The results are in, and the non-BCS bowl of choice for Brigham Young Cougars fans is the Holiday Bowl with 52% of the vote. The Cotton Bowl came in second with 42%. The only other bowls receiving votes were the Las Vegas (5%), and the Sun and Dallas Football Classic split the remaining 1%.
The Holiday Bowl is a nice pick with BYU's history, and the location is great as well. San Diego is hard to beat at Christmas time, but it is also great because San Diego is a recruiting hot bed. Texas is as well, which makes a high profile bowl game in Texas intriguing. But, let's not forget the weather in Dallas that time of year can be brutal (remember the Super Bowl).
The payout, however, is better at the Cotton Bowl. The 2010 Holiday Bowl payout was $2.2 million compared to the Cotton Bowl's $3.575 million. That is a $1.375 million difference, which is very hard to ignore (even if BYU doesn't have to split the bowl money with conference members).
Who would BYU play? If BYU is playing a Pac-10 team in the Holiday Bowl, then I favor the Cotton Bowl. If the Holiday Bowl opponent is a Big 12 school or Big Ten (like back in the good old days), then I like it better. The Cotton Bowl would pit BYU against an SEC team, which would go a long way to helping BYU build street cred, or a Big 12 team.
As a traditionalist, I like the late December date for the Holiday Bowl better than the post-January 1 date of the Cotton Bowl. Unless it is the BCS national championship game, I don't want to wait until well after January 1 to see BYU play its bowl game.
Basically, I am trying to figure out which bowl (Cotton or Holiday) would be better for BYU and its needs (money, recruiting, exposure, how well will fans travel, national reputation, etc.). In the end, my vote would go to the Holiday Bowl. Despite the bigger payout in Dallas, for a better fan experience, the Holiday Bowl wins out. I also feel, in my gut, BYU would win more at the Holiday Bowl than the Cotton Bowl, and winning bowl games matters to a program's reputation.
Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll. With spring football starting this week, the question is: "When will Bronco formally announce Heaps has won the QB competition?"
The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org