In 1980, there were just 16 post-season college football bowl games.
Even as recently as 2000, there were "only" 25.
But last year, there were 39 of these watered-down exhibitions, and now, four more are planned for this coming season, which will bring the total to 43!
That's 86 teams – meaning over two-thirds of the teams playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision will be able to brag that they made a bowl game.
But with so many games, is that really anything to brag about?
I know these games continue to proliferate because they gain exposure for their sponsors and host cities. And they make money for ESPN, which televises almost all of them. But the majority are actually financial losers for the participating schools because of ticket purchase guarantees, travel expenses and other costs.
After all, it's not easy to convince fans to head for Montgomery, Alabama during the holidays to watch two also-rans from the Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences square off in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.
College football shouldn't be like tee ball, where everyone gets a trophy just for participating. Being invited to a bowl should be an honor. But now it only means being slightly better than the bottom third.
I'm a big football fan. But if that's all it takes, I'd just as soon say "No thanks."
But how about you? Do you like the bowls the way they are? Call and tell us.