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Texas A&M Football

Bowl game inflation causing credibility problems around college football

November 19, 2019
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There was a time when college football bowl games were exclusive. There was a time when college football bowl games were a standard of achievement.

Of course, there was also a time when the United States included only 48 states.

That was in the 1940s when the Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Orange and Sun Bowls were the only major bowl games. Playing in a bowl game required winning a conference championship or having an otherwise stellar season.

The number of bowl games expanded to eight through the ‘60s, reached 15 in the ‘80s, increased to 19 in the ‘90s and then spread like acne in adolescence to 40.

That requires 78 teams (two college football playoffs semifinalists play for the championship). There are 130 teams in the Football Bowl Series, which means more than half will play in bowl games.

Now, the shame of failing to reach a bowl game is greater than the acclaim of playing in one.

Now, the shame of failing to reach a bowl game is greater than the acclaim of playing in one.

Obviously, bowl games are no longer exclusive. Playing in them isn’t necessarily a reward for a job well done, but a reprieve — or maybe a rebuke — for a mundane campaign.

In an effort to salvage a thread of credibility, a requirement of six victories was established to qualify for bowl games. Of course, that requirement has been waived when not enough teams qualified to fill all the bowl games.

That may be the case this season. Sixty-four teams are bowl eligible. Twenty-five are already ineligible. That leaves 41 still hoping to reach six victories. Twenty of those teams are in Power 5 conferences.

Here’s a quick look at those teetering 20, their remaining opponents and a quick prediction of whether they will attain six victories:

  1. NC State (4-6); Georgia Tech, North Carolina; NO
  2. Syracuse (4-6); Louisville, Wake Forest; NO
  3. North Carolina (4-6); Mercer, NC State; YES
  4. Duke (4-6); Wake Forest, Miami; NO
  5. TCU (5-5); Oklahoma, West Virginia; YES
  6. Texas Tech (4-6); Kansas State, Texas; NO
  7. West Virginia (4-6); Oklahoma State, TCU; NO
  8. Michigan State (4-6); Rutgers, Maryland; YES
  9. Purdue (4-6); Wisconsin, Indiana; NO
  10. Nebraska (4-6); Maryland, Iowa; NO
  11. Stanford (4-6); Cal, Notre Dame; NO
  12. Cal (5-5); Stanford, UCLA; YES
  13. Washington St. (5-5); Oregon St., Washington; YES
  14. UCLA (4-6); USC, Cal; NO
  15. Arizona (4-6); Utah, Arizona State; NO
  16. Colorado (4-6); Washington, Utah; NO
  17. Tennessee (5-5); Missouri, Vanderbilt; YES
  18. Kentucky (5-5); Tennessee-Martin, Louisville; YES
  19. Mississippi St. (4-6); Abilene Christian, Ole Miss; NO
  20. Missouri (5-5); Tennessee, Arkansas; YES
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
LSU QB Joe Burrow continues to show why he’s the favorite to win the Heisman.

Heisman watch (if my ballot was due today)

1. Joe Burrow, LSU, QB: Another game, another stellar showing from Burrow. He passed for 489 yards and 5 touchdowns and — for good measure — rushed for additional 26 yards in a 58-37 victory over Ole Miss. Burrow is third in the nation with 3,902 yards of total offense. He’s also accounted for 41 touchdowns (38 passing, 3 rushing).

2. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, QB: Hurts threw 4 touchdown passes — 3 in a second-half rally from a 21-point deficit — to lift Oklahoma over Baylor 34-31. Hurts passed for 297 yards and rushed for 114 in the victory. He’s second in the nation with 4,022 yards of total offense. He’s accumulated 43 touchdowns (28 passing, 15 rushing).

3. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama, QB: This could be the last week to include Tagovailoa, but he had a strong game before his season-ending injury. In less than one half of play in a 38-7 victory over Mississippi State, he passed for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is ranked seventh in the nation in passing. He’s thrown for 2,840 yards and 33 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions.

4. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin, RB: Taylor was dominant in a 37-21 victory at Nebraska. He rushed for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s now second in the nation in rushing with 1,463 yards. That’s despite facing six teams that are ranked among the nation’s Top 50 in run defense. Taylor has scored 17 rushing touchdowns and caught 4 touchdown passes.

5. Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State, RB: The national leader in rushing, Hubbard gained 122 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in a 31-13 victory over Kansas. That raised his year total to 1,726 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Predicted playoff participants

1. LSU: If the Tigers finish unbeaten as expected they can boast victories over Alabama, Florida, Auburn and Georgia. Nobody could match that résumé.

2. Ohio State: Still the most complete team. Star defensive end Chase Young rejoins the Buckeyes this week just in time to face Penn State.

