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OldSchoolLion

Thoughts about HS Bowl Games

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Some have said we have too many teams in the playoffs and a lack of competitiveness in certain games/classes.  The development of "superteams," which is likely here to stay, has amplified this situation and I see things only getting worse.  We have done somersaults trying to figure out which teams should make the playoffs, yet the reality is that many "bubble" teams get blown out in the first or second rounds.  And, in some cases, teams are traveling substantial distances to do so.

If the present desire is to "reward" teams at the end of a good season with some additional play, why not promote the concept of bowl games(rather than having as many playoff games)?  Rather than ending the season on a sour note getting blown out(49 teams lost a first or second round playoff game by 30 or more points, so about 1 in every 3 early round playoff games is decided by 30 or more points), a team could play in a competitive bowl game where they have a legitimate shot at winning.  Some fans, ie hs kids, may not be able to travel 100+ miles for a playoff game, but a bowl game with a "local" team could be much more accessible.  And the local flavor of the bowl game could generate a lot of excitement(more so than playing a team fans have never heard of).  Some great rivalries have been lost over the years due to movement in the classes.  Bowl games could be an opportunity to rekindle these rivalries.  It could also provide an opportunity for local businesses to help sponsor the events, ie the Bubba's Body Shop Bowl:rolleyes:.       

Thought I would float this idea to see what people think.  Something just seems ironic to me that we are "rewarding" teams with a chance to go on a long road trip and lose by 50 points.  Doesn't seem like much of a reward to me.  :huh:     

 

       

 

 

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I always like more football, but I don't know how many kids would get hyped up for a Bowl Game. The whole idea of football season is to play well enough to make the playoffs and have a shot at the State title. I think once kids realize they're out of contention for that, some (ie seniors who have no real reason to play anymore) won't take the situation seriously. I do like the idea for teams that don't have a chance at the playoffs (maybe even allow teams that are 5-5 or 4-6 to participate) and getting local sponsors. Could be fun if done the right way.

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A couple of thoughts:

Unless you really cut back on the number of playoff teams, you're going to continue to have a fair share of first-round (and even second-round) blowouts.  Especially now with the state's current transfer policy -- the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  A reflection of our society.  A handful of teams will continue to dominate each class and these teams will continue to be on the winning side of these first-round playoff game blowouts. 

That said, blowouts are not the worst thing in the world.  I'm guessing most players and coaches (and even fans) would tell you that they'd rather make the playoffs and get blown out in the first round than not make the playoffs at all.  And for the top-seeded teams, a blowout first-round game keeps them in rhythm and, assuming no major injuries, is probably better than a bye.  And for those kids who aren't starters, first-round blowouts give them a chance to get some meaningful playing time in a playoff game. 

Nevertheless, I like the idea of a bowl game or two for the teams whose bubbles get burst by the RPI and who fall just outside the top 8 in their region . . . at least until the stud players from these teams start deciding to sit out the bowl game for fear of injury and messing up their chances to get drafted, er, snag a last minute scholarship.  One other thing to keep in mind:  unlike college, a good number of football players, especially at smaller schools, roll right into high school basketball season as soon as the whistle blows in their last football game.  A bowl game played one or two weeks after their last regular season game would further delay that transition. 

Just my two cents.

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3 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

Some have said we have too many teams in the playoffs and a lack of competitiveness in certain games/classes.  The development of "superteams," which is likely here to stay, has amplified this situation and I see things only getting worse.  We have done somersaults trying to figure out which teams should make the playoffs, yet the reality is that many "bubble" teams get blown out in the first or second rounds.  And, in some cases, teams are traveling substantial distances to do so.

If the present desire is to "reward" teams at the end of a good season with some additional play, why not promote the concept of bowl games(rather than having as many playoff games)?  Rather than ending the season on a sour note getting blown out(49 teams lost a first or second round playoff game by 30 or more points, so about 1 in every 3 early round playoff games is decided by 30 or more points), a team could play in a competitive bowl game where they have a legitimate shot at winning.  Some fans, ie hs kids, may not be able to travel 100+ miles for a playoff game, but a bowl game with a "local" team could be much more accessible.  And the local flavor of the bowl game could generate a lot of excitement(more so than playing a team fans have never heard of).  Some great rivalries have been lost over the years due to movement in the classes.  Bowl games could be an opportunity to rekindle these rivalries.  It could also provide an opportunity for local businesses to help sponsor the events, ie the Bubba's Body Shop Bowl:rolleyes:.       

