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12/21/2012

How to fix the bowl season & do a playoff

Empty-Bowl-Game
A picture of the 2007 Liberty Bowl; plenty of good seats still available
We are still two years away from a four-team college football playoff that will be selected by a "committee" (wink-wink), and it should not be too much longer before this pool increases to eight and then 16.

This is how the NCAA tournament eventually expanded to 68 teams; it keeps growing because the need for more cash never ceases.

This bowl season will once again include tickets that schools and bowl games can't give away as well as a slate of mostly blah-games the powers that run college football would rather die than give up on a business plan that nets them so much money each year in personal incentives.

Using that reality, how are these bowl games going to remain remotely relevant if both attendance and TV ratings continue to decrease at such an alarming rate? 

Flip it.

It's complicated but the basic framework of college basketball can be applied to college football: Move the bowl season to September and start this playoff in December, or November.

The early-season schedule in college football has become over run with dogs as coaches do their best to schedule guaranteed wins. Since TV has most of the leverage, it can put the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl in September and suddenly a Washington vs. Boise State is a pretty attractive game. A Holiday Bowl between Baylor and UCLA is a very big, and relevant, game.

What we have now remains an exhibition schedule that allows countless teams to go home with a ribbon, free swag, and the coach and or AD with a giant bonus check.

How are teams eligible for these September bowls? Base it on the previous year's record, or something along those lines.

2011-Rose-Bowl
Games such as the Rose Bowl are one of the few bowl games guaranteed to draw good numbers.
You keep the biggest bowl games - Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Orange, Sugar - for the playoffs.

By moving the bowl season to September you give fans and TV more meaningful games and give meaning to these "exhibition" games that right now fewer and fewer people are buying, either with their money or with their time.

 

 

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Doug Olson

Intriguing idea.

Keith Johns

I don't give you bloggers a lot of credit for being too bright but I have to hand it to you; I like your idea. Smart.

Bama Fan

Something has to change. It's probably not going to happen for the reasons it should; the kids or the fans.... but maybe, just maybe the NCAA could create a thing where they could make money and actualy serve the players, students, and fans. I know that is a crazy idea, but maybe we could try and do that.

I do like your idea even though it's pretty rough.

Bob Lambeull

You picture says it all. I love college. I love college football. Commerce is important to all of our lives. Some where out there, an answer exsists. I like your idea. Something needs to change. Something that is college football, that captures the excitement, and provides a meaningful game. Let's hope the NCAA can figure something out.

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