College football: Bowling for mediocrity

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College football: Bowling for mediocrity

[cap­tion id=“attachment_79823” align=“alignright” width=“246”]Ford Field Ford Field, site of the Quick Lane Bowl[/caption]

By John Ruberry

One has to won­der if col­lege foot­ball is headed to an every-​participant-​gets-​a-​ribbon level of com­pe­ti­tion. Not includ­ing the NCAA cham­pi­onship face-​off, there will be a record 40 col­lege bowl games this sea­son, which means 63 per­cent of FBS pro­grams will play in a bowl con­test. And despite some of these teams fat­ten­ing up against next-​level-​down teams in non-​conference games, for instance Illi­nois clob­bered West­ern Illi­nois 440, there aren’t enough teams with 66 records or bet­ter to fill all of these bowl slots.

Which means some 57 FBS teams – Illi­nois could be one of those squads – may still be graced with a bowl entry. At least two losers–and as many as five – will be bowl invi­ta­tion win­ners. But another 57 Big 10 team, Nebraska, may have a leg up. The NCAA has a loser con­tin­gency plan – I’m sure they call it some­thing more palat­able – which rewards schools with the high­est Aca­d­e­mic Progress Rate. The Cornkuskers have the high­est APR among the 5-​7s.

Hey, study­ing finally counts for some­thing in col­lege sports! That’s an improve­ment. On the other hand, Nebraska’s fans are intensely loyal and even a Corn­husker team with a los­ing record makes them an attrac­tion for a low-​level bowl. Fol­low the money.

And what about the games them­selves? Let’s take a look at Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl, which will be played at Ford Field on Decem­ber 28. It has tie-​ins with the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Con­fer­ence. But because there are not enough B1G or ACC bowl-​eligible teams, Cam­pus Insid­ers projects that another Big 10 loser, Min­nesota. will face off against Cen­tral Michi­gan of the Mid Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence. The Chippe­was are 75 – good for them.

NCAA foot­ball: Where you can be a win­ner and a loser at the same time.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

Ford Field
Ford Field, site of the Quick Lane Bowl

By John Ruberry

One has to wonder if college football is headed to an every-participant-gets-a-ribbon level of competition. Not including the NCAA championship face-off, there will be a record 40 college bowl games this season, which means 63 percent of FBS programs will play in a bowl contest. And despite some of these teams fattening up against next-level-down teams in non-conference games, for instance Illinois clobbered Western Illinois 44-0, there aren’t enough teams with 6-6 records or better to fill all of these bowl slots.

Which means some 5-7 FBS teams–Illinois could be one of those squads–may still be graced with a bowl entry. At least two losers–and as many as five–will be bowl invitation winners. But another 5-7 Big 10 team, Nebraska, may have a leg up. The NCAA has a loser contingency plan–I’m sure they call it something more palatable–which rewards schools with the highest Academic Progress Rate. The Cornkuskers have the highest APR among the 5-7s.

Hey, studying finally counts for something in college sports! That’s an improvement. On the other hand, Nebraska’s fans are intensely loyal and even a Cornhusker team with a losing record makes them an attraction for a low-level bowl. Follow the money.

And what about the games themselves? Let’s take a look at Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl, which will be played at Ford Field on December 28. It has tie-ins with the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference. But because there are not enough B1G or ACC bowl-eligible teams, Campus Insiders projects that another Big 10 loser, Minnesota. will face off against Central Michigan of the Mid American Conference. The Chippewas are 7-5–good for them.

NCAA football: Where you can be a winner and a loser at the same time.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.