First Bowl Season Thoughts

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Last updated: 12/06/2011 1:42 AM
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Football
Some Initial Thoughts on This Year's Bowl Lineup
By Tony Gerdeman

Like you, I believe that there are too many bowl games to care about initially. But as they get closer, they will become more important.

Though just because they become "more important", that doesn't actually mean they become "important".

So, with that proper amount of dismissive candor that everybody but my wife loves, here's what strikes me initially about this year's bowl matchups.

New Mexico Bowl
Temple vs. Wyoming
University Stadium - Albuquerque, NM
Saturday December 17 2:00 pm

It's the first bowl game of the year and there isn't another one on until after this one is over. You're basically being held hostage. When this game rolls up on your television, don't be surprised if somebody in a ski mask comes around and makes you throw your wallet, jewelry and cellphone into a pillowcase.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Utah St. vs. Ohio
Bronco Stadium - Boise, ID
Saturday December 17 5:30 pm

Upon hearing that the Bobcats would be playing a bowl game in Idaho, Ohio punter Paul Hershey tweeted "Idaho?? Who the ____ wants to play there in December??" You think playing in it is bad, imagine having to watch it.

New Orleans Bowl
San Diego St. vs. UL-Lafayette
Superdome - New Orleans, LA
Saturday December 17 9:00 pm

Do college football teams in Louisiana EVER have to travel outside of their own state for football games?

St. Petersburg Bowl
Marshall vs. FIU
Tropicana Field - St. Petersburg, FL
Tuesday December 20 8:00 pm

This isn't just scalpers' night off, it's a five-day weekend. If scalpers were capable of reproduction, this might be one of those times they called their kids collect and said "Hi" for the first time in two years.

Poinsettia Bowl
Louisiana Tech vs. TCU
Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
Wednesday December 21 8:00 pm

The Poinsettia Bowl should join a coalition of other bowls named after plants that poison cats and they can name a national champion of their own. Though imagine the irony of handing over the trophy to a team with a feline mascot.

Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona St. vs. Boise St.
Sam Boyd Stadium - Las Vegas, NV
Thursday December 22 8:00 pm

Finally, Arizona State will get a chance to exact their revenge on Boise State for pawning off Dirk Koetter on them.

Hawai'i Bowl
Nevada vs. Southern Miss
Aloha Stadium - Honolulu, HI
Saturday December 24 8:00 pm

Southern Mississippi fans will have to be checked at every airport stop to make sure that they don't introduce a new, unwanted species of animal into the Hawaiian ecosystem. Which, of course, means that no Southern Mississippi fans will be admitted into Hawai'i.

Independence Bowl
Missouri vs. North Carolina
Independence Stadium - Shreveport, LA
Monday December 26 5:00 pm

Shreveport in December. If you're going to the game, good luck trying to find an available hotel room because Shreveport doesn't have any. Turns out they never really expected anybody to stay overnight.

Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl
Purdue vs. Western Michigan
Ford Field - Detroit, MI
Tuesday December 27 4:30 pm

The Buckeyes dodged the Detroit in December bullet, but ironically ended up in Jacksonville, which is the Detroit of Florida.

Belk Bowl
NC State vs. Louisville
Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC
Tuesday December 27 8:00 pm

I'm not convinced that this is a real thing.

Military Bowl

Air Force vs. Toledo
RFK Stadium - Washington, DC
Wednesday December 28 4:30 pm

This will be an endlessly entertaining game. And isn't it about time that there was entertaining football at RFK?

Holiday Bowl
California vs. Texas
Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
Wednesday December 28 9:00 pm

The Holiday Bowl has the reputation of an annual high-scoring affair, but this matchup will ruin that reputation faster than being seen leaving a Turkish bath house.

Champs Sports Bowl
Notre Dame vs. Florida St.
Citrus Bowl Stadium - Orlando, FL
Thursday December 29 5:30 pm

Seriously? Is this the most ironic bowl game ever played? Champs of what? ESPN Classic?

Alamo Bowl
Washington vs. Baylor
Alamodome - San Antonio, TX
Thursday December 29 9:00 pm

This will be a fun game to watch. It will also be the first time that 84% of Robert Griffin III's fans actually watch him play an entire game.

Armed Forces Bowl
Tulsa vs. BYU
Gerald J. Ford Stadium - Dallas, TX
Friday December 30 12:00 pm

The entire time I'll be watching this game I'll be hoping it never ends, because when it does that means Iowa State vs. Rutgers is coming on.

Pinstripe Bowl
Iowa St. vs. Rutgers
Yankee Stadium - New York, NY
Friday December 30 3:30 pm

The only way this game will be interesting is if they are playing in snow. If they aren't, they should have it flown in from Buffalo, which will likely by six days without power following an eight-foot dusting the week prior.

