Excess of bowl games needs attention

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

Here at Manhattan High, we’re finishing up the last couple days of first semester. Pretty typical stuff for this time of the year.

What’s not typical, or okay, is the bowl games that occured last weekend.

Sure, I understand that colleges have finished school, and students are now on break, but it seems crazy to have this many bowl games more than a week before Christmas. For crying out loud, there’s going to be seven bowl games before winter officially starts. That’s not okay.

Boise State was among many universities holding finals last week. The Broncos also played Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, winning 38-28.

It seems like this would create issues for the so-called “student-athletes.” The Boise State football players left for Las Vegas last Tuesday, skipping at least three days of finals.

I realize these are issues that football players face all season, and that’s an issue for another time. But during the stressful time of college finals, early bowl games will only unnecessarily increase stress levels.

Not only do the football players have to worry about school, but the early bowl games mean the players will have to worry about practices when they need to be studying for finals. By pushing the bowl games later in the season, teams can give their athletes time off for finals before resuming football time after tests are done.

It seems like such an easy fix: push bowl games later in the season. However, there’s just too many bowl games for this to happen. All 41 bowl games have to be crammed in before New Year’s Day. To give each bowl game its fair share of time, the schedule can’t be compressed much more.

Let’s be honest though. The biggest question is “Do we really need all of these bowl games? Do people really care about those little bowl games?” The answer, for the players, is a resounding “Yes!”

Bill Connelly wrote about the large number of bowl games in a recent article on SBNation.com. In the article, he mentioned Middle Tennessee State, a team that finished 6-6 on the season. MTSU thought its season was over, and the team said its final goodbyes.

Then, a glimmer of hope appeared. Somehow, MTSU received a bowl bid and accepted the opportunity to play Arkansas State in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. It gave them one last chance to play that they greatly accepted.

“All [MTSU] wanted was a chance to play one more game with each other,” Connelly wrote, “and they took full advantage.”

Maybe you’re not going to watch many games. If you’re like me, you’ll watch Kansas State play UCLA, the New Year’s Six and maybe a few others here and there. But at the end of the day, all of the games matter to someone.

I still think there are way too many bowl games. That being said, simply pushing the games later in the year make me feel a lot better. Even if not every bowl game has ample airtime, it will seem like there are less games, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.