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Bowls are still duping us

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Well, it's bowl season.  The most overhyped time of the year, where college football fans are treated to a slate of exhibition games that, in the grand scheme of things, have no meaning.  This year is worst than most.  Take a look at the bowl schedule.  Wow.  Just utter crap.  There are almost no interesting games until January 1st, and most of the games on that day are going to suck also.  

If there's anything this season has taught us, it's that this system we have (in its current form) is ridiculous.  There is no point to all this.  These are exhibition games where student-athletes play to increase the coffers of the university.  Really, think about that.  Does that make any sense?  Yet we continue to support this garbage.

Dwight Jaynes had a great article on this today.  College football fans in general are suckers for putting up with this.  What do we get out of this system?  We are the ones that put money into it.  We are the ones that keep it going.  And we get nothing in return.    

There was a time when bowls were important.  When college football was more regional, they were a reward for a truly special season.  No longer.  The system has been entirely bastardized.  Even those bowls that used to be important to cities have now changed to be not be about college football, or tradition, but about money.  A perfect example is the former Peach Bowl, which is now the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.  Now, I have no problem with making money.  What I do have a problem with is putting my money towards a system that provides me no benefit.  If bowls have no respect for the past, why should we?

In a lot of cases, change is not made under the guise of "tradition."  But for almost all bowls, tradition went out the window long ago in the name of the almighty dollar.  I know a lot of Pac-10 fans love the Rose Bowl.  I am not one of those fans.  The Rose Bowl only means that you won the conference.  That is where the importance lies, not in playing in Pasadena.  The Rose Bowl is just a stadium and a game.  To me, playing in the Rose Bowl (or even Fiesta in 2001) meant that Oregon won the conference.  But right now, the Rose Bowl just wants a Big 10 and a Pac 10 team, and its stupid parade.  As long as this crap is profitable, it will never change.  (It's important to note that the Pac 10 and the Big 10 are the two conferences that are stopping gradual change that is desperately needed.)

And it's not like college football hasn't moved forward in other areas.  College football overtime was adopted; an extra game was added.  This was in the face of tradition.  For traditionalists, it makes meaningless many new records that are made with longer games (when they go to OT) and more games in a season.  But honestly, does anyone care about these things?  Of course not.  The vast majority of fans embrace this because it makes the games so much more exciting.  Can you imagine a college football overtime game where the winner played another game and the loser's season was over?  Why did college football make these other changes, but refuses to change the bowl system?  Because college football fans make bowl games so profitable, the powers that be cannot turn their back on that money.

College football fans are completely and totally screwed by the bowl system.  There is no other way to put it.  But remember, we hold the power.  We hold the money, and we willingly give it over for a completely inferior product.  The only way change will happen is if college football fans stop supporting this.  College football is about entertainment and about bettering the student-athletes.  The postseason of college football needs to change to better accommodate both of these things.