3. Clemson: And the list of blowouts is now extended to six consecutive victories by at least 31 points.

4. Oklahoma: The Sooners are counting on the perception that the Big 12 is a stronger conference than the Pac-12. But Texas’ swoon is hurting OU’s cause.

This week’s best games

(Rankings are Associated Press)

No. 9 Penn State at No. 2 Ohio State: Playoff implications at stake. Penn State is still in the discussion. The talk gets louder if the Nits get the upset in Columbus.
No. 24 Texas A&M at No. 4 Georgia: Georgia has won the SEC East, while A&M has won four in a row. The nee-beaten Bulldogs must win to stay in the playoff picture.
Texas at No. 13 Baylor: Believe it or not, the Longhorns have faint hopes of reaching the Big 12 championship game. Baylor has faint hopes of getting in the playoffs.
UCLA at USC: Crosstown rivalries are always interesting. Plus, USC still harbors outside hopes of winning the Pac-12 South.
No. 20 Boise State at Utah State: Boise State could land in a New Year’s Six bowl as a Group of Five representative, but they cannot afford another loss. Utah State is just one game back in the MWC West Division standings, so it still has conference title hopes.

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Discussion from...

Bowl game inflation causing credibility problems around college football

10,092 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by W
FriskyGardenGnome
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AG
#6

HunterAggie
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The plethora of bowl games is good for players, fans and television. They don't necessarily provide for great football games.

Other than A&M and the CFP games, I only watch the NY6 any more.
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Jarrin' Jay
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AG
4. Oklahoma: The Sooners are counting on the perception that the Big 12 is a stronger conference than the Pac-12. But Texas' swoon is hurting OU's cause.




That perception doesn't exist anywhere outside the little 12 footprint. Oregon and Utah both with 1 loss were both ranked higher than OU and baylor was even when they were undefeated.

Assuming the first 3 win out, the last spot was down to Bama vs. Oregon/Utah and now may just be down to Oregon/Utah. The little 12 has ZERO chance to get their champ. in the CFP.
Seven Costanza
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AG
The games are boring in part because the stands are often empty. Last year's Frisco Bowl was a matchup of Ohio vs. San Diego State. There aren't any significant number of fans that would want to travel to Frisco in December to watch two crappy teams, nor are there locals interested in going to check out this type of game. Of course no one really cares about the attendance since it's just meant to fill a tv spot, but the atmosphere in the stands contributes to the excitement on the field and at home.
fav13andac1)c
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AG
Along those same lines, the number of senior players skipping bowls to lower risk of injury is steadily increasing. Bowls are losing credibility and prestige at a steady rate. More reason for an expanded playoff. BOWLS DON'T MEAN AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO.
NumberEinAg
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AG
I love the Bowl Game set up because it's about the players, not the journalists. The more the merrier from my viewpoint. They could have every Team in a Bowl Game and it wouldn't hurt my feelings. If a Bowl Game is not financially viable, it will crater - that is called Free Enterprise my friends. If you don't like the game, don't watch it.There are A LOT of programs that aren't going to play for a National Championship, but they can still have the joy of playing in a Bowl Game. There are plenty of other things to complain/write about!!
"They who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
McInnis80
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As long as these games draw rating, they will continue. The rating for these games are better than NBA rating and much better than MLB for ESPN, sot they will continue. Some of these locations are terrible. They asked Dallas to subsidize the First Responders/ Heart of Dallas Bowl. and they city rolled over. There are a lot of people off work the week between Christmas and New Year's and they will watch something.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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Im with OB. There are usually 2-3 bowls before New Year's day I actually want to watch.
Unemployed
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AG
NumberEinAg said:

I love the Bowl Game set up because it's about the players, not the journalists. The more the merrier from my viewpoint. They could have every Team in a Bowl Game and it wouldn't hurt my feelings. If a Bowl Game is not financially viable, it will crater - that is called Free Enterprise my friends. If you don't like the game, don't watch it.There are A LOT of programs that aren't going to play for a National Championship, but they can still have the joy of playing in a Bowl Game. There are plenty of other things to complain/write about!!
Exactly.

I don't understand why people complain about having the opportunity to watch more college football. Don't like it, don't watch it. It changes nothing for you.

Ask the players if they want to play in these lower tier bowl games and most of them will say yes. This provides another game for them to prove themselves to the NFL if they're draft eligible. Or for the underclassmen to showcase their growth and fight for a starting spot the next year.

Some of these people need to realize that it's not always about them.
W
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AG
classic Big 12 round-robin schedule:

5. TCU (5-5); Oklahoma, West Virginia; YES
6. Texas Tech (4-6); Kansas State, Texas; NO
7. West Virginia (4-6); Oklahoma State, TCU; NO

none of them made it to 6-6
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