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How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

The college football season is a tricky one. First off you’ve got a few different divisions to choose from, but for this example we’re going to use the most popular – Division One. I mean it makes perfect season sense until you hit December, then this team is randomly playing that team and the bowl name is usually ridiculous as well.

A lot of money gets tossed around in bowl season with new uniforms, bowl sponsors and TV sponsors. What we’re going to focus on though is how this team ends up playing that team. [sc:NCAA240banner ]So if you’ve ever wanted a crash course on how it all works, this is the read for you. Ladies and gentlemen, without any further adieu, let’s talk bowl season!

Now, if you’re a little more interested in How the NFL Season Works, you’ll want to click here instead.

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

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HERE’S HOW THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SEASON WORKS

The Conferences:

There are 11 division one conferences in the NCAA. One of which, is called the Independents because it represents the three teams without a set conference and affiliation. They are Notre Dame, Brigham Young University and Navy.

The Regular Season Schedule:

Each team plays a 13-game regular season. However, some only play 12 games. These games are tallied up in terms of win-loss records and entered into that conference’s standings. Those standings are then used to determine who will play a bowl game at the end of the year. More than that though, they will also help determine which bowl game a team will play in and how much money they could potentially earn for their school.

Bowl Eligibility:

There are a number of factors that come into play for a team to have Bowl Eligibility. The big two though are a winning record, and did that team beat another division one team that season? If the answer to both questions are yes, that team is eligible to fight for a bowl game. Each team though does have the right to refusal.

Now there is an asterisk beside the winning record, because you could also squeak out eligibility by winning six games in your season. This would either give you a .500 record or a below .500 record (if you played 12 or 13 games). There’s an asterisk beside this because these teams are used as filler teams if not enough squads can fill all of the 40 bowl games. This was the case with Mizzou in 2015, even though they only won five games. In any other year, they likely would never see bowl eligibility, however not enough of the 80 teams needed to fill all of the games met all of the requirements, so they were considered. Due to issues with their head coach though, they declined the invite to participate.

The AP Committee:

The Associated Press Committee determines the Top 25 teams in division one from the week that was. A win can move you up, and a loss can move you back down. There are many things that can factor in as well. Did you beat a higher ranked team? Did you beat lose to a team from a lesser division? Etc.

The committee is generally made up of former collegiate athletes, coaches, journalists and academics.

The Playoff Selection Committee:

This is an easy one. The playoff selection committee takes the Top 4 teams in the AP Top 25 Poll, and places them in that year’s playoff bowl games.

This committee is made up of 12 members. There is an athletic director from each of the “Top Five” conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC). Along with former players, coaches, administrators, athletic directors, and a retired journalist. This committee will change every three years though, “to  achieve a rotation” of members.

Playoff Bowl Games:

These games will change bowls every year and rotate every three years.

  • The Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will host a playoff game every three years starting in 2015-16 (2018-19, 2021-22, 2024-25 etc.)
  • The Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl will host a playoff game every three years starting in 2016-17 (2019-20, 2022-23, 2025-26 etc.)
  • The Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl will host a playoff game every three years starting in 2017-18 (2020-21, 2023-24, 2026-27 etc.)

These bowls will host a playoff semifinal game where the Number One ranked team will play the Number 4 and the Number 2 will play Number 3. The two winners will then move on to the National Championship game.

The Other Bowl Games:

Each bowl game has it’s own criteria and committee to decide which teams will participate, based on that set agenda. It’s not the easiest thing to comprehend, but once you understand one of them, you’ll understand them all! We’re hoping…

The following is a list of all of the bowl games and they corresponding criteria for those involved that can include the use of division one and two conferences. This is due to change in time and is an example used from the 2015 college football bowl season. We’ve broken down each game and the payout that will towards each school involved.

Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl

Created in: 2015

The Air Force Reserve Celebration bowl (aka the AFR Celebration Bowl) will face off a team from the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) against a team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

Payout: $2 million ($1 million per conference)

New Mexico Bowl

Created in: 2006

The New Mexico Bowl (aka the Gildan New Mexico Bowl) originally featured the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and has also one featured the Pac-12. It now features a matchup between teams from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA.

Payout: $912,500 per team

Las Vegas Bowl

Created in: 1992

The Las Vegas Bowl (aka the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl) used to feature teams from the Big West and Mid-American Conference. It now features a matchup  built with teams from the Mountain West Conference and Pac-12.

Payout: $1.35 million per team

Camellia Bowl

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

Created in: 2014

The Camellia Bowl (aka the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl) does have a rich history, but was defunct for years. Since it’s return, it has featured teams from the Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences.

Payout: Unknown

Cure Bowl

Created in: 2015

The Cure Bowl (aka the Auto Nation Cure Bowl) is a new bowl game that features a matchup between the American and Sun Belt conferences.

Payout: Unknown

New Orleans Bowl

Created in: 2001

The New Orleans Bowl (aka the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl) at times has involved a team from the Mountain West Conference (MWC), but currently features a matchup derived from the Sun Belt and Conference-USA.

Payout: $500,000 per team

Miami Beach Bowl

Created in: 2014

The Miami Beach Bowl can feature teams from the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Conference-USA, Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the Sun Belt.

Payout: Unknown

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Created in: 1997

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was previously known as the Humanitarian Bowl and the MPC Computers Bowl. In the past, it has featured teams from the Big West, Conference-USA, WAC, ACC and MWC. Currently, it features a matchup of teams from the MWC and MAC.

Payout: $750,000 per team

Boca Raton Bowl

Created in: 2014

The Boca Raton Bowl (aka the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl) at one point featured teams from Conference-USA. It is now a matchup of teams from the MAC and AAC.

Payout: Unknown

Poinsettia Bowl

Created in: 2005

The Poinsettia Bowl (aka the San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl) has featured teams from the Pac-12, Navy, Mountain West, Army and BYU. It currently features teams built from Mountain West Conference.

Payout: $612,500 per team

GoDaddy Bowl

Created in: 1999

Previously known as the Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Bowl and GoDaddy.com Bowl, the GoDaddy Bowl features teams from the Sun Belt and MAC.

Payout: $750,000 per team

Bahamas Bowl

Created in: 2014

The Bahamas Bowl (aka the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl) currently features teams from the MAC and Conference-USA. Beginning in 2016 though, it will take a team or teams from the AAC.

Payout: Unknown

Hawai’i Bowl

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

Created in: 2002

The unsponsored Hawai’i Bowl used to feature teams from the WAC and Pac-12, but currently takes teams from the MWC and Conference-USA.

Payout: $750,000 per team

St. Petersburg Bowl

Created in: 2008

Formerly known as the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl, St. Petersburg Bowl presented by Beef ‘O’Brady’s and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, the St. Petersburg Bowl now features teams from the American, AAC, Conference-USA, MAC and Sun Belt.

Payout: $500,000 per team

Sun Bowl

Created in: 1935

To sum up a little quicker, the Sun Bowl has had four past sponsors but is now known as the Hyundai Sun Bowl. It has featured teams from the Big Ten, Big 12, Big East and Notre Dame. Currently though, it’s a matchup between the Pac-12 and ACC.

Payout: $4.1 million combined

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Created in: 2011

Currently known as the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, a matchup takes place each year between teams from the Big Ten, Big 12 and/or Conference-USA.

Payout: $1.2 million per team

Pinstripe Bowl

Created in: 2011

Currently known as the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, the game draws from the Big Ten and ACC.

Payout: $2 million ($1 million to each conference)

Independence Bowl

Created in: 1976

The title sponsor has changed seven times over the past 40 years, but the game is currently known as the Camping World Independence Bowl. It has also featured numerous conferences in the past but currently features a matchup between the SEC and ACC.

