If your bladder isn't letting loose in the days leading up to the GMAC, you're probably a robot.
Alright, now we’ll get into the bowls that REALLY don’t matter. Supposedly some of these games are supposed to mean something, but don’t be fooled, they’re being played because somebody’s gotta play in them, or else we’d have some sort of playoff on an equal playing field based on merit. Wouldn’t want that, would we? And yes, my bitterness factor has soared to levels unseen before Dennis Dixon’s unfortunate ACL incident.
Brut Sun Bowl - El Paso, TX - Dec 31
South Florida vs Oregon
This game means the most and the least to me personally. Supposedly El Paso is sort of dump-ish, but that won’t stop literally hundreds of people from attending this game.
When Oregon had to rely on a backup QB who doesn’t run (in a spread offense) and a series of redshirt freshmen who played all year on the scout team, they couldn’t really “play football effectively.” That said, they still should’ve beaten Arizona and probably UCLA. They’re completely decimated physically and mentally, which isn’t all that great of a place going into a bowl game, no matter the insignificance.
South Florida beat some teams that were supposedly good, but weren’t as good as they probably should’ve been (Louisville, Auburn) and lost to decent teams. The Big East is pretty terrible, so it’s hard to tell how good they are, and i’m not sure beating Oregon makes a case for them either way.
I just want this game to be over with.
Gaylord Hotels Bowl - Nashville - Dec 31
Kentucky vs Florida State
Right off the bat, it’s always fun to have the word “gaylord” somehow involved in a bowl game. There appears to be many Gaylord options in Nashville, and size doesn’t matter, as you can stay in any Gaylord in the area, big or small, and have a good time.
Andre Woodson, the Kentucky QB, is pretty good, and Kentucky beat LSU in triple OT. They didn’t lose to anybody terrible, but they’re not all that great. Rich Brooks gets bonus points for getting a field named after him after he left Oregon, but that doesn’t really count for anything.
Florida State is not that good at college football. I used to really like watching the old FSU teams, but the recent FSU offense is matched only by the likes of Calabasas High School in its ineptitude (Go Coyotes!)
I’ll probably instead be watching a rerun of Two and a Half Men and I happen to think Two and a Half Men is a pretty unfunny show.
Insight Bowl - Tempe, AZ - Dec 31
Indiana vs Oklahoma State
Remember the good ol’ days of college football when this was the Inisight.com Bowl? I guess they sold the rights to their “.com” to Papa John. That John sure is a marketing genius, isn’t he?
Indiana loaded up on nobodies and became bowl eligible! Yay!
I saw three quarters of Oklahoma State live against Georgia and they looked like they should be good, but they weren’t all that good upon closer inspection. They had a slighty above-average season in a Big 12 conference that isn’t all that impressive, so who knows. Bonus points, though, for a crazy coach, who, and I don’t know if you’ve heard, is 40. Go at him, he’s a man.
The game’s in Tempe, so at least you know somebody’s leaving the bowl with sores or burning sensations, so that’s always fun.
Chick-fil-A Bowl - Atlanta - Dec. 31
Clemson vs Auburn
First of all, I don’t get to have it that often being in LA, but Chick-fil-A is excellent. I’ve probably only had it two or three times in my life, but it’s always in the back of my mind whenever I’m in the south. And yes, I’m strange.
Clemson has two really good running backs, lost to a bad Georgia Tech team (in Atlanta), lost to an overrated Boston College team at home, and lost to a good Virginia Tech team. They’re also coached by a Bowden, so take that for what it’s worth.
The best thing that happened to Auburn all year is that they beat Florida (twice at the end) and their kicker did the Gator Chomp all over the field. Terrific. Unfortunately, they lost to Mississippi State and South Florida (one of 78 former #2 teams). Neither of those teams is bad, but Auburn should be beating those teams year in and year out soundly.
As for the game, I could be convinced to watch it if I had some actual Chick-fil-A (second only to Bojangles Chicken) in front of me.
