As the 2016-17 college football bowl season approaches the next three weeks will be filled with excitement all around the country. There will be six games kicking off the bowl season starting Saturday, 17 December, 2016. The first games kicks off at noon Eastern Standard Time with North Carolina Central vs. Grambling in the Celebration Bowl. Hardly a day will go by over the next three weeks without a bowl game being played every day or night on ESPN.
The two semifinal games will be played on 31 December, 2016 in Atlanta, Ga., and Glendale, Ariz., with the winners of those two games facing off for the National Title on 9 January, 2017 in Tampa, Fla. If you are a college football fan many would say this is their favorite time of the year. This time of the year many of the coaches know they have one game left and bring out the craziest pages in their playbooks.
Some will say it’s tough to get excited about the bowl season with the litany of games. As a youngster I looked forward to watching the best teams in college football play each other, but the bowls have become less indulging with teams playing that have losing records. There are now 42 bowl games on the slate. There are 128 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams. With the number of bowl games available this means 82 teams, or 64% of the teams play in a bowl game.
I understand this means more practices and time to work with younger players, but is it watering down what it means to be selected for a bowl game? A team can be below average and make a post season bowl game. I don’t know if that’s good for college football. What I do know is the pageantry of bowl games like the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl can be second to none.
For the communities hosting these bowl games, the fans bring their wallets with them. These fans come out in full force to support their teams and spend money on food, shopping, attractions, and more. Whether it is a small town or a large city, bowl games generate spending, create, jobs, and provide a lasting impact on the host communities. The 42 bowls provide countless opportunities for fans, teams, and communities alike to come together. Enjoy the bowl games and may the best teams win!
By Dr. Bret Simmermacher
Dr. Simmermacher is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.