One of the most useful sites for college football fans is FBSchedules.com. They do a great job of reporting schedule changes and it’s the go-to source for any future non-conference or even conference schedule on the web. Every year, they also have the schedule for every postseason game, very useful if you’re like me and want to take in all the meaningless games between teams that have to play on the Trop’s splotchy FieldTurf.
This means we already know the Pac-12’s bowl schedule for the year. That’s good!
Turns out, their schedule sucks even more than usual. That’s bad!
First, lets lay it all out for you though:
- Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 16th, 12:30 p.m. on ABC vs. Mountain West
- Cactus Bowl: Dec. 26th, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big 12
- Foster Farms Bowl: Dec. 27th, 5:30 p.m. on FOX vs. Big Ten
- Holiday Bowl: Dec. 28th, 6:00 p.m. on FS1 vs. Big Ten
- Alamo Bowl: Dec. 28th, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big 12
- Sun Bowl: Dec. 29th, 12:00 p.m. on CBS vs. ACC/Notre Dame
(Note: The Rose Bowl is one of the CFP Semifinals this year so the Pac-12 Champion will not automatically get in.)
Three games on over-the-air networks is a good thing. The Las Vegas Bowl is certainly the marquee game on the first day of the bowl season and, despite playing against a non-Power Five team, the exposure is good. Plus, Brent Musberger will probably come out of retirement because he lives down the street these days. The Foster Farms doesn’t have much to compete with that day and although it’s going up against a slate of ESPN games, the FOX machine throwing their weight behind it certainly helps.
And ... that’s about it. There are lots of bug-a-boos here but lets start with the big, obvious one:
The Alamo Bowl and the Holiday Bowl are at the same damn time. Seriously.
That’s your #2 and #3 bowl games kicking off at the same time. I’ll grant you that there are at-large bids available where the high ranking teams in the conference could land but you’re still talking about perhaps the 3rd and 4th best teams, which will likely be well-known and ranked, PLAYING AT THE SAME FRICKIN’ TIME.
Add in the fact that five of your slotted games get over in the four days after Christmas before the second long holiday weekend and that’s doubly bad. There isn’t even a game to be had on the 30th (my birthday, plan accordingly) or during the day on New Years Eve.
Part of the Pac-12’s problem over the past few years has been exposure. Between filling out the back end of ESPN’s Saturday football schedule (something Coug fans know too well) and the paltry distribution of the Pac-12 Network, the bowl season can be a way for the conference to expose new viewers to great teams and players.
The Pac-12’s bowl schedule doesn’t allow for that. Again, there are some at-large bids to be had in big games like the Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls, but those are not a guarantee. The guarantees the Pac-12 does have are late night games the week after Christmas including two, and I still can’t believe this happened, THAT OCCUR AT THE SAME TIME.
Most of the country is deeply involved in the late evening SEC games or thinking of bed by the time the Pac-12 kicks off during the regular season. They aren’t doing themselves any favors with their bowl schedule either.