Jim Nagy, Senior Bowl executive director, says ‘something needs to be done’ with bowl system


Forty-two bowl games have been played since Dec. 16, and one more remains: the National Championship.

However, it goes without saying that the bowl season has lost its luster in recent years.

More and more players are opting out of bowl games, whether it is to protect themselves for the NFL Draft, realignment forcing traditional bowl game matchups to be a thing in the past or other reasons.

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A general view of the football field and signage before the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between the Mississippi Rebels and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 30, 2023 in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

More than two dozen Florida State players did not play in the Orange Bowl this past weekend – some were prepping for the Draft, some may have been protesting over being snubbed out of the playoff, and, because there is a playoff, some probably just found it pointless; they lost to Georgia, 63-3.

Bowl season is not what it used to be, and Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy knows it.

“What these games have basically become is glorified spring ball,” he said on OutKick’s “Hot Mic” on Tuesday. “You’re almost getting a foreshadowing of next season.”

Nagy says he has seen some wild ideas to save bowl season.

“I’ve seen maybe move them to the spring, that’s interesting. I’ve heard about move them to Week 0 so you get some really cool head-to-head matchups to start the year. I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is,” he said.

Orange Bowl

A general view of Georgia Bulldogs and Florida State Seminoles helmets on the field before the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 30, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

PENN STATE FAN ACCOUNT ON X WAS CREATED BY OLE MISS STAFFER AHEAD OF PEACH BOWL, LANE KIFFIN SAYS

“This isn’t what we’ve grown up watching,” he continued. “I just remember growing up as a kid, laying up in the living room with my family and watching big-time bowl games, and big-time players that were going on to the NFL. It’s hard when there’s no star power in the bowl games. I used to watch the bowl games and sweat it out every week that our players would get through the game injury-free. Even in the six years I’ve been in this role, our players have stopped playing in bowl games, so I don’t have to sweat it out anymore.

“Something needs to be done. I don’t know what that answer is, but something needs to be done, for sure.”

Nothing needs fixing with the bowl games that make up the semifinals, though, as both came down to the final play on New Year’s Day.

J.J. McCarthy biting rose

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy, #9, celebrates with a rose after defeating Alabama Crimson Tide 27-20 in overtime to win the 110th Rose Bowl game in Pasadena on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. (Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

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No. 1 Michigan stopped No. 4 Alabama on 4th and goal in overtime to win the Rose Bowl, while No. 2 Washington avoided a wild collapse after knocking down one final pass in the end zone as time expired against No. 3 Texas.

The Wolverines and Huskies, both 14-0, will battle it out in Houston next Monday night.

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