“Bowl me over!”

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 6, 2014 #470 Up next…”Bowl me over!”

After further review…I’d like to start this New Year by thanking all my readers for their support of ‘The TunneySide’ these past eight years, and wishing each of you good health and success in 2014. I am proud to announce the publication of “101 Best of The Tunney Side of Sports” in the coming month, and will keep you informed about how to add this book to your collection.

“Well, bowl me over” is an old exclamatory expression that covers everything from stunned dismay to happy surprise. I’m using one of its in-between definitions. “Too many bowl games!” The 2013 NCAA Division1 college football season had 35 bowl games, the last one being played tonight! All but two of the seventy colleges playing in these bowl games had winning records, if you consider 7-6 a winning record.  The sub-.500 pair finished their season at 6 -7 and then, not surprisingly, lost their bowl game.

Many of us recall an era when the five pioneering bowl games (Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Sun, and — granddaddy of them all—the Rose Bowl) were all played on January 1st. Those bowl games really mattered and we all looked forward to that big day. This year bowl games started on December 21st and conclude tonight (January 6th). The belief here is that bowl significance has diminished!

One of the causes may be the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) which sought to present the best qualified teams in the nation. As of 2014 the BCS will be out of business. The major (D-1) colleges have agreed to a playoff system that mimics those used in other sports, most notably basketball. In the past colleges have avoided football playoffs, one argument being that it took too much class time away from their student-athletes. That reasoning has been replaced by the fixation on knowing who’s the best T*E*A*M in America”. We’ll see.

Another major motivation for the many bowl games is financial gain. Teams and their conferences stand to gain substantial monies from successful, i.e. sold out games. However, that is not always the case. Each participating school is required to buy an assigned number of tickets and assume the risk for any that goes unsold. And while each school in the conference shares the potential profits, they do not share the burden of paying for unsold tickets. We’ll save the debate about TV profits for another day!

Will you log-in your thoughts on the number of college bowl games?

To contact Jim go to www.jimtunney.com or email him at jim@jimtunney.com.

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