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We really don't care if the new bar for bowl eligibility is five wins, or eight, or two, or one. The bowl season can be whatever it wants as long as it doesn't claim it means anything besides whatever the team decides it means: a unifying experience for a team trying to finish a miserable year on an upswing, a disappointing and headless conclusion to a miserable roll in the trough of football sorrow, or what it means to most teams, a chance to get in a full slate of practices and hone their skills unimpeded by classes or other concerns.

Saying the number has meaning means bowl games have meaning, and that would undermine our entire argument about them having meaning, and is thus discarded instantly.

The only real objective downside to limiting the bowl games is for the communities that host them, an interest school presidents and ADs are anything but beholden to. The wanking motion school officials would make when told of the sorrows of the St. Petersburg, Florida economy without the Beef O'Brady's Bowl would defy description. We estimate it would begin somewhere in the crotch region, pinwheel wildly out past the shoulder, and probably hit any lighting fixtures in the room in the process of its travel along the gigantic invisible penis held by the speaker. Its motions would be dramatic, and its intensity undeniable.

The real obstacle in all of this--surprise!--would be ESPN, the entity that really weakened the quality of the buffet by slapping the tub after tub of unnecessary but irresistible condiments onto the salad bar: the sad ham cubes of the New Mexico Bowl, the bizarre bowl full of pulverized Captain Crunch you suspect someone lugged over from the ice cream condiments that is the Texas Bowl, the Beef O'Brady's MagicJack Bowl, a.k.a. the anchovies that may have been a good idea seven days ago, but that have long since sidled into some hellish slime located between "fish" and "fish food."

It's all filler, and yet you digest it because it's there and like most humans you have no ability to turn down free things. The bowl viewing experience is free. It requires sitting on your ass and letting the football meth pour into your veins through ocular administration. That is the worst part of this. You could put 5-7 teams playing, and someone would watch it because with no football to come for months on end, college football chooses to make you watch the final episode of the season ten seconds at a time with loads of ads in between.

The exact motivation for why schools want to move back to seven wins is unclear: either this is a direct refutation of ESPN's power in diluting the bowl system, and therefore a kind of defense of the bowl system's illusion of integrity, or this is pruning as an aftershock of a disastrous year for bowl ratings, and thus a defense of the product. Put like that, we'd wager on the latter, and not because we think the people running college football are terrible people. (We kid. They're terrible, short-sighted people.)