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Didn't They Used To Have Bowl Games On New Year's Day?

It may shock you to learn that there is only one bowl game on broadcast TV on New Year's Day.  ABC is showing the Outback Bowl, a distinctly lesser bowl, at 1:00PM Eastern.  That's it for college bowl games on free TV.  Didn't there used to be like 10 bowl games on New Year's Day?

If you want to see the other three bowl games, including the Rose Bowl, you better have ESPN.

And don't get me started with all the other non-championship BCS games on their own nights.  Those all used to be played on New Year's Day as well, but not anymore...

I'm not sure that this whole consolidation onto ESPN is really progress.


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Comments (11)

New Year's Day used to be n... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

New Year's Day used to be nonstop bowl games on all the major networks. The day began with the Rose Parade, then the Cotton, Sugar, Gator, Rose, and Orange Bowls, which included the top match-ups.

At some point, I think in the '80s, the Fiesta Bowl, which had been a second-tier bowl for its first few years, made a huge bid for a national championship (mythical) game, and a bidding war resulted for a few years. But some conferences were contracted to particular bowl games, so the mythical match-up wasn't always possible.

The major conferences then concocted the BCS system, which reserved major money slots for the major conferences and rotated the top game between the major bowls.

As usual, it was all about the money.

Guys,It's called the... (Below threshold)

It's called the free enterprise system. You'll eventually learn how to deal with it.

Rance is right.Lik... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Rance is right.

Like it or not there was more money in dragging out the bowl games over several days. That money comes from the sponsors etc and the sponsors are willing to pay it because they can get more value from it meaning that attendance and viewership are better, not worse.

Ultimately we the fans are the ones who have unwittingly supported this change. If viewership had fallen off then we might still have a glut of bowl games on Jan 1. Whether we like it or not we still watch. We all contribute to the success of dragging out the bowl season.

As you can see I'm OLD, and... (Below threshold)
67 year old fan:

As you can see I'm OLD, and watching bowl games on new years has been a tradition since I was small. When I discovered Big Money raised its ugly head and ripped us off once again sending tradition, college (not professional business)to the highest bidder, I was furious. There are a few things left that shouldn't fall in this category. I don't have, don't want,and can't afford cable tv, but I and everyone else deserve to keep some traditions. I'd love to know exactly who was responsible. Bowl system's been tampered with enough--to its detriment--now this. And don't call me a "guy," I'm a woman.

The bowl games don't have t... (Below threshold)

The bowl games don't have the prestige they used to. Just about any team now qualifies for a bowl game. It's a shame. It used to be quite a thrill to qualify for the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, etc. but nowadays, all you have to do is win 6 games and you qualify to play in a bowl game. I don't watch any of the bowl games anymore.

New Year's Day used to be t... (Below threshold)

New Year's Day used to be the greatest day of college football, and where you were going to spend that day of pigskin extravaganza used to be almost as important as where you were spending New Year's Eve. There were parties and get-togethers to satiate oneself with college football - and the best of college football to boot.

Now, thanks to the lure of big $$, it's just another day, of no particular meaning, with no importance, no reason to party or get together. As for the rest of the bowls, even the "championship" game, I might watch some of them, if I remember they're on, or if I accidentally flip to that channel. They are equally meaningless to me.

The BCS and the obsession of people who seem to need a national champion have ruined college football.

Yes, this might be considered "progress", but if creating an inferior product is considered "progress", I don't want it.

I had an epiphany several y... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

I had an epiphany several years ago: I realized I'd come to hate watching football.

I hate the moronic commentators babbling mindless cant (e.g., "he's a good-looking football player;" hey, then ask him out!), I hate the inevitable end zone dances based on some tribal thing in Africa, I hate the showboating generally, I hate the dreadlocks, I hate the tattoos, I hate the criminal patina (and matching rap sheets) of half the players (for the NFL), I hate the pretense that these guys, barring rare exceptions, are actually college students (for college football), I hate the BCS, I hate notion of a "national champion" decided by anything other than head-to-head games (votes by reporters? A computer algorithm? WTF?), I hate the way the athletic tail wags the dog at any number of shitty universities (i.e., the majority of the football powers), and I hate the incessant car commercials (vroom vroom, I'm a real man, because my car is real man's car, and it's not like the dealership will sell one to any fat pathetic slob with the money). Given that, I found it easy to stop watching. It's a policy I commend.

Sorry, I was gone. Now I'm back. /rant

I new this was coming and I... (Below threshold)

I new this was coming and I could care less the games were good enough to watch on free tv but they are not good enough to pay to watch. That is my market imput, I just am not buying that drug is not that addictive.

True, it is about the money... (Below threshold)

True, it is about the money. But it's ESPN and the people running the bowls who are making the money. There was a Sports Illustrated article a little while ago that pointed out how little money the BCS colleges are really making. Michigan made more the year they missed the bowls because of their share of conference bowl money and the fact they didn't have the expenses of going to a bowl. At this point, the BCS conferences are fighting to maintain a system that rewards the bowl committees. Out of fear of having to share with others, they're cutting themselves off from the much bigger cash of a playoff system. Worse, any playoff would still leave most of the bowls intact as the non-playoff schools would still need a place to play over Xmas. Fear of a more level playing field has the big name schools letting themselves be used by others.

This is anything but free e... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

This is anything but free enterprise, which I love. This is a consortium of schools who exclude other schools from participating in a "national championship" based on money. Every other football division in college football has a playoff system. A division II or III school knows that winning all your games will get you in. Yet in Division IA (can't call it FBS) there are a number of teams who can only play the games that other teams will schedule plus their own conference. If they win all their games, they get criticized for playing a weak schedule, because teams from "major" conferences are afraid to play them, especially on the road. This sets up a system of predetermined winners and losers from the start of the season.

Free enterprise? I think not.

If all your TV can get is t... (Below threshold)
Bill Johnson:

If all your TV can get is the alphabet over-the-air media, you're better off putting a gun to your......TV.

So you're really saying that you can't get the internet on your old dial phone? Yes, that's what you're saying. Over the Air TV is dead, just not gone. And you watch ABC, CBS, and NBC why? Heretic...

Look, if cable's too expensive, then you really don't need to be watching bowl games - you probably have a shift coming up...






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