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What if (most) college football bowls were early in the season?




In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of college soccer players opting out of bowl games as they look to their future.

Last week ESPN . published a long piece in which a group of writers attempted to reconfigure college football’s annual schedule, and a change in when bowl games, at least most of them, are played was one of the changes.

ESPN’s proposal would have fall camp run from July 21 through mid-August and then have (most of) the bowl season from the third Saturday in August through Labor Day.

Bowl matchups were to be determined in April.

Most importantly, we’re creating a 10-day college football extravaganza that could rival the opening weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament. It will be wall-to-wall competition with no competition from the NFL to whet your appetite for the coming season, the group concluded.

They added, and don’t worry, the most tradition-rich bowls that the current New Years Six are still playing at the end of the season as part of our redesigned play-off.

The group then got feedback from people in the sports conference commissioners, school sports directors, coaches, players and others about what they thought of the reconfiguration.

The proposal received mixed reactions, with some in the sport saying it was an idea worth considering and others saying they didn’t like it.

Your first reaction is: Well, that sounds crazy. But maybe something is up, says Appalachian State sports director Doug Gillin.

I think it would probably answer a few things about opt-outs. …Essentially a bunch of really cool kickoff games. I wouldn’t say it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen.

On the other hand, an unnamed Power Five coach is quoted as saying: I don’t think I’m excited to be left out of a bowl game for my seniors, based on last year’s team. You will have a hard time getting coaches excited about that.

Other changes to the calendar that ESPN has been investigating:

  • Some changes to the regular season to accommodate the bowl season, including FBS teams no longer playing FCS schools (those matchups can be played in the spring), plus adding an extra bye week for each team.
  • A way to accommodate a 12 team playoff.
  • Transfer windows and one large window from January 1 to March 1 for high school recruits to sign with schools, with some simplification of windows when recruitment is allowed.

Of the reconfigured calendar as a whole, an unnamed Power Five athletic director is quoted as saying, I thought it was really innovative. That’s what we need now, just some chalk and a blackboard and get to work. At just 30,000 feet, it seemed like you were trying to find a real compromise on a lot of issues.




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