It’s always a fun imaginative exercise, comparing the bowl gifts, and Sports Business Journal did the aggregating work for everyone’s enjoyment. Players for Florida State and Auburn, for instance, will get a gift suite (read: shopping spree), watch, hat and a backpack. Had the Terrapins been selected for the AdvoCare100 Bowl, one spot in the ACC pecking order before the Annapolis game, they would have gotten a watch, a skull cap and a football, so they definitely won in that department.
Though the PlayStation 4 might retail higher than the NCAA limit of $550 — it currently is priced on Amazon at $749.99, Best Buy at $459.98 and GameStop at 399.98 — bowl games and gift brokers can haggle for lower bulk pricing. (UPDATE: Turns out this didn’t happen here. The Military Bowl paid full price, somewhere around $80,000 for 250 PlayStations.) And so Maryland players will get the game system, a winter hat and an Ogio backpack, all kosher under that arbitrary number.
When the Terps beat East Carolina in the 2010 Military Bowl, they received a Sony Dash, Altec Lansing inMotion portable speaker, beanie, cap, duffel bag and blanket, according to Sports Illustrated. Go back to the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl, and the players got a Sony camcorder, winter jacket, gloves, sweatshirt, skull cap and baseball cap. Defensive lineman Zeke Riser, who participated in two bowl games at the University of Houston, has received a Timely Watch Co. watch twice in 2009 and 2011, plus a couple gift suites.
Feel free to turn this into a conversation about paying college athletes. Or how 30 teams will get Fossil watches. Or how going to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl means you get a bunch of New Era products. Your choice.