Posted: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2013
By Matt McClusky
AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
The hell is an AdvoCare V100 Bowl?
OK, I'll bite. Although, I feel like Johnny Carson here. Um...What is a college football game sponsored by a car-care company? Unlike Carnac, and assuming you get the now over twenty year old "pop" culture reference, I guess I'm wrong. Well, half wrong. AdvoCare is actually some kind of wellness company.
But it is the sponsor of a bowl game -- one to be played on New Year's Eve and aired on ESPN. Actually, it's a bowl game that Syracuse could find itself playing in. Syracuse is leaving behind the beloved New Era Pinstripe Bowl by jumping from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the new home has partnered up with things like AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
Sure, this wordy/numbery bowl used to be the fairly tradition-rich Independence Bowl (website needs some updating, don't you think?). And yes, Syracuse did pound McNeese State in the 1979 adaptation. But, in 2013, one of the "Big Six" conferences is aligned with something that was once called the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl?
I know. This is nothing new.
We've all complained about the crazy-named crazy amount of bowl games for what seems like forever. In fact, just look at the numbers: come mid-January, there will have been thirty-five bowl games played! This while the Keepers of College Football's Gate tell us an 8 team or more playoff would not only hurt the student-athlete (too much football, not enough studying), it could (gasp!) denigrate the real tradition of college football: the bowl game.
Tradition? History? The past is mostly a thing of the past in college football. Hell, Syracuse played its final Big East game in November, ending a little over 20 years of alignment with the league. A long time, a lot of memories, and plenty of not-so-historical bowl appearances. Syracuse's last four bowl games -- Insight.com Bowl (2001), Champs Sports Bowl (2004), Pinstripe Bowl (2010, 2012) -- didn't exactly scream "tradition!"
Now, the Orange in the ACC could battle in the pristine Belk Bowl, or the always classy Russell Athletic Bowl, or, of course, the beloved by millions, AdvoCare V100 Bowl. All business bowls that have all been called something else at one time or another.
So how can something have tradition if, every few years, things change so much it's practically unrecognizable?
A good question, but one without a real good answer. The bloated corporate bowl schedule isn't going away. And once bowl games stopped being sponsored by a business and started being known as businesses - The
Peach Bowl Chik-Fil-A Bowl? - there was really no turning back.
So there's no more point in ripping the AdvoCare V100 Bowl or the BBVA Compass Bowl or the Vizio Children's Place X2523 Bowl or even the Pinstripe Bowl (I made up one of those, which one?) Sure, the majority of these bowl games will pit two teams with probably 5 or more losses against each other. And a lot of the stadiums will be less than half full. But in the end, should Syracuse make the AdvoCare V100 Bowl it will have made a bowl.
And while participating in a bowl has become a somewhat easy feat in college football (Everyone gets a trophy! No one is inadequate!), it's still enough to get people to buy tickets, or tune in to ESPN, or buy the T-Shirt -- which seems to be how Syracuse University funds...everything.
As the Big Wigs tell us, tradition is tradition. Even if the definition of what tradition means keeps changing.