Four cities submit bids to host college football bowl games


As the college basketball postseason ends, we got a sneak peak this week that the college football postseason might be growing. Four cities have submitted applications for new bowl games this upcoming season: The Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida, the Arizona Bowl in Tucson, Arizona, and untitled bowl games in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Austin, Texas. If the new bowls are approved, there will be 43 bowl games on the calendar in December and January — five new bowl games launched last season.

Even with the plethora of games, six bowl-eligible teams still didn’t have a place to play in the postseason. The number of bowl games might seem to be getting out of hand, but I think any team that meets the NCAA’s six-win standard should be rewarded with a bowl trip. It gives every team something to aim for each year. How much more disappointing would the Illini’s season have been this year if they hadn’t gotten a bowl bid after reaching the coveted six-win mark? The bowl system is a way to reward almost every team that had a positive season, and new games will help to ensure this happens. Personally, I think the college football postseason is meant to be long and somewhat wacky.

I love the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. While new bowl games could create the most crowded bowl season ever, many games have come and gone. And many with stranger sponsors and set-ups than anything we have now.

Foreign Lands

There’s been discussion of playing college football in other countries for a long time. Right now, the American Athletic Conference and Mid-American Conference play in the new Bahamas Bowl in the Bahamas. The Bahamas Bowl is the first international bowl game since the International Bowl in Toronto was cancelled in 2009.

Previously in the Caribbean, the Bacardi Bowl was played during the 1920s in Havana, Cuba. Games played during the season in different countries have also sometimes been called “bowls,” like the Japanese Mirage Bowl in Tokyo.

The Illini were slated to play on Soviet soil in the regular season Glasnost Bowl of 1989. Plans fell through for the Illini’s planned Moscow matchup with the University of Southern California, and the game was played in Los Angeles, where the Illini upset the Trojans. The Haka Bowl was another planned postseason game in New Zealand in the 90s that never happened.

Strange Names

While teams now head to Boise for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, there are defunct bowls with much weirder names. The Salad Bowl was a postseason matchup for five years in Phoenix, Arizona, while the Raisin Bowl welcomed teams to Fresno, California. for five years. Evansville, Indiana, hosted the Refrigerator Bowl for nine years, named for the thriving refrigerator production in the town.

Two bowl names that wouldn’t fly today come with the Cigar Bowl and the Tobacco Bowl. The Cigar Bowl had a short-lived existence in Tampa, Florida, while the Tobacco Bowl was a regular season game between Southeastern teams that lasted until 1984 in Virginia.

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