If you are not a college football fan and could care less if you never see a bowl game in your life, you might wonder what all of the fuss is about. If you have a red-blooded male in your life, just ask him.

There will be 34 NCAA bowl games this year and the fuss in each one will be about prestige and money, big money, as in more than a collective $139 million for the participating teams and their respective conferences.

The actual bowl payouts reflected below add up to $127+ million, but the actual $139+ million figure arises because of some additional payouts for participating teams beyond the automatic qualifiers from the 6 major BCS conferences-the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-10 and Southeastern.

A team must win 6 games to be bowl-eligible, according to NCAA standards. Some of the qualifying teams automatically receive bowl bids, and others are asked to participate in the less significant bowl games.

Just about every news organization that publishes the bowl-game lineups does so by the date of the contest, the first (on December 19th) to the last (the Bowl Championship Series title game on January 7th).

I choose to do it this year by the importance of the bowl based on its payout first, and then the prominence of the game based on its participants. The first 5 bowl games listed comprise the prestigious BCS super-contests with the biggest payouts.

Here is the complete lineup for the 2009 season (which stretches into 2010).

1) $17 million – The BCS National Championship Game between Alabama (13-0) and Texas (13-0) on Jan. 7.

2) $17 million – Sugar Bowl with Florida (12-1) and Cincinnati (12-0) on Jan. 1.

3) $17 million – Fiesta Bowl with Texas Christian (12-0) and Boise State (13-0) on Jan. 4.

4) $17 million – Rose Bowl with Oregon (10-2) and Ohio State (10-2) on Jan. 1.

5) $17 million – Orange Bowl with Georgia Tech (11-2) and Iowa (10-2) on Jan. 5.

6) $4.25 million – Capital One Bowl with Penn State (10-2) and Louisiana State (9-3) on Jan. 1.

7) $3.3 million – Outback Bowl with Northwestern (8-4) and Auburn (7-5) on Jan. 1.

$3.005 million – Chick-fil-A Bowl with Virginia Tech (9-3) and Tennessee (7-5) on Dec. 31.

9) $3 million – Cotton Bowl with Oklahoma State (9-3) and Mississippi (8-4) on Jan. 2.

10) $2.5 million – Gator Bowl with West Virginia (9-3) and Florida State (6-6) on Jan. 1.

11) $2.35 million – Holiday Bowl with Nebraska (9-4) and Arizona (8-4) on Dec. 30.

12) $2.25 million – Champs Sports Bowl with Miami, FL (9-3) and Wisconsin (9-3) on Dec. 29.

13) $2.25 million – Alamo Bowl with Texas Tech (8-4) and Michigan State (6-6) on Jan. 2.

14) $1.9 million – Sun Bowl with Stanford (8-4) and Oklahoma (7-5) on Dec. 31.

15) $1.7 million – Liberty Bowl with East Carolina (9-4) and Arkansas (7-5) on Jan. 2.

16) $1.6 million – Music City Bowl with Clemson (8-5) and Kentucky (7-5) on Dec. 27.

17) $1.35 million – Insight Bowl with Iowa State (6-6) and Minnesota (6-6) on Dec.31.

18) $1.1 million – Independence Bowl with Georgia (7-5) and Texas A&M (6-6) on Dec. 28.

19) $1 million – Las Vegas Bowl with Brigham Young (10-2) and Oregon State (8-4) on Dec. 22.

20) $1 million – Meineke Car Care Bowl with Pittsburgh (9-3) and North Carolina (8-4) on Dec. 26.

21) $1 million – St. Petersburg Bowl with Rutgers (8-4) and Central Florida (8-4) on Dec. 19.

22) $1 million – EagleBank Bowl with Temple (9-3) and UCLA (6-6) on Dec. 29.

23) $850,000 – Emerald Bowl with Southern California (8-4) and Boston College (8-4) on Dec. 26.

24) $750,000 – GMAC Bowl with Central Michigan (11-2) and Troy (9-3) on Jan. 6.

25) $750,000 – Poinsettia Bowl with Utah (9-3) and California (8-4) on Dec. 23.

26) $750,000 – Little Caesars Pizza Bowl with Ohio (9-4) and Marshall (6-6) on Dec. 26.

27) $750,000 – New Mexico Bowl with Fresno State (8-4) and Wyoming (6-6) on Dec. 19.

28) $750,000 – Humanitarian Bowl with Idaho (7-5) and Bowling Green (7-5) on Dec. 30.

29) $750,000 – International Bowl with South Florida (7-5) and Northern Illinois (7-5) on Jan. 2.

30) $700,000 – Texas Bowl with Missouri (8-4) and Navy (8-4) on Dec. 31.

31) $600,000 – Armed Forces Bowl with Houston (10-3) and Air Force (7-5) on Dec. 31.

32) $398,000 – Hawaii Bowl with Nevada (8-4) and Southern Methodist (7-5) on Dec. 24.

33) $325,000 – New Orleans Bowl with Middle Tennessee (9-3) an Southern Mississippi (7-5) on Dec. 20.

34) $300,000 – Papjohns.com Bowl with South Carolina (7-5) and Connecticut (7-5) on Jan. 2.

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

Read more of my football coverage, including:

“Ed Bagley’s Top 25 Poll” for Week 14-you get rankings plus humor. Would you believe that Florida is ranked 6th and Southern California 23rd? Don’t laugh, find out why.

“Why Bowl Games Are Such a Big Deal: They Bring Prestige and $139+ Million”

http://www.edbagleyblog.com

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