More college football bowl games, the merrier this season

Expect to see more teams like Central Michigan and Western Kentucky in future bowl games, like last year's Bahamas Bowl. (AP photo)

Expect to see more teams like Central Michigan and Western Kentucky in future bowl games, like last year’s Bahamas Bowl. (AP photo)

If you plan your family gatherings and holiday shindigs around bowl games, your window of opportunity for socializing next December likely will shrink.

Four cities — Austin, Texas, Tucson, Ariz., Little Rock, Ark., and Orlando, Fla. — have applied for bowl games this season.

And since they’re expected to be approved by the NCAA, the new quartet will boost the bowl total to a record 43. (Up from 18 bowl games in 1995-96).

That means, including the College Football Playoff title game, college football needs 84 teams to fill every bowl.

From ESPN.com: “That would mean 66 percent of the 127 FBS teams would go bowling.”

I don’t have a problem with bowls. The more college football, the merrier. Right?

How many times can you watch Frosty melt or the Grinch ruin and then save Christmas?

The problem, however, is rewarding undeserving teams — those that finish with at least six wins are usually only .500 — and three of the four new bowls would go to teams in the American Athletic Conference.

Have some spare time? Here’s The Sporting News’ bowl quiz from this past season.

Attendance down, TV ratings up for bowl games.

That means nine bowl tie-ins for those 12 teams, the highest percentage of bowl games for a conference, ESPN.com reported.

Only six of the conference’s teams — Memphis, Cincinnati, UCF, East Carolina, Houston and Temple — were bowl eligible in 2014, but Navy will join the conference next year.

“As long as the standard to go to a bowl remains 6-6, commissioners will be pressured to have bowl games for all their conference teams to play in,” a source told ESPN.com. “That’s why you keep seeing more and more bowls added.”


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