Jay Coulter, over at the mothership, has unearthed an interesting tidbit about all of these bowls that answers one of my biggest questions every winter: why can't college football switch to a playoff system?
It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to understand that money is the primary factor in keeping the current system in tact. I mean, it's the only thing that outweighs logic, intelligence, and public demand. A lot of people make a lot of money off of the Bowl system, especially from sponors -- for example, it wouldn't make sense to have each playoff game sponsored by a different mega-corp, but individual bowls are separate entities and therefore capable of being sold individually -- but who knew a bowl berth was like an invite to the Oscars?
he Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer is reporting that the Auburn players will receive a 60GB video iPod, a docking station for it, a $350 Best Buy certificate and a commemorative gold watch from the Cotton Bowl. Not a bad payday for players who can't be paid.
Under NCAA rules, the participating schools and bowls can both give gifts to the players. The schools can spend up to $350 per player, while the bowl organizations can spend $500 per player. In years past, teams have given out XBox game systems, PlayStations and other electronics.
Hey, I'm all for college players receiving gifts and getting paid. A lot of people exploit these guys and make millions off of them. I just wish I got into football as a kid. With my massive 6'2'', 180-pound physique, I'd have made an incredible placeholder.