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Monday, July 17, 2006

Don't Crappy Bowls Know Their Place?

The GMAC Bowl, that highly anticipated clash between teams from the MAC and Conference USA or the WAC, is moving from its usual pre-Christmas date to the night before the BCS title game.

Gary Richter, the assistant commissioner for media relations for the MAC feels this is a step toward bigger things for the bowl. "I think it's a really good move for a number of reasons,' he said. "First, it moves you away from the December schedule and it gives fans more time to plan a trip down to Mobile."

Uh...not likely.

Richter added, "Also, it may be better for the student-athlete because the last couple of years, the game was played during finals week for our schools."

Who is he kidding? You know that didn't even cross anybody's mind when the change was made. It's about money and a higher profile for the game. But nice try.

Finally, Richter proves he's about as in touch with reality as Nick Nolte on a weekend bender by stating, "It's a great lead-in game for the BCS championship."

Strike three, Gar.

As I've said before, I'm not a fan of a playoff, but I was always a fan of the old, pre-BCS bowl system. Used to love getting all the crappy, throw-a-bone-to-a-team bowls out of the way by the 31st so that January 1st was reserved for the Big Games. Now the bowl system is just a mess. Because rather than add prestige to the GMAC Bowl, this just further diminishes the other January 1st bowls.

Sad, sad, sad.


Beban said...

So, you're telling me that they're going to play this bowl game two weeks after Michigan plays in its bowl game. I kid...But not really.

Cool Hand Mike said...

As a resident of Mobile, I feel the need to defend my home city. Sure January up north can be harsh but it only gets to 50 here. Plus, if you are out by the water at around 5:30 pm, the smell from the paper plants can only be described as post-Gettysburg. The 4 bars worth a damn on Dauphin Street can probably keep you occupied for about 20 minutes. Biloxi has been leveled by Katrina so there goes all your gambling. So other than T.G.I.Fridays being the big hangout, Mobile really ain't so bad. Right?

DevilGrad said...

Yost --

In your hasty elitism, you missed a couple of points that bear mentioning here:

1) TCU, in fact, *did* cite its exam schedule in turning down an invitation to the 2003 GMAC Bowl. Of course, avoiding Ben Roethlisberger may have played into that, too. Miami played the game during its exam week and juggled final exam schedules for the team, the band, and any student with tickets. It was a royal pain in the ass to the academic side of the house. I'll guarantee you that's a relevant concern at least at Miami.

2) Scoff if you like about the travel, but it's damned difficult for participating schools to get a bowl bid the first weekend of December (MAC title game) and then market tickets for a game about three weeks later -- particularly when it falls during one of the busiest times of the year for most alums. My guess is that they will do better selling ticket packages the weekend after New Year's. At the very least, they will have more time to try.

3) You must be old enough to know the pre-BCS bowl system but not old enough to remember that the Peach Bowl used to be played on the day *after* the New Year's Day bowls. But, since that game usually involves big-conference also-rans, I suppose you'd call that savvy marketing.

Credit the GMAC folks for seeing an opportunity and taking a flier on it. The game will be on after the last two NFL wild card weekend games, and I suspect it will draw a decent audience of folks who aren't quite ready to surrender the remote to their wives.

(BTW, you missed the parallel news that the new bowl in Toronto will be played at noon on January 6th -- before that day's NFL games.)

Yost said...


All good points.

My main beef isn't even so much w/ the GMAC, it's that, as many problems as there were, the old bowl system "built up" to the Jan 1 games. Now it's just a hodgepodge.

As for my "elitism," kinda hard to be too elite coming off a 7-5 season, lol.

Reed4AU said...

This is total BS, although it doesn't really matter.

The so called exam conflict issue is BS. If you want your "student" aplayers to not miss class, stop letting half of the teams get a bowl bid for a mid December game that most people don't care about. Get rid of all these shitty bowls and completely out dated conference obligations. If a mid-major team has a great year let them compete in a bigger bowl instead of a 7-5 BCS school. Any team with 5 losses should not go to a bowl!!!! Let's get back to the days where you actually needed to have more than a decent year to get a bowl bid. Less bowls would allow all the games to take place at the end of December through the title game.

