Here is one man’s take on this year’s bowl games, and why you should watch each and every one of them. In chronological order…
San Diego Credit County Union Poinsettia Bowl
Who (is playing)? TCU Horned Frogs (10-2) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (7-5).
Where (are they playing)? San Diego. Duh.
When (is it all going down)? December 19, 8 PM on ESPN2.
First thoughts: On the one hand, you have Garrett Wolfe of Northern Illinois, the NCAA rushing leader for this year, and a guy likely to crack the 2,000 yard mark. On the other, cracking 2,000 yards rushing in a year doesn’t actually mean, you know, you’re a good player. Kinda like J.J. Arrington.
Why (should you watch)? According to Ivan Maisel, two of the nation’s very best running teams will be meeting in this one. So at the very least, it shouldn’t take very long. And you might want to stick around for halftime or the commercials to figure out why the hell the San Diego Credit County Union is sponsoring a bowl.
Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl
Who (is playing)? BYU Cougars (10-2) vs. Oregon Ducks (7-5).
Where (are they playing)? The City of Sin. Again, duh.
When (is it all going down)? December 21, 8 PM on ESPN.
First thoughts: The Ducks have lost three in a row. The Mormons are in their own private hell. Hip hop hooray?
Why (should you watch)? What happens when a bunch of Mormons head to Vegas for a bowl game for the second year in a row? Tune in to find out!!!! Also, for Oregon’s 5,474,892th different ugly uniforms of the season. And does anyone else find it strange that there are college and minor league teams in Las Vegas, but no professional teams? Like college and minor league athletes are somehow less likely to fix games than their counterparts making ten million a year?
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Who (is playing)? Rice Owls (7-5) vs. Troy Trojans (7-5).
Where (are they playing)? New Orleans.
When (is it all going down)? December 22, 8 PM on ESPN2.
First thoughts: Rice has a football team? And could Troy have tried just a liiiiiiitle bit harder to come up with a mascot?
Why (should you watch)? I’m sure this is going to be a great celebration for the city of New Orleans, the crowd will be excited, the city will be revived, and it’ll put you right to bed after a long day of Christmas shopping. Happy holidays, everybody!
Who (is playing)? South Florida Bulls (7-5) vs. East Carolina Pirates (7-5).
Where (are they playing)? Birmingham, Alabama.
When (is it all going down)? December 23, 1 PM on ESPN2.
First thoughts: How many Bulls are there in South Florida? And where’s East Carolina? East of North Carolina? Or South Carolina? And what about West Carolina? What is with these directional schools? You don’t hear about North California University or West Jersey. Actually, West Jersey sounds kind of cool.
Why (should you watch)? Maybe there will be a good Papa John’s commercial along with a huge discount for the holidays. If only there were a Papa John’s within delivery distance of my place.
New Mexico Bowl
Who (is playing)? New Mexico Lobos (6-6) vs. San Diego State Spartans (8-4).
Where (are they playing)? New Mexico. You think?
When (is it all going down)? December 23, 4:30 PM on ESPN.
First thoughts: The only Lobos I’ve ever seen were enemies in Final Fantasy 3. That’s pretty cool.
Why (should you watch)? Because this will probably be the only time you’ll see any part of New Mexico, either on TV or in real life.
Part II tomorrow.