Payout: $1.1 million

Foster Farms Bowl

Created in: 2002

The Foster Farms Bowl has passed through three other sponsors hands. It is currently a matchup between the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

Payout: $1 million to Pac-12, $850,000 to team from other conference.

Military Bowl

Created in: 2008

It’s current sponsor is Northrop Grumman and the Military Bowl is a matchup featuring teams from the ACC and American.

Payout: $1 million per team

Quick Lane Bowl

Created in: 2014

The Quick Lane Bowl operates with teams picked from the Big Ten and ACC.

Payout: $1.2 million

Armed Forces Bowl

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

Created in: 2003

Also known as the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the game has changed sponsor hands three times previously. It features teams from a number of different conferences that change each year: American (2014, 2018), MWC (2015, 2019), Army (2014, 2017), Big Ten (2015, 2017, 2019), Big 12 (2016, 2018), and Navy (2016).

Payout: $1.2 million

Russell Athletic Bowl

Created in: 1990

Perhaps most famously known as the “Tangerine Bowl”, the Russell Athletic Bowl has changed sponsors six times and names eight times. It currently features a matchup between teams from the ACC and Big 12.

Payout: $2.275 Million

Arizona Bowl

Created in: 2015

The game is currently (and always has been) known as the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. It features a matchup between the Conference-USA, Sun Belt and/or Mountain West.

Payout: Unkown

Texas Bowl

Created in: 2006

Currently known as the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, the game has changed sponsor hands twice and names three times. Perhaps most well known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the current rendition faces teams off from the Big East, Conference-USA, MWC and Big Ten.

Payout: $1.7 million per team

Birmingham Bowl

Created in: 2006

The Birmingham Bowl has undergone three name changes and currently puts teams from the American, SEC, Conference-USA and/or MAC against each other.

Payout: $1.95 million

Belk Bowl

Created in: 2002

Belk has sponsored the bowl game since 2012 and is the third sponsor in it’s history. The game used to feature teams from the AAC, but currently selects teams from the ACC and SEC.

Payout: Unknown

Music City Bowl

Created in: 1998

Currently known as the Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl (or the FAMCMCB for the time savers out there) has gone through six name changes in its time. It also used to feature teams from the Big East and Big Ten, but currently only showcases squads from the ACC and SEC.

Payout: $3.5 million

Holiday Bowl

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

Created in: 1978

Currently known as the National Funding Holiday Bowl, the game has gone through seven sponsors and eight name changes. It currently features teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

Payout: $2.825 million

Outback Bowl

Created in: 1986

Now after its title sponsor Outback Steakhouse, the Outback Bowl used to be known as the Hall of Fame Bowl for nine years. It now features teams from the Big Ten and SEC.

Payout: $7.2 million

Citrus Bowl

Created in: 1947

Currently known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, the game has gone through five sponsors and six name changes. It now features teams matched up from the Big Ten and SEC.

Payout: $4.25 million

TaxSlayer Bowl

Created in: 1946

Known for the longest time as the “Gator Bowl”, the newly named TaxSlayer Bowl has gone through six sponsors and seven name changes. It currently features teams selected from the SEC and Big Ten.

Payout: $3.5 million

Liberty Bowl

Created in: 1959

Now known as the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, the game has undergone three name and sponsor changes. It currently takes the #4 pick from the Pac-12 and a team from the SEC.

Payout: $2.4 million

Alamo Bowl

Created in: 1993

Now known as the Valero Alamo Bowl, the game has had four different sponsors and five name changes. At one point, it featured teams from the Southwest and Big Ten. Now it’s matchup is built by teams from the Big 12 and Pac-12.

Payout: $3 million

Cactus Bowl

How Does the College Football Bowl Season Work

Created in: 1989

The Motel 6 Cactus Bowl has gone through six sponsor and eight different names through the years. It now features teams from the Big 12 and the Pac-12 going head-to-head.

Payout: $3.3 million per team

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Ryan
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