When I was growing up (geez, dating myself!) there were about 7-8 major college football bowl games. If you went, you were a good team. You earned it.

Used to be you had to go at least 8-3 or 9-2 W-L to go.  Sometimes a 7-4 team would sneak in. Now, the top tier of college football, NCAA Division 1, or FBS, play 12 games. But 6-6 will get you to a post-season holiday.

Now, bowl games almost reward mediocrity. There are 130 NCAA D-1 teams.  This year, 2019, into 2020, there are FORTY bowl games. Times that by 2 teams, and 80 of the 130 schools make it.  50 do not.  It's almost to the point where if you don't make it to a bowl with that many available, your coach gets fired. It's about TV and sponsor money, which the schools get some of.

And many of the bowls cater only to the teams playing. For example, you gonna watch the Gasparilla Bowl on December 23rd from Tampa? It matches UCF (University of Central Florida) vs. Marshall.   Although UCF gained a little rep as a giant killer by beating Auburn a year or two ago, probably not.

By comparison, the other levels of NCAA football (Division 1-AA, Division-II and Division-III)  use a playoff system.  My son is a long snapper at NCAA Division III Whitworth University in Spokane. There are 247 such small schools in the U.S., his school plays PLU, UPS, Pacific U, Willamette, Lewis and Clark and Linfield etc.  247 teams compete for 32 playoff berths. It's tough.  In 2018 Whitworth made it to the Round of 16.  You have to pretty much be a conference champ to get in at the small college level. This season Whitworth was 6-3 and led all of D-III in scoring. That got them a "nice season, see you next year."   All the teams compete for ONE bowl game. The Amos Alonzo Stagg D-III title game was broadcast on ESPN-U December 20th 8PM Eastern 5PM Pacific.

So unless you're a football junkie, many of the bowls are not worth watching. Unless you like 6-6 vs. 6-6.  Whee!

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