Outback Bowl - Tampa, FL - Jan. 1
Wisconsin vs Tennessee
It’s New Years Day, so you know what that means…only one Pac-10 team plays thanks to Tom Hansen’s brilliant bowl alignments! Ok, I got that out of me…
Wisconsin was supposed to be good, but didn’t play outside of the Big 10’s reputation for 2007. They were wildly overrated, played decent defense, had a fairly uncreative and uninteresting offense, and lost to the decent teams they played. PJ Hill, their starting RB, is good, but beyond that, this is a boring Big 10 team. Sorry.
Tennessee lost to Cal, which in retrospect, must be pretty embarasssing for both the team and the SEC. Oh well, Cal was better and healthy then. Tennessee benefited from an SEC East that was pretty inconsistent, with the Volunteers being the least inconsistent, but not necessarily consistent, if that makes any sense. They also got embarrassed by a three-loss Florida team and shellacked by an average (if even that) Alabama team.
This is one of those games that Wisconsin probably wins, mostly because Big 10 teams seem to care about winning inconsequential bowl games and lay giant eggs in big ones.
AT&T Cotton Bowl - Dallas - Jan 1
Missouri vs Arkansas
How dare Missouri beat Illinois and Kansas (two BCS bowl teams), only lose to one team (BCS bowl team, Oklahoma, twice), and finish ahead of five teams that got BCS bids! They soundly beat everyone they were supposed to beat and lost to Oklahoma. No shame in that. Missouri has nothing to prove and will probably mail in this game. College Football!
Arkansas has, with apologies to a healthy Oregon backfield, the best duo of RBs in the country. The Razorbacks aren’t bad, but they’re not all that great, either. Luckily, they’re playing a team that doesn’t want to be there, so they’ve got that going for them.
I’m going to miss Houston Nutt, if not just for him being the subject of the ESPN article about the psychotic Arkansas fans that used the Freedom of Information Act to track his every communication. SEC Fans: Taking College Football Way Too Seriously since 1932.
Gator Bowl - Jacksonville, FL - Jan 1
Texas Tech vs Virginia
I enjoy this matchup, just because you get to see two crazy coaches on the same field. By all accounts, Al Groh is crazy curmudgeon, and Mike Leach is a conspiracy theorist who at one point was obsessed with vikings, but continues to be obsessed with a pass-happy spread offense.
Virginia has Howie Long’s son, who is apparently really good. They also barely beat a bunch of mediocre teams. Additionally, they seem to have the softest fan base this side of Westwood, so there’s that.
I might watch this game for the off-chance that Mike Leach goes completely insane.
Captial One Bowl - Orlando - Jan 1
Michigan vs Florida
I haven’t been predicting scores or anything, but this could be the no brainer of the bowl season. Florida should beat the Wolverines by 45, which of course means Michigan will win somehow.
Michigan really isn’t that good at all and I’m not sure they really have anything to play for. It turns out that Chad Henne is only pretty good, not the world beater he supposedly was in the Big 10. Mike Hart, though, I think is a legit RB, albeit one who never appears to blink.
At the very least, there should be at least one Urban Meyer/Dan Mullen ridiculous play call along the lines of “Triple Reverse Statue of Liberty Fumblerooski.” Always fun.
Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA - Jan 1
Illinois vs USC
Big Daddy Eisner went to Illinois and is very excited that the Illini went from a two win season to the Rose Bowl in one year. He seems to care not that the Illini have earned a trip to the Capital One Bowl and received a Rose Bowl bid, thanks to the generous Rose Bowl committee, who I assume were all old enough to read about Spanish-American War as it was happening. Hurray for Pac-10 vs Big-10, no matter how ridiculous the actual match-up. The Big-10 gets two BCS bids because they pad their schedules better than anyone else! Huzzah!
USC is healthy. Juice Williams is good and will be even better the next couple years, but after January 1, he may get terrible flashbacks every time he hears the word “Maualuga.”
This game, along with the national championship, encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the college football postseason. See you there!
