New year, new rules: Rule No. 10

Updated: December 15, 2010, 10:38 AM ET
ESPN The Magazine

Rule No. 10: Only one bowl game after Jan. 1

Let's take a trip back to 1997, when bowl season made sense: six big-time games on New Year's Day, the Sugar Bowl a day later -- then thoughts turned to spring practice. Today, we face a horizonless landscape with too many valleys and a peak on Jan. 10. Seven of this season's record 35 bowls come after Jan. 1. One, the Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7), does have a rich tradition -- but that tradition includes morning-after headaches. Yes, networks (guilty!) have airtime to fill. So let's fill it with drama! Here's the ask: no bowls besides the BCS title game after Jan. 1. But should commerce prevail, every post-New Year's day with a bowl must include a BCS game. In other words, the BBVA Compass Bowl would be the undercard it should be, not Jan. 8's main event.

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