Bowl Games Still Key in College Football
ATLANTA: Here from the veritable heart of college football, one can see that bowl games remain resilient in importance, as all CFP – College Football Playoff – games are in fact bowl games. That the eventual national champion has won a (traditional) bowl game in the first round of the CFP begins to ensure that bowls stay key, then the national championship game itself is always counted as a bowl game.
While the four-team system fails to fully recognize the possibilities of outcomes across the wide swathing landscape of the vast nation, let’s face it: Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame are the visibly viable programs to take the four slots, with only Florida, UCF, Michigan, Texas and LSU legitimately nipping at their heals.
Washington and Oregon and USC and Boise State would love for there to be a renaissance of any magnitude out West, but that hasn’t happened to any effect, so the national championship contenders will be coming from the right two-thirds of the country, for sure.
The rest of the somewhat successful football programs that plainly won’t make the CFP subsist on these bowls, often poorly attended compared to on-campus home games, for their morale boosts and mainly lessons learned from the extra month of practice. Even in a loss, a bowl team learns a lot about itself and its personnel.
The bowl system in its current iteration is factually more integral than ever to the direct coronation of one champion. So, the bowls are still mighty.
Also, programs can now zoom up the standings by making a one-year playoff run, in several key statistical categories. And, I love to track the bowl games and to attend bowl games and write of bowl cities.
Georgia slid into 2nd in the national chase for the current consecutive bowl streak, as FSU fell out with a sub .500 season, their recognition as national leader tainted by NCAA invalidation, anyway. Virginia Tech almost lost out atop it but rescheduled an earlier weather-cancelled game to get a win to get bowl eligible. If that hadn’t happened or they had lost the rescheduled game, UGA would have bolted to first. Georgia has been bowling every single year since 1997 (VaTech 1992).
Bama has a growing lead in all the rest of the big bowl stats. In all-time bowl appearances, Georgia is in 2nd, there, tied with Texas at 55, with Bama holding a full 70. In wins, Bama has 41, Georgia has a strong 31, in 3rd nationally behind only Bama and USC (34).
While the bowl domination displayed by my school in being at #2, #2 and #3 nationally in these stats is a point of Bulldog pride, the more resonant emotion it brings forth is one of loss, of possible national championships, with Georgia having only a split crown from 1942 and a lone consensus national champion in school history, from where Southern college football originated.
A national championship is the big bowl win still left to covet, for the red and black.
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