You may think there are way too many bowl games, but for a few mid-major college football programs the expected approval of three more for 2015 is great news. It's nice to make fun of bowls matching up 6-6 teams from a small conference. It's not nice when your team goes 7-5 and gets left out.
The Tucson bowl will match up a Conference USA team against one from the Mountain West, while Austin and Orlando will be Sun Belt against American Athletic. It all ads up to a total of 42 bowl games split between 82 teams.
Here's the schedule rundown from ESPN:
The Arizona Bowl in Tucson at the University of Arizona's stadium is scheduled for Dec. 29 and expected to be televised on CBS Sports Network, a source said. If the Mountain West or Conference USA can't fill either side of the game, the Mid-American Conference is being considered to provide a backup team, a source said.
The Cure Bowl in Orlando, set for Dec. 19 at the Citrus Bowl, will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
The bowl in Austin is tentatively scheduled to be played at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, a source said.
The Austin and Orlando bowls in particular come at an interesting time as Conference USA could be set to poach from the Sun Belt once again if UAB gets kicked out.
Will the Austin bowl satisfy Texas State fans?
The aforementioned 7-5 team was poor Texas State, who was left out of the bowl party in each of the last two years despite reaching eligibility. With San Marcos being little more than a half-hour drive from Austin, you can bet your favorite tie dye "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirt that the Bobcats will be invited to that bowl if they're eligible this year.
Will that be enough if CUSA comes calling? Maybe not, if our own Texas State writer Will Butler is any indication.
@HaistenWillis still need a solid rival imo. Cusa would offer that— Will Butler (@THETXSTUniv) May 6, 2015
Expect to see a lot of Blue and White in Orlando this December
A little trend has emerged in the Sun Belt with ULL heading to multiple New Orleans Bowls in a row and Arkansas State doing the same with the GoDaddy Bowl. The same may happen with Georgia Southern and the Cure Bowl.
@HaistenWillis That Cure Bowl was made for Georgia Southern. 10,000-20,000 fans make that trip to Orlando.— Frank Sulkowski WJCL (@FrankTheBigGuy) May 6, 2015
I won't mind a little pre-Christmas getaway to Orlando one bit. It's also nice to play against the AAC, generally seen as the top-tier G5 conference in the eastern half of the country. The access bowl will always be the REAL goal but this ain't bad at all. Even the kids can have a good time at Disney World before the game starts.
This is a big win for the Sun Belt
The conference already got thrown a lifeline with news that conference title games could be deregulated. This is yet another boost for the 'Belt. The SBC has had more bowl eligible teams (4+) than available bowl destinations (3) for four straight years and five of the last six.
Karl Benson could still lose a member to CUSA, but the possibility of a title game (if the conference decides it wants one) and a much higher probability that all bowl-eligible teams will actually play in one make the Sun Belt a stronger proposition than it was just a few months ago.