It’s fun seeing Navy win. There’s the patriotism factor, the underdog factor, and the flashback-20-years triple option factor. This weekend a lot of bowl committees are going to be hoping Navy loses. Brett McMurphy covered the reasons why Navy is throwing a wrench into the entire bowl process, and it would be really bad news for bowl sponsors, schools, and the bowls themselves if Navy wins. Essentially Navy would push back everyone’s timeline a week because it could theoretically make the Cotton Bowl depending on its next two games. Since everything depends on where Navy ends up, other schools aren’t going to know where they are heading any time soon.
A lot of marketing goes into these bowl games, and it is a quick turn-around as is. If Navy delays that even one week, sponsors are going to have issues activating around the game. Yes, it does make a difference whether San Diego State is playing in the Holiday Bowl or the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Sponsors want to know what teams they are getting to prepare for everything that comes with it. Sponsors — or their marketing agencies — are not going to be happy if they have to wait an entire week to set things in motion.
Then there is the TV partners. Certain schools provide different television draws. That is obvious. Pitching what schools are playing when is crucial for TV partners. It allows them to leverage their massive digital, social, and TV followings to draw in viewers. They also don’t know what teams they are selling in certain ad spots that may not be purchased yet. A Navy game is going to draw in a larger viewership than Wyoming or Western Kentucky. It makes a difference.
We haven’t even discussed the logistics for the schools involved. They may have a 72 hour turnaround instead of a week turnaround for the first series of bowls. This hurts the teams that are playing in the lower tier bowls, but is still a nightmare.
Finally, the bowls themselves will be hurt. It is a lot easier to market a game and sell tickets if they know who is playing. This makes it difficult to convince teams to travel. Selling tickets is a main revenue generator for this bowl committees, and they already have a hard enough time getting rid of seats.
There are going to be a lot of people in the bowl industry cheering against Navy this week.