So let's break this down. There will be 41 bowls consisting of 80 separate teams. There are only 128 total teams in the NCAA FBS division (formerly Division 1-A). According to my math, that means an elite 62.5% of teams play in bowls. Teams have to win six games, seven if they play 13 games, to qualify for a bowl. So, you have to have at least a break-even record, 6-6. That is unless you don't. This bowl season there are 15 teams with the supposed minimum 6-6 record. There is also one team, Hawaii, with a 6-7 record and two teams with a 5-7 record. It's fairly obvious to me that if there are not enough teams with at least a .500 record, there are too many bowls.
I remember when there were fewer than 10 bowls so only the top dozen or so teams got an invitation. Now the #12 team in the SEC goes to a bowl game. Many of the games are now held just to satisfy ESPN's huge appetite for content. In fact, many of the newer bowls were started and are produced by ESPN. Because of this you will see crappy games played in front of a couple of thousand spectators.
Other than the three playoff games I will probably watch at least parts of Florida vs Iowa in the Outback Bowl, USF vs South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl and TCU vs Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Florida, South Florida and TCU are teams I follow all season.
I'll also check out the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville where Georgia Tech plays Kentucky. This is my hometown and was a big event back in the day. The TaxSlayer Bowl name pisses me off. A couple of years ago the powers that be dropped the Gator Bowl part of the name. The Gator Bowl was founded in 1946 which makes it the sixth oldest bowl. I blame the bowl committee, the city and the sponsor for abandoning the historic name. What the hell is a TaxSlayer anyway? Even their crappy logo barely recognizes Jacksonville.
The Cotton Bowl is no longer played in the Cotton Bowl. It is now played at AT&T Stadium, aka Jerry's World, in Arlington. To further confuse the issue, the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl is held in the Cotton Bowl. The longest bowl name is the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman although the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl are close behind. Do the teams in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl have to stay in a Motel 6? We also have the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. I'm not sure if Idaho or the Potatoes are famous. Then we have the Popeyes Bahama Bowl which is held in a second rate soccer stadium in that hotbed of American Football, Nassau.
I would guess that Alabama is favored in this year's playoffs.We may even have a rematch from last year between Alabama and Clemson.
So how many bowl games will you be watching? Will you be following your favorite teams or maybe your favorite corporate sponsor? Happy bowling.