Kicking off in that noted bowl locale Albuquerque with the New Mexico Bowl. Then we get the St. Petersburg Bowl, presented by Beef O'Brady tonight.
I love College football. I love bowl season. I love all the bowl games. I do not like the idea of a playoff.
We can debate the number of bowl games and whether that is good or not for college football, but to say those games should be limited in favor of a playoff is what is communistic. In 2000, there were 25 bowl games. In the past 10 years or so, we have added 9, arguably the biggest explosion in that period since the late 30s, when the Sugar, Orange, Sun, Cotton, and Hawaii Bowls all began in a two year span (not counting the 3-4 that have folded this decade).
It is no accident that the late 30s, a period of serious financial issues, is the first big bowl growth spurt. Bowls start today for exactly the same reasons they did then. Money and civic pride. Well, money is probably more important today, but civic pride certainly plays a big roll.
While I will agree there are some cities that are less desirable to go to than others, and that we may have exhausted the list of cities that people are willing to actually go to for a bowl game (Toronto? Mobile? Homerville? Detroit!?), the fact remains that bowls will not survive without making money. That is the driving factor behind bowl games and will remain so. If a bowl fails, it is because is isn't financially able to stay in business.
I also stand by my thought that the bowl games make the regular season more compelling because of the importance of getting bowl eligible. There is pride in playing a bowl and pride in playing a 'better' bowl game. I think that is readily evident in the current year for Georgia fans. However, the most important thing (to me) that makes the bowl season better than a playoff is that 34 teams will end their seasons with wins. I just think that adds something extra that a playoff never will. Think I am wrong? Ask the New England Patriots what they think about their season in 07.
I realize this isn't necessarily a cogent argument for the bowl system (or even really an argument about anything, for that matter). It is just something I was randomly thinking on this Saturday morning in the Midwest with bowl season about to begin.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.