If only your Christmas stocking could be as stuffed as college football's bowl season.

The bowl schedule is out and reinforces what some people may be thinking: there are too many games.

The fun gets underway with a quintet of games on on December 17, including the completely disinteresting-sounding Camellia Bowl and Cure Bowl. That's the tip of the bowl iceberg, though. There are a total of 40 games, featuring 80 of the 128 FBS teams, including such enticing (read with sarcasm) draws as Arkansas State, Western Kentucky and Ohio . Did you catch that? Eighty of 128 teams will play in a bowl. That's about 63%. Some of these games are about as appealing as your Aunt Myrna's holiday fruit cake. So many teams make the postseason that you don't even have to have a .500 record. Playing in a bowl game has become the free gift with purchase version of college athletics.

The final game of the month-long bowl season will be played January 9. That's the national championship when either Alabama or Washington will tangle with Clemson or Ohio State. Have no illusions, though -- those are the big-time games. You can take your Poinsettia Bowl, your Dollar General Bowl and your Cactus Bowl. If you're tuning into the lower-tier games, you may be worn out by the time the so-called "New Year's Six" games roll around. It's like going to a music festival and watching the lesser-known bands on the side stage before the headliners come out on day three.

Heck, if you want to be really cynical about it not even those big-ticket matchups mean anything. Sure, Penn State-USC in the Rose Bowl on January 2 has the potential to be a great game, but it has no implications other than finishing higher in the polls. And that's a shame. the pageantry of bowl season has turned into a watered down version of what it's meant to be. So, tell us if you agree or if you think bowl season is the most magical time of year.

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