Thought I would float this idea to see what people think.  Something just seems ironic to me that we are "rewarding" teams with a chance to go on a long road trip and lose by 50 points.  Doesn't seem like much of a reward to me.  :huh:     

 

       

 

 

When I was in high school only district champs made the playoffs.  We had bowl games back then and usually they were good match-ups against teams with 8-2 or 9-1 records.  

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4 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

Rather than ending the season on a sour note getting blown out(49 teams lost a first or second round playoff game by 30 or more points, so about 1 in every 3 early round playoff games is decided by 30 or more points), a team could play in a competitive bowl game where they have a legitimate shot at winning. 

How much of the increase in victory size though is a result of the changing nature of football as a sport that scores lots of points (offensive tempo) rather than a 21-14 defensive struggle?

Is victory size really a good indication of a lack of quality games... Also as coaches begin to play to win rather than play to not lose by a lot, they are gambling more and as a result sometimes you lose on your gamble and the spread gets bigger.

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28 minutes ago, gatorman-uf said:

How much of the increase in victory size though is a result of the changing nature of football as a sport that scores lots of points (offensive tempo) rather than a 21-14 defensive struggle?

Is victory size really a good indication of a lack of quality games... Also as coaches begin to play to win rather than play to not lose by a lot, they are gambling more and as a result sometimes you lose on your gamble and the spread gets bigger.

Very valid points.  Am thinking of things from a fan or potential parent of future football player perspective.  How would people react if we had many games at the NFL level being decided by 30 or more points?  I think the NFL would get very nervous.  So, are folks at the hs level more tolerant?  Or are we potentially losing interest of the aforementioned folks because of real and/or perceived lack of parity? When a parent sees a team get beaten 50-0 by a team that is light years ahead of their son's school, does it raise questions about safety, especially if the parent is not completely familiar with high school football?  

If victory size is not a good indication, what objective way is there to measure "quality?"  I once joked about fans voting on "quality" points to be awarded at each game.  

Bottom line, is our current "system" hurting our image in some way?  (in the minds/eyes of non-coaches and non-players...outsiders).  Sure, experts like us :) can watch a game and see "quality."  But I see a lot of fans leaving at halftime based on the scoreboard and not the nuances of the game.  Right or wrong, my perception is that folks today have much shorter attention spans, on average, than folks of the past, and are much quicker to brand something as "boring" than in the past. 

 

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Back in the day you had to win at least 6 games to make a bowl and it could only be played on Thanksgiving Day/weekend. 

Before the playoffs that started in the 60’s, bowl games were huge because they were THE postseason. Teams from all around the country would send their champion to come play our mythical champ. Before the playoffs, bowl games is all you had so you know it was a big deal. 

Flash forward to now. I know bowls don’t mean much anymore but think about this. If you haven’t been to the playoffs in years, or even never, it’s a great growing tool. It also gives the seniors that 99 percent of them will never play another down of football In their entire life one extra game. That could be very special then ending your senior year eliminated from the playoffs. 

It also gives the younger guys valuable practice time and more game reps to help for next year.

i understand it spills over into basketball season and a lot of teams have some B-ball players, but not all of them. 

I believe there is more positives than negatives for all teams who win 5 games and miss the playoffs 

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11 hours ago, nolebull813 said:

Back in the day you had to win at least 6 games to make a bowl and it could only be played on Thanksgiving Day/weekend. 

Before the playoffs that started in the 60’s, bowl games were huge because they were THE postseason. Teams from all around the country would send their champion to come play our mythical champ. Before the playoffs, bowl games is all you had so you know it was a big deal. 

Flash forward to now. I know bowls don’t mean much anymore but think about this. If you haven’t been to the playoffs in years, or even never, it’s a great growing tool. It also gives the seniors that 99 percent of them will never play another down of football In their entire life one extra game. That could be very special then ending your senior year eliminated from the playoffs. 

It also gives the younger guys valuable practice time and more game reps to help for next year.

i understand it spills over into basketball season and a lot of teams have some B-ball players, but not all of them. 

I believe there is more positives than negatives for all teams who win 5 games and miss the playoffs 

That was my thought.  The sendoff for many seniors now is a playoff game that could be many miles from home and I wonder how many of their fans come to see them under such circumstances.  As good as we have become as a society at hyping things, seems to me that if we put our minds and hearts to it, bowl games could become a big deal again, just like they were.  

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