DOOLEY NOTED

Do we really need 39 Bowl games?

Overkill for some, but a gift to the players. Here’s why ...


Alabama’s AJ McCarron holds The Coaches’ Trophy after the BCS National Championship college football game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami. Alabama won 42-14.

The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.

A wise man once told me something that I have to remember around this time every year.

He said, “You have to understand that bowl games aren’t for you and they aren’t for the fans. They are for the teams that play in them and the communities that play host to them.”

I get it. I get that it doesn’t matter how many people complain about boring match-ups between 6-6 teams or that there are too many bowl games.

Because more are on the way.

Next year, we’ll have four more of them to run the total to 39. Are there 78 teams deserving of playing in the postseason? Of course not. But there are 78 who are willing and wanting.

They are so willing that many of them lose money going to bowl games because they are required to sell a certain amount of tickets and have to eat the ones they cannot sell. Florida lost $840,000 at the 2013 Sugar Bowl. Rutgers lost $740,000 at the 2010 St. Petersburg Bowl. Virginia Tech played in the Orange Bowl three times in four years from 2008-2011 and lost money each time.

And still, they are adding more games.

One of them is in Montgomery, Ala.

Another is in the Bahamas.

But even the teams that are selected to play in Montgomery will be happy because the players get gifts and the coach gets extra weeks of practices and the school gets exposure since every bowl game is televised (most of them on ESPN).

This year, the Bowl schedule opens with a quadruple-header on Dec. 21. Nothing says the holidays like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the blue turf in Boise.

There are only three days from Dec. 21 to the BCS National Championship Game Jan. 6 without a bowl game.

One of them is Christmas. The other two are NFL Sundays where the college game knows it cannot compete.

Of course there is a game on Christmas Eve. It’s not an annual tradition for you and your family to read “The Night Before Christmas” grab some eggnog and settle in to watch the Hawaii Bowl while waiting for Santa?

It’s easy to make fun of the bowl season, but something we all have to realize is that a lot of brothers and moms and uncles are going to have a nicer Christmas because of bowl season. Many of the players in these games take their bowl gifts and use them as Christmas presents for their families.

It may not sound sexy to be playing in the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl until you find out that you receive a Fossil watch, a 32-inch flat screen TV and a backpack among your goodies. And that just comes from the bowl.

Each bowl is allowed to provide up to $550 worth of gifts to each player and coach (up to 125 people). The schools are allowed to give another $400 worth of gifts and the conferences can give another $400.

That’s some swag.

So while you might not watch Central Michigan and Western Kentucky play in the Little Caesars Bowl, those kids who were involved were treated like kings for a week, and their moms all got iPad minis. You may find it abhorrent that five teams finished their season with under-.500 records because of bowl losses, but those teams weren’t complaining.

Even with the new BCS College Football Playoffs next year, the bowl system is only going to expand. Embrace it, because it’s not going away. It’s only going to expand. There is talk of bowl games in Dubai and Dublin.

Just remember, the bowl games aren’t for you. And nobody is going to make you

watch them.

2013-14 College Football Bowl Schedule

Bowl

Location

Date/Time

TV

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

(MWC vs. Pac-12)

Albuquerque, NM

University Stadium

Sat., Dec. 21

2 p.m.

ESPN

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

(MWC vs. Pac-12)

Las Vegas, NV

Sam Boyd Stadium

Sat., Dec. 21

3:30 p.m.

ABC

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

(MAC vs. MWC)

Boise, ID

Bronco Stadium

Sat., Dec. 21

5:30 p.m.

ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)

New Orleans, LA

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Sat., Dec. 21

9 p.m.

ESPN

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl

(American vs. C-USA)

St. Petersburg, FL

Tropicana Field

Mon., Dec. 23

2 p.m.

ESPN

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

(C-USA vs. MWC)

Honolulu, HI

Aloha Stadium

Tue., Dec. 24

8 p.m.

ESPN

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

(Big Ten vs. MAC)

Detroit, MI

Ford Field

Thu., Dec. 26

6 p.m.

ESPN

San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl (Army vs. MWC)

San Diego, CA

Qualcomm Stadium

Thu., Dec. 26

9:30 p.m.

ESPN

Military Bowl

(ACC vs. C-USA)

Annapolis, MD

Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium

Fri., Dec. 27

2:30 p.m.

