It's all about the Money

Tim Pierce comments that the Bowls can be part of a Playoff System. The problem is that the Bowl Games are all about the money, with the games a distant second.

The fact is that the bowls provide far more help to the hospitality industry than to the teams that play in them. Bowls have strict rules on how many days a team must stay in town and how many tickets the attending schools must buy.

The organizers, generally not-for-profit organizations set up with support from the business community in their home cities, are concerned enough about filling hotel rooms that many second-tier bowls would rather remain second tier than become an early round game of an 8- or 16-team playoff system. That’s true even though being part of a playoff would mean far more attention, television money and the chance to host the nation’s best teams.

In the current system, the bowl is the last game of the season and fans are in town for a blowout – planning to celebrate the season and have their winter holiday. If a bowl becomes a preliminary playoff game, then how many fans will make the trip and how much will they spend? I’m not even sure that you can sell out a 80,000+ stadium for a preliminary game without a home team to draw on – and the home town fans are definitely traveling on the cheap.

If you want to see a NCAA Division 1-A Football playoff, then you have to start by finding a replacement for the Bowl Money. Don’t forget that the Bowl Games get New Year’s Day for their own right now – the playoffs will compete with the NFL every week.

As for me, 29 bowl games mean that 29 teams will end their season on a high note. It insures that I’ve got a full slate of bowl games to watch on New Years Day. And that’s good enough for me.