College bowl season a favorite pastime

SPORTSBEAT
Greg Ceilley • REVIEW SPORTS EDITOR

The college football bowl season is one of my favorite times of the year as a sports fan. I love watching many of the top teams in the country square off.

I’m interested in watching several bowl games but it’s hard for me to get excited about the Quick Lane Bowl featuring two teams with 6-6 records in Boston College and Maryland. The average college football fan has little interest, if any, in minor bowl games such as the Bahamas Bowl or the New Orleans Bowl unless your school is playing in one.

I can’t imagine the TV ratings being very good for some of these bowl games that have teams with mediocre records competing.

Bowl games are supposed to be a reward for teams who had a good regular season. Because the number of bowl games has ballooned in recent years there are several teams with average records competing as there aren’t enough good teams to fill all of the spots.

This bowl season, which includes a whopping 41 games, has 18 teams who had non-winning records in the regular season, including three teams with losing records.

The major bowl games such as the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl have always been among my favorites. Also, being a Big Ten Conference football fan, I also enjoy watching bowl games involving Big Ten teams.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching many exciting bowl games and a slew of outstanding players in these games over the past 50 years. Some of the top players include Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska flanker; Herschel Walker, Georgia running back; and Ron Dayne, Wisconsin running back.

I’m very happy that major college football has a playoff system in place. I was in favor of playoffs many years ago and they were finally adopted in 2014. I was in favor of incorporating the major bowl games into the playoffs which was done.

I like the four-team playoff format but would like an eight-team format even more. I think each of the champions in the five “power conferences” (Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12) should earn automatic berths in the playoffs along with three at-large teams.

No matter how many teams you have in the playoffs, there’s bound to be teams who were left out that felt they deserved to get in. However, the winner of a power conference deserves a playoff berth.

I feel bad for Penn State, this year’s Big Ten champion, which just missed the playoffs. Being the winner of arguably the strongest conference in the country, the Nittany Lions deserved a playoff spot but were edged out by Washington.

At least with an eight-team playoff field, you can include all of the power conference champions.

Enjoy the bowl season. Happy Holidays.


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