Monday, December 3

An Immediate Shallow Analysis of Every Bowl Game

Rules of the Game:
* Look at each bowl pairing and make a quick superficial conclusion.
* Posted immediately after bowl pairings announced. (ok, I cheated a little and played Starcraft, went grocery shopping, and then wrote this)
* No looking up meaningful info on any teams. Records and schedules allowed a brief overview.
* Petty dismissal of teams I know little about is in fact encouraged.

I'll also be including the full name of each bowl, including sponsorship, because that reminds us that the bowl system puts money over what's best for college football, namely a playoff in a crazy season that would have rocked your nuts off.

Let's go:

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Utah vs. Navy
Preview: We have Poinsettias in the office and they're really pretty. I never realized that.
Pick: Navy - they beat Notre Dame, so obviously they're an amazing team,

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic
Preview: Memphis should thank their lucky stars that it's not Florida Pacific. According to Al Gore, that school should be opening in the next five years.
Pick: Florida Atlantic Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati
Preview: Just the name of a website, not like the Deep Dish Bowl? At 9-3 and with a BCS #22 ranking, how the hell did Cincy end up here?
Pick: Cincinnati

New Mexico
Nevada vs. New Mexico
Preview: The more I know, the less I care. The sad thing is, I don't know anything about either team, and I still don't care.
Pick: Heads - Nevada!

Pioneer Las Vegas
Preview: BYU makes their second straight appearance in a bowl nobody cares about against a 6-6 Pac 10 team. UCLA prevented Notre Dame from starting 0-10 and are down to their 4th string QB... with assurances that the "WR" printed as his position in the early season guides is in fact a typo. Fear not, Bruins, that tactic works really well in a lot of video games.
Pick: BYU.

Sheraton Hawaii
Boise State vs. East Carolina
Preview: Is East Carolina located in North Carolina or South Carolina? And how much does it rock to go to college in Idaho and play your final TWO games in Hawaii?
Pick: Boise State with at least 15 different versions of the hook and ladder, including the first ever Statue of Ladder combination trick play.

Motor City
Purdue vs. Central Michigan
Preview: When you go to CMU, nothing says vacation like a trip to Detroit.
Pick: Purdue

Pacific Life Holiday
Arizona State vs. Texas
Preview: The first interesting matchup. A Texas win gives them seven straight seasons of at least 10 wins. ASU's gotta be pissed about Illinois making it to the BCS over them... add Erickson's name to the growing list of people who hate Jim Delany.
Pick: Texas

Champs Sports
Boston College vs. Michigan State
Preview: BC - from national title contender with an impressive victory over Notre Dame and a Heisman hopeful QB to early December bowl against a 7-5 Big Ten school, all in about a month.
Pick: Boston College

TCU vs. Houston
Preview: Both teams are in fact from Texas, making it more geographically accurate than the New Mexico Bowl.
Pick: Houston. F*CK TCU!

Maryland vs. Oregon State
Preview: Just because 8 ACC teams are bowl eligible doesn't mean they should all go.
Pick: Oregon State

Meineke Car Care
UConn vs. Wake Forest
Preview: I can't. I honestly can't. It's too lame to even make fun of. There is nothing good about this bowl, and I hope they find a way to cancel it.
Pick: UConn

AutoZone Liberty
UCF vs. Mississippi State
Preview: If the folks at AutoZone were forced to pick between Liberty and Death, and that choice was translated into watching this bowl, then clearly they didn't go with Liberty.
Pick: UCF

Valero Alamo
Penn State vs. Texas A&M
Preview: After one and a half centuries, Joe Paterno revisits the site of that historic battle. They were running the same schemes back then, too.
Pick: I hate it... but A&M.

PetroSun Independence
Alabama vs. Colorado
Preview: After replacing Mike Shula, Nick Saban led Alabama to the exact same record for only $3 million/year more. A bowl loss to a 6-6 Big 12 school would only further prove the sagacity of the hiring decision.
Pick: Alabama

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
California vs. Air Force
Preview: Cal-Berkley is in the armed forces bowl? As what, protesters?
Pick: Air Force, by virtue of beating Notre Dame who beat Stanford who beat Cal.

Roady's Humanitarian
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State
Preview: I can count on both hands the number of teams who beat Notre Dame this season, and one of them's playing in this bowl.
Pick: Georgia Tech

Brut Sun
Preview: South Florida vs. Oregon
Pick: At one point each of these teams was ranked #2 and had a huge victory over their eventual confernece champion. Oregon has an excuse, but that's not going to help them here.
Pick South Florida. Oregon's actually going to go 0-for-since losing Dixon.

