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College Bowls Catch March Madness Fever

Apparently watching their basketball-playing brethren blow up the Championship Tournament to a bloated 96 teams was just too much to bear for the BCS.

On April 22, a week before March Madness will become an All-Comers tournament, The NCAA will give its blessing to two more bowl games, bringing the post-season total to an absurd 35 games.

As recently as 1996 there were only 18 bowl games.

That means 70 teams will go bowling after next football season. The two new additions will be the Pinstripe Bowl to be played on Dec. 30th in Yankee Stadium, and something called the The Dallas Football Classic,which will be played in the Cotton Bowl on New Years day 2011.

Adding two more bowls wasn't enough. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe proposed a change in the bowl eligibility rules. From now on, a team with a 6-6 record will be considered just as eligible to play in bowls as teams with winning records. Under current rules, the NCAA requires bowls to give priority to teams with winning records.

What it means is that a BCS school could have a losing conference record, but if they are 6-6 ( including one win against a D-1AA opponent) they could be chosen over a 9-3 non-BCS team. Bowl games are no longer a reward for a successful season -- they are simply a venue for more TV product and more TV dollars to be spread to the power conferences.

As for the two new games, funny but both will have ties to the Big 12 (probably the 7th and 8th bowl eligibile teams, if the league has that many) and both claim they will pay the participating teams at least $1 million.

The Pinstripe Bowl will match the #3 team out of the Big East against the #6 or #7 Big 12 team.

If the Pinstripe Bowl had been played this year, Pittsburgh would have played Missouri.

The Dallas Football Classic will be anchored -- not by a Big 12 team -- but by the #7 team out of the Big 10. The opponent will either be team out of the Big 12, or Conference USA on alternating years. If they can't get Iowa State, then maybe then can get SMU.

The Dallas Football Classic would have had 6-6 Iowa St. vs. 6-6 Minnesota this year. An 8-4 SMU or an 8-4 Central Florida would have been the Conference USA Rep.

So if you are keeping score at home, begining next year 36% of all the teams that play D-1 basketball will make the NCAA Championship Tournament.

Meanwhile 58% of all the teams that play D-1 College Football will go to a bowl game.