CRAWFORD BLOG: TIme to bowl over this silly system - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD BLOG: Time to bowl over this silly system

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Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that we have a playoff. I think it's great. I don't even care about the SEC and Big 12 starting a new bowl game. At least it's a good bowl game.

What we need now is some bowl contraction.

College football is a tough-guy sport. So why should every team that is .500 or better get a trophy at the end? Most sports end that at the Pee-Wee level.

Listen to what is happening now. With bowl regulars like Ohio State, Penn State and others under a bowl ban, "bowl organizers" (a.k.a. ESPN, which owns the bowls) have prevailed upon the NCAA to loosen up the requirements for getting into a bowl game.

It's almost a given that there won't be enough teams with records of .500 or better to fill all the available bowls. So here are the allowances the NCAA has made.

-- If there are teams that are 6-7 after losing in a conference championship game, they will be bowl eligible.

-- If there are teams, like Hawaii, who play 13 regular-season games, those teams will be bowl eligible even if their records are 6-7.

-- If there are teams reclassifying to the Football Bowl Subdivision with records of 6-6 or better, they will be eligible.

-- And finally, a 5-7 team may be invited to a bowl if it is in the top five of the NCAA's Academic Progress Report.

Grades! They're not just for Olympic sports anymore.

The bowl system is obsolete. It is a money-loser for most schools who go. Most are charities in name only. Only the better bowls wind up being profitable for anyone.

I know, I'm for more access in a playoff system. But if eight teams is too many for a playoff system, then 70 teams -- and that's how many will make bowls this season -- are too many for the postseason. Do you realize that more football teams make the FBS postseason than make the NCAA Division I postseason?

The system is stupid. Start by trimming the number of bowls back from 35 to 20, implement uniform standards for selection. That's still too many bowls, probably. But it's enough to provide some decent December entertainment without handing out bowl bids to 5-7 teams.

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