As far as the scheduling rooms/travel problems I'm just not buying that. If the SEC/Big 12/Big 10(if they had one) played 3 weeks later after winning the conference championship game they would still sell out any bowl that they went to, even if it was across the country.
A MAC/WAC school just doesn't have a comparitive fan base to a big school and doesn,t travel nearly as well.

Having this is game take place after all the big bowls is just crap. I know it doesn't really matter, but it goes against all tradition of wanting to play January because it meant something. What's next, the Sun Belt champ vs. the Mountain West champ the afternoon of the title game just because there is free air time?

Screw the mid majors and screw their whining about not getting to play with the big boys. There's hasn't been one mid major team in the last 10 years that deserved to play in January. Utah, who in the hell did they beat? Their BCS wins were against UNC at home(ooooh scary considering they were almost as bad as Duke that year) and Pitt who was the 8-4 champ if the big least. Tulane and Marshall had great offenses in their so call deserving season, but they played nobody. TCU has had a couple big wins over the last 5 years, most notable last year's against OU, but then they lose some shit game against somebody like SMU. a 11-1 major should never be allowed into the top 10 and an undefeated mid major should never be in the top 5 unless they actually play some good teams. It's the damn voters fault, they see somebody who's undefeated and immediately think hey they must be good.

If we ever have a playoff then let a mid major or 2 be the 15th or 16th seed. If their are only 8 teams like their should be, a mid major better have a freakin unbelievable season to get in that group.

In conclusion to my rant, screw the mid majors, screw 20 shitty bowls, screw people who think it's a good idea, screw the pollsters for not actually watching football, screw fat people unless they can block, screw ESPN for covering this game, and jsut screw ESPN period(watching sportscenter used to involve sports.)

DevilGrad said...

Good Lord, don't cable systems in Alabama have more than one channel?

Here's a hint, guys. Once the BCS came along, ALL of the other bowl games became glorified exhibitions (if they weren't already). The difference between the Citrus Bowl and the GMAC Bowl is simply of degree and not kind, and you can't make a meaningful, non-market-based argument (i.e., not involving attendance or TV ratings) why one inherently deserves priority over the other. In that light, the GMAC Bowl made a business decision to improve its market position as against the other glorified exhibition games. There's nothing else to be read into this.

To pretend otherwise is sort of like rooting for a school that spends ten times as much on football as a MAC school and plays seven or eight home games and then thinking that your adopted team actually DESERVES preferential treatment above and beyond that it already receives.

Oh . . . wait a minute. Never mind.

Reed4AU said...

It doesn't really matter when they play the game in my opinion, but it will certainly help the conferences invloved and give them more exposure. However, don't compare the GMAC bowl to other so called "premier" bowls featuring bigger names. The games aren't, nor have they ever been glorified exhibitions. Winning your bowl game helps the program and in turn the school. It helps merchandise sales(although they typically increase even if your team loses), it increases booster money(although it seems many schools couldn't possibly get anymore), and most importantly in helps with recruiting.

One so called "premier" bowl the Capital One/Citrus bowl pays more than any bowl besides the BCS, the GMAC pays's a 1/4-1/3 in comparison. Also the Citrus bowl has a long running history and features 2 heavyweights of college football. A recruit thinking about attending a school certainly would rather play in January than in mid December. So there is certainly a differece.

Also, how can you say one cannot make an intelligent arguement without using attedance and ratings, when in fact those are by far the only 2 things that really matter to bowl organizers. That's like saying make an arguement comparing which is more meaningful, a NFL preseason game or a AFL preseason game without using ratings or attendance, both are true exhibitions but one is clearly superior. Obviously the NFL trumps the AFL in both categories and those are the only 2 things that matter and it's the same thing for the bowls.

I hope the new date helps bring in a lot of money to the Mobile area, however it's not like the game will suddenly be considered a "premier" bowl game just because of it's date. Also there's nothing wrong with a big school spending more money than a MAC school and scheduling more home games. Home games bring in money for the school so the mroe the better. Spending 10 times more money than a small school is a requirement in a big conference(why do you think Spurrier is bitching about the facilities at South Carolina), better facilities helps bring in better recruits.