• 72°
franklin county times

The college bowl system isn't all bad

By By Stan Torgerson / sports columnist
July 8, 2003
We haven't played the first game of the college football season yet and already we're checking out the bowl games.
Can't help it.
The NCAA has released the list of post season bowl games and it is 28 deep. There is one new one and 27 recertified. When you look at the list you have to ask why.
The NCAA says why is because; (a) last year about $182 million was distributed to participating teams and conferences; (b) a record 1.4 million fans attended the games; (c) about 5,000 student athletes had the opportunity to be involved in a postseason football bowl experience.
With those numbers, do you think the middle bracket Division 1 schools will ever vote to do anything to put the bowl bonanza in jeopardy?
The BCS may be flawed. It may need tinkering. It is obviously fair only to the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-10, Big 12, Big East and Notre Dame.
Those conferences get an automatic invite to the BCS and Notre Dame gets one if their record entitles them to go. But Conference USA, the Big West, the Mountain West and others considered a cut below the top six will likely seldom, if ever, see the big bucks that come from playing for the mythical national championship.
You won't see their like at the Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl or Orange Bowl. They do, however, have a possible invitation to the Liberty Bowl, Peach Bowl, Independence Bowl and the other 21 and they're going to guard that possible invitation like a dog over a bone.
A true playoff for the national title would make second-tier bowl games truly inconsequential and kill off some, or many of them, because of lack of interest.
Look at this year's lineup. The Seattle Bowl is gone because of that self-same lack of interest. It has been replaced by the Ft. Worth Bowl. Universities representing the Big 12 and Conference USA will journey to Texas for that one on December 23. Does anybody really believe a Big 12 team will be fired up about playing someone from Conference USA?
Does anybody remember the University of Nebraska sold fewer tickets for their game with Ole Miss in Shreveport than to any bowl game in which the Cornhuskers had participated for many years and maybe ever?
There will be 19 bowl games in December this year. The first one is the New Orleans Bowl on December 16. It will be followed by games on Dec. 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, two on the 26th, 27, 29, three on the 30th and six on the 31st. These include bowl games named GMAC, Tangerine, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Motor City, Insight, Continental Tire and others. Not exactly events to build a vacation around.
New Year's Day six are scheduled Capital One, Toyota Gator, Chick-fil-A peach as well as the Rose and Orange Bowls. The Cotton Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl claim Jan. 2. The national championship game will be played in New Orleans Jan. 4.
Wives, you have my sympathies.
Of the 28 games, 20 will be broadcast by ESPN and ESPN2. In other words if you don't have cable or a dish you will be out of luck,
CBS has only one, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. NBC has one, the Gator Bowl. FOX will broadcast the Cotton Bowl. ABC cleaned up with five, including the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl for all the marbles.
The 28 games will be spread over only 20 days. Some will command major audiences as the networks and their advertisers see it. Most will have tiny fractions of the available viewership but the networks will still find sponsors and enough local businesses will step forward to buy tickets that will likely not be used in order to pay the costs and usually with a little left over.
And for the next 12 months some universities will put in their preseason promo kits the fact that their school is the Insight Bowl champion, and if they didn't win it, the fact that they went to a bowl game as a yardstick for their successful season, even if it was 6-6 and ended up 6-7 when they lost.
The reality is with 28 bowls, 56 teams will have the opportunity for some sort of bragging rights, 5,000 football players will get new wrist watches, and fans can justify a winter vacation.
It's not all bad.
In fact it's good enough that those who think an eight- or even 16-team playdown for a true national champion is a better option than meaningless bowl games can't possibly prevail.
To the bowl teams and conference members, even the Fort Worth or Silicon Valley Bowl is better than nothing at all.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

Galleries

PHOTOS: Tharptown High School Wildcats graduate

Galleries

PHOTOS: Phil Campbell High School students graduate

Franklin County

NEMCC announces more than 400 to spring vice president’s list

Franklin County

UNA releases spring dean’s, president’s lists

News

Roxy holds June 15 concert, plans other events

Franklin County

Free summer meal program available at Franklin County Schools

News

PHOTOS: Red Bay High School graduates celebrate

x