Yeah. And really for all the powerhouse teams ( Alabama, Clemson, OU, OSU) just to cover SEC/ACC/Big12/Big10, any bowl game other than the NC lacks motivation. When your goal is to win the NC and it’s of course within reason anything less is a disappointment.
Teams like Boise St. have capitalized on this. When they beat OU in 2007 at the Fiesta Bowl...there was zero motivation for OU in that game. Boise had nothing to lose. They were totally psyched to play a powerhouse team meanwhile OU was completely deflated not having made the playoffs. It’s not an excuse but hey, these are kids out there and attitude is a big factor.
This. Seems as a matter of course, at any course, the furthest tees hit first, while us mortals always waiting behind a Tree to not get hit from that wild tips shot. One we spot that, my wife and I just hit, then wait and watch while another duffs left or right.
Sub 5 golfers are excused, their GIR's make up for the wait, as long as the mortals keep up.
Because, unless you're in the championship game, bowls are pointless exhibition games. The top players don't want to risk getting injured in some meaningless game and screwing their professional prospects. It's not quite on the NBA All-Star game level, but it's not far off in terms of importance or meaning in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps you could argue some "resiliency of the program" or something, but at the end of the day, the bowls don't matter. It would be different if the athletes were paid; then, the players would be akin to pro golfers just wanting to make the cut or finish as high as they can (even though they won't win) to get a paycheck.