Why so many bowl games?
You know why.
The schools want the money for appearing.
The coaches want the additional practice time to evaluate and develop players.
The broadcasters want the programming.
Players used to want to attend a bowl no matter what because they go to take a vacation and get some nice SWAG they otherwise would not get and have one last fun event before moving on to the real world. That has changed from 30 years ago because the circumstances and the utes are different.