BLS: ..Bowl Games: All U Need To Know.

College Bowl Games
BobLee
December01/ 2015

The First Bowl Game a/k/a “The Granddaddy of ‘em All” was The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA back in 1902 – Michigan vs Stanford.   Fast forward 113 years and there are 40 of’em.

80 freakin’ teams will “go bowling” this holiday season.  There are so many slots to be filled that the “win at least sixTrophy games” stipulation has to be waived to get enough teams.   So they drop below mediocre into losers to REWARD with a “bowl game”.

“Going to a bowl” now ranks with Little League participation trophies as “reward” for nothing. 

 

Q: How did The Bowl Games get so screwed up?

A:  DUH!  The two principals involved are the NCAA and ESPN…. all that’s missing is “your local school board” to Really screw it up.

If your school is NOT one of The Mostly Mediocre 80 that “go to a bowl”, that carries a social stigma akin to  “not owning a smartphone ?” …. or “never seen a Bond movie ?” ….or “didn’t take your kids to Disney World ?”.

“Oh, I’m sorry to learn your school did not get a bowl bid.  Are you deemphasizing football…. or else, is your school racist?”….. OR

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear your son/daughter did not get into (name of exclusive pre-school).  I understand some community colleges aren’t all that bad.  We still need plumbers and secretaries too.“

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Q:  WHY are there so many bowls?

A: Because ESPN research indicates that any LIVE sports event draws more viewers than any other form of programming, especially during the holiday season.   Choppin State versus Lehigh in the Fred’s Beds Bowl coming to you LIVE from TexArkana will pull more viewers than…. six fired coaches sitting on stools discussing why a football is pointed at both ends.Kristine Leahy

NOTE:  My idea of a LIVE event worth watching would be Kristine Leahy (That Blond on The Herd) applying lip gloss for an hour.

ESPN has umpteen different networks each with 24 hours of air to fill.  24 X “umpteen” – you do the math.   There is nothing magic about 40 other than it zipped right thru “ridiculous” about 20 bowls ago and never slowed down.

A “Tipping Point” in the Bowl Bizness was when they got to “Potato” and “Weedeater”.   THAT was the bowl equivalent of “having sex with farm animals”.   “Can do it” and “should do it” are very different decisions to make.

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Q:  Do the schools “make money” going to a bowl?

A:  Only the ones that go to the 5-6 Top Tier bowls.  Those are the 5-6 bowls you’ve actually heard of and might guess where they are played.   They attract teams that won most of their games and achieved something worthwhile.  The “pay-out” for those 5-6 bowls slightly exceeds the travel costs of going to them… if the team travels by bus, not airplane.

“Pay-outs” have to be shared with the other members of one’s conference.  With conferences now having 12-14 members, that means smaller slices of each bowl pie.

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Q:  Why is being “bowl eligible” such a Big Deal?

A:  (1) Because pretty much every coaches’ contract (even assistants) contains a $$$ bonus for “going to a bowl”.   Usually an extra month’s salary.   They get their bonuses even though the bowl is a net loss to the school ….. (2) Semi-literate 17 y/os are, apparently, still impressed by “we go to a bowl near’bout every year” recruiting spiels. …..

Oh Goody, I’ll get a $100 gift card to Best Buy, a cheap knock-off watch and get to spend Christmas in Wichita.  Where do I sign, coach?

Impressing semi-literate 17 y/os is on every Why do they do That? short list about Big Time College Sports.

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Q:  Does which bowl your school goes to really matter?

A:   Beyond the “real Bowls” – i.e. Top Tier – which still have some modicum of cache – No.   All that matters is “is it close enough to consider going to?”  Fewer and fewer and fewer fans bother to go to bowl games each year.  Because they are ALL on TV which, remember, is why they exist in the first pace.  The  “within a 5 hour drive” factor is all-important.

State, Duke and Carolina fans are normally limited to either the Charlotte or Atlanta bowls.  Other than those two, the traveling fan contingent will just be the die-hards that have more $$$ than sense or …. actually that’s it.

The exception is the rare opportunity to go to a REAL Bowl such as UNC appears to have this year.  Alas, unless UNC beats Clemson and somehow gets into the Final Four, UNC cannot go to The Orange Bowl BECAUSE…. The Orange Bowl – this year – is a CFP semi-final site.   Oh!  Bummer.

