You Missed The Rose Bowl?
Seriously? How could you? It was one of the best bowl games EVER! Penn State started slowly, and it looked like USC was going to run away with it. But then, in the third quarter, Penn State scored what seemed like a gazillion touchdowns in a row, and just like that, USC was on the ropes and in danger of losing a virtual home game to that team from back east. But THEN, USC came roaring back and scored 17 points in the blink of an eye; and, voila, the Trojans won an instant classic 52-49.
The Rose Bowl is considered to be the “Granddaddy of ‘Em All,” at least when it comes to college bowl games. And if you didn’t see last night’s 103rd Rose Bowl, then you might as well consider yourself dismissed from the ranks of real, bona-fide, sports fans. Take it from me, and I don’t even like or support all of these dang gum bowl games to start with.
Seriously, I know why you missed the Rose Bowl: there’re too many of ‘em. It’s ridiculous. You were suffering from “over-conjunctive-bowl-itis.” It’s an actual disease. I mean, how can even the most ardent of sports fans keep up and watch most of them, because there is no way, any one person could watch ALL of them? Right? Do you know how many bowl games there are? Way more than we need. Way more. And I’m not the only juror to reach this conclusion; the verdict is unanimous.
Here’s how one sports writer summed up the current college bowl crisis back in 2014:
“For all of the good reasons one might propose for trimming the annual bowl game slate, the most common complaint seems to center around the exhaustion of being forced to endure all 38 (39, if you count the title game) bowl games we’ve had over the past month.”
Editor’s Note: in 2016 there were 46 Bowl games, including the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl and the Dollar General Bowl. But you knew that, as I’m sure you caught those games.
“The second-most common complaint — and one that actually has legs — is that bowl games have been expanded to the point that they have been stripped of all meaning.
Thirty years ago, there were 16 bowl games. Thirty-two of Division-I’s 112 teams made a bowl game, and the rest stayed home. There were a lot of teams with winning records that didn’t get to sniff the postseason. This year, 15 bowl-bound teams have managed just six wins. Thanks to its conference championship loss, Fresno State could end the season 6-8 by losing to Rice in the Hawaii Bowl.
And don’t sleep on the Camellia Bowl, which pits Bowling Green vs. South Alabama. That very sentence alone is enough to make a traditionalist go blind. At the same time, the effects of bowl-mania are relatively benign — at least as far as game itself is concerned. Yes, reaching a bowl game may carry less significance than it once did.”
Editor’s Note: Wrong! Reaching a bowl game absolutely carries less significance than it once did. But surely I digress.
“But who ever said all bowls carry the same merit? Reaching the Rose Bowl still means the same thing it did 30 years ago. If its value has been diluted, it’s only because the new four-team playoff bracket is the primary attention-getter over the traditional big-name bowls.
Football programs don’t exactly line the stadium hallways with elaborate displays of TaxSlayer.com Bowl trophies. Nobody’s jealous of making the Camelia Bowl — other than the 50 teams who aren’t making a bowl appearance, and even some of them would probably turn an offer down.
Thirty-nine bowl games exist because all of them generate revenue.
That’s not the most inspiring genesis for holding a good ol’ football game, granted. But it would be inconsistent to decide now, after years of allowing money-minded college athletic departments to fatten their revenues on the backs of athletes who haven’t received one dime of extra compensation, that suddenly we are taking a stand and telling prospective bowl hosts to go shove it.
Bowl games make money, period, even if they’re terrible at passing on the benefits to participating schools — a criticism best saved for a different day.
The important point is that schools continue to accept bowl invites because of the benefits they do see: the national TV exposure (a huge boon for smaller programs), the slight recruiting edge, and the excitement a bowl berth can stir in a fan base.” By: Jonathan Crowl 12/9/2014
Especially the Granddaddy of ‘em all.