There’s an economic principle called the Law of Diminishing Returns, which roughly states that at some point, an increase in input leads to smaller and smaller increases in outputs.
While the NCAA, both in football and basketball, focus solely on the input side of the equation, they give little thought to the output.
Increasing the number of teams in the postseason doesn’t make the postseason more valuable; it simply increases the number of teams who can say they made the postseason.
Here’s a quiz: Without looking it up, what team was the winner of the St. Petersburg Bowl last season?
Now tell me who won the Rose Bowl?
Odds are, unless you’re a fan of the team that won, you don’t have the slightest clue on the former, (Rutgers), but remembered the latter quickly (Ohio State University). So while the Rutgers faithful enjoyed it, I’m willing to bet it had a negligible impact on most of the country.
Writer Chuck Klosterman once stated that he enjoyed college football more than the NFL because the college game gave you the opportunity to see, in some cases, the absolute peak of a player’s life. In a purely voyeuristic sense, that’s an interesting argument, and, if nothing else, these two new bowls give us an opportunity to do that.
But in his argument Klosterman doesn’t take into account the height of the peak. If the kicker for the 7th place team in the Big East hits a game-winning kick as time expires to propel his team to a 6-7 finish and a win in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, that’s a peak I can pass on.