If UNC loses to The Dabos they will go to either the Citrus Bowl in Orlando; or the Peach / Chik-fil-A Whatever in Atlanta.    Both are Top Tier but Atlanta is indoors and a much easier trip.

The only way any significant number of TruBlues will travel to Orlando would be if Roy scheduled a basketball game there at halftime.   OUCH!

###Empty Stadium

Q:  Do the Bowl guys care about how many people actually attend the game?

A:  Not really other than it is “found $$$” and it looks better on TV to have some people in the stands.   Their back-up plan is to give out 1,000s of freebies to local Boys Clubs, homeless people and extended families of the local bowl committee.   Regardless, they will cordon off the upper level and end zone sections and the TV camera guys will be told to “keep your shots very tight…. so all the empty seats don’t show”.

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Q:  What about those “extra practices” teams get before a bowl?

A:  Very important to coaches.   They see it as “like an early Spring practice” where they can evaluate back-ups who might be playing next season.   The “two-deep regulars” just stand around during bowl practices…. and get arrested.

2-3 “regulars” on each bowl team will get arrested for various malfeasances major and minor during the bowl practice period.  It is customary for each bowl team to suspend 2-3 thug-aletes each December.

Do they still get the knock-off watch?  Usually, yes.

Does the Carolina thug-alete arrested last Saturday night count towards their 2-3?  No.  It wasn’t December yet.

Little Known Fact:  Most schools now complete their first semester in early December so player eligibility for a bowl can be a factor.   Players planning to “declare for the NFL” or who have no more eligibility often quit even pretending to be students during that Fall semester and end up ineligible for the bowl game. …. If the CFP grows beyond a Final Four this will become a pretty big deal as star players could be ineligible unless schools “get creative” with grades, etc.  Which, of course, they WILL do.

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Q:  Do bowl guys still run that scam where the two schools are given really crappy seats they force on their loyal fans…. so the bowls can give the good seats to sponsors who then give them away to customers who could care less?

A:  That evil scam is much less prevalent than it was 4-5 years ago.  The dim-wittedest fans finally figured that one out.   Booster clubs tried to make fans feel guilty if they bought “good seats” thru ticket brokers or direct from the bowl rather than the really crappy seats the booster club has to buy and then force-sell to their gullible fans.

That old line: We need to show bowls that our fan base travels well is pure CRAP.  It’s an idiots’ debate only played by battling board monkeys. ….. With 80 spots to fill, bowls just want two teams to show up and play a game.

Bowl guys also no longer wear goofy blazers from the Herb Tarlek Collection @ Mens Wearhouse.

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OK Mr SmartyPants…. what would YOU do as Bowl Czar?

Glad you asked.  I would have:

All-day Bowl-athons at 5-6 sites with spiffy Domed Stadiums

…. or in South Florida, SoCal or Arizona where decent December weather is 95% likely.  Spread over several weekends in mid-late December.

Modern domed stadiums are in large cities that have plenty of hotels and legitimate attractions (i.e. a mega theme parks and at least three nudie clubs! ) for fans to WANT TO visit in December.

ATT Stadium

Have three games back to back to back on the same field in say New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Miami ….. noon / 4:00 / 8:00.   Use Indianapolis and Detroit for the very bottom tier whozit bowls like  Choppin State versus Lehigh, etc.

Divide the 80,000 seats into six sections among the six participating teams.   Your ticket is good for all three games…. Such A Deal !

Guaranteed comfortable game conditions…. in a legit place to visit…. for a for-real event.  I have a logistical plan all worked out for locker rooms, et al.   Totally doable.

DAMN BobLee… That’s a Great Idea !!

Yeah, I know.   The mob guys who run the casinos in Bossier City next to Shreveport don’t like it…. but everyone else who hears it loves it.

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Uh Oh…. BobLee just opined about Cam Newton’s Dancing …. Oh Lordy!

https:///bobleesays.com/2015/12/01/bl-opines-on-cam-newtons-dancing/

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Lamar Jones
Lamar Jones
4 years ago

Maybe we could use the string of bowl games at Gitmo?

Prediction: by 2020 ESPN will use CGI to put people in the stadium. That will surely raise ratings!

wolfdon
wolfdon
4 years ago

Three frigging games back to back on the same day!? Do you realize what a mess that would be with all the Wolfpack fans having to leave at halftime each game to go to the parking lot? The would be meeting each other coming and going all day long.

