- There are 43 bowl games this year, counting the CFP and the Celebration Bowl.
- Corporate advertising is a huge influence on the modern bowl schedule.
Every December, Santa brings dozens of presents for college football fans all over the United States.
They’re college football bowl games, and they’re going to be on your television whether you asked for them or not.
Personally, I’m never one to look down at more opportunities for betting on hot college football lines. But every year, there are new college football fans who are wondering … why on earth do we have this many bowl games?
Why Are There So Many Bowls in College Football?
In a word: Money. Dollar Bills, y’all.
While many of the most prominent bowl games (the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, etc) have rich histories that date back through the decades, a majority are exhibition games that exist to generate advertising and awareness for corporate sponsors.
Most college football fans or FBS alumni are sitting around during the holidays with nothing to watch, so we’re all happy to buy into the consumerism.
As for the teams, bowl season affords most teams an extra opportunity to practice and play in a live game, so coaches are happy to take an extra paycheck and/or work toward developing next year’s players.
How Many College Bowl Games Are There?
This season, there are 39 bowl games, and that’s without counting any of the College Football Playoff games or the Celebration Bowl between the MEAC winner and SWAC winner.
If you count those games, there are 43 total bowl games in 2023.
What Happens If Too Many Teams Are Bowl Eligible?
If there are too many bowl-eligible teams, it’s possible that some teams may not be invited to participate in a bowl game. Typically, these will be G5 schools with six wins and small fan bases.
However, with so many bowl games in existence, FBS college football usually has the opposite problem: too few eligible teams.
Can 5-7 Teams Play in a Bowl Game?
Yes, but only if there are not enough eligible teams to fill all the bowl slots. Once every eligible team has been slotted, bowls can start to consider teams that were not already eligible.
In 2023, that includes schools like JMU and Jacksonville State, which were ineligible due to transitional reasons. That also includes Minnesota, which finished the regular season with a 5-7 record.
Five-win teams are chosen for bowl games according to APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores. Ineligible teams with the highest APRs are chosen first.
Full 2023-24 College Football Bowl Schedule
|New Mexico State
|Boca Raton, FL
|Forth Worth, TX
|Famous Idaho Potato
|San Jose State
|Tony the Tiger
|El Paso, TX
|Miami Gardens, FL
College Football Betting at the Online Sportsbook
BetMGM is the best online sportsbook for college football betting.
Whether you’re a first-time bettor browsing spreads for SEC games, a casual fan building a moneyline parlay for early Saturday games, or a longtime diehard tracking over/under trends in windy games, there’s something for everyone.