ESPN

Texas Bowl

(Big 12 vs. Big Ten)

Houston, TX

Reliant Stadium

Fri., Dec. 27

6 p.m.

ESPN

Fight Hunger Bowl

(BYU vs. Pac-12)

San Francisco, CA

AT&T Park

Fri., Dec. 27

9:30 p.m.

ESPN

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

(American vs. Big 12)

Bronx, NY

Yankee Stadium

Sat., Dec. 28

Noon

ESPN

Belk Bowl

(ACC vs. American)

Charlotte, NC

Bank of America Stadium

Sat., Dec. 28

3:20 p.m.

ESPN

Russell Athletic Bowl

(ACC vs. American)

Orlando, FL

Florida Citrus Bowl

Sat., Dec. 28

6:45 p.m.

ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

(Big 12 vs. Big Ten)

Tempe, AZ

Sun Devil Stadium

Sat., Dec. 28

10:15 p.m.

ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (MWC vs. Navy)

Fort Worth, TX

Amon G. Carter Stadium

Mon., Dec. 30

11:45 a.m.

ESPN

Franklin Amer. Mort. Music City Bowl (ACC vs. SEC)

Nashville, TN

LP Field

Mon., Dec. 30

3:15 p.m.

ESPN

Valero Alamo Bowl

(Big 12 vs. Pac-12)

San Antonio, TX

Alamodome

Mon., Dec. 30

6:45 p.m.

ESPN

National University Holiday Bowl

(Big 12 vs. Pac-12)

San Diego, CA

Qualcomm Stadium

Mon., Dec. 30

10:15 p.m.

ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Bowl

(ACC vs. SEC)

Shreveport, LA

Independence Stadium

Tue., Dec. 31

12:30 p.m.

ESPN

Hyundai Sun Bowl

(ACC vs. Pac-12)

El Paso, TX

Sun Bowl

Tue., Dec. 31

2 p.m.

CBS

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

(C-USA vs. SEC)

Memphis, TN

Liberty Bowl

Tue., Dec. 31

4 p.m.

ESPN

Chick-fil-A Bowl

(ACC vs. SEC)

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Dome

Tue., Dec. 31

8 p.m.

ESPN

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

(Big Ten vs. SEC)

Jacksonville, FL

EverBank Field

Wed., Jan. 1

Noon

ESPN2

Heart of Dallas Bowl

(Big Ten vs. C-USA)

Dallas, TX

Cotton Bowl Stadium

Wed., Jan. 1

Noon

ESPNU

Capital One Bowl

(Big Ten vs. SEC)

Orlando, FL

Florida Citrus Bowl

Wed., Jan. 1

1 p.m.

ABC

Outback Bowl

(Big Ten vs. SEC)

Tampa, FL

Raymond James Stadium

Wed., Jan. 1

1 p.m.

ESPN

Rose Bowl Game

(BCS/Pac-12 #1 vs. BCS/Big Ten #1)

Pasadena, CA

Rose Bowl

Wed., Jan. 1

5 p.m.

ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

(BCS/Big 12 #1 vs. BCS At-Large)

Glendale, AZ

U. of Phoenix Stadium

Wed., Jan. 1

8:30 p.m.

ESPN

Allstate Sugar Bowl

(BCS/SEC #1 vs. BCS At-Large)

New Orleans, LA

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Thu., Jan. 2

8:30 p.m.

ESPN

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic

(Big 12 vs. SEC)

Arlington, TX

AT&T Stadium

Fri., Jan. 3

8 p.m.

FOX

Discover Orange Bowl

(BCS/ACC #1 vs. BCS At-Large)

Miami Gardens, FL

Sun Life Stadium

Fri., Jan. 3

8:30 p.m.

ESPN

BBVA Compass Bowl

(American vs. SEC)

Birmingham, AL

Legion Field

Sat., Jan. 4

1 p.m.

ESPN

GoDaddy Bowl

(MAC vs. Sun Belt)

Mobile, AL

Ladd-Peebles Stadium

Sun., Jan. 5

9 p.m.

ESPN

BCS National Championship Game (BCS #1 vs. BCS #2)

Pasadena, CA

Rose Bowl

Mon., Jan. 6

8:30 p.m.

ESPN

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