Bowl games, by and large, suck.
At best they're irrelevant and at worst they’re corrupt nonprofit entities that only donate a small fraction of their revenue to charity.
In total there are 40 bowl games that have no bearing on the national championship. The only thing most of them seem to have in common are disinterested players, empty stands, and wildy bizarre trophies that nobody really gives a shit about.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! I’ve devised five simple fixes that would make every bowl a must-watch.
Let’s be honest here, plain old football isn’t going to sell your average fan on watching The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. But… if just during this game… every player was allowed to throw one (1) potato per series at the opposition to distract them? Yeah, I’d watch that.
Similar to how the CFL and Arena Football have their own spin on the game, each bowl should have a unique rule that just applies to that game. I would love to watch a football game where, just for that game, players were allowed two forward passes per play. There’d be at least 300 points, it would be great.
It might sound bizarre, even offensive to some, but let’s be honest here: Bowl season has a football problem. This addresses that.
One of the biggest bummers about bowl season in recent history is the normalization of players opting out to prepare for the NFL Draft. It makes complete sense for these players to make this decision, especially when considering the multiple examples of players who have suffered major injuries in post-season games that affected their draft stock.
To combat this problem, I propose a new rule: For every player that opts out of the bowl game, schools are allowed to replace them with a former player who opts in. I didn’t have a ton of interest in watching Florida play in the Las Vegas Bowl without the services of Anthony Richardson. But I would absolutely watch that game if Tim Tebow suited up for one last go.
These are glorified spring games now anyway—let's give the olds some run.
What’s worse than a meaningless bowl game? A meaningless, boring blowout of a bowl game? Thus far during bowl season, we’ve been treated to seven double-digit plasterings that for the most part were never really close.
One quick fix inspired by MTV Rock n’ Jock’s 50-point basket: After every score, teams will have the option to heave the ball from the 50-yard line for a possible 10 extra points. It won’t work out every time—probably just a fraction, in fact—but when it does, it will be very, very funny.
This is the only potential fix where I feel like we’re already on the right track. During the aforementioned Potato Bowl, Eastern Michigan’s head coach was treated to a french fry bath after the victory:
Similarly South Carolina coach Shane Beamer received a mayonnaise bath (pictured above, disturbingly) after his team won the Duke’s Mayo Bowl last year. More encouragingly, both coaches in this year's game have also signed off on a mayo bath.
I’m all in on this disgusting trend but I’d just like to further expand it. Why stop at mock Gatorade baths? Let’s airdrop these guys into a pool of fries, mayonnaise, Cheez-It, or any other nonscalding food and really have some fun with it. Sure there are probably liability issues, but these bowls are run by evil corporations with even more evil lawyers: Figure it out for the content, folks.
So this is going to sound super out there, but maybe, just maybe, players would be more engaged and likely to participate in bowls in the multibillion-dollar corporations sponsoring gave them… I don’t know… money? Instead of giving away tote bags and forcing participants to sleep in truly nightmarish hotel rooms, pool all that money towards a purse that goes to the winning team and I have a hunch you’d start seeing some very, very competitive football.
Other than that, I think the 10-point after-touchdown hail mary heave thing really has some legs, can someone put me in touch with whoever is in charge of football?