I am probably the only guy in America that still gives a rat’s behind about bowl games. With the advent of the playoffs, these games have become pretty much meaningless. Then again, I love filling out a bracket and seeing my teams go belly up.
Some may ask…why do bowl games matter? Let me give you three reasons.
First…why else would anyone want to visit Alabama towns like Mobile and Birmingham? Here’s why…People in Kansas and Iowa are desperate for any reason to get out of town in the dead of winter.
Secondly, conferences use bowl games to sell their product. The Big 12 has nine bowl game tie-ins
For the bowl games, this is a win-win situation. Those empty seats you see on t.v. are actually filled with seats purchased by the conference. Teams assigned to a bowl game by the conference must purchase an allotment of tickets. If fans don’t pony up the money, the league will.
Let’s say, oSU only sold 5,000 to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando which looked about right…the conference then picks up the tab for the rest of oSU’s 12,000 tickets. That’s right the conference is on the hook to the tune of $350,000.
Reason three is the big one…back in the day, teams with marginal records would occasionally turn down a bowl game opportunity. That never happens today for this reason. Bowl teams get an additional twenty days of practice…this is the equivalent to an extra spring practice.
Coaches use this time to evaluate younger players for the upcoming season. Only the big boys in the playoffs use this time to prepare a game-plan for the bowl game. This is why these games are so unpredictable and yes, ugly.
What I learned from this bowl season…
…Never pick against a service academy. Unlike everyone else, these teams take bowl games seriously. They also run the option that makes the opposing teams look silly.
…Never pick a MAC team. MAC teams should never play anyone outside the MAC. That Toledo team that lost to App. State (that’s right App. State) reminded me of the old Toledo Dolls Womens’ League team.
…Never pick a Mike Leach team in a bowl game. I know the guy is entertaining, but he will never take a bowl game or any game for that matter that means nothing seriously…Conversely, Mark Dantonio at Michigan State would take a dogfight seriously. This made for a predictable outcome.
…It is hard to believe that oSU only beat a very average Va. Tech team by nine points. And that 9 point win came gift-wrapped as the Hokies fumbled away a chance to go up by 11 points in the first half. oSU started three projected NFL first round draft choices in this game…what a waste.
…The TCU win over Stanford reassured me about OU’s chances against Georgia. The Horned Frogs who OU handled easily twice this year manned up quite well against a Stanford team that is mirror image of Georgia…I like our chances…