New Bowl Games Might Bolster College Football

New Bowl Games Might Bolster College Football

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The changing face of college sports.

There has been much talk in recent months that college football, particularly the Football Bowl Series level, will be changing the way that it approaches the post-season. Bowl games will still fit in, but league officials and university presidents seem willing to explore a 4-team playoff system, one that would kick in with the 2014 season.

Bowl Games

That change follows widespread unhappiness with the current arrangement, one that selects two college football teams to play for a national championship. Under the proposed arrangement, a selection committee would choose the four top teams to play on successive weekends in January, with the winner crowned the national champion.

Two of the nation’s top conferences, the SEC and Big 12, have announced that their respective regular season champions will meet in a bowl game on New Year’s Day beginning in the 2014 season. That game, to be held on January 1, 2015, will feature teams from two of the more successful football conferences in the USA. An SEC team has fielded a national champion for six straight years, while the Big 12 regularly puts forth several top 10 teams including Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas.

More Games

This won’t be the first time two top-tier conferences send their teams to a major bowl game. The Rose Bowl, founded more than a century ago, pits the winner of the Big Ten Conference against the winner of the Pac 12 Conference. The Big 12-SEC contest may be played as part of an existing bowl arrangement or it could yield an all-new bowl game.

With the Big 12-SEC announcement, two more conferences are exploring a similar set-up. The Big East and ACC are rumored to be exploring such an arrangement, all the more enticing as the BE adds Boise State for football only.

Top Four Teams

The Big 12-SEC announcement doesn’t preclude the SEC from holding a championship game, a right the conference earns by having at least 12 football-playing programs. The Big 12, which actually numbers 10 schools, isn’t eligible to hold a conference championship game. Interestingly, the matchup between both leagues is for the regular season champion only — that means the SEC could have a different team win its conference championship than its regular season title. No matter, it seems likely that the selection committee would choose the four best teams in the nation after the January 1 bowl games.

How would college football be aided by high-profile contests on New Year’s Day? That’s easy: the holiday has lost much of its appeal as the day for football rivalries to duke it out. With people off from work that day and a TV schedule focusing on two or three marquee match ups, these bowl games are certain to prove a big draw, both from fans in attendance and from a national TV audience.

See Also — College Football Playoffs May Soon Become a Reality

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