Okay, it’s Bowl Selection Sunday in college football. In just a few short hours, everyone will know which schools are playing in which bowls. However, if you know you way around the Internet, you already know who’s playing who in any given bowl this year.
Thanks to the advent of Twitter, sports media outlets all over the country can leak (and have been leaking) bowl pairings ahead of the so-called “official” announcement on primetime TV.
Earlier this afternoon, it was reported that the USC Trojans would be playing the Fresno State Bulldogs in the December 21 Las Vegas Bowl. ESPN reported that Ohio State will battle Clemson in the Orange Bowl on January 3. Other bowl pairings can be found on Twitter, as well.
The thing is, ESPN broadcasts and “owns” all but two of this year’s team-competitive bowl games. The bowls and the bowl selection show are two of their biggest means of drumming up advertising revenue and viewership.
That’s the only reason why the bowl selection show is still televised the night after the conference title games in college football, even though Twitter and social media play a HUGE role in making such a telecast 100 percent irrelevant.
The NCAA should take better care and show more concern when it comes to releasing the bowl pairings and not have them get leaked. Here’s how they can do just that:
- Entrust a third party firm with the bowl/ playoff selections, and tell them not to air/ report said pairings until primetime on Selection Sunday.
- Give ESPN the knowledge of the bowl/ playoff pairings ahead of the actual show with the promise of not leaking the matchups until broadcast time of the selection show.
- Get rid of the selection show entirely. Release a press statement listing all bowl/playoff selections the evening after the conference championship games to the national media without having a television broadcast.
- Have the NCAA make the selection announcement themselves. All these bowl and playoff games are NCAA-sanctioned events, and should therefore be revealed by the governing body.
The Bowl Selection Show is needless now, and it’s all thanks to Twitter.