Ahhh, the one perk for players hard work and accomplishing a good season - gifts from bowl games!! That's right, it's the one time of the year the NCAA allows players to benefit from their athletic accomplishments in a monetary and gift variety. It's that time of year where bowl game swag is released. Seriously, is there anything better than getting crazy gifts of awesome watches, beats by Dre headphones, or whatever else the bowls come up with?
Well, some players are better off than others in this category. Some get fossil watches while some get gloves because they're heading to those exotic northern climates of Boise, ID and the Bronx, NY. The point is - not all bowl game swag is created equal.
So, with that in mind it's time to break down the best and worst of this season's bowl game swag! Let's also keep in mind that the total of the gifts can not go above a total of $550 dollars per player.
Of course we'll start with the bad news first and in this case that means the three worst bowl games for swag.
3 Worst Bowl Games for Swag:
1. MAACO Bowl Las Vegas - Participants from Washington and Boise State can look forward to an amazing group of swag that includes a Gift Suite... Yep, that's it and if you don't know what a gift suite is, it's basically a small shopping spree at a store or something set up specially for the players to purchase gifts. No hats, no watches, no nothing else. That's pretty weak if you ask me.
2. Heart of Dallas Bowl - Again the dreaded gift suite appears and the only reason it's not a tie is because according to the report the details of the final gift package for this bowl game hadn't been finalized at the time of publishing, so it's possible Purdue and Oklahoma State players could be in for a better experience than those in Vegas.
3. Gildan New Mexico Bowl - At least there are multiple gifts in this package, but some are rather lame including a whole bunch of Oakley branded stuff (hats, sunglasses, backpack) and the piece de resistance - a Gildan stadium blanket. Pretty lame if you ask me and we didn't even mention the super awesome Deuce Brand watch that's worth a whole $25 until just now.
3 Best Bowl Games for Swag:
1. Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas and Oregon State are lucky as hell... They are going to receive apple iPad mini's along with nice Fossil watches. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner right there. Of course there are smaller gifts like a panoramic picture of the bowl game and a Schutt mini-helmet, but then there's also a $100 Best Buy gift card to use as well. No other bowl game that's announced exactly what they are giving away can match this awesome package for stuff that these kids will actually want for themselves.
2. Autozone Liberty Bowl - The Sol Republic Tracks HD Anthem headphones are about $150 for any of us shlubs, but for Iowa State and Tulsa they'll be getting them along with a package of Nike gear (which is a good thing since both schools are Nike sponsored) and a Bulova watch too. That's not too shabby if you ask me.
3. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Now this is swag these kids can actually use. The gift package includes a North Face jacket, Kombi gloves, a Tiger Woods Victory beanie, Ogio Bullioin backpack, and a gift suite. For people living in Ohio and Utah these are all great gifts and not only that none of what they are receiving are cheapies either. This is how you do practical swag.