Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Would anyone really care if more teams went to bowl games? Aka 6 reasons to have even more bowl games

So in my last post, which I know you all read, right?  RIGHT?  I criticized the NCAA for whining about there not being enough 6 win teams to fill all the bowl slots, which is ironic because it is the NCAA's fault in the first place for permitting too many of them.

Then I got to thinking, so what if more 5 win teams went to bowl games, or even 4 win teams?  Would anybody really care?

Here's the thing - anyone who is being honest with themselves knows NCAA football these days is all about the money.  So who cares if more teams go to bowls?

1) There are plenty of crappy games all season long, especially in the final few weeks of the season, where teams with losing records play other teams with losing records - can you spell UCF?  So why not a few more in December?  Fans of participating teams would still go, and there are lots of places in the country that don't have any bowls nearby.

2) Think about all the revenue!  More bowl games = more payouts to teams and their conferences.  Everybody knows that the non-Power 5 conference are the ones that get screwed out of bowl spots.  So if there were more bowls, that would mean the non-Power 5 conferences would have more money, and maybe they could compete a little better against the big guys.  Or wait, does the NCAA not want that?  Hmmm...

3) Think about even MORE revenue!  Don't forget about the travel revenue, and the ticket sales.  More bowl games = more hotels, more plane tickets, more concessions, more taxes (Obama says thank you).  More TV revenue too, and don't forget about Vegas and all the additional gambling revenue.  Don't you guys know that more spending helps stimulate the economy?  Think about it, NCAA, you could actually do something useful for America instead of just being a bunch of talking heads.

4) You can always mess with the match-ups.  If you are worried that no one will want to go see 4-8 Northampton State Technical College play 5-7 Bill & Ted's Excellent University, you could always "encourage" the bowls to match up teams with losing records against those slightly above 500 - that way at least one sides' fans might show up.

5) Who cares, though, because losing records don't mean bad games!  There is a flaw in the NCAA's logic here.  Just because 2 teams both have losing records does NOT mean their game won't be exciting.  A game against any two teams can go down to the wire.  Ultimately it is still football, regardless of what record the teams come in with.  Either team could still win, and in thrilling fashion.  Even the worst two teams can sometimes go to overtime, for example.

6) And who cares anyway, let the market decide!  That's right, I said market.  As in Adam Smith.  If companies are willing to sponsor bowls, let 'em.  Take their money, every cent they offer, who cares?  Because ultimately the market will decide.  A saddle point will be reached, where companies and cities that want to sponsor bowls will do the math, and decide whether or not it is worth it.  At some point companies will decide that being the 47th bowl game, or the 51st, will have such terrible teams in it that not enough fans will show up, that it will cost more than it's worth, etc.  So the MARKET will decide that 45, or 53, bowls is the right number.  And then you, NCAA, won't have to do anything.  Which is what you are best at.     
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