As the end of college football's regular season draws closer, there is an increased presence on the back rows of nearly every press box in America. That would be the folks in the multicolored blazers, the people who proudly wear the emblem of this year's 35 bowl games, from the Tostitos Fiesta to the Kraft Fight Hunger.
These are the men and women (mostly men) who will ultimately determine which teams will receive invitations to participate in their games. Some of those invites will be issued over the next two weeks. A few have already gone out and been accepted. But the vast majority of the "spend your holidays with us" phone calls won't be made until Dec. 4, the day after the conference title games are played.
"It is a fun and also nervous day," Capital One and Champ Sports Bowl executive director Steve Hogan said during ACC Media Days. "It's the closest thing to Christmas morning that I have as an adult. You know, what are you going to get?"
On paper, how and why certain teams are selected by certain games seems very cut and dried. In the world of the BCS and conference bowl tie-ins that go as far as nine-deep, it would appear that the pecking order is what it is and the games simply go down the conference standings and pick their teams.
But if you ask some coaches, you can take that paper and toss it into the shredder.
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