College Football Playoffs: ESPN analyst Pat McAfee criticizes too many ‘Target Toilet Bowl’ for bowl games having ‘lost its luster’

ESPN analyst Pat McAfee said there are too many bowl games in college football. McAfee, a former punter at West Virginia, took his shot at the current bowl game situation as the ESPN college football crew wrestled with the place of bowl games as the College Football Playoff is set to expand.

Much of the criticism comes after Florida State lost 63-3 to Georgia in the Orange Bowl. Florida State saw a record number of players opt-out of the bowl game following their disappointment at not being selected for the College Football Playoff.

McAfee, who was a two-time Pro Bowl selection during his eight years in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, understands why some players are opting out of games (especially with the CFP expanding to 12 teams). But the mentality, he says, doesn’t stand-up to how he and his teammates felt in college about playing a bowl game.

A bowl game, he said, was a reward, and one last time to play with that current group of teammates. McAfee’s comments were made after fellow ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said that in light of the College Football Playoff expanding, he is fine with eliminating most bowl games.

“Obviously, business decisions to be made in some places, by the way, it’s not happening everywhere. Bryce Young, Will, Anderson they played last year. Hey, they were not in the College Football Playoff,” McAfee said on ESPN this week.

“Bo Nix is playing for Oregon. I mean, there were guys playing for that Georgia team (that beat Florida State). So it’s just like kind of picking and choosing which roster is going go, which one isn’t. But I think to Kurt’s point, and I wasn’t at ESPN at the time. And I know what you’re saying because I like watching football, especially now you can gamble on these games.

“The numbers are going be huge, but once you started just making like the Target Toilet Bowl and like other bowls, and then like every day had a new one with a new name and teams that we had never heard of all season are getting a chance to celebrate – I think just it’s lost its luster, which is what I think Herbie is getting to, if we can figure out how to get that back alongside the 12-team playoff. we’ll all be in on that.”

McAfee’s comments on ESPN come after college football has been criticized over the past month for too many bowl games and the high number of players opting out of games.

Desmond Howard, who was on the ESPN set alongside McAfee, understood the point being made but he was quick to say that the lopsided Georgia win was an outlier.

“You know, we looking at this Florida State game and Georgia and obviously we want to have a competitive game. We didn’t get that because they had just a record number of opt outs.

“But I do believe that’s a one-off. This is a very unique situation because of the circumstances of the CFP and everything that went on with that. But we are getting more and more players opting-out of these bowl games. I’ve always said I didn’t believe that a 6-6 a team going .500 should be rewarded with a bowl game. But there’s just big business – people want to see football, they want to bet on football and that’s why we have that. We wouldn’t put the product out there if there wasn’t a demand. We’re not going to get that result often…63-3 you know that was a unique circumstance.”

McAfee’s line of thinking hurts programs like Rutgers, who are rebuilding and find the bowl game not just a hige reward for their season but also a lift for the entire program. Rutgers beat Miami 31-24 in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl.

With the win, Rutgers finished the season 7-6 (3-5 Big Ten) and had their first winning season since 2014.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire