The NCAA is Going Bowl Crazy
Earlier this week, there was a report that the not-for-profit NCAA is considering the addition of four new bowls to its already bloated bowl schedule. That generated ample discussion on social media, of course, as it would open the door for some sub .500 teams to potentially go bowling. Now, news out of NCAA headquarters (i.e. Coach K’s lap) is that the NCAA is strongly considering a change to the bowl format to allow every single FBS program to attend a bowl! Every. Single. Team. Consider this the NCAA’s diving head first into the “every player gets a trophy” deep end of the mediocrity swimming pool. It is official. The NCAA is going bowl crazy.
It is unclear whether this contemplated rule change arises out of the aftermath of the Northwestern union challenge and terrible legal advice regarding the potential for an equal protection argument relative to the treatment of student athletes. Or perhaps the NCAA is finally recognizing the inherent unfairness in allowing the best programs to have additional practices in December, while forcing the inferior programs to sit idle during that same period. Or perhaps the NCAA realizes that the bowl games can supply additional cash into programs that are prepared to attend same each year. It is difficult to envision such a change without some sort of financial benefit.
If that was not bad enough, consider some of the bowl games that are being contemplated that involve the ACC:
- The Syracuse University Newhouse School of Communication Bowl. Former Syracuse Athletic Director Darryl Gross was already moving in the direction of having Syracuse hosting a bowl to further promote the University’s world-renowned school of communication. Naturally, the Syracuse bowl will be held at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game would feature the thirteenth best team in the ACC and sixth best team in the American.
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland Bowl. This game would feature the twelfth (does this spelling ever look correct?) best teams in both the ACC and Big 10. Although few details are known, the swag should be outstanding. Most modern players will love to have an autographed bandana from Bob Dylan or a guitar pick used by Jim Croce. And then there is all that great Cleveland ambiance to soak in. But, hey, if American’s left armpit in Detroit can have two bowls, the right armpit in Cleveland should have at least one.
- The Unisys St. Louis Bowl. If Detroit and Cleveland are America’s armpits, then St. Louis is its groin. You don’t get to the #2 worst city in the U.S. (trailing only Camden, New Jersey) without doing nearly everything wrong, including Missouri’s very own brand of racism. In need of an image improvement, this bowl game featuring teams from the ten team Big XII and the fourteen-team Big 10 (with the ACC potentially providing a substitute to avoid a rematch) is a good start.
- The NCAA Hall of Fame Bowl. With the college football Hall of Fame located in Atlanta, Georgia, this is a natural post-season bowl. The tie-ins have yet to be determined, but it is difficult to envision any NCAA decision that does not involve some sort of benefit to Notre Dame or Duke. Wait, that is the referees. The NCAA is not, as a whole, designed to benefit those institutions. Or is it. Anyway, this is likely to be an SEC/ACC tie-in of some sort based on geography.
- The ____ Haiti Bowl. Still recovering from devastating ecological disaster, Haiti is embarking on the creation of a stadium that will allow “futbol,” but also a configuration for football. If it can work in a place like the Bahamas, why not Haiti? Indeed, many businesses are looking to set up shop in what promises to be a great country for exploitation of an ever-more-desperate work force. The Kardashians are already exploring whether their line of clothing can be made by the youth of Haiti. This game will feature the 14th place team from the SEC and either the 14th place team from the ACC or the 5th best Sun Belt team.
Other bowl games are scheduled for Reno, Albuquerque, Seattle, Little Rock, and Denver.
What other cities do you think will deserve a bowl game in this new, watered-down environment?
By the way, this is one of those rare, non-serious Confidential posts in the tradition of these:
So don’t get too upset.