Huskies To Play Oklahoma State in “Recycled” Bowl Game January 2
Hey - you only take what they give you! Much has been said about there being "too many" college bowl games, but it's not the Huskies or Cowboys fault. That having been said, are there really too many? Now, they're being recycled.
January 2nd, Friday, the University of Washington Huskies (8-5) will take on 6-6 Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl in Tucson, Arizona. At first glance, we didn't recognize the name, so we did a little sleuthing.
The Ticket City Cactus Bowl, as it's formally known, is actually a "recycled" bowl game that's been around for a number of years. The bowl began in 1989, and has been played in the state of Arizona.
For it's first 3 seasons it was known as The Copper Bowl. Then, it became the Insight.com Bowl, then in 2012 it was the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. After Buffalo opted not to renew it's sponsorship after the 2013 contest, organizers decided to call it the Cactus Bowl this year and got TicketCity to sponsor.
It was sponsored by Domino's Pizza the first three years, then Weiser Lock products before Insight.com came on board. The game has been played in 3 different stadiums. Most recently, it's moved to Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State University campus. It moved there after the much bigger Fiesta Bowl moved to the big University of Phoenix stadium - the site of this season's NFL Super Bowl, and the home of the Arizona Cardinals.
While it's great that the Huskies get to play in the post season, this game, and many others, highlight what many believe to be a glut of too many games, which reward mediocrity.
According to the official website of the NCAA, this season there are 38 bowl games, giving 76 teams an opportunity to play. There's actually 39 bowl games, but the Playoff Championship is not included as it will feature two teams who already advanced through the Rose and Sugar Bowls.
There are approximately 127 NCAA schools that play at the Division I, or highest, level. There were 128 before The University of Alabama-Birmingham abruptly elected to drop football a few weeks ago.
If you do the math, that means only 51 teams will NOT be in a bowl game this year. A record of 6-6 will get you bowl eligible as the sports experts say.
So why so many games? TV revenue. If a bowl can get corporate sponsorship, and TV money then it's on. ESPN has the lion's share of the bowl games this season, and they get corporate sponsors to help pay for those. In addition, many storied programs such as Penn State, Texas, Alabama, LSU, USC and others have fans who travel very well, meaning the bowl will sell LOTS of tickets to fans and alumni.
So, it's basically about money. And until the process sees a big financial drain, or drop in TV revenue, the glut of college bowl games will continue.
It's great for the schools, but in all reality, all too often, it's rewarding mediocrity. Teams should win 8-9-10 games to get rewarded.