Today I was planning on doing a post about the repercussions of starting a new bowl game. But instead I'm going to address some of the concerns-in no particular order-many of you had about hosting a bowl, and save the other post for tomorrow.
The first concern I would like to address is playing in the same location every year. I completely agree that this would become dull after a while and fans (and players) would miss out on the fun of experiencing different cities each year. The bowl experience isn't just playing in or watching a bowl game. It's finding out where your team will play, traveling to that destination; it's basically a mini vacation. The only upside I see to playing at the same venue year in and year out is that fans and teams know what to expect. It would be easier to plan ahead for the trip, you'd know all the best eating joints (although I like trying out new, sometimes questionable, places), and the team would be less distracted by their surroundings.
Another issue, which is related to the one above, is that fans from various parts of the country would find it harder to attend games. If our bowl game is on the west coast every year fans from out east won't be able to attend. On the other hand, if we have several different bowl affiliations-some farther east-BYU fans from across the country will be awarded with the chance to see their Cougars play a bowl game in person.
Playing across the country would also boost our national brand, increasing exposure to everyday fans not just out west, but in the south and east too. BYU has already started working on this by scheduling games like Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and other far flung programs.
A second issue brought up is the level of competition we would have to play. Starting a bowl is no easy thing, and finding quality opponents is even harder. No one wants to play the "Little Sisters of the Poor." If we start our own bowl none of the quality teams would want to participate. We'd be regulated to middle of the road major conference or C-USA/MAC teams. Which is what we've been playing for years now. The best way to ensure playing higher level competition is by making agreements with established bowls.
If the new bowl wants to attract high end major conference teams the only way to do it would be to shell out some major money. But this solution also has its issues. Does the sponsor want to deal that much the dough? Would that increase or decrease revenue? Even then, would teams and conferences be interested?
The final issue you guys posed is, how would we be perceive? As I stated above, unless something miraculous happened, we'd be playing inferior competition. Sure, we'd be racking up bowl wins but who really cares when it's against lower end teams? We want to increase our exposure and national brand, and to do that we need to beat top end opponents. If we start our own bowl playing these teams, but proclaim to be among college football's elite, we'll be hated more than we already are. People will consider us to be fakes and wannabes. Those aren't labels we want to put on ourselves.
There is one more concern you guys presented, the issue of too many bowls. I swear I'm not ignoring it, it's just that I'll be covering it my next post tomorrow so it won't be included here.
Everyone seemed to come to the conclusion that BYU should host a bowl at LaVell Edwards Stadium, but pair up two teams not named BYU. It would be great to host a game at LES. The stadium is large enough, the setting is beautiful, the possibility of snow could throw in some added excitement, and fans that can't otherwise travel would love another opportunity to attend a game.