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A New Big Ten Bowl Game? Sounds Great, Until You Hear the Details

Can you say Froster Farms Bowl? Or maybe the Polar Bowl?

Purdue v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Earlier this week, I was wandering around on the internet, as I sometimes do, and I came across a post by Jason Kirk on the SB Nation college football page, which stated that there may be additional bowl games added in 2020.

He got this information from Brett McMurphy, who seems to be the first to release this news flash:

It has also been reported on Myrtle Beach Online, who also quotes McMurphy. The number that jumped out to me is that 65% of college Division I teams would play in a bowl game if this comes to pass. Quite a change from the early 70s, when the Big Ten would only permit ONE team from the conference to play in a bowl game, and that of course was the Rose Bowl.

I don’t know about you, but while I love college bowl season, having the number grow to 43 games is starting to sound a bit ridiculous. I mean, can we actually have 84 out of 130 teams have a winning or least not a losing record? This past season, fifteen teams with 6-6 records played in a bowl game, and it was only the second time in the last seven years that no teams with a losing record had to be invited to a bowl game. With the end of the Poinsettia Bowl, there was one fewer game this year, at 40 games even.

Now, where will these game happen? That’s the most interesting part of this story. Of the three new bowls, two are seen to be as “near locks,” or as close to a guarantee as you can get with the NCAA. The first would be in Myrtle Beach, which is a nice place to be in late December/early January, so that makes sense. The game in Myrtle Beach will be played in a relatively small stadium (currently 18,000, soon to expand to 20,000) and will be a matchup between teams from the Sun Belt Conference, and either the Mid-America Conference or Conference USA.

The other? Why the middle of Chicago in Wrigley Field, of course! That’s right, my friends, who wouldn’t want to sit in the stands of historic Wrigley Field in Chicago in the winter? I know, Bears and Packers fans do it all the time, but let’s be realistic, will fans travel TO Chicago in sub-zero temperatures to watch a game?

Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears - December 3, 2006
Typical Bears fans watching a late season game.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

This game (of course) will be one between the Big Ten and the ACC. The good news is that most ACC teams will be frozen in place by the Chicago winter, so it may be a easy Big Ten win.

The Big Ten is not planning to have an additional bowl game. The reports state that this new bowl game will replace the San Francisco Bowl, previously called the Foster Farms Bowl. This bowl has been a matchup between the Big Ten and the Pac-12.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Michigan
OK, Michigan players might, but would you do this in short sleeves?
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Just for fun, I looked up what the average temperature is in Chicago in late December. The average HIGH temperature on December 27 (about when the game may be played) is the freezing mark, 32 degrees. Now, that’s the average, of course, so it can be a warmer day (remember the Super Bowl in Giants Stadium?) but it can also be a lot colder, and remember, Chicago is called the WINDY City for a reason! When the wind starts whipping off Lake Michigan in December, you’ll know it.

This is Chicago’s average temperature for December 27.

Maybe I’m different from the average football fan, but I see bowl games as a type of vacation, a chance to see a final game in (at least somewhat) warm weather. I truly wonder how many fans will want to fly to Chicago to freeze their mascots off sitting in Wrigley Field. Would you?

So you know, the NCAA will be announcing any changes to the bowl lineup on July 1.


Would you go to a bowl game in Wrigley Field?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Of course, I’d do anything for dear old Rutgers
    (76 votes)
  • 48%
    While I might go to a cold game at home, traveling to Chicago for an Ice Bowl? No thanks.
    (170 votes)
  • 11%
    Maybe, it depends on how long since Rutgers was in a bowl game at that point.
    (40 votes)
  • 18%
    I’d have to think about it!
    (64 votes)
350 votes total Vote Now