season schedule and conference championship weekend (2nd week December)
a) 5 P5 champions, highest G5, and 2 wild cards would provide 1 OFF week before playoffs.
or
b) The 4 round play-off you described would allow only an OFF week for only the top 8 teams.
OR
2) Move the regular season and conference championship weekend up a week (1st week in December)
and the 4 round play-off would allow all teams an off-week and the top 8 a Bye week.

Shortening the regular season back to 11 games is not an option, because top schools want the additional walk-over game and all schools want the revenue that comes with that game.

Overall, I like it and I think most want an expanded play-offs.
 
Jul 9, 2011
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earrth
#67
Right now, ESPN owns, not owns the broadcast rights but outright owns at least 14 bowl games:
Texas
Gasparilla
Bahamas
Birmingham
Celebration
Boca Raton
Potato
Frisco
New Mexico
Hawaii
Las Vegas (their first in 2001)
Armed Forces
Camellia
First Responder and next year,
Myrtle Beach.

Pretty much the slate of newer bowls that involve mid-level teams (or worse).

Thing is, attendance is not the money maker to the people who own the games, it is the broadcast rights and associated advertising revenue. ESPN is not in the stadium ownership business, they are in the broadcast business so they could care less how many people show up as long as it is being watch on TV.

Cities love them because they bring in people that normally would not be there. They have to maintain the stadiums anyway so giving it a spit shine to host a bowl game is easily offset by the increase in tax revenue. McKinney, Texas built a ludicrous, 12,000 seat, high school stadium that hosts the DII national championship game since 2018 and up to 2025 now. McKinney city and school district leaders (part owners) say they net over $2M each year so far on that game alone.

Sponsors love them because they are cheap advertising. Hell, we could probably pass a hat amongst OP members and come up with enough to sponsor a bowl, some going for as little as $300k. Bahamas Bowl a couple years ago was sponsored by....a suburb of Chicago. Yep, the "Makers Wanted" Bahamas Bowl was sponsored by Elk Grove Village, IL, "Makers Wanted" being the marketing slogan for their chamber of commerce. Mayor is on record as saying they have reaped millions from the sponsorship.

According to a 2018 article, in 2017, schools were on the hook for $25M in unsold tickets and had $113M in expenses associated with the game. They walked away splitting up $561 million so the tickets do not matter all that much. But temper that with the knowledge that over 80% of that comes from the NY6 games but the rest is enough that most schools will at least break even and hope the exposure brings in revenue other ways.
That is good info, wasn't aware of that. ESPN is looking for broadcast content; doesn't mean it is good for college football. I guess it depends on what you want; TV revenue is everything to college football and this gets more college football games on TV - so from that standpoint it's good.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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#68
That is good info, wasn't aware of that. ESPN is looking for broadcast content; doesn't mean it is good for college football. I guess it depends on what you want; TV revenue is everything to college football and this gets more college football games on TV - so from that standpoint it's good.

I'm curious as to how you think it's bad for college football then.
 
Feb 18, 2009
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#69
I agree, but it is all about when to get the biggest audience. On the weekends, they have to contend with pro sports with NFL playoffs, NBA in full swing and the NHL, and NCAA basketball that is already on the weekends. Putting it mid-week is guaranteed to draw the largest audience. No sport organizing body cares about tradition anymore, it is all about how they can maximize revenue. Goodell a couple of years ago stated there is a huge push to get the Super Bowl played on Saturday so people can party all night without having to worry about going to work the next day. Basically said he does not care because they determined that Sunday night is when they can maximize ad revenue since there is no sports competition.
I know but I still want it on Saturday. Time to riot.
 
Sep 12, 2013
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Broken Arrow, OK
#71
Nothing is going to be done with the bowls till the whole Name-Image-Likeness issue is resolved. The only thing that MIGHT change before then is adding 4 teams to the playoffs, as more people are speaking up for it. It will be interesting the next couple of years to see how the TV contracts work out. The conference TV contracts expire in the years below.

ACC - 2036
B1G - 2023
Big 12 - 2025
PAC 12 - 2024
SEC - 2023
 
Nov 14, 2010
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#72
Pay the players on both teams to play in the bowls.

Pay the players on the winning team more than you pay the players on the losing team.
 
Apr 12, 2020
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Stillwater
#73
LSU was the one going into the 2011 National championship game undefeated, not Bama.
1 vs 4 is LSU vs Stanford
2 vs 3 is Oklahoma State vs Bama.
The others don’t matter.


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Doesn't matter. Your pairings are still wrong. With 8 teams #1 would not play #4 in the first round.
You’re missing the point, it’s not an 8 team playoff.


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Aug 11, 2004
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#75
I think a lot of these guys opting out, once their playing days are over, are going to regret their decision. I think for most of us our college days were some of the best times of our lives. Once we turned "pro" not so much. But I guess it's like some of the decisions I regret, it seemed like the thing to do at the time.
 

Jostate

Bluecolla's sock
A/V Subscriber
Jun 24, 2005
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#76
As long as they keep inviting us to bowls against teams 7 - 10 points worse than us I like the current system.
 
Mar 12, 2018
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#77
I think a lot of these guys opting out, once their playing days are over, are going to regret their decision. I think for most of us our college days were some of the best times of our lives. Once we turned "pro" not so much. But I guess it's like some of the decisions I regret, it seemed like the thing to do at the time.
I think after 4 or 5 years if you have your degree complete, you're ready to take a new step in life.
 
Jul 9, 2011
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earrth
#78
I'm curious as to how you think it's bad for college football then.
I think the overload of bowl games has watered them down; they don't mean much anymore outside of the 4 team playoff. When you have a couple of 6 or 7 win teams playing each other it is effectively just another regular season game. Before it was the best 2 or 3 teams of each conference playing each other for conference and/or regional bragging rights. Most bowls meant something to teams and fans.

Even before COVID attendance at individual bowls was down versus previous years, reflecting a lack of interest by school supporters. Many of the lesser bowls had 10-15,000 people - many local folks that had free tiks to help generate a crowd in the stands. These games are much more TV events than traditional bowl games. Bowl overload and the 4-team playoff, which has caused waning interest, has bled up in to the many of the traditional "name" bowls outside of the playoff games which also have lower attendance. The current system may generate more TV money, but the actual bowl games themselves have suffered.

Attendance at college football has been down across the board, not just for bowls, so there may be other factors at play. More players opting out of bowls (because they mean less?) doesn't help.

I would add that I'm almost 70, so this may be some "back in the day" nostalgia for the bowls as they were. Back in the 1970's I remember the excitement of just being invited to a bowl at all. In 1975 there were only 11 bowl games, or the top 22 teams. We were 7-4 but didn't make a bowl that year.
 
Last edited:
Aug 11, 2004
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Newkirk, Ok
#79
I think after 4 or 5 years if you have your degree complete, you're ready to take a new step in life.
True, that would be a reason not to come back for another season but to opt out of the last game of your last college season? You can never get that back, you passed up the last time to play with your college buddies. Down the road, I still think it will be a regret for many of them.