Dave Walsh: College Football Bowl Season Is Here!

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By Dave Walsh, Columnist

The College Football bowl season is indeed upon us!  In fact, it is here, and it is now!

The first two bowl games of the season will be played today.  The Bahamas Bowl kicks off first, then later in the day, the Cure Bowl will take place in Orlando, Florida.  These are the first of more than 40 Bowl games to be played over the next few weeks.

As I have mentioned before, I am a big College Football fan.  I really enjoy the game, especially in person, but College Football on television is still a big favorite of mine.  So…wall to wall coverage, bowl games on the tube nearly every day, is fine by me.  

Most days there is more than one Bowl game to take in.  There are multiple venues that will host two bowls.  Twelve stadiums are primarily host to an FBS team while the rest are professional stadiums.  And there are six stadiums where their primary use is for bowl games.

 It wasn’t all that long ago when there were just a handful of post-season opportunities.  Now, it seems there are more teams going to a bowl game than not.  

And why so many bowl games?  I think there are three main reasons for the growth in number of post-season bowl games.

First and foremost, the game has gotten so very popular.  Football has become more “America’s game”.  And College Football still has that magic appeal to a wide variety of fans.  And let’s face it, there are so many colleges and universities that field teams and develop those huge fan bases.

Secondly, College Football games as a whole and Bowl games, in particular, are made for television.  Or, maybe more appropriately, television is made for football.  The television networks love  to broadcast live sporting events.  “Live sports” sells.  College Football sells exceptionally well.  And a College Football Bowl game?  Kick those sales up another notch.

And third, College Football bowl games attract sponsors.  Big corporations love to sponsor bowl games.  There’s nothing like having your name in front of the bowl game itself.  And this is probably the biggest reason for the growth in number of College football bowl games.

Today, the “HomeTown Lenders” Bahamas Bowl, where UAB takes on Miami-Ohio, and the “Duluth Trading” Cure Bowl, where UTSA plays Troy, get the bowl season started.  

Saturday there are six bowl games on tap.  And you’ve got to love some of the names and locations of these.  For example, the Wasabi Fenway Bowl, with Louisville versus Cincinnati, will be played early in the day.  And yes, the Wasabi Fenway Bowl will be played in Fenway Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox.  

The PUBG New Mexico Bowl follows, with SMU playing BYU in Albuquerque.  Sorry, no idea what PUBG stands for.  

And then there’s the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, where the Mountain West Conference’s Fresno State plays the Pac-12’s Washington State.  There is no Jimmy Fallon Bowl, to my knowledge.

Saturday evening, Rice plays USM in the Lending Tree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.  Oregon State will play Florida in the Las Vegas Bowl, and Boise State will face North Texas in the Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

And that’s just the first two days!

There are many other favorites coming after that.  The Myrtle Beach Bowl is on Monday.  We are partial to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 20th, this year’s match-up has San Jose State, representing the Mountain West Conference, against Eastern Michigan from the Mid-American Conference.  The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl has Air Force playing Baylor on TCU’s homefield, Amon Carter Stadium in Ft. Worth, Texas, on December 22nd.

We’ll take special interest in the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.  That’s where San Diego State plays Middle Tennessee State in Honolulu.  And the SERVPro First Responder Bowl at Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas, has Utah State taking on Memphis.

There are other bowls that draw me in just because of their name.  I’ve got to check out the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl.  That has Syracuse versus Minnesota in Yankee Stadium, of course.  The Cheez-It Bowl and the Duke’s Mayo Bowl just sound fun.  The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl will feature UCLA and Pittsburgh in El Paso on December 30th.

And there is the most important bowl game of all on the same day, December 30th.  There will be a lot of Cowboy fans in their easy chairs and perhaps a few barstools, tuning into the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl.  The Pokes and the Ohio Bobcats will knock heads in Arizona Stadium.

Bowl season is here, and it is now.

Enjoy.  I know I will.   

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