Doug
Doug
4 years ago

“We need to show bowls that our fan base travels well is pure CRAP. It’s an idiots’ debate only played by battling board monkeys. ….. With 80 spots to fill, bowls just want two teams to show up and play a game.” How cruel of you to pull the rug out from beneath the feet of those Monkey Boardland residents. You just destroyed the cornerstone, the holy grail, a major linchpin, THE mother of all arguments for being shamed to buy tickets and travel just freeze your ass off in Shreveport. These days, teams are in if they can basically… Read more »

Babs-in-Derm
Babs-in-Derm
4 years ago

Yes sir, and N.O. and Atlanta are party cities. No doubt the local economies would be profitable, even if the games aren’t.

… I agree about the absurdity of so many bowls. They don’t mean a thing anymore. It really takes away from the elite that have worked hard to get to the top tier bowls.

tarspartan
tarspartan
4 years ago

I’ve lived in San Antonio for 13 years and never been to the Alamo Bowl, even in the years when my other alma mater (Michigan State) was in it. Give me three or four games in a row, however, I might reconsider.

Todd Lesley
Todd Lesley
4 years ago

And to think NCSU won ACC in 1979 but it’s overall record was 7-4. Penn State banked a FG in from 54 yds on the last play of the season to beat State 9-7. NCSU passed on their only bowl offering…the Cherry Bowl in NJ. The excuse for not going was that the game fell during exams. I say who wants to go bowling in NJ? Wolfpackers got to sit at home and watch UNC beat Michigan in the Gator Bowl instead. UNC was NCSU’s only conference loss. This was back in the day if you weren’t 8-3 you did… Read more »

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
4 years ago
Reply to  Todd Lesley

Todd,

I was in CF for the PSU game. Was standing on the old “Bridge”. I have a very good recollection of us losing and me and my son were very dejected.

Just curious….was the FG a bank shot off an upright….I thought it was a clear shot….but, again, I don’t have any video. Just curious if you used the word “Banked” for emphasis.

Thanks,

Todd Lesley
Todd Lesley
4 years ago
Reply to  NCSU68Grad

I can confirm bank shot for you today…pretty sure it hit upright, Kicker was Herb Menhardt. Useless info that clutters my brain.

Todd Lesley
Todd Lesley
4 years ago
Reply to  NCSU68Grad

https://vimeo.com/97863938. You be the judge….can’t say from this video

Todd Lesley
Todd Lesley
4 years ago
Reply to  NCSU68Grad

Go to vimeo and look up Herb Menhardt…replay of his FGs vs NCSU are there. Herb ranks right up there with Dudley Bradley in NCSU lore

Todd Lesley
Todd Lesley
4 years ago
Reply to  NCSU68Grad

My roommate at NCSU texted me this : “its was a bank shot…uggggg!”

58 Wolf Kennel
58 Wolf Kennel
4 years ago

Laugh out loud funny so early in the morning (also a good helping of truth and wisdom). Several long discussions the past few days with one of your Junction Boys Miggs. Good guy. Don’t know where or when NC State will be going or who or whether we’ll be able to make it this year (both time and money as well as dispersed family).
Love the Bowl-a Rama idea. Works in basketball.
Frank Linstreet comments always so much better than Agent Pierce comments :>))
Have a great day !!!

classichost
classichost
4 years ago

How about the Mattress Outlet bowl live from Dowdy-Ficklen? You know that new indoor putt putt course going up on 10th st is going to be a must see destination. Of course here in the capitol of district 12 the populace was about to go into utter meltdown following the most recent mishap from Ruff McNeill’s crew, ain’t no meltdown like a Pirate Nation meltdown. In regards to your concept of a bowl bazaar it truly would be just too genius, too profitable to ever be implemented.

Frank Linstreet
Frank Linstreet
4 years ago

BL, you do know that line (very funny BTW) about “sex with farm animals” is going to piss-off the really really crazy faction in WuffWorld.

TJ
TJ
4 years ago

Know you saw the latest NCAA edict allowing 5-7 teams to be bowl eligible. Looks like there will not be 80 6-6 teams this year.

Everyone should watch the WKRP Thanksgiving “Turkey drop” episode on YouTube every year. It still makes me laugh out loud, just like the NCAA does all year long.

FG
FG
4 years ago

Could Kristine Leahy be a Tiki Girl?

Eddie.T
Eddie.T
4 years ago

Classic BobLee! Should be required reading for every AD, Trustee and fan.

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