All the things they’ve accomplished all season has led as much as this recreation: The [insert sponsor] Bowl. These groups labored all season lengthy in order that they might get six wins and the chance to play within the postseason. No less than that’s what bowl video games are alleged to be: The fruits of the season. But when something they’re only a preview for the next one.
Their significance has been diminishing for some time. When there was simply the BCS title recreation, there was nonetheless loads of status in enjoying in a bowl recreation. Solely two groups make it, so there wasn’t any disgrace in not being a kind of two. With the addition of the College Football Playoff, they’ve change into much less vital. There are 4 complete playoff spots. What do you imply you didn’t make it? New Yr’s Six bowl video games have more and more felt like comfort prizes for groups that have been thiiiiiiiis shut to creating the playoff however simply missed it.
Now with the CFP increasing to 12 groups, they very could possibly be on the best way out. Beginning within the 2024 season, how is anybody alleged to muster sufficient power to care in regards to the Union House Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl when there are 11 playoff video games?
All the things is working in opposition to Bowl Mania. Gamers who know they’re going to get drafted decide out in order that they don’t threat damage. Most teaching change choices are made earlier than the “postseason” for some bizarre purpose. Gamers can enter the switch portal earlier than their bowl video games for some even weirder purpose. Hell, Notre Dame’s beginning QB was one of many gamers to try this.
I’m not advocating in opposition to gamers opting out or transferring. They need to do no matter they need, nevertheless it’s loopy that gamers are allowed to enter the switch portal earlier than what is meant to be the most important recreation of their season. The truth that it opens earlier than bowl video games occur simply speaks to their irrelevance.
A staff that performs in a bowl recreation might probably be unrecognizable from the one which performed of their closing regular-season recreation just a few weeks earlier. Bowl video games aren’t a lot a postseason recreation as they’re a “let’s see what we have now for subsequent 12 months” recreation.
Take Florida for instance. Anthony Richardson was the beginning quarterback for the Gators each recreation this season, however has opted out in anticipation of the NFL draft. Jack Miller III, a freshman (regardless that he was at Ohio State for 2 seasons) who hasn’t performed in a recreation for the Gators will begin in his place. Once more, to Miller that is in all probability means much less of a postseason recreation and extra an audition for the beginning spot subsequent season. Florida may even be fielding a staff the place 17 gamers have already entered the switch portal.
Wisconsin fired its head coach, Paul Chryst, midseason and employed Luke Fickell, however interim coach, Jim Leonhard, remains to be in cost for his or her bowl recreation. It feels fairly weird that Leonhard goes to educate this recreation whereas his already-selected alternative lurks over his shoulder just like the grim reaper. Nice motivation. When you’re allowed to rent a brand new head coach between the common season and postseason, then why can’t they coach?
Some have speculated that with the document variety of transfers, this could possibly be the worst bowl season ever. They may be proper, however even then, I’m not attempting to argue that it’s not value watching. Unhealthy school soccer remains to be rather more favorable than sitting round and ready for the solar to set at 4:45.
There are literally some nice matchups. UTSA and Troy are being rewarded for profitable their conferences, profitable 11 video games, and being nationally ranked, by enjoying one another at present — the primary day of video games. I’m being a bit sarcastic, nevertheless it actually is a reward to play as quickly as attainable and get to go house for Christmas. USC, which has the Heisman winner who’s nonetheless a 12 months away from being draft eligible, and was one win away from the playoff, get Tulane. For Tulane, who gained two video games final 12 months, this must be like their Tremendous Bowl. Is USC going to have the ability to stand up for a Group of 5 opponent after narrowly lacking out on the nationwide semiclosing?
Regardless of the extra promising matchups, it’s onerous to see bowl video games as a legit postseason when it’s a bunch of quarterbacks who didn’t make a begin all season throwing to backup receivers as a result of the starters are transferring, whereas getting play calls from a coach who’s already been changed.