Gaylord Hotels Music City
Kentucky vs. Florida State
Preview: Kentucky beat LSU then tanked. Florida State kicked Jeffy Jeff but still can't score.
Pick: FSU, once again generating preseason hype which they can fall short of.

Indiana vs. Oklahoma State
Preview: Just because 10 Big Ten teams are bowl eligible doesn't mean more than 5 should actually get bowl invites. Not like Oklahoma State can boast of much themselves.
Pick: OK State

Clemson vs. Auburn
Preview: They dropped the Peach all together?? Really? And is Clemson-Aubie a possible rivalry game?
Pick: Auburn. Over/under touches for Spiller is 9.

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee
Preview: Once again, the oUTback Bowl. Spurrier's laughing his ass off. From his couch, where he'll be spending bowl season.
Pick: Tennessee

AT&T Cotton
Missouri vs. Arkansas
Preview: This looks like a great matchup. Nation's best RB vs one of the top spread offenses, not a whole lot of defense to slow either side down. But Missouri deserved a BCS bid...
Pick: Missouri

Texas Tech vs. Virginia
Preview: Watching the nation's best freshman WR playing in a gimmick offense against an overrated team should be a lot of fun.
Pick: Texas Tech

Capital One
Michigan vs. Florida
Preview: Definitely gets the WTF Bowl of the year award. Florida is a BCS-quality team who lost two games to teams who wound up as national title contenders. They also run a similar offense to Appalachian State and Oregon... only with Tim Tebow. If you've been itching to put your entire life savings on a college football game, this is as good a pick as any.
Pick: Flori-duh

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Illinois vs. USC
Preview: For those of you who don't obsess about this stuff, the selection process worked so that Ohio State, LSU, USC, Va Tech, and Oklahoma all had tie-ins to specific bowls based on their final ranking or conference title. The Rose Bowl then got to choose the FIRST non-tie-in team and picked Illinois over Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, West Virginia, Hawaii, Arizona State, Florida, and Boston College. WHY?? ASU and BC are the only ones I wouldn't have picked over Illinois.
Pick: USC

Allstate Sugar
Hawaii vs. Georgia
Preview: The picking order for BCS Bowls was Orange then Fiesta then Sugar. Looks like nobody wanted Hawaii but they were an automatic qualifier. (yes, it's all about the money) That said, this is a potentially underrated matchup.
Pick: Georgia

Tostitos Fiesta
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
Preview: I have no idea why the Orange Bowl went with Kansas rather than West Virginia, but the Fiesta Bowl thanks them for it. This is by far the best matchup of the four non-championship BCS Bowls.
Pick: Oklahoma

FedEx Orange
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas
Preview: Going with a Big 12 at-large team had the potential to create two great BCS Bowls (the other being the Fiesta) following the Rose Bowl's questionable selection of Illinois. But why not Missouri who beat Kansas and won the North division?
Pick: Va Tech

Rutgers vs. Ball State
Preview: When somebody asks me what I'll be doing around 10am on the first Saturday in January, I'll probably respond "sleeping." I'll then have to clarify that "By that, I don't mean watching Rutgers and Ball State play in Canada."
Pick: There are no winners, only losers. Rutgers will be the loser with the higher score, though.

Bowling Green vs. Tulsa
Preview: Why not Miami who finished #2 in the conference? Though I wouldn't give a crap if I hadn't gone there.
Pick: Bowling Green... sucks. Tulsa.

Allstate BCS Championship Game
LSU vs. Ohio State
Preview: Did they get the right matchup? I'd say no, but I'm not disappointed with this one. Realistically, this season has a ton of imperfect teams and the Championship Game might not even feature either of the best two. What it does feature is two proud programs who have both already won a BCS title (so we have a guaranteed first two-BCS Championship winner), a chance for the Big Ten to redeem themselves against the SEC, and a chance for Les Miles to walk the walk after talking the talk in August. On a related note, props to Miles for making the honorable decision and staying at LSU. Sucks for the Tigers to be without def coordinator Pelini though.
Pick: As a Michigan man, Les Miles knew that only his current team and not his alma mater have the chance to stop a brink-of-emerging Buckeyes dynasty that would quickly become the most annoying in college football history, as eventually the Buckeyes would leave the Big Ten to become independent and play 12 Ohio teams while their fans note that, for some reason, other schools had more trouble winning all their games. LSU.