Bowl Challenges!

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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29 Responses

  1. The number of bowls exacerbates a problem I’ve complained about for a long time: two weeks of extra practice for the teams that get into a bowl. With only a handful of bowls, where a win was prestigious, teams focused on winning the bowl. In a smaller bowl where winning or losing makes little difference, teams focus on ten days of coach interaction and physical practice with next season’s players. The long-time head coach at my football-crazed undergraduate school used to be blatant about it: “The important thing about making the XYZ Bowl is that we get a ten-day head start on next season.” Given the NCAA limits on out-of-season practices — and even player contact with coaches — ten days is a big deal.

    Quit punishing the teams that only win five games instead of six by denying them winter practice. Let everyone who wants it have two weeks of practice in December.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Cain says:

      I wonder how true that is though. Some percentage of those players — and likely a good number of starters and other key players — will be gone after the year. How are they worked with during practice? I also wonder how much carry over there is. Perhaps it is most helpful in terms of getting extra reps to backups and players likely to see an increased role the following year, to get a better sense of what they may be able to contribute and to enter the next pre-season with a clearer vision and plan.

      You know where I’d want to most look for evidence of this? Betting trends. If certain teams are not using their Bowl prep to not actually prep for the games, you can be certain betting insiders know that and are likely exploiting the info. Those guys know fricking everything.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kazzy says:

        Thumbing through Google, there have been lots of published quotes from coaches this month talking about “working with younger players” and “an extra spring practice”. Some have gone so far as to say the extra practices are the program’s big reward for making a bowl. Even coaches for a couple of the teams playing in prestige bowls have said they will set aside time in their pre-bowl practices specifically to work with younger players, including players who aren’t eligible for the bowl game.

        I assume that the bettors and casinos all read the papers.Report

  2. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    There are some pretty dreadful names for spring events in The current state list, I’ll give you that.

    I’m not sure if “dollar general bowl” seems more or less civil war than “yellowhammer bowl” to me. “Dollar general” sounds like a snide term for a particularly self important sergeant – like a “ten dollar foreman” at a factory.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    The fumble returned for a TD served Boise State right for running a trick play about to score and already up 24-0.Report

  4. Some of your names are incorrect, or at least incomplete. Eg, there is no St. Petersburg Bowl this year; it’s the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. The Gasparilla part may be a contender for “Most Obscure Reference in a Bowl Name”.

    Let’s be honest. Many of these bowls wouldn’t happen if there wasn’t a sponsor putting up millions of dollars to have their name on it. The game played in the Rose Bowl this year is officially “The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual”, and you can bet that the announcers will use the complete name regularly. The prominence of the sponsor’s name indicates how badly the organizers needed the money.Report

    • I don’t object to the sponsors. I don’t like it when the sponsor is the only name for the bowl, even though I understand why they do that. My main complaint is when they don’t have a complete sponsor and use the city or state instead of something more creative.

      I don’t think it’s a local tourism thing. I am certain the Texas Bowl isn’t sponsored by the state government, and I suspect that’s true of the New Mexico Bowl as well. I know the tourism boards and such are behind some of these, but I think it’s mostly a matter of bland laziness.

      I will also add that while they make money off sponsorships, I do think the bowls would exist without them taking over the complete name of the bowl. One indication that this is true are the number of bowls that don’t have complete name sponsors. ESPN will make sure the bowls happen. If the NCAA would let them, they’d put out 75 bowl games, probably. They’ve allegedly been trying to throw money at the G5 conferences to get them to form a playoff so that they can have more more more games.

      Anyway, when the Chick-Fil-A Bowl got promoted to top-tier, they made them revert back to the Peach Bowl name (with CFA in front). Smaller bowls should take their cue: Bowls look better when they have names. I don’t know how much that helps the little bowl games in terms of prestige, but it would definitely help some of the lower-top-tier bowls, I think.Report

  5. There are four seasons in New Orleans: mardi gras, crawfish, hurricanes, saints.

    Right now it’s saints, so Saints Bowl would be more seasonally-appropriate than Crawfish Bowl.Report

  6. Avatar dexter says:

    Mr. Shaw, That would be THE GUMBEAUXWl.
    Will, If it is legal, I will bet you two quarts of home made jambalaya against what you think is great yankee food.Report

  7. Avatar dexter says:

    Will Truman, I left part of my note to you out. I wanted to bet you that LSU would win. I got really, really sick last January and my mind is still running on a few missing neurons.Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I realize that this thread is aimed principally at college ball. But this is… those damn lawyers are ruining the game! Argh!Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Ground can’t cause a fumble/effect possesion except when a receiver doesn’t “complete the catch”. What defines completing the catch? It can’t be “surviving the ground” since that’s what’s at issue. Instead, it is – as everyone except the league office knows – possession + two feet down + football move.

      Also, some of the recent replay rulings have been so atrocious the NFL needs to revise the whole regime.Report

    • I think I prefer the current rules to the can of worms that gets opened if it’s possible for a receiver to establish possession without touching the ground. Start with, “Can a receiver who is in possession of the ball be defenseless?” And if so, how much forward progress without touching the ground, possibly including a score, are you willing to grant them before the defender can hit them?Report

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