clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bowlapalooza 2015: So Many Bowls

Some quick thoughts on how many bowls there are.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I know I have written a lot about bowls over the years. From the very beginning, the whole operation was pageantry at its finest. I mean... let us not forget that one of the main attraction at the Rose Bowl used to be this:

via LA Times Archives

So yeah, it's come a long ways, right? From 1902 to now, we have gone from one bowl game that was stopped after its first installment due to the lopsided nature of the outcome to today where we have 40 bowl games. That is a massive amount of games, right? For context, 63% of teams will make a bowl this year in NCAA FBS. In 1902, 4% of teams made a bowl. Of course, that is kind of a silly stat, so here's a chart for context!

You can click through that chart and see the change in amount of teams, bowls, and percentage of teams that make a bowl throughout the years. Basically, we have a ton of bowl games, and while that isn't inherently an issue, it does bring up some interesting questions about how we should view a bowl game at this point. No longer is the criteria of, "made x amount of bowl games and saved his job," a valid defense of a record.

Of course, all that in mind, this writer believes that it is totally okay that there are this many bowls. In fact, let's let everyone play in a bowl game. If a corporate sponsor wants to put together a ridiculous event in which players can get free stuff without shame for once, go for it. This is no longer about rewarding a team for a great season so much as it's rewarding kids for putting in a lot of work. Sure, I'm going to get the participation trophy people, but I'm cool with those too. There are nicer things for the people who are better. Let's not pretend this still isn't a meritocracy of sorts, and yes, Pasadena is better than Detroit. Still, you win some games, you go somewhere different, and everyone is happy. Let's be okay with that.

And really, that's my question to you all. Are there too many bowls? I say no, but I also love watching meaningless football with teams unfamiliar with each other. Maybe you are a fun-hater. Either way go vote and argue. It's what we're good at on OTE.


Editor's note: Sorry for being a little sparse this week. I think our entire team is catching its breath after the Big Ten Championship Game and the run through 14 weeks of football + the craziness of B1G 2015. Look for some more bowl content - spolier: I'm going to try and rank every bowl game - in the very very near future and probably other random stuff we have been meaning to catch up on. Oh, and don't forget hockey and basketball! Thanks for sticking around. More soon!