Bowl season is magical. The winter holidays can be stressful at times, but Bowlmas is the greatest event in modern times. It should be a national holiday. A week long celebration of amazing athletes and dramatic games…and maybe some less dramatic games, but we love ‘em all. There are not too many bowls, there’s just the right amount for sitting on the ass almost completely from the day after Christmas through the New Year. Pre-holiday bowls are like the appetizer for a great meal, and there have been some great ones so far. Last Saturday, The AFR Celebration Bowl kicked us off, with Grambling beating NC Central 10-9. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl was also a close one, with New Mexico defeating UTSA, 23-20.
The Vegas Bowl was a bit of a blowout, but we got to listen to the dulcet tones of Brent Musburger serenading us with his veiled gambling references through SDSU’s 34-10 drubbing of Houston. App State beat Toledo, 31-28 in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Arkansas State beat UCF 31-13 in the AutoNation Cure Bowl, and Southern Miss beat UL Lafayette 28-21 in the finisher of the night – the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. On Monday, Tulsa whipped Central Michigan 55-10 in the Miami Beach Bowl (sadly, no bench clearing brawls this time though, but BYU is still on the schedule in another bowl.) Tonight, Memphis took down Western Kentucky in the Boca Raton bowl 31-51.
There’s at least one bowl game a night through Christmas Eve, and most look to be pretty entertaining.
Starting us off, on Wednesday night, in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, BYU faces off with MWC rival, Wyoming. This game feels rather low key, and it’s probably because BYU is rather terrible and Wyoming deserved a better opponent. Not saying BYU isn’t explosive, but Wyoming is likely more so. Brian Hill isn’t messing around, but neither is Tanner Mangum. It’s probably going to be a shootout at Qualcomm, but to understand the animosity in this game, one must understand the history of these two programs with each other. In the late 60’s Wyoming had 14 black players protest the LDS practice of not allowing black men to hold leadership positions. They were dismissed from the team, and summarily brought down the harsh light of the national media on the issue. Promptly, there were changes made inside the LDS church and black players were introduced in the football program the following year. In the years following, the Church did roll back that policy, claiming it was divine inspiration to do so, not the fact that Wyoming’s football program was nearly destroyed after a fight over the issue in federal court, and the Church itself was likely next. That’s some heavy history behind a pre-Christmas bowl game in San Diego, but it does set quite the stage.
Next up, on Thursday, is the one, the only, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl pitting a decent Colorado State team against the bowl-eligible-for-the-first-time-since-2011 Idaho Vandals of the Fun Belt! Sure, the Boise State indoor practice facility is nicer than their actual stadium up there in Moscow, and the Vandals had most of their equipment delivered in a rented moving van, bless their hearts, but the Tater Bowl is where Vandals flourish and the Rams would do well to remember that. The Vandals are senior heavy, and execute fairly well. Of course, Colorado State should blow them out of the water, but there’s nothing better than watching a bunch of Vandal fans freezing their ass off on the Blue Turf that they hate so much. Especially if they lose. </Boise State Homer>
On Friday, the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl kicks off with Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion. TBH, I’m far too lazy to look up a damn thing about these teams, but I do remember that EMU has a bitchin’ grey field and pushed the vaunted Western Michigan Broncos to their limit for about a half in their regular season matchup. Watch for the dreams of warm weather, and for Directional Michigan to win.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is Louisiana Tech vs. Navy. Going to Fort Worth for a bowl game sponsored by a defense contractor kind of sucks for Navy, TBH, and I expect them to be ready for everything LA Tech will throw at them. Pretty sure Navy is going to come out victorious in this one.
The Dollar General Bowl (wonder what that gift suite is like?) has Ohio playing Troy. Pretty sure Troy is the more talented team here, but not sure they’ll win by much.
On Christmas Eve, the only game in town, well, on the island, is the Hawaii Bowl, which has Hawaii playing Middle Tennessee. This is a pretty interesting matchup, and while the game won’t be pretty, the island porn on your TV will be. The game is going to likely be a mess, but Hawaii has been pretty good at defending Pride Rock this season and I don’t expect Middle Tennessee to divert them from that goal.
As we move forward into the holiday, just remember – there’s no better distraction than college football and no better reason to spend evenings planted on the couch. It’s Bowlmas! Gather family and friends around, and watch young men hurl their bodies at each other in the spirit of holiday cheer.