The playoffs have made these bowls insignificant

Who knew the Orange Bowl was tonight? I didn’t. I remember when the Orange Bowl was the grand finale to a great day of college football. New Year’s Day started with the Cotton Bowl, followed by the Sugar Bowl, then the Rose Bowl in Pasadena…then the Orange Bowl in Miami started at 7pm.

The Orange Bowl when we beat Oklahoma 31-7 when OU was ranked #1. How in the world were we not named National Champions? Lou Holtz put a whipping on Barry Switzer that he won’t ever forget. We were missing 3 stud players who were suspended, but it was not a factor. Roland Sales and our defense just pounded the Sooners.

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Top six (AP) before the bowls in 1977:

  1. Texas
  2. OU
  3. Bama
  4. Michigan
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Arkansas

Texas, OU and Michigan all lost. You would expect Bama to have moved up from 3 to 1, but Notre Dame knocking off #1 Texas pushed them over the Tide. We weren’t going to pass either team in that scenario, and we didn’t. We did get 5 1/3 first place votes though (one voter split ND/Bama/Arkansas for first place). Texass still got two votes after losing.

Coaches poll had a similar outcome; we went from 6 to 3 there too. Two first place votes in that one. Penn State wound up fourth in coaches, seventh in AP (the next year, Bama would play Penn State in the Sugar Bowl and a goal-line stand would get Bama a share of the NC with USC).

As a confirmed old guy I feel your pain.

As Bob Dylan says…The Times They are a Changing…

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I don’t think the New Year’s Six bowl games are any less significant now than they were in the BCS days. They are of high importance to the teams playing in them, but there is mostly just passing interest elsewhere.

It has been a long time since all of the big games were on New Year’s Day. The Cotton Bowl has been on Jan. 1 once since the Arkansas-Missouri game to end the 2007 season. It has been 20 years since the Orange Bowl was on Jan. 1 each year.

What has changed the bowl structure more than the playoff is ESPN assuming control of the TV rights. The Rose and Sugar have been able to leverage the same annual time slot on New Year’s Day, but the others have allowed themselves to be moved around to create inventory for ESPN over several days.

The playoffs have made them less significant, I suppose. Depending on conference bowl tie-ins, only a couple of the traditional “Big Four” New Year’s Day bowls would really be significant, in terms of the winner having a chance to finish #1 in the polls. Now, everyone is pretty much waiting around on January 13th.

I’ve probably watched fewer bowl games than ever before this year, just because there aren’t many “marquee” matchups.

Add to the situation the huge number of meaningless bowls added in the last 20 years to the playoff system and frankly, many will lose interest in post season college football. And I predict that more and more hopeful high NFL draft choices will sit out the post season games. Oversaturation.

One more thing as far as fan interest: Conference contracts have stuck some of the old NYD bowls with lousy matchups. With Clemson in the playoffs, the Orange is stuck with 9-4 Virginia as the ACC team; UVa barely made the CFP top 25. Florida was ninth at 10-2. Even when the Big Eight team went to Miami every year, that champion was almost always top five (and frequently was playing Miami in what was basically a home game). Sugar has the second best team in the SEC and in the Big 12; at least Georgia is #5, while Baylor is #7.

The Sugar Bowl rarely gets the SEC champion and hasn’t for a long time. The SEC champion is always in the playoff (and the BCS title game before that), so the only time the Sugar has a chance to get the SEC’s best team is when it is one of the semifinal games. It hasn’t hosted the SEC champion since 2014 and that was the first time since 2005.

The year Arkansas went was because Auburn was playing in the BCS championship game.

Yup. But contractually, if the SEC champ is somehow 11-2, it would go to New Orleans.

I know I’m a dinosaur & I know I’m sweeping against the tide, but I wish we had the old bowl system. I’d love to see the big games on NYD. I’d be quite content with controversy about who is #1 after the bowls. Most years, there’d be no real controversy, but I never thought the world ended because UPI had one champion & AP had another.

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That gets my vote

They should just move the bowls to one team’s campus. Most of these schools are losing money on athletics and losing money on the bowl. The host city isn’t making money if nobody travels to the game. All this so ESPN has inventory. It’s really pretty silly.

I remember when bowls partly chose teams based on how well their fans travelled. Guess that’s out the window now.

The host city fills many of its hotels and restaurants. That’s why they host them.

To be honest, I’ve forgotten what a bowl trip is like.

Oh, I’m sure there are a few extra hotels booked and tables reserved even when only 20k show up. However, the host city would probably do it only a) for the exposure and b) getting another paid event in their stadium, which would likely otherwise sit empty that day.

You’re right, a bowl trip seems about as foreign right now as a Mars trip.

I was one of the few who thought the BCS should have stayed in place.

However, if we were going to go to a playoff approach with four teams, I was hoping that the playoffs would be a separate entity from the four major bowls: Peach, Cotton, Sugar, and Orange.

This way, if you were not in the playoffs but you won the Orange bowl, you could still say you had a pretty darn good year.

It just seems wrong to me that you can win the Orange bowl then lose in the championship game and you feel like your season was for nothing. That just seems wrong to me.

I didn’t realize it was on last night either. But it was a good game to watch.

I still enjoy watching the “major” Bowl games, just like I enjoy watching any match-up of Top 10 or 20 teams during the regular season. The Bowl games DO matter - they just (exept for the CFP rotation in the given year, of course) factor into the National Champion. But for all other teams, how they finish in the Bowl game affects where they end the year in the rankings.

Besides which, a good game is a good game.

And - yes - I DID know the Orange Bowl was last night.

Georgia has several players who are not going to play in the bowl game. They decided to not risk an injury which might cost them in the NFL picture. We are going to see more of that.

Play in a game for free and risk a $495,000 salary next year plus whatever signing bonus or additional salary their draft position might be worth? I’d have to think long and hard about taking that kind of risk too.

You and me both