Call bowl games what they are: Glorified spring practices

Call bowl games what they are: Glorified spring practices

There are two reasons making a bowl game is important. The first is the extra month of practice time. For the sake of the student-athletes, NCAA rules limit programs to a finite number of practices and getting three to four more weeks of prep is akin to an extra spring practice. Now that the transfer portal is decimating rosters, the added opportunity to develop, and more importantly, evaluate talent, is more valuable than ever.

The second reason bowl games matter is revenue, but that’s self-explanatory, so let’s stick with the bowl games, er, practices. There are so many similarities between Spring and Bowl games.

Both are overt money grabs, both now feature players that fans have either never heard of or seen in action (at least not since the Spring Game), and the general public’s interest in both is at all-time lows.

Unless you’ve been contracted like Connor Stalions or are obligated to tailgate for your team, the sole motivation to tune into a bowl game is to sleep off another binge at the holiday trough. I mean, how else are you supposed to ignore your family arguing in the other room?

Oklahoma, Ohio State, Miami, UCLA, Oregon State, Duke, Texas A&M and Coastal Carolina are all bowl eligible, and also without their starting quarterbacks, but your wife and kids don’t know that. So settle in and be prepared to conk off to a land of stake-free, mistake-riddled football.

Add in the lesser-known non-QBs in the portal and the guys going pro but sitting to preserve draft stock like Caleb Williams and A&M receiver Ainias Willaims, and these postseason “rewards” are self-parodies. None of that is more evident than the Aggies, who are without their coach and starting QB, Max Johnson, but still earned a bid to the TexAct Texas Bowl Game in Houston.

A&M faces Oklahoma State, so there will be an opponent, but I imagine it’ll be a lot more like NFL preseason games, or even those untelevised scrimmages that always incite brawls. Clemson has five or maybe six players in the portal — my apologies, it’s hard to keep track — but I hope you’re ready for a rollicking Gator Bowl.

The low-key funniest thing about college football’s transfer portal window is the dates. They can’t really move because they have to somewhat coincide with the academic calendar, so once season and semester, alike, are up, it’s checkout time. Theoretically, the NCAA could get rid of the spring window, but after two separate months of practices, coaches and players more or less know how the depth chart is going to end up.

While I’m pro-anarchy, especially in college football, coaches and athletic directors are going to have a meltdown eventually. The turnover is nice on the off chance that it injects the sport with some much-needed parity, but two signing days and two portal windows per year would be like the NFL having two drafts and two free-agency periods. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison because there’s a trade deadline, but you get what I’m saying.

Hell, if Florida State wanted to boycott the Orange Bowl against Georgia in protest of the playoff committee, that’s fine, because no one would notice, or care, but at least take advantage of a few more drills. You never know when Tate Rodemaker will be called into action next.

So, cheers to bowl season, because it’s more football and that’s always better than less football, right? RIGHT?!

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.