As we all know, college football players can't get "extra-benefits". It's a direct violation of NCAA rules. Want to buy a player a cup of coffee? Don't do it. Want to give him a watch? Not allowed. Unless of course you're a bowl game, then screw it, you can hand those gifts right on out.
Every bowl game is allowed to give up to $550 worth of gifts to each student athlete competing in their bowl (and school's and conferences can chip in $400 more each). Often these gifts include things like high-end watches or the latest electronics. Sometimes they hand out the swag in something called a gift suite, basically a pre-game shopping spree.
Sports Business Daily (not Daley) put out its annual report of bowl game swag offerings on Monday, including the goodies that the Mid-American Conference bowlers will receive.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — Buffalo vs. San Diego State, Sat., Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m. on ESPN:
The Bulls will be treated to some timely gifts, including ski gloves and a Port Authority winter coat, too things sure to come in handy in Boise, Idaho. But that's not all, There's also a Big Game football (whatever that is) iPack backpack and a Tiger Woods Nike Golf beanie. No famous Idaho Potato's, but there's a gift suite!
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl — Ohio vs. ECU, Mon., Dec. 23, 2 p.m. on ESPN:
No gift suite for the Bobcats, but isn't south Florida in the winter enough of a treat? Along with the sunshine and sand, Ohio players also get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, a pair of Oakley sunglasses, an Oakley backpack and a Schutt mini helmet. Sadly, no word of a side of Beef 'O' Brady's world famous pickle chips.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl — Bowling Green vs. Pitt, Thurs., Dec. 26, 6 p.m.m on ESPN:
Because this may be the final LCPB ever, the people in charge have decided to offer up a set of luggage and a high-end watch, so the players can have their bags packed and get the hell out of Detroit as soon as the games over. Oh, and there's a football, but no gift suite. And, where the hell is the Crazy Bread at?
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl — Northern Illinois vs. Utah State, Thurs., Dec. 26, 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
Rather than deciding Android or iOS for these bowlers, the Poinsettia Bowl if handing out $205 Best Buy gift cards. There's no gift suite, but there's also a Reactor Heavy Water watch, some Mai Jim sunglasses and a hat so those Huskies can roam around southern Cali in style.
GoDaddy.com Bowl — Ball State vs. Arkansas State, Sun., Jan. 4, 1 p.m. on ESPN
Surely a hip internet company now for steamy commercials can come through with the best swag of all, right? Well, how does a Sol Republic deck (fancy speaker), a Wilson football (brand is everything), a Timely Watch Co. watch and a Mercury Luggage Seward Trunk luggage bag. No gift suite or free domain name, but not a bad haul.
Which bowl game do you think has the best gift offering? Let us know in the comments below.