Music City Bowl
Mississippi St. vs. Wake Forest
LP Field - Nashville, TN
Friday December 30 6:40 pm

This game would be more interesting if it was played somewhere else and by two different teams.

Insight Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Iowa
Sun Devil Stadium - Tempe, AZ
Friday December 30 10:00 pm

Poor Iowa. Don't worry though, the 50th and 60th points won't feel any worse than the first 40.

Texas Bowl
Texas A&M vs. Northwestern
Reliant Stadium - Houston, TX
Saturday December 31 12:00 pm

I love watching Northwestern's bowl games because you just never know how they are going to pull off a wacky loss, but you always know that it's going to be classic.

Sun Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Utah
Sun Bowl Stadium - El Paso, TX
Saturday December 31 2:00 pm

This game is as close as an SEC team can come to playing a bowl game on the road.

Liberty Bowl
Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt
Liberty Bowl Stadium - Memphis, TN
Saturday December 31 3:30 pm

What's that? An SEC team is playing a bowl game in its home state? What are the odds of that happening? Fortunately, Cincinnati will play anybody anywhere, especially if a larger in-state school pays them to give up home games and play on the road.

Kraft Fights Hunger Bowl

UCLA vs. Illinois
AT&T Park - San Francisco, CA
Saturday December 31 3:30 pm

Re-title this one the "Can't Fight Sleep Bowl" and you might have something.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl
Virginia vs. Auburn
Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA
Saturday December 31 7:30 pm

Auburn's offense has been terrible this season, but the cure for anything terrible is to play an ACC opponent. They are essentially the Tussin of opposing football teams.

Ticket City Bowl
Houston vs. Penn St.
Cotton Bowl - Fair Park, TX
Monday January 2 12:00 pm

It's like the Cotton Bowl, but even less important.

Outback Bowl
Michigan St. vs. Georgia
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL
Monday January 2 1:00 pm

Michigan State will be so angry about having to play in this game that they're going to take it out on their fans.

Capital One Bowl

South Carolina vs. Nebraska
Citrus Bowl Stadium - Orlando, FL
Monday January 2 1:00 pm

Nebraska can make the members of their new conference very happy with a win in this game. But they'll forever endear themselves to the rest of the Big Ten if they continue to start Taylor Martinez at quarterback next year.

Gator Bowl

Florida vs. Ohio St.
Municipal Stadium - Jacksonville, FL
Monday January 2 1:00 pm

Let's face it, because of how close the game was the first time these two teams played, nothing was really settled. This game should finally end all of the arguing.

Rose Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Rose Bowl - Los Angeles, CA
Monday January 2 5:00 pm

If Wisconsin ruins this for America, then we must never let them forget about it. The next time you see Bret Bielema bellowing drunken Journey karaoke, don't hesitate to get up on stage and confront him. Just watch out for his patented knee to the groin.

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma St. vs. Stanford
University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
Monday January 2 8:30 pm

Oklahoma State doesn't want to play in this game, and Stanford will be happy just to get out of their violin lessons for a week. It doesn't take a genius to know which way this game will go.

Sugar Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Michigan
Superdome - New Orleans, LA
Tuesday January 3 8:00 pm

I picked Michigan to lose their bowl game about two weeks ago. That's not my official pick yet, though. Besides, nothing is official until we make sure that Brady Hoke isn't going to take the vacant Arkansas State job.

Orange Bowl
Clemson vs. West Virginia
Sun Life Stadium - Miami Gardens, FL
Wednesday January 4 8:00 pm

This should be a very fun game. I just hope the cameras catch the beer pong and cornhole going on on the sidelines.

Cotton Bowl
Kansas St. vs. Arkansas
Cowboys Stadium - Arlington, TX
Friday January 6 8:00 pm

94% of those in attendance at this game will be wearing 'work clothes'.

BBVA Compass Bowl
SMU vs. Pittsburgh
Legion Field - Birmingham, AL
Saturday January 7 1:00 pm

Instead of players introducing themselves as the broadcasters talk about the lineups, they should have to answer--exactly--which bowl game they are currently playing in. It would be tremendous television.

GoDaddy.com Bowl
Arkansas St. vs. Northern Illinois
Ladd-Peebles Stadium - Mobile, AL
Sunday January 8 9:00 pm

Mobile in January? The only way I would be in Mobile, Alabama in January is if I was being chased by a hitman and this was my most current resting spot. I still wouldn't attend the game, though.

BCS National Championship
LSU vs. Alabama
Superdome - New Orleans, LA
Monday January 9 9:00 pm

You can complain all you want, but this was the only matchup that made sense. Especially since Oklahoma State snubbed the BCS National Championship Game and already accepted the Fiesta Bowl bid. Or at least that's how I assume it happened.

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