An underrated part of the argument for a playoff in college football is that, though the bowl season builds to a crescendo in early January, there is nearly a week of crap leading up to it. And this is after about two weeks of no college football other than the Army-Navy game. Is it really necessary to make college football fans watch this garbage? I realize it’s time for the little guys to shine, but the first three bowl games feature no conference champions and two non-AQ schools that didn’t even win eight games.
What’s even worse is these games create no interest or buzz around the nation. Sure, everyone is discussing the BCS games and how much of a travesty it is for the BCS to put TCU and Boise State in the same bowl to protect their precious BCS-conference schools. But no one cares about these games except the schools and their fans. Oh, and the gamblers, which is a perfect segue into my picks for the first three bowl games of 2009-10!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
4:30 pm ET
New Mexico Bowl
Fresno State (8-4) vs. Wyoming (6-6) (+11)
Ryan Mathews is going to be the first thing mentioned in every preview of this game, so I figured I’d keep the streak going. He’s really freaking good, and it would have been great for Fresno if their defense was any good at all. Also, Fresno beating Illinois to end the season made me feel a hell of a lot worse about IU finishing behind that atrocious Illinois team despite throttling them in Bloomington. There are a lot of subtle ways in which this 2009 IU Hoosiers football season was a complete shambles. But I digress…
Until I read some previews of this game, I couldn’t name one player on Wyoming. I just knew they hired Missouri’s OC from the Chase Daniel years and were a mediocre team at best in a conference with TCU, BYU, Utah, and Air Force. Not the best situation to be in. I’ve now found that it’s a miracle the Cowboys are even bowl-eligible and they may be even worse defensively than Fresno State.
Expect Ryan Mathews to go big on Saturday. I’m thinking 175 and 3 TDs.
Pick: Fresno State
8 pm ET
St. Petersburg Bowl presented by Beef ‘O’ Brady’s
Central Florida (8-4) vs. Rutgers (8-4) (-3)
This is a completely forgettable game. There isn’t one interesting angle, a coach who maybe might get a bigger job, a truly standout player. Nothing. Just two teams with good defenses and terrible offenses banging heads in Florida. Sounds SO MUCH BETTER than this being the first round of playoff games to see who plays in the BCS championship. No, I’d much rather watch Rugers/UCF.
Pick: Sh*t, I don’t know. Rutgers?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
8:30 pm ET
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Southern Mississippi (7-5) vs. Middle Tennessee (9-3) (+4)
I think the gods of sarcasm read my preview for the Rutgers/UCF game and are punishing me. The New Orleans Bowl features a mediocre, injury-ravaged C-USA team that never really had a shot at anything amazing despite some early season success and a second-place Sun Belt team. So yeah, I’d say the potential audience for this game is pretty f*cking small.
Not surprisingly, I can’t name any players on either team without some prompting, so screw it. I’m out of here. See you for the next set of bowls. Guh.
Pick: Middle Tennessee