As evidenced by the return of McD’s picks, we’re about to get back into full College Football mode around here and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, the first bowl kicks off tomorrow night with the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. I’m currently home in San Diego and let me tell you, the excitement is palpable. I mean it’s Utah and Navy, who wouldn’t be fired up for that game? When I asked around if anyone was going to the game most people said, “wait, the Holiday Bowl is Thursday?” No, no, the other bowl America’s Finest City gets. Yeah, I was unaware we got another one until yesterday too.
But regardless, it’s bowl season people and I’ve put together a list to help guide you through which bowls will be the best, worst and most entertaining.
Best match up:
Capital One Bowl
Michigan vs. Florida
Both teams had down years compared to last season but both are immensely talented and have something to prove. Florida wants to send a message that they are a force to be reckoned with going into next season and Michigan’s seniors (namely Mike Hart, Chad Henne and Jake Long) want to go out on a high note after a horribly disappointing final year in Ann Arbor. Plus they’re still getting crap because of something that happened earlier in the year but my memory of the event is just a little foggy. Florida’s offense has been called “soft” by some around the country and Michigan’s defense has been called…well they’ve been called a lot of things that aren’t very nice. Tim Tebow also has the added motivation of proving he deserved the Heisman Trophy. It’s one of the few non-BCS games where both teams have a lot on the line.
Worst match up:
USC vs. Illinois
The Rose Bowl committee is freaking awful. Instead of giving us the SC/Georgia match up we all wanted, or even putting an average but deserving Missouri team in, a three-loss Illinois team from a lousy Big Ten somehow got to go because of “tradition.” If Georgia was a pipe-dream, then the Tigers at least deserved it, seeing as how they only lost two games and actually beat Illinois 40-34 on September 1. So instead we’re left with an average Illinois team that managed to stumble its way to second place in a very down year in the Big Ten, playing a team that’s too fast, too strong and too deep for them. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, USC is currently peaking and they’re finally healthy as well. The Illini should have fun in this one. If last year’s Michigan team had circles run around it by USC, this Illinois team is going to have some serious issues.
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Really? They know how this sounds right? Seriously, they couldn’t come up with something else. I’m not even curious about the Bowl name, I’m wondering who named the Hotel chain. I really hope the good people at Gaylord Hotels aren’t hoping for a word of mouth campaign. I mean do you really think guys are going to tell their friends they stayed at “a Gaylord in Texas. It was great,” sorry I don’t buy it. I’m sure they’re lovely places and are impeccably decorated, but it’s just an unfortunate name. Then when you tack it on to the bowl name it just sounds like they people from the Tony Awards decided to play a game of touch football. Which is funny, because the match up is Florida State vs. Kentucky, so this one could win for hottest coeds involved as well, though the Holiday Bowl (Texas vs. Arizona State) will definitely give it a run for its money.
Least creative name:
Not the Papa John’s Bowl. Not the Papajohns.com something Bowl. No, we’ve actually gotten to the point where the bowl name is just a url. Remember when the internet was cool? Now it just angers me. It’s like the Jessica Alba pregnancy thing. For a while it was OK that she was dating Cash Warren because it meant that every regular loser might have had a shot at her. Now that he’s knocked her up, there’s no possible emotion you could feel but anger. I hate that guy. He had something perfect and now it’ll never be the same. He went from the guy known as “that lucky bastard” to know being the third most hated man in the world, behind Osama bin Laden and Urban Meyer.
Most likely to have viewers crying:
Dammit, another url as a name. But this one involves my beloved Indiana Hoosiers, facing off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. While the Cowboys head coach is a lunatic – he’s also a man, and he’s 40! – IU’s coach is dead. Well their real coach anyway. When Terry Hoeppner died in June it saddened most of college football. It’s been over five months since then and not even the arrival of Eric Gordon to campus has gotten the IU faithful over that tragic loss. You can be there will be a long, dramatic, tearful tribute to Coach Hep during this game. Problem is, most of you won’t be able to see it, since the game is on the NFL Network.
Best bowl for running backs:
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
That’s really all you need to know. Watch this game if you want to see about 600 rushing yards. Between Steve Slaton, Pat White, Noel Devine, DeMarco Murray and Allen Patrick there really is no need for either team to throw a pass. If you like running just sit back and enjoy this one. Especially because West Virginia’s defense couldn’t stuff a turkey (or Pitt) and Oklahoma can bring it on the ground.
Bowl most likely to make Booter cry:
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
Actually the thing that will make our esteemed legal analyst cry is when his alma mater hires Rick Neuheisel as its next head coach. Neuheisel spends more time in court than Booter himself. But if UCLA loses to BYU on Dec. 22, it might be just as bad. Obviously this has been a disappointing year for the Bruins (6-6) and BYU (10-2) is coming in hot, having run the table in the Mountain West. The funny part is, UCLA beat the Cougars 27-17 back in September. But this is going to be a tough one or the Bruins, with an interim coach, hurt quarterbacks and having lost four of their last five. Hopefully McD and I can keep Booter away from a television for a few hours while this one is going on.
Game you would actually pick The Notebook over:
R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic
Oye, yet one more reason the bowl system needs to be revamped. Two 7-5 teams facing off in a random bowl that nobody cares about. Wow, I’m so glad we don’t have a playoff so we can keep the current system. Awesome.
Most awkward bowl:
The Armed Forces Bowl
Cal vs. Air Force
So if you’re Cal how do you bring yourself to beat the Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. If you beat them, the terrorists win. You don’t want that, do you Bears? Oh, wait, you’re the ones from Berkeley? Right, never mind. You hate America. Dirty hippies. I can’t wait to see if Cal fans protest the war outside the game. Then it might be the first instance in sports history where the pregame flyover actually included bombs being dropped. That or a nice strafing run over the Cal student section, maybe a nice little napalm drop perhaps?
Bowl brought to you by the department of redundancy department:
Motor City Bowl
Purdue vs. Central Michigan
Yes, this, like the Las Vegas Bowl, is a rematch from earlier in the season, Purdue won 45-22. Well, we’ve finally found what Vegas and Detroit have in common, shitty bowl games. Well that and you’re likely to have all your money taken from you in both cities.
Game most likely to induce vomiting:
Rutgers vs. Ball State
Why would this game make you vomit? Have you ever seen the coeds at Rutgers or Ball State? Yeah, it ain’t pretty. And since we’d all be suffering if I put up photographic evidence, here’s a picture of Allison Stokke instead. But because the game is in Toronto, these
hideously fat lovely ladies will be right at home. You see in Canada “Kraft Dinner” is a staple dish. What is Kraft Dinner you ask? It’s Mac and Cheese with ketchup. The girls from Muncie alone will eat the country out of stock. Save your time, lunch and eyes and read the game wrap the next day.