The college football postseason smorgasbord that began with Arizona winning a thrilling New Mexico Bowl on Saturday seems like it is ever expanding, but it hasn’t.
The lineup of 35 bowl games is the same it has been for the third season in a row, with games going from Dec. 15 to Jan. 7’s BCS National Championship game in Miami.
There have not been any new games added since 2010 when the Pinstripe Bowl — remember that? — and the TicketCity Bowl made their debuts. We’re in the middle of a three-year moratorium on new bowls by the NCAA.
With 70 spots available, the NCAA further relaxed requirements for bowl eligibility. Pretty much any 6-6 team is eligible — including even wins against lower-tiered Football Championship Series leagues such as the Ivy League. Those wins used to only be counted in certain circumstances.
Teams are eligible at 6-7, providing they lost in a conference championship game — hello, Georgia Tech!
And, if all else failed, there were contingency plans for 5-7 teams to be eligible for the first time. Fortunately that was not needed, despite a swath of ineligible teams: Ohio State, Penn State, Miami and North Carolina.
The result was 72 eligible teams, with only Louisiana Tech (9-3) and Middle Tennessee State (8-4) not receiving invitations.
So the BWW Bowl? That’s the newly renamed Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. You may remember it as the Insight Bowl. Prior to that it was the Insight.com Bowl and when it in 1989, it was the Copper Bowl.
The aforementioned TicketCity Bowl is now the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Of course, this is the game that’s played in the old Cotton Bowl, as opposed to the bowl game of the same name that moved to Jerry Jones’ Cowboys Stadium.
Finally, the Russell Athletic Bowl is the new name of the game played on Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla. It was called the Champs Sports the previous eight years. Prior incarnations included the Tangerine Bowl, MicronPC Bowl, Carquest Bowl, Blockbuster Bowl and the Sunshine Classic.