The NFL was smart enough to got rid of their playoff bowl, but the NCAA still clings on to dozens of loser bowls. I think it is about time that the NCAA should take some of their higher education and get smart enough to eliminate the loser bowl games at the highest level of college football. BCS football now has only one post season college football game that matters and rest are just loser bowls.
Here is the history of the loser bowl and why the playoff bowl as dumped by the NFL.
The winners (conference champions) advanced to the NFL championship game, the losers (conference runners-up) appeared in the Playoff Bowl to vie for third place. For the three seasons (1967-69) preceding the 1970 merger with the AFL, the loser of the NFL’s third place game ended up with a peculiar record of 0-2 for that post-season.
The end of the Playoff Bowl – When the merger was completed for the 1970 season, there was discussion about continuing the Playoff Bowl, with the losers of the AFC and NFC Championship Games playing each other during the idle week before the Super Bowl. There were now seven post-season games in the NFL (three for each conference, plus the Super Bowl), and the Pro Bowl all-star game. A “loser’s game” was not necessarily attractive for the league, and the Playoff Bowl came to an end.
Official status – Although the ten Playoff Bowls were official third place playoff games at the time they were played, the NFL currently classifies them as exhibition games, and does not include them in the official results (or statistics) for the post-season.
Criticism – Vince Lombardi detested the Playoff Bowl, coaching in the games following the 1963 and 1964 seasons, after winning NFL titles in 1961 and 1962. To his players, he called it “the ‘Shit Bowl’, …a losers’ bowl for losers.” This lack of motivation may explain his Packers’ rare postseason defeat in the 1964 game (January 1965) to the St. Louis Cardinals. After that loss, he fumed about “a hinky-dink football game, held in a hinky-dink town, played by hinky-dink players. That’s all second place is – hinky dink.” Using the Playoff Bowl (and loss) as motivation in 1965, the Packers won the first of three consecutive NFL championships from 1965-67. As of 2010, the Packers are the only NFL team ever to achieve this “three-peat” in the post-season era (which began in 1933). During this successful run, the Packers also won the first two Super Bowls in convincing fashion. In an ironic twist, Lombardi’s final game (and victory) as head coach of the Packers was Super Bowl II, played in “rinky-dink” Miami’s Orange Bowl in January 1968. All-Pro defensive tackle Roger Brown appeared in five Playoff Bowls, the most by any player, and was on the winning side each time (Detroit Lions, 1960–61–62; Los Angeles Rams, 1967, 1969). He said playing in those seemingly meaningless contests was like having “the worst inferiority complex.” He added, “I was in five of them, and to have played in it five in the ten years it was in existence is pitiful.”