Bowls are not what you think they are

Submitted by Gameboy on December 5th, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Most of the threads on the board seem to completely miss why bowls exist in the first place and what their roles are in college football world. Perhaps some historical discussions are in order.

Repeat after me. Bowls are NOT playoffs. Bowls are exhibition matches, designed to drive tourism for the destination cities. They are there to provide a reason for alumns and fans to spread some tourism dollars at various cities around the country. They do this by trying to get the most entertaining matches possible for their own bowls.

That is IT. It is not a playoff system and it certainly is not designed to "fairly" reward regular season achievements. It just is not, so stop complaining about it. The only game specifically designed to be a playoff game is the MNC game. And it did its job by matching #1 with #2. If you want to complain about OSU getting jobbed, complain about the coaches poll and Harris poll. Complaining about the bowl system for OSU getting snubbed is like complaining to the McDonalds cashier about Big Mac being too expensive.

At least BCS sets up a structure so that not all deserving teams get completely screwed (must be conf champion or top 14 team). You should be thanking BCS, not denigrating it.

If Boise States of the world has a problem with the selection, they have a choice - join a better conference or get more fans. If you can guarantee that you can sell out the seats wherever you go and bring a huge economic boost to the host city, they will be beating down the doors to get you into their bowl. Otherwise, tough. Them's the breaks.

One more thing. People talk as though ANY polling system is perfect. How do you REALLY know #7 team is better than #8? #10? or even #20? How do you really know without everyone playing each other (home AND away)? So to say that some higher ranked team got robbed because a lower ranked team go the spot instead is just mis-guided because you can't say with ANY certainty (unless they played each other and the road team won) that that higher ranked team is better than the lower ranked team.



December 5th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

should change their name from Bowl Championship Series to Bowl Tourism Series.

All joking aside, pretty good points.

On thing though, if bowls are mainly exhibitions to draw tourism, why can't we then have a regular season, a playoff, a NC game and bowls for everyone else who didnt make the NC?  Obviously, this would mean a shorter regular season and NO cupcake games.  Every game truly would matter.

Could it be done?


December 5th, 2011 at 2:25 PM ^

That will happen if the playoff system is instituted by NCAA (kinda like much more diverse NIT).

But the playoffs will never happen without the cooperations from the big conference presidents, and they are not going to let that happen any time soon.


December 5th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

They are apparently not round in shape?

To be fair, I think that it is pretty well understood by at least most here that the bowl system is not a playoff, although its results have some (key word) correlation to playoff results in individual conferences.

Further, I would think that the amount of criticism that polls have drawn on this board would lead to  conclude that at almost no one (actually, no one) here thinks they are perfect. I guess I don't understand which posts led you to these conclusions.

Wisconsin Wolverine

December 5th, 2011 at 2:35 PM ^

definitely been some recent discontent about league championship games, which makes sense because their goal actually is to fairly reward the best team in a league.  if we can't even manage that, I can't imagine how we could ever hope to accomplish the same feat on a national scale.

so yeah, championship games - problems, they has them.  but I still enjoy bowl games for what they are.

the nat. championship game has its own set of problems due to the poll system, so that could be where the discussion about playoffs stems from.  it's not that we hate the bowls, but we may not like the way we decide who gets the most important bowl.


December 5th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

 - at least to some extent - it's also technically true that the broadcasting of football games isn't to showcase the outcome, but to attract consumers to the beer and Ford 150 advertisements carefully spaced throughout.  And, further, the performance of intercollegiate football games themselves isn't really to show the football, but merely to attract an ever-loyal fanbase to enhance the appeal of the university and to identify, cultivate and solicit major donations to the university.

In short: yes, it really is all about the money.  Welcome to America.

Everything else that any of us talk about or post on Facebooks or the Twitters is just window-dressing.  (Window-dressing itself, by the way, is at it's heart all about creating a more appealing product display in order to sell more goods and make more money.)




December 5th, 2011 at 3:05 PM ^

.......are especially important considering all the jabs at the Sugar Bowl matchup, essentially being one of "neither truly belongs in a BCS bowl" game.

Is KSt. more deserving of being there than either us or VaTech? Who really knows. What about BoiseSt.? They lost to TCU who lost to a fifth-place SMU team from CUSA. MSU? Maybe, but since any bowl matchup other than the MNC is nothing more than an exhibition, it doesn't really matter.

And the point about those mid-majors going to bigger, AQ conferences, if they can, is so true. TCU is doing it. Why not BoiseSt.? The B12 has to be interested in them as a member.


Unless the four major bowls, the BCS bowls(not including the MNC) become some sort of "playoff" games to get to the MNC, then no one really has a good complaint for not being included in a BCS bowl.

lexus larry

December 5th, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

The de facto Championship Game bowl.  If the teams are chosen correctly.

The rest of the bowls DO trend toward exhibition/showcase, which is one of the infuriating things about watching LC doing the bowl thing late in his not to make a mistake, make all the conservative playcalls, lose late.  Why not unleash the beast?  Blow up the playbook?  Get the offense going balls-to-the-wall, pedal to the metal...  Score touchdowns, between all those F150/Silverado commercials, whilst drinking the official beer of the NFL, Bud Light.

Two Hearted Ale

December 5th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^

[blockquote]If Boise States of the world has a problem with the selection, they have a choice - join a better conference or get more fans. If you can guarantee that you can sell out the seats wherever you go and bring a huge economic boost to the host city, they will be beating down the doors to get you into their bowl. Otherwise, tough. Them's the breaks.[/blockquote]

...or they could sue the BCS on anti-trust grounds and win.  The result would be either a playoff or the old bowl system where the individual bowls negotiated deals with individual schools/conferences.  Maybe there would be a new bowl that tried to match the best two teams...


December 5th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

This was discussed extensively on the radio today. I will probably laugh - quite a bit - if LSU loses this game on January 9th. It still burns - #2 did not win their division or conference, but alas, they are #2. Oklahoma State was screwed big time, I think.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:12 PM ^

you are so right ! this is what was driving me crazy ! Bowls are for money ! they were made for money 100 years ago after other cities saw how it helped Pasadena. ( you may have mentioned this, I didn't read the whole post)