What’s with the distinction between New Year’s Day bowls and the ones that come before it? Ninety percent of those bowls are crap bowls to be playing in no matter what date they’re played. Is there really more prestige for Northwestern or Auburn to be playing in the Outback Bowl on Januar first than the Insight Bowl on December 31st?
I’m going to assume there’s a difference in money the schools receive, but no one ever mentions that part when they talk about how happy the schools must be to get to play on New Year’s Day. It’s always just, wow, you get to play at 11 am on January first! Wow! Amazing! You must be SO proud!
I’m tired of college football applying tradition to everything and assuming we’re all just going to believe that these bowls are somehow better. Besides, by that logic, the bowls on January second should be even MORE prestigious, right? That’s right, International Bowl and Papajohns.com Bowl, you just got upgraded.
If you’re looking for Rose and Sugar Bowl Previews, there’s links in this sentence already, so there you go.
Friday, January 1, 2010
11 am ET
Northwestern (8-4) vs. Auburn (7-5) (-8)
I love how 2,800 passing yards makes Northwestern’s Mike Kafka the third-best passer in the Big Ten. How pathetic does that make the conference look? Anyone who has seen Kafka play, and I have, knows that he’s not exactly what you’d call a true danger in the air. Dude is a solid dual threat, but like Zac Robinson, he’s just not going to kill you with his arm. Unless you’re Indiana. Guh.
Unless Gus Malzahn gets a head coaching gig this offseason, Auburn might be my favorite SEC team next year, along with Arkansas. Malzahn’s system is just plain fun to watch, and this isn’t even with real, talented offensive players, mind you.
1 pm ET
Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
(16) West Virginia (9-3) vs. Florida State (6-6) (+3)
I know this is more even a matchup than it seems on paper, but I just can’t get over the bad karma incurred by Florida State. I know everyone wants to send Bobby Bowden out a winner, but he shouldn’t be coaching his last game on New Year’s Day anyway. Dude at least earned a farewell season after all the sh*t he’s done for Florida State.
Pick: West Virginia
Capital One Bowl
(13) Penn State (10-2) vs. (12) LSU (9-3) (-3)
The Scouts Inc. preview called the LSU running game “watered down.” That would be an understatement. I have no idea what Les Miles is thinking as far as strategy goes, but whatever it is, it isn’t very bright.
Even with a new, unsteady quarterback, LSU still should have been able to run teams into the ground. Instead, they somehow became a finesse team and ended up being a hot mess on that side of the ball. It’s kind of embarrassing, actually.
Pick: Penn State