It’s that time of year – college football bowl season. I’ve been a happy guy since my beloved University of Michigan Wolverines are 13-0 and in the College Football Playoffs as the #2 seed!
But let’s face it… not all bowl games are as prominent or prestigious as the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, etc. Many bowl games are… Pity Bowls.
When I was growing up watching college football, bowl games felt relatively rare and teams only got to go to bowl games if they did well in their season — if they won. But it doesn’t take much to get invited to a bowl game these days… it’s a pity invite, and the games where these teams play each other are Pity Bowls.
Here’s the 2022 slate of Pity Bowls, where the bowl game just shouldn’t exist.
|Pity Bowl game||Date||Team||Team|
|Bahamas Bowl||Dec 16||Blazers (6-6)||RedHawks (6-6)|
|LendingTree Bowl||Dec 17||Owls (5-7)||Golden Eagles (6-6)|
|New Mexico Bowl||Dec 17||Cougars (7-5)||Mustangs (7-5)|
|Independence Bowl||Dec 23||Cougars (7-5)||Cajuns (6-6)|
|Gasparilla Bowl||Dec 23||Demon Deacons (7-5)||Tigers (6-6)|
|Hawaii Bowl||Dec 24||Blue Raiders (7-5)||Aztecs (7-5)|
|Quick Lane Bowl||Dec 26||Aggies (6-6)||Falcons (6-6)|
|Camellia Bowl||Dec 27||Bulls (6-6)||Sthrn Eagles (6-6)|
|First Responder Bowl||Dec 27||Tigers (6-6)||Aggies (6-6)|
|Guaranteed Rate Bowl||Dec 27||Cowboys (7-5)||Badgers (6-6)|
|Liberty Bowl||Dec 28||Jayhawks (6-6)||Razorbacks (6-6)|
To be clear, the games that make up the Pity Bowl list are different each year. Sometimes an individual bowl will invite great teams; the games are on the Pity Bowl list above because neither of the teams they invited in 2022 have good records.
And yes, I know why these bowl games exist. TV stations/channels need to fill hours of airtime around the holidays, and live sports draws ratings, which means dollars. So even if two mediocre teams are playing a Pity Bowl, it’ll draw better ratings than a Law & Order re-run from 15 years ago or a re-run of a good bowl game from last year. But… it still sucks because it demeans the bowl games where the teams have actually done well.
So here’s my plea to whomever cares: college football (FBS) doesn’t need 40+ bowl games. Please, for the love of the game, just kill ten of these games so the ones that are left actually mean something.