Today is New Year’s Day but for most college football fans, it will be a buffet of bowl games to binge watch. I’ll be honest with you, I will probably be watching one bowl game today. That’s it. Unless I find myself on the sofa, by myself and the remote control within reach, I will not be one of those binge watchers.
Bowl games used to be different when I was growing up. You simply had the bowl games such as the Rose, Sugar, Cotton and Orange Bowl. With today’s sponsorship of the bowl games, they add some advertiser to the game. Some won’t even hide it in the title.
They are called “bowl” games because of the shape of most stadiums were similar to a bowl. The very first bowl game was the 1902 Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford. Michigan won that game 49-0. The Rose Bowl was the only major college bowl game in 1930. In 1935, the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl were added. In 1937, the Cotton Bowl began.
Today there are about 41 bowl games played when you include the national championship game. In April 2016 there was a three-year cap put on the number of new bowl games due to the difficulty in filling the games with teams without losing records. If this restriction is ever lifted, here are some new bowl games being proposed in the future:
- Austin Bowl (Austin, TX)
- Medal of Honor Bowl (Charleston, SC)
- Myrtle Beach Bowl (Myrtle Beach, SC)
- Melbourne Bowl (Melbourne, Victoria)
- Christmas Bowl (Los Angeles)
- Dubai Bowl (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
- Ireland Bowl (Dublin, Ireland)
- Little Rock Bowl (Little Rock, AR)
- Toronto Bowl (Toronto, Ontario)
- Chicago Bowl (Chicago, IL)
Personally, I would prefer to see the end to bowl games in their current format. Instead, I would like them to all be restructured as part of a college football playoff. I think you could arrange it so that the lower bowls had the first round play-in games and the biggest bowls get the later playoff games. You could still use the bowl name and whoever was sponsoring the game but it would be part of the playoff system. I’m not sure you will see anything changed in our lifetime but we also never thought they would have a four-team playoff either.
It usually boils down to watching whatever bowl game your team is playing in. It’s still about finishing the season with a win and whatever trophy comes with it.
Enjoy your bowl buffet today.