So I'm sitting on the worst conference call of all time, bored to tears (NO YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE SURE EUDORA WILL WORK IT IS ALMOST 2013) and I decided to start totaling up the bowls and teams.
The following 15 teams with only 7 wins are in bowls:
The following 13 teams with only 6 wins are in bowls:
The following 10 bowls are matchups of teams with a combined 14 wins or fewer:
New Mexico Bowl
Little Caesars Bowl
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Heart of Dallas Bowl (ON JANUARY 1!!!)
BBVA Compass Bowl
The following four bowls feature a matchup of teams with only 15 combined wins:
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Russell Athletic Bowl
Amazingly, the math works out perfectly: if you make the minimum standard 8 wins, and only retain bowls that currently offer a combined-16-wins-or-better matchup, there are precisely and exactly enough bowls to go around. And face it: how many of the 14-or-less bowls would you miss? Hell, how many of those bowls did you know existed?
If you set the minimum standard at 7 wins (and that's where it ought to be in a world of 12-game regular seasons; if nothing else it would end the necessity of waivers to allow 6-7 teams that lost a conference title game to go to a bowl), you end up lopping off 6 or 7 bowls (assuming that some 7-win team goes begging a la Vandy in 1975). To keep the ESPNU announcers happy, we could allow the 6-win team with the highest APR to get in and keep the numbers straight. But seriously, you can't find 7 bowls on that list to kill? And that list still leave intact the matchups of high-win mid-major teams in the Idaho Famous Potatoes Bowl or the GoDaddy.com Bowl or the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (how's this for a start: any bowl named for nothing BUT a corporate sponsor gets whacked first).
To be clear, I'm going to want all the football I can get my hands on now - with the regular season over, there isn't much left and we should cherish every opportunity to watch. But this is a modest proposal toward restoring some of the old-time magic to the bowl system - coupled with the end of automatic bowl bids down the line below the conference champion, this could and should get us some shiny matchups to carry us through the week between Christmas and New Years, not to mention the classic moveable feast of 14 hours of killer games all January 1 while we nurse our hangovers and swear we really will go to the gym this year.