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The Well-Functioning Bowl System

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The college football bowl system, a cabal controlling the sport, sure does function effectively. Take the Hawaii Bowl, played on Christmas Eve and this year featuring Nevada and Southern Mississippi:

As of Thursday afternoon, Nevada had sold just 10 tickets through phone sales, but had distributed about 600 because pass-list tickets count in tickets distributed. The Hawaii Bowl, mostly because of its annual Christmas Eve date, has historically not been a well-attended game by fans of mainland teams. In 2009, there were about 150-200 Wolf Pack fans at the Hawaii Bowl.

10 tickets sold!!!!!!!!!!!

Surely fans of the Golden Eagles are ready to fly to paradise to see their team play the Wolfpack:

Brandon’s Rick Deaton said he had at least 16 friends ready to make the trip had the Golden Eagles been headed to bowl games in Dallas or Memphis.

“I think it was the wrong choice with all the positive momentum the program had going. Twenty thousand-plus (fans) would have gone to Dallas, but only a couple hundred are going to Hawaii,” he said.

Teresa Smith of Pro Travel Agency in Hattiesburg said last week that only a handful of flights have been booked through her agency.

“We’ve been receiving a lot of phone calls from people interested in going,” she said. “We’ve made reservations for a handful because the price of an airline flight ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 alone.”

Only $1500 before the game ticket and hotel and food. What a great deal!

Remind me why this game exists again. Teams going to the big bowl games make some money on it. Mid-tier bowl teams more or less break even. At this level though, the schools usually lose money on the game. I think it’s important to reward teams with winning records, but sending them 5,000 miles away and ensuring that no one watches the game and the schools get fleeced for their trouble, well, why?

I’m a huge proponent of the playoff system. In fact, I’d like to see a 32 team playoff. That is a lot of extra games for the winning teams, but you could make up for some of that by returning to the 11 game season. Seed the teams 1-32 and higher seed gets the home game until the final. Imagine the excitement this would create. It would be as big as March Madness.

Of course, teams like Nevada and Southern Mississippi aren’t often going to get to the final 32 unless they win their conference. Though this year, Southern Miss might have edged in. But it’s better for all involved to get these teams a reward that makes sense for the school and its fans. Maybe some sort of NIT-like tournament involving 8 or 12 teams that couldn’t quite make the cut. Maybe keep some sort of bowl game but ensure that it is close enough to the school so fans can attend.

The system as it stands though is completely ridiculous.

Via SB Nation

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