After a December report noted how sharply down college football attendance was this year, it should surprise nobody that the troubling trend extended to bowl games. The stadiums were veritable ghost towns, according to AL.com:
Reported attendance at this season’s 35 bowls averaged 49,222, down 2 percent from a year ago, according to an analysis by AL.com of reported figures. This was again the lowest average since 1978-79, when 15 bowls averaged 48,404 fans.
Bowl attendance decreased for the third straight season and is down 7 percent since an average of 52,961 in 2009-10, the last season with 33 bowls.
Ok, ok, ghost towns was fun with hyperbole, but come on, you know the solution, right? A 16-game playoff format. Stadiums packed for each round, ratings soaring … four games is nice, and eight would be better, but let’s just go with 16, and have compelling drama throughout December and early January.