On Sunday, December 2, 2018, the College Football Playoff Committee will announce the only four teams lucky enough to compete for a national title in the NCAA FBS College Football Playoffs. But those chosen four won’t be the only four playing this postseason. At least 66 other college football teams will square off in at least 33 other FBS bowl games. One such team bound for college football’s bowl Limbo is Oklahoma State (6-6 overall, 3-6 conference, 7th in Big XII).
If only four schools get to compete for the ultimate glory, why bother with the other extraneous games? I’m glad you asked. Turns out, there are several perks when a college football team reaches the six win plateau and becomes bowl eligible, as set forth in this pretty good article from Saturday Down South:
- The university receives positive exposure on national television.
- The football coaches and athletic directors gain a line on their curriculum vitaes.
- The program gets another opportunity to sway potential recruits.
- Long-suffering college football fans get one more chance to root for their team.
- There’s the chance to satiate boosters with a nice, shiny trophy (some of which are pretty weird)!
Those reasons are all fine and dandy for school officials and fan bases, but for the players themselves, there’s another key incentive: PRESENTS!!!
Although NCAA guidelines prohibit virtually any gifts or compensation to student athletes for much of the year, the regulations provide for gift packages up to $550 in total value at bowl games. But not all gift bags are created equal. Some bowl gifts last year were pretty awesome, like a PS4 bundle. Other gifts were in the “less-awesome-to-terrible” range like this Hawaiian shirt from last year’s Hawaii bowl. How do people not realize that surprise clothing is NEVER a good holiday gift?
Awesome or awful, bowl gifts are rarely practical. What should this year’s Cowboy team expect in their swag bags? We at Cowboys Ride for Free have an exclusive scoop on what the 2018 Oklahoma State football team expect to find stuffed into their bowl game lockers.
Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day
(audiobook CD; estimated value $23.48)
Coach Gundy’s squad could have used this much earlier in the season. Oklahoma State finished 90th in the NCAA this season with 6.8 penalties per game. From costly holding penalties that gave rise to countless third-and-longs, to heart wrenching pass interference calls that kept opposing offenses on the field (anyone remember those 12 penalties for 133 yards against Baylor?), this year’s talented squad was torn asunder by their own lack of focus. Put this puppy in the CD player in the locker room before the game.
F&T Fur Harvester’s Trading Post F&T Beaver Trapping Starter Kit Bundle
(hunting kit, comes with “Beaver in the Bank” instructional video; estimated value $129.95)
Next year, the Cowboys will look to kick off their 2019 campaign in style with a bizarre Friday game in Corvallis, Oregon on August 30 against fellow “OSU” Oregon State. On paper, this game should be an easy victory: the Beavers finished a dismal 2-10 and won’t be receiving any bowl gifts from anyone this year. However, fans of the 2018 Oklahoma State Cowboys are all too aware that this team played down to the level of its competition. What faith is there that next year’s squad can fare better against Beavers than it did against Bears and Wildcats? Better start setting those traps now.
Twisted X Men’s Lite Cowboy Cherry Work Boot - Texas Flag Leather
(Texas Flag Cowboy boots; estimated value $151.99)
What better way to commemorate an impressive win over the No. 6 Texas Longhorns than with fine leather goods, perhaps made from BEVO himself? According to the manufacturer, the moisture wicking antibacterial footbed is removable AND washable! These Lone Star stompers are perfect farewell present for the indefatigable Taylor Cornelius, whose two rushing touchdowns (and three touchdown passes) booted Texas BACK to the pack and out of the national championship race.
Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover - 4 oz.
(Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover w/Lavender Essential Oil, Vitamin A, C, E Oil; estimated value $11.49)
Perfect for a receiver like, say Biletnikoff finalist Tylan Wallace, who can’t seem to keep the ball from sticking to his hands.
Let’s watch that game-winner against West Virginia one more time just for fun, okay?
Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen) - Premium sound with built-in smart home hub - Charcoal
(Amazon Echo smart device; estimated value $149.99)
Whether it was finding ways to get Justice Hill involved in the passing game, keep Jalen McCleskey happy, break out of a play-calling slump against Texas Tech, or find ways to get Chuba Hubbard involved more involved in the offense, Mike Gundy, Mike Yurcich, and Jim Knowles seemed short on answers. Enter the Amazon Echo!
Alexa, what is a screen pass?
Total Gift Package Value: $466.90 (No NCAA violations here).