By: Bo Bowen
Northwestern will play in a bowl game this season. The Wildcats have turned into a perennial bowl team out of the Big Ten. The College Football Playoff is the best thing to ever happen to the sport. Each year, we hotly debate the four teams that play for the national title. And every year, this argument pulls us in even closer to the sport. Despite this, there are some minor issues with the college football postseason format that could make it even better for fans. Here’s how to fix that:
- Cut unnecessary bowl games: The bowl season for college football has become too diluted. I’m sorry, but 6-6 teams should not be playing in the postseason. By cutting these extraneous games and keeping bowl games for top-25 teams, bowl games have more meaning and are a better product for fans.
- Expand the Playoff to 8 teams: Yes, expanding it to 8 will subtract some of its luster. However, this would be a win-win situation. Fans get 4 more good matchups to watch, and the NCAA would nearly double its television revenue with two times the playoff games. Also, the possibility of an 8-seed upsetting a 1-seed is compelling enough to expand.
- Only matchup top 25 teams in bowl games: As mentioned before, keeping bowl games exclusively for ranked teams keeps it more exclusive and promotes better matchups. Bowl games outside the New Year’s Six need a boost in interest and making those matchups better would create a better product.
- Spread out bowl season: With a large layoff between conference championships and most bowl games, fans can become disengaged in that time off. Spreading out bowl games would keep fans interested in the bowl season as a whole. Placing bowl games throughout that break would keep the conversation going.
- Make the bowl games stand out: The most memorable thing about Northwestern’s Pinstripe Bowl last year (other than the victory and Justin Jackson taking over) was the venue. Having a bowl game in Yankee Stadium sets the Pinstripe Bowl apart from other bowls. Giving the bowls more meaning and utilizing more interesting venues would give the games more interesting storylines.
So there you have it. College football bowl season is always a great time of year and keeping them interesting would turn a really good product into a great product.