Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Quick Hits On This Year's Bowl Matchups

This year’s college football bowl lineup is set, with 32 matchups on the way. For in-depth analysis, go to the experts. For quick drivel, I’m your man. The full titles of the bowls are listed, because it’s just funnier that way. Away we go!

December 20:

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. Utah.
The title of the bowl is really long, so to compensate they had to take two teams with four letters each. Next year it’s Rice vs. Duke.

December 21:

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis.
As he did with Miami and Louisville, coach Howard Schnellenberger leads FAU into a bowl game. Unlike the current coaches of Miami and Louisville.

December 22: Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Southern Mississippi.
Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. So why can’t they sponsor a Better Bowl?

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico vs. Nevada. For the second straight year, New Mexico plays in its namesake bowl. The same feat was accomplished in 1999 and 2000 by Tostitos Fiesta University.

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl: Brigham Young vs. UCLA. The winners will proudly claim the trophy, until it’s stolen from their hotel room by O.J. and his goons.

December 23:

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Boise State vs. East Carolina.
I think we can give Ian Johnson a pass if this year’s bowl experience doesn’t measure up to last year.

December 26:

Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Purdue.
It’s a rematch of a September game in which the Boilermakers won by 23. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing Detroit sports fans are a little more excited about Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.

December 27:

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl: Arizona State vs. Texas.
Wait, this is actually a pretty good matchup! How’d it get on the bowl schedule so early?

December 28:

Champs Sports Bowl: Boston College vs. Michigan State.
What do you mean, “Champs” Sports? BC’s here because they LOST their championship game!

Texas Bowl: Houston vs. TCU. I’m pretty sure this bowl doesn’t actually exist, and this is a replay of a Conference USA game from five years ago.

Emerald Bowl: Oregon State vs. Maryland. This name would have been more appropriate for the Seattle Bowl, played in the Emerald City. Remember the Seattle Bowl? Okay, never mind…

December 29:

Meineke Car Care Bowl: Connecticut vs. Wake Forest.
I’ve asked this question many times, but I have to keep asking: Why, oh why, does the Demon Deacon mascot wear a bowtie on his CHIN??? Somebody answer me!!!

Autozone Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Central Florida. Also known as the BCS National Championship Game, at least on George O’ Leary’s resume.

Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Penn State. The Aggies and Nittany Lions square off at the site of the Final Four, where top-ranked UNC hopes to be in April. Yep, 64 teams in bowl games, and this is the only way I could work my Tar Heels into the discussion.

December 30:

Petrosun Independence Bowl: Colorado vs. Alabama.
Four games ago, Nick Saban was planning on a much better destination. But on this same day, his former employer might wind up 0-16. So Shreveport’s not so bad!

December 31:

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force vs. California.
It’s highly appropriate to have a service academy in the Armed Forces Bowl. But Cal hasn’t been armed, or a force, for two months now.

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl: Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech. Fun Fact: The Humanitarian Bowl got its name because Mother Teresa was a huge fan of the blue turf.

Brut Sun Bowl: South Florida vs. Oregon. In this nutty college football season, it’s only appropriate that two former #2’s will spend New Year’s in El Paso.

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Presented By Bridgestone (seriously): Florida State vs. Kentucky. These schools squared off in the 1993 Elite Eight. It’s a sad, sad thing that I knew that off the top of my head.

Insight Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Indiana. With 2008 approaching, it’s time to go crazy after the game! I mean New Year’s Eve parties, not Mike Gundy’s press conference.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson vs. Auburn. Only during Masters week will you see more Tiger fans in Georgia.

January 1:

Outback Bowl: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin.
It’s the Vols’ second straight year in this game. But since South Carolina is home for the holidays, I don’t think you’ll hear Steve Spurrier say, “You can’t spell ‘Outback’ without ‘UT!’”

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic: Missouri vs. Arkansas. Heisman winners often have a tough time in bowl games. Fortunately for Chase Daniel and Darren McFadden, that will be Tim Tebow’s problem.

Capital One Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan. A year later, the “Gators vs. Wolverines” debate moves from the message boards to the field. Meanwhile, Lloyd Carr becomes yet another retiree in Orlando.

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl: Virginia vs. Texas Tech. UVA’s Chris Long, like Michigan’s Jake Long, will go early in the NFL draft. Hearing “Long” uttered throughout the draft will make Jay Bilas smile.

The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Citi: USC vs. Illinois. By preserving the sacred Big Ten/Pac-10 matchup, Rose Bowl officials once again prove their devotion to tradition. As long as you ignore that “Presented By Citi” part.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Hawaii. Bulldog fans might be overconfident, but not because of Hawaii’s soft schedule. Remembering the old Falcon days, they just expect to see June Jones lose.

January 2:

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia.
For the Mountaineers, why is it the Fiesta vs. the Sooners? Because of the siesta vs. the Panthers.

January 3:

Fedex Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas.
Fortunately, neither team is from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, or Texas. Because from Florida, you’re not allowed to FedEx Oranges to those states.

January 5:

International Bowl: Ball State vs. Rutgers.
This one takes place in Toronto, so TWO countries get to ignore it.

January 6:

GMAC Bowl: Tulsa vs. Bowling Green.
“GMAC” is a warning message to the only people paying attention to this game: “Gambling with Money: Addictive and Compulsive.”

January 7:

Allstate BCS National Championship Game. Ohio State vs. LSU.
For Buckeye fans, it’s already a victory: a title game with no Gators in sight.