Football Bowls – Is More Bad?

Football Bowls
Jim Quist @ACCTheQ

Is more bad? In the minds of many it can be. When it comes to adding more football bowls you can hear the groans and snickering from some corners. By now you may have heard that the NCAA has agreed to the addition of 3 new bowls. Two have a tie-in with the ACC. The latest is one of a growing trend among baseball teams who want to jump on the bandwagon of hosting college bowls. Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox will host a game between an ACC and AAC team beginning in 2020. Fenway is no stranger to college football as evidenced by this January, 2017 article from Boston.com.

The ACC is already tied in with the New York Yankees who host the Pinstripe Bowl. The game features a matchup with a Big Ten team. With a .200 winning percentage by ACC teams and a contract that ends soon will the conference still be featured in the bowl in the future?

Presently, there are only two ‘cold-weather’ open-air venues hosting FBS college football bowls in the northeast. The Pinstripe and Military Bowls. Why not add one more? Fans of professional football have been going to games in the dead of winter for years. Is there a market for another cold weather college football bowl that will attract fans from below the Mason-Dixon line? The folks at Fenway are banking on it.

Football Bowls

In the Southwest the Cheez-It Bowl took up temporary residence in the former home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field before returning to Sun Devil Stadium. Originally know as the Copper Bowl and more recently the Cactus Bowl the tie-in is currently with the Big 12 and PAC 12. ACC teams have played at the venue in the past.


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The Texas Rangers are expressing interest in having a college football bowl at Globe Life Field when it opens in 2020. The team is in discussions with the Big 12 regarding games.

The non-baseball stadium addition for the ACC is the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. The conference is replacing the Big Ten in a matchup against a PAC 12 team. This matchup is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Football Bowls

ACC Games

Overall, in 2020 there will be 43 bowl games. There are 130 FBS teams eligible so approximately 65% are looking at a post season game. The ACC and SEC each have 11 bowl tie-ins.

What are some of the other changes you can expect for ACC bowl games in the future? The Belk Bowl will now rotate a team from the SEC and Big Ten to compete against the ACC. The Gator Bowl will continue to feature an ACC and SEC team. The ACC will become the backup conference for the Outback Bowl that pits the SEC against the Big Ten. Should the Big Ten team be in the Orange Bowl a team from the ACC will step up.


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We’ve come a long way from the easy to recognize names of the Cotton, Orange and Rose Bowls. Bowls with names like; Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl or Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl may leave us scratching our heads. But, they put a nice bit of change into the pockets of programs that participate.

Show Me The Money

Fans want to watch more football. Demand meet supply. Whether it’s in person or sitting on the couch there’s plenty of pie to be served with more bowl games.

I’ll leave you with this rundown of how much is paid out per team by a few bowls. *Figures from 2015.

  • FIRST TIER
  • Camping World Bowl $2.275M
  • Belk Bowl $1.7M
  • Sun Bowl $2.15M
  • Pinstripe $2.0M
  • SECOND TIER
  • Military Bowl $1.0M
  • Quick Lane $1.2M

Jim Quist is Managing Editor of ACC Nation, a member of FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and ACSMA (Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association). He is enrolled in the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program at the University of Richmond. Follow him on Twitter @ACCTheQ.

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