History of College Football Bowl Games
A healthy feast of postseason play is now par for the course in today’s college football landscape, but that wasn’t always the case. The first postseason games were played in the early 1900s, before they were known as “Bowl Games”; once the newly built Rose Bowl Stadium began hosting an annual postseason game in 1923, the Bowl name stuck. Other cities saw the tourism value that Pasadena and Los Angeles were driving by hosting an annual game, and began to develop their own regional versions.
By 1940, there were five major bowl games: the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Cotton Bowl Classic, the Orange Bowl, and the Sun Bowl. The number of games steadily increased over the years, as did the time period of play. The games were all traditionally played on New Years Day, but the calendar has been extended to before and after January first to accommodate the number of bowls that currently exist.
The Modern Bowl Era
Today’s NCAA now features about forty bowl games per year. The bowl game calendar typically starts in mid-December and runs through the National Championship Game in early January.
The College Football Playoff has also been an exciting addition to the NCAA Football postseason. First played in 2014, this four-team tournament determines the college football national champion. There are two semifinal bowl games, and the winner of each advances to the College Football Playoff National Championship. A committee selects and seeds the four-team CFP bracket. The two semifinal games rotate among the six major bowl games: The Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls. These games are also known as the “New Year’s Six.”
Bowl Game Eligibility
To be bowl eligible, NCAA Division I football teams must win at least six games during the regular season, and not have a losing record. They can then be invited to a bowl game.
How much do Bowl Game tickets cost?
With a wide variety of matchups, dates, and locations, there are bowl game options for every type of college football fan. Ticket prices on the secondary market can range from under $40 for some of the earlier games to a couple hundred and up for the “New Year’s Six” and College Football Playoff.
When are the 2018-19 Bowl Games?
The 2018-19 college football bowl games start on December 15, 2018 with the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, and end on January 7, 2019 with the College Football Playoff National Championship. Please scroll through the listings above for a full lineup of this year’s games and ticket prices.
When are the 2018-19 Bowl Games Announced?
The bowl games schedule, along with the College Football Playoff bracket, should be announced in early December, 2018. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will release its final rankings of 2018 in December, at which time they will announce the Playoff Semifinal matchups, New Year’s Six bowl games, and final Top 25 rankings.
Most other bowl games should be announced at this time as well. There is a chance some games are announced prior to that, but most should be announced on the same day.
The Top-5 Most In-Demand Bowl Games of 2018-19
The 2018-19 postseason features a host of great matchups. Below are the top five most in-demand bowl games, ranked by average ticket price, this bowl season:
- Cotton Bowl (Notre Dame vs. Clemson): $452 avg. resale price
- Orange Bowl (Alabama vs. Oklahoma): $358
- Rose Bowl (Ohio State vs. Washington): $337
- Sugar Bowl (Georgia vs. Texas): $228
- Peach Bowl (Florida vs. Michigan): $188