Allstate Sugar Bowl - New Orleans - Jan. 1
Hawaii vs Georgia
I actually have no problem with Hawaii being here. They did everything within the system to get here. Sure, they barely got by terrible teams (Washington, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, gave up 37 to atrocious Utah State), but they won and did what they needed to do in a flawed system. It also helps that they played nobody (but supposedly tried to) outside of their conference. Another bright, shining reason for a playoff.
I was hoping Georgia would make the national championship after not even making their own conference championship (just to screw everything up), but alas, they did not. I don’t even know who I want to win - if Hawaii wins, we get more non-BCS schools padding their schedules and proving nothing until January, if Georgia wins, Hawaii is the fraud we’ve all thought they were all along.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, AZ - Jan 2
Oklahoma vs West Virginia
Both of these teams looked beatable all year and were in that elite contender category without either being all that great and invincible.
Oklahoma lost to two unranked teams and West Virginia turns the ball over and is fairly injury prone, especially Pat White.
This game may be somewhat interesting - at least you have two good teams playing in a bowl they both deserve to be in. This year, that’s more than you can say about any other BCS game, so I’ll take it.
Note to West Virginia - practice the hook and ladder and statue of liberty all month long.
FedEx Orange Bowl - Miami - Jan 3
Virginia Tech vs Kansas
Year in, year out, Virginia Tech manages to play well in a conference that doesn’t pose too many challenges. They beat the decent teams and generally fold against the respectable ones. I have no idea how good they are.
Luckily, I have even less idea about how good Kansas is, as they lost to the one respectable team they played all year. Luckily, this somehow gets them an invitation to the Orange Bowl. The lesson learned here is always play substandard competition and hope everyone in front of you gags away their collective seasons, as was the case this fall.
This mess of course is being brought to the OB.
International Bowl - Toronto - Jan. 5
Rutgers vs Ball State
I know what people want to see after three BCS games…uh, inferior teams? This game poses one very important question: Will either David Letterman or Tony Soprano make their way up to the Great White North? If not, I probably won’t be watching. Actually, even if they do, I probably won’t watch. Sorry.
GMAC Bowl - Mobile, AL - Jan. 6
Bowling Green vs Tulsa
This game goes to show you just how awesome having 32 bowls is. I mean, how else were we going to see who’s better between Bowling Green and Tulsa. With all the pundits choosing sides, it’ll be nice to settle this epic battle on the field. No more smear campaigns and rumor-mongering, just good old necessary football matchups, like Bowling Green vs Tulsa.
Bowling Green beat Minnesota, but remember, EVERYONE did. Tulsa beat BYU and Houston, both reasonably impressive victories in dominant fashion.
I like the Golden Hurricane over the Falcons in a close one. But really, that just came out of nowhere.
Allstate BCS Championship Game - New Orleans - Jan. 7
LSU vs Ohio State
LSU is here because they’re undefeated in regulation, duh. Oh, but yea, they lost twice in football games. Also, LSU went from 7th to 2nd because people assume they’re the best team in the country, despite what they do on the field. This is fine because, well, why not? It’s college football. LSU can be easily out-coached, but lucky for the Tigers, they play Ohio State, who has beaten, wait, who have they beaten?
Ohio State has clearly left little doubt that they’re the best team (in Ohio) this season. With dominating victories over, get this, Youngstown State, Akron, and Kent State, it’s hard to argue that they’ve had a magical season (against teams in Ohio). Add in their seven home games, a terrifying road game at Pac-10 powerhouse, Washington (last place), a loss to the only decent team on their schedule, and Ohio State has clearly done enough to prove themselves as a team of destiny (in the state of Ohio).
This game doesn’t matter. If LSU wins, what does it mean? If Ohio State wins, what does it mean? Both teams, through a combination of scheduling and fortunate reputations, have stumbled into a position to claim a trophy that, unless won in any sort of fair scheme, means increasingly little.
So that’s all I got, at least tailgating is fun.