The goals of all the schools every year is a tiered system. There's like what 10 teams going into the year that think they have a chance at winning the championship? With 3-5 of them realistically being able to any given year or less.As a young kid in the 80s I used to look forward to bowl season because it meant the roughly top 25 teams got to duke it out with each other.
Now I just laugh at it. 84 teams "make" bowl games now. It's a complete joke.
Then you have the next tier trying to get into the best BCS bowls and win their divisions/conferences. Then after that just get into any bowls and make their schools money. Once it got to where 6 wins could get you in a bowl and as you'd mentioned early 40 some odd games it became a complete joke.