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Post Why should bowls require winning records?

Thursday May 15, 2008

The NCAA membership has maintained an odd duality when it comes to the 1-A football postseason. On one hand, they disclaim any role or even influence in the process that determines the BCS champion. True enough. On the other hand, the NCAA is granted some oversight such as the requirement that a team must win at least six games in order to accept a bowl invitation.


Though bowls started out as a tourist attraction, along the way we’ve attached the implication that a bowl bid is some kind of reward for which only certain teams should be eligible. If at their core the bowls are just business arrangements between teams, conferences, television, and organizers, why put restrictions on the participant pool? This restriction might mean that there won’t be enough teams to fill all of the bowls certified by the NCAA.

In any season there are several big-name teams who sit on the postseason sidelines. Even with a depressed or angry fan base, these teams might be more attractive in terms of attendance, name recognition, television appeal, and publicity for the bowl. You think a Notre Dame team even at 3-8 wouldn’t be a bigger draw for a lower-tier bowl than, say, Florida Atlantic?

It’s not like 6-6 or even 7-5 is a season for the books. If we’re going to keep this traditional, quirky, and great postseason based around bowls (and it looks as if we are), throw off the restrictions on the marketplace and let all teams regardless of record compete for a spot in these exhibition games.

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