Live from Los Angeles; it’s the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl!
Get ready to watch the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl this December
As of June 2021, bowl game sponsors for the upcoming college football season included insurance companies, Cheez-It, and Jimmy Kimmel. Trust us; we’re serious.
The 53-year-old Kimmel announced on Wednesday, June 16, that he lent his name to the LA Bowl. The inaugural edition of the game will take place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and feature teams from the Mountain West Conference. Although the LA Bowl intended to debut last year, they rescheduled to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kimmel expected skepticism when he told his audience the news, and he quickly made sure the fans knew he was serious.
“This is history in the making. Never before has a bowl game been named after a human being. And Papa John doesn’t count. He’s barely human.”
The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl is currently scheduled for Saturday, December 18, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Kimmel is wasting money on yet another meaningless bowl game
There is no such thing as bad publicity, especially when one is a late-night host who averaged less than 2 million viewers in 2020.
Unfortunately for Kimmel, he picked possibly the worst day in college football history to sponsor a bowl game. ESPN and ABC decided to air a staggering seven bowl games on Saturday, December 18. The first game that day, the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, begins at 11 a.m ET. Nothing sounds more appealing than a morning kickoff in Florida.
According to the National Football Foundation, ESPN averaged 5.73 million viewers per bowl game during the 2019 season; the company aired 36 of the 38 total bowl games that year. But which helps those numbers look prettier? The Rose Bowl, which averaged 16.3 million viewers in its bout between Oregon and Wisconsin? Or the Camellia Bowl, a game between FIU and Arkansas State which averaged 692,000 viewers.
It’s hard to fault Kimmel for taking the opportunity to have his name attached to a game airing on ESPN. And because the game will tentatively involve the Mountain West Conference’s champion, there at least exists the possibility of some intrigue surrounding the game.
But on the other hand, the Pac-12 is expected to send its fifth-best team. So in a climate where players opt out of meaningless bowl games, how much interest will there really be between the Mountain West’s top team and a mid-tier Pac-12 team on a day with seven college football games?
The college football bowl system is out of control
The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl is further proof that college football’s postseason system is ridiculous.
Forget the College Football Playoff and its potential expansion. Counting the two bowls involved in the CFP and the national championship game, there are 44 total bowl games scheduled for the 2021 season.
This is the result of ESPN’s monopoly on broadcast rights. If the potential exists to make money on random games involving mediocre teams from Conference USA and the Sun Belt, of course ABC and ESPN are going to try cashing in. Even if the CFP expands to 12 teams, the only bowl games which truly matter are the ones which lead up to the national championship game.
The one thing working in Kimmel’s favor is that his bowl game at least has a natural-sounding flow to it, and even more so if it’s renamed to simply the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl. However, its current name certainly sounds better than the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl or the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl.