Yes, we know this was an odd year for college football, but there still should never be a team with a losing record playing in a bowl game. The sport itself is already bloated and corrupt enough, but as long as clueless fans continue to throw away their money supporting it, the charade will go on. As P.T. Barnum famously said, there are suckers born every minute—and college football certainly knows how to rob them blind.
Okay, Barnum only said the first half of that; we added the second part. There are plenty of powerful, scamming organizations in the world today (we don’t need to mention them), and college football is just one of them. As the excellent book Death to the BCS documented a decade ago, the bowl-game bloat and charade of “tradition” makes no money for anyone but grifters and the few lucky schools chosen for the biggest games.
So here’s a quick look at the suckers this year—schools that accepted bowl bids and definitely will lose money from the choice:
- Armed Forces Bowl: 3-7 Mississippi State
- Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: 2-8 South Carolina
- Gator Bowl: 4-6 Kentucky
- LendingTree Bowl: 5-6 Western Kentucky
- Liberty Bowl: 3-7 Tennessee
- Texas Bowl: 3-7 Arkansas
- Myrtle Beach Bowl: 4-6 North Texas
- New Mexico Bowl: 3-4 Houston
- Outback Bowl: 4-5 Mississippi
Of the 28 bowl games that survived the pandemic, 9 of them will feature a team that couldn’t even break even on the season. Six of those teams are from the SEC—unable to bloat their records with four cupcake wins over small schools and the like as they normally do while artificially inflating their profit margins and SOS ratings.
All these schools are from the South as well, as that region pushed football from the start amid the pandemic and forced its teams to play as many games as possible (i.e., they needed the money). Most of these teams also will lose their games, while claiming … something … about how their seasons were successes because of the bowl bids.
There are many teams that chose not to accept bowl bids this year, regardless of their records, because of the pandemic and safety protocols. But these bowl games above and their desperate participant schools are just another example of the problem with college sports—and why they need a major overhaul as soon as possible.
Editor’s Note: The Vols had to pull out of their bowl commitment due to COVID outbreak(s).