Pac-12 Football: The Pros and Cons of the Pac-12 Bowls

Harry How

The good and the bad of the bowls that the Pac-12 schools are automatically slotted for at the moment.

The Pac-12 designated bowls are an interesting lot. The selection spreads out primarily around the Southwest and features a couple of the most historical bowls in the field and only one bowl that actually takes place on, or after New Year's Day.

Obviously the Rose Bowl is the ideal destination for all 12 teams in the conference, but what are the pro and cons of each bowl game that the conference has an automatic slot for?

Rose Bowl

Pros

  • "The Grandaddy of Them All," the Rose Bowl is far and away the most prestigious bowl in college football.
  • The only New Year's Day bowl for the Pac-12 conference, the teams playing take center stage on college football's biggest day each year.
  • One of the best bowl destinations for your team for fun activities like Disneyland, Hollywood, Lawry's Beef Bowl, the Playboy Mansion (Ask Rick Neuheisel about that one), the beach and the numerous other amusement parks.
  • Great weather and a great travel destination for your fan base.
  • Every team in the conference is loaded with guys from the LA area. It is a great homecoming for them.
  • While the bowl happens during a recruiting dead period, having your team playing in the bowl is great exposure for your program in the area.

Cons

Alamo Bowl

Pros

  • Good exposure against what is usually a big-time opponent. I would argue that this is the most prominent of any of the pre-New Year's bowls right now.
  • I've never been so I can't say for sure, but I have heard that San Antonio is kind of an underrated place to visit. The Alamo and the River Walk.
  • Furthest location from the West Coast so it feels the most like a true trip as opposed to just staying in Pac-12 country.
  • Texas has become an increased recruiting area for the teams in the conference and could help with exposure in the area.

Cons

  • Not exactly an exciting location that is going to get players and fans excited to travel to.
  • Decent weather for December, but has the potential to be very cold too.
  • Is starting to become a home game of sorts for the Texas/Big 12 schools who will undoubtedly pack the place.
  • Still a pre-New Year's bowl. The conference desperately needs a second guaranteed bowl on New Year's Day.

Holiday Bowl

Pros

  • Great weather and plenty of beaches.
  • San Diego is a great destination that has almost all of the pros of LA with very few of the cons. A place that players and fans will want to go to.
  • A homecoming type destination for all of the Southern California kids on the team.
  • Almost always the first good bowl game of the season where you feel like the whole country is watching.
  • One of the more storied non-BCS bowls in the lineup with a reputation for producing great games.
  • Good recruiting exposure in a fertile recruiting ground.

Cons

  • Early in the bowl season and very close to Christmas when a lot of people are still on vacation and your staff and players will miss the holiday.
  • For some reason I feel like disappointed Pac-12 teams end up here a lot. Maybe because it used to be the spot for the second-place team in the conference who may have been jaded by the BCS.
  • San Diego is a great city, but it is likely that a good portion of your team has been there and potentially numerous times.

Sun Bowl

Pros

  • Classic bowl game that gets good attendance from locals.
  • When else are you ever going to go to El Paso?
  • Close to New Year's Day.
  • I had maybe the best steak I have ever had at Cattleman's Steakhouse outside of the city.

Cons

  • El Paso is one of the worst bowl destinations there is.
  • No one - players, staff, fans - will be excited to go.
  • The weather is fairly cold.
  • No real recruiting exposure advantage to be had in the area.
  • The game is during the day on a day that a lot of people don't have off.
  • Has produced bad opponents recently due to the weakness of the ACC and Big East. Case in point, this year's 6-7 Georgia Tech team.
  • Once again, it is in El Paso.

Las Vegas Bowl

Pros

  • It is in Las Vegas.
  • A destination that is sure to get players and fans excited to go to.
  • An affordable, and centrally located locale for almost all Pac-12 fans.
  • A bit chilly, but good weather for the most part.
  • It is the first "good bowl" of the season that will get people to tune in.
  • It is before Christmas, so you will take care of your bowl and then be able to be home during the holidays.

Cons

  • Loads of potential distractions and opportunities for players (and fans I guess) to get in trouble.
  • Very early in the bowl season. A lot of people don't start paying attention to bowls until at least after Christmas.
  • Trap game. The fifth (Or sixth best team when you have two BCS teams) best team in the conference is going against a conference champion from one of, if not the, best non-BCS conference.

Fight Hunger Bowl

Pros

  • San Francisco is probably the best city on the West Coast and the game is in a pretty cool stadium, even if it is a baseball stadium.
  • A great destination that fans should want to go to with a lot of touristy type activities and sights.
  • A homecoming game for the Bay Area players on the team.
  • A little bit of exposure in a great recruiting area.
  • Good weather, I have heard that Winter's in San Francisco are amazing.

Cons

  • Has to have one of the worst, if not just comical bowl names in the field. Won't look that cool on a poster that you frame in the locker room.
  • Feels like a pre-Christmas bowl, but it is after the holiday and overshadowed by better games, including the Alamo Bowl.
  • Not an exotic locale for most players and fans who many have a road trip to already every year, especially the Northern California schools.

New Mexico Bowl

Pros

  • A decent central location for the Arizona and Rocky Mountain schools I guess. Maybe not...
  • First bowl of the season, so those people like me who have been craving college football for that painful two weeks before the regular season and bowl season are all going to be tuning in.
  • A great excuse for Breaking Bad fans to go to Albuquerque

Cons

  • Does anyone want to go to Albuquerque? In December?
  • The weather isn't that great.
  • Nothing exciting, no tourist destinations/sights. Not even The Alamo.
  • Limited preparation. Less than two weeks between the official announcement and the game.
  • Very early in the season, will cause numerous curmudgeons to complain that "It's still ten days until Christmas and there's already a bowl game. In my day..."
  • If/when New Mexico becomes decent, this will essentially just be an extra road game for a team in the conference.
  • The game is at 10 a.m. pacific time... what the hell?
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pacific Takes

You must be a member of Pacific Takes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pacific Takes. You should read them.

Join Pacific Takes

You must be a member of Pacific Takes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pacific Takes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker