College football has too many bowl games

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

One of the greatest traditions in college athletics is football’s bowl season. Bowl games have traditionally dominated late December and early January, especially New Year’s Day. Before the switch to the College Football Playoff, playing in a January bowl game meant that you had a great season.

This season features 40 bowl games, as well as the championship game on Jan. 11.

Because only 77 teams finished bowl-eligible (six wins or more), for the first time ever three teams that finished with five wins played in bowl games.

The 5-7 Nebraska Cornhuskers, Minnesota Golden Gophers and San Jose State Spartans all made bowl games. San Diego State defeated Georgia State. Nebraska throttled a highly overrated UCLA team, and Minnesota knocked off the Chippewas of Central Michigan.

Even though there were three games featuring a team with a losing record, people still watched the games. What would happen if people didn’t watch the games? Would ESPN stop showing them? Would they take five or 10 bowl games away?

ESPN holds all the power over the college football season. It holds the rights for the College Football Playoff and semifinal games (which tanked in the ratings, probably because they were played on New Year’s Eve) and broadcasts bowl games on ESPN Radio.The network and college football will continue to add games until the games stop making money.

Is watching these bowl games adding to the problem and making more bowl games happen every year?

Yes, I watched the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and the Foster Farms Bowl.

Did I enjoy these games?

Mostly yes — at least enough not to turn them off. But now these games have become so similar that it’s hard to distinguish between the GoDaddy Bowl and the AutoNation Cure Bowl.

But there will come a time where people don’t want to watch a 4-8 team play a 3-9 team, and that’s when the money will stop pouring in for these bowl games.

The only game with teams with horrible records I would watch would be what I’m calling “The Basement Bowl.” This game will have the two teams with the worst records play each other to determine who is truly the worst of the worst. The 2015 Basement Bowl? 0-12 Kansas vs. 0-12 Central Florida. The game will be played in the worst venue in professional sports (this year there was a tie between Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego and Coliseum in Oakland).

If we want the bad bowl games and bad bowl game names to stop, then we have to stop watching them. Until then ESPN will continue to profit from bowl games that may eventually be named after bail bond companies or strip clubs.