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Too many bowl games, UCF’s ‘title’, crazy sports stuff and more: The update for Jan. 8

Why do we have so many college football bowl games?

In theory, there are bowls so that each college football player will have a positive experience to end his season. People saw at the Texas Bowl that the players had a football rodeo, where they had competition between the University of Texas and the University of Missouri players (before a pushing match broke out). Other bowls have similar events with local flavor (mostly without the pushing matches).

But the bowls are not equal in importance. And the fans know it.

According to data published in North Texas, 16 of the 39 bowl games drew fewer than 30,000 fans. Nine more had fewer than 40,000.

I am not sure how many the University of Houston had in Hawaii, but the stands looked uncontaminated by butts. How many UH friends do you have who said there was no way they were going to Hawaii for that game?

Did any of you watch the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl? Does anyone know what city that game is in? As far as I know, the Dec. 22nd Bahamas Bowl had 13,585 saw Ohio beat UAB, 41-6, which means it won the award as the lest-attended post-season football contest this season.

I remember a Sports Illustrated article that said some schools don’t make money at bowls, because they have to guarantee to buy a certain amount of tickets in order to receive the bowl bid. Money is still not made by some of the bowls without title sponsors, even with the ticket sales guarantees.

New Mexico State broke a 57-year bowl drought this year, but had to play in the Arizona Bowl near Las Cruces, or the Aggies could not have afforded the post-season.

If the bowl is important, why aren’t fans attending? The real winners are the hotel and restaurants that house and feed out-of-towners, not student-athletes.

I think it is an out-of-control situation, where teams go to bowls because that it what you are supposed to do.

I say it is time to ditch many of the bowls. To make money for teams, there needs to be an expanded playoff system. If you eliminate the conference playoff games, you can have the time for an eight-team playoff. If you eliminated one of the non-conference games and have teams play 11 games instead of 12 – it used to be 10 games a year – then that is another week of playoffs, which means 16 teams are in the playoffs.

That means 10 conference champions and six at-large teams would play. The money from that would be monster.

But it can’t stop there. The money from the playoffs has to be distributed equally among all NCAA bowl championship series teams. The system is rigged to where the Power 5 Conferences receive the most money, and everyone else has to scramble.
There is a precedent, in that the SEC divides its conference revenue equally so that Vanderbilt receives the same as Georgia. That is what will save college football, as we know it. If not, then the Power 5 schools will have to break off and created another division, or everyone else will consider dropping their football programs due to lack of finances.

I AGREE WITH THE SENTIMENT, BUT… – You probably have already heard that Central Florida has declared itself National Champions. At first, I thought that was asinine.
But look at the numbers. UCF beat Auburn, 34-27. Auburn defeated both Georgia and Alabama.

Then UCF decided they would celebrate the national championship by going to DisneyWorld. Sweet.

They are bringing attention to expanding the national playoffs, which I think should happen. I don’t think UCF would win the national title, but I have to admit there is an element of doubt since the games are played on the field where anything can happen.
All of this backs up what I said earlier – expand the Big 12 Conference to include Central Florida, South Florida, Memphis and Houston. Create something that is interesting.
Houston was one win away under Kevin Sumlin from playing for the national title. UCF was considered, but did not get into the playoffs due to lack of strength of schedule.
Basketball and baseball fans are rabid, because anyone can win the national championship. Look at Rice in baseball and Villanova in hoops. The deck is stacked in football, and needs to be reshuffled.

ALIENS COMING BACK? – When I was in high school in the 1970s, we read a book by Erich van Daniken called “Chariots of the Gods” about how aliens seeded the earth with people and showed signs of returning from the stars. We once drove to Baylor for a speakers’ series and heard Van Daniken in person. That’s right, at Baylor. You didn’t see that one coming.

(He said that if you make a pyramid shape with perfect angles, then you can take a razor blade and place is at the bottom of the pyramid and the blades sharpen themselves. Let’s just say my 70s porn mustache never had to worry.)

It looks like the popularity of those theories is coming back. Van Daniken is supposed to talk to AlienCon, a convention about aliens, in the next few weeks in California. That’s right, California. Yes, I know you saw that one coming.

I saw an on-line story that Van Daniken’s net worth is $30 million, so it pays to look beyond the stars

Perhaps since he is not playing football any more, it is Tony Romo’s talent that has been released from his corporal entrapment and looking all over the earth, seeking the next Romo. I mean, the Cowboys do have a star on the side of their helmet. I think that theory is just as valid as Van Daniken’s.

TOP GUARDS INCLUDE HARDEN – The top guards ever in the NBA, as one writer sees it. And they put James Harden in the mix.

MOST FANATICAL SPORTS BAR FOR EACH NFL TEAM – Who knew? I thought Little Woodrow’s was just for LSU fans.

CLASSICAL NOTES – Let’s say you are a supporter of one of the teams playing in the college football national championship game tonight. Put on Saint-Saens’ 3rd Symphony, fourth movement, during a key drive. See how many times defensive hits line up with power chords. You will be surprised.


Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.

— George Orwell




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