For all the talk about worst college football bowl games in 2015-16, and why the 5-7 teams shouldn’t have made it to this year’s Bowlanza party, it turns out that even the so-called worst bowls bring a lot value and attract a lot of attention from fans as well as die-hard College Football Odds aficionados like you and me. This is not a personal opinion, but a provable fact, one that is affirmed by Sports Writer and Analyst Terry Toohey, who made this brief fact-based observation from the eight bowl games that were played between Saturday and Tuesday. Per his write-up, all the bowls played through Tuesday attracted a good number of audiences, including one game with the Utah vs. BYU game clocking over 100 percent attendance.
Let’s Take A Closer Look at the Most Forgettable Bowls in NCAA Football Betting History
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) December 11, 2015
So when I talk about worst bowls in college football history, it’s not that I am trying to mud-sling some school or condemn the criteria used for bowl selection; I do this simply to draw our attention to the acknowledgeable fact that some bowl games are—and will always be—better than others. With that, here is my list of most forgettable bowls in NCAAF history, arranged based on the dates they were played.
The No-Score 1940 Sun Bowl
Apparently, the Sun Bowl has a reputation for delivering poor results, and it all started here in 1940, when the Catholic University Cardinals (8-1) and the Arizona State Bulldogs (8-2) played to a 0-0 score through four quarters of college football. Making matters for this game between CUA and the Bulldogs (currently known as Arizona State University), Oddsmakers and the so-called sharps had predicted that this was going to be one of the highest scoring bowl games of the year, and as a result, a crowd approximated at 13,000 attended the game with great expectations. In hindsight, I believe that many of those people who attended that game on the fateful day of January 1, 1940 would want to forget about it all.
Missed Opportunities Lead to a Scoreless 1959 Cotton Bowl Classic
All of us are definitely looking forward to the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic showdown between the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide and #3 Michigan State Spartans. But did you know that that we once had a scoreless game in the Cotton Bowl Classic? Well, it all happened in the 1959 Cotton Bowl Classic that featured the TCU Horned Frogs (8-2) and the Air Force Falcons (9-0-1). Given how both teams had impressed on the year, an entertaining clash was expected from them. Yet, in the end, the 75,504 crowd in attendance was treated to six lost fumbles (out of 13 in total) plus five missed field goals that led to a scoreless 0-0 outcome. Just about the only positive from this game was that Air Force collected 231 total yards in opposition to TCU’s 227, so they probably left the game feeling like winners, right?
Field Goal on Botched Hold Carries the Day in 2008 Sun Bowl
I swear to you, I have nothing against this year’s Sun Bowl clash between Miami and Washington State, and I am not even trying to say that it will end up like this 2008 bowl. It’s just that when a game is played this badly, you simply have to include it in such a list. I mean, the Oregon State Beavers entered this bowl game with a healthy 8-4 record, going against the Pittsburgh Panthers, who sported even a better record at 9-3, setting up the stage for a potentially interesting game. But what transpired in the game proved to be the exact opposite, as both teams combined for just 3 points, a 2nd quarter 44-yard field goal scored by OSU’s Justin Kahut. The game ended in a pathetic 3-0 scoreline in favor of the Beavers, making history as the lowest scoring game in recent history
Commentary on the 2015 Worst Bowls
Interestingly, this is the first year in NCAA Football history that we do not have enough six-win or better teams to fill the 80 spots in bowl games. In part, this is because the number of bowl games keeps on increasing (we are currently at 41, including the National Championship Game) yet there are only 128 FBS teams. Others, however, argue that the level of competitiveness in college football has gone up, making it difficult even for good teams to win consistently. Whatever the case, Nebraska and other 5-7 teams are bowl-eligible this year, owing to their academic scores, so you can catch the games live and decide whether or not they deserve to be labeled as the worst bowls on the season.