Here in Southern California we are home to the very first college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, played on January 1, 1902. The Rose Bowl was still the only major college football bowl in 1930, but that quickly changed. By 1940, there were 5 bowls, the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl. I loved the simplicity of the names back then, before the corporate sponsorships took over.
The number of bowls grew to 8 in 1950, 11 in 1970, 15 in 1980, 19 in 1990, 25 in 2000 and today, 2012, we have 35 of them. And amazingly, only a few of the games overlap, so even without recording the games, avid football fans could almost watch every single one of these 35 bowls live on TV.
Here is the current college football bowl schedule for 2012-2013, including game times in PST (be sure to check channel listings for changes/errors):
Gildan New Mexico Bowl 12/15/12 10am (Nevada vs Arizona)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl 12/15/12 1:30pm (Toledo vs Utah State)
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl 12/20/12 5pm (BYU vs San Diego State)
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg 12/21/12 4:30pm (Ball State vs Central Florida)
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl 12/22/12 9am (East Carolina vs Louisiana-Lafayette)
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas 12/22/12 12:30pm (Boise St vs Washington)
Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl 12/24/12 5pm (Southern Methodist vs Fresno State)
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl 12/26/12 4:30pm (Western Kentucky vs Central Michigan)
Military Bowl pres. by Northrop Grumman 12/27/12 Noon (San Jose St vs Bowling Green)
Belk Bowl 12/27/12 3:30pm (Duke vs Cincinnati)
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl 12/27/12 6:45pm (Baylor vs UCLA)
Advocare V100 Independence Bowl 12/28/12 11am (Ohio vs Louisiana-Monroe)
Russell Athletic Bowl 12/28/12 2:30pm (Virginia Tech vs Rutgers)
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas 12/28/12 6pm (Minnesota vs Texas Tech)
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl 12/29/12 8:45am (Rice vs Air Force)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl 12/29/12 12:15pm (Syracuse vs West Virginia)
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl 12/29/12 1pm (Arizona State vs Navy)
Valero Alamo Bowl 12/29/12 3:45pm (Texas vs Oregon State)
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl 12/29/12 7:15pm (Michigan State vs Texas Christian)
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl 12/31/12 9am (Vanderbilt vs NC State)
Hyundai Sun Bowl 12/31/12 11am (Georgia Tech vs USC)
Autozone Liberty Bowl 12/31/12 12:30pm (Iowa State vs Tulsa)
Chick-fil-A Bowl 12/31/12 4:30pm (Clemson vs LSU)
Heart of Dallas Bowl 1/1/13 9am (Purdue vs Oklahoma State)
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl 1/1/13 9am
Capital One Citrus Bowl 1/1/13 10am
Outback Bowl 1/1/13 10am (South Carolina vs Michigan)
Rose Bowl presented by Vizio 1/1/13 2pm (Wisconsin vs Stanford)
Discover Orange Bowl 1/1/13 5:30pm (Northern Illinois vs Florida State)
Allstate Sugar Bowl 1/2/13 5:30pm (Louisville vs Florida)
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 1/3/13 5:30pm (Oregon vs Kansas State)
AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic 1/4/13 5pm (Texas A&M vs Oklahoma)
BBVA Compass Bowl 1/5/13 10am (Pittsburgh vs Ole Miss)
GoDaddy.com Bowl 1/6/13 6pm (Kent State vs Arkansas Stage)
Discover BCS National Championship 1/7/13 5:30pm (Alabama vs Notre Dame)
Any NCAA Division 1 Football Team with at least 6 wins and (usually) not having a losing record can be invited to a post-season bowl. Teams with 6-6 records in this year's bowl lineup include:
- Southern Methodist in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
- Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl
- Duke in the Belk Bowl
- Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl
- Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
- Battle of the 6-6s Rice and Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
- Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
- Iowa State in the Autozone Liberty Bowl
- Georgia Tech got an NCAA waiver to play USC at the Hyundai Sun Bowl with its 6-7 record. I suppose since 4 of its losses were to top 20 teams, that helped its cause.
- Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl
- Another battle of the 6-6s, Pittsburgh vs Ole Miss at the BBVA Compass Bowl.
That's actually pretty interesting. Nearly 1 in 5 NCAA football teams playing in the 35 bowls this year don't have winning records.
You'd think with all these absolutely terrible sounding, long corporate sponsored bowl game names that one of these days we can finally see the Clorox Toilet Bowl, featuring perhaps 2 teams with losing records receiving NCAA waivers to play!
It would also be fun to see some of the sponsors for the traditional bowl games be swapped out for more relevant matches! For example, instead of the Allstate Sugar Bowl, how about the C&H Pure Cane Sugar Bowl. Or rather than the Discover Orange Bowl, the Sunkist Orange Bowl would be a great fit! And of course, the Rose Bowl presented by 1-800-FLOWERS would be a no-brainer!
ESPN is televising a vast majority of the 35 bowl games. Visit their site at espn.go.com/college-football/bowls for detailed information and a television lineup that also includes other networks.