Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 / 2016 Bowl Preview: Part One

It’s that time a year again. Time to revive an old Battling the Current tradition of reviewing every single bowl game. Also, I need to post something this year otherwise Blogger will sell the kcgatsby domain from under me and I spent too much time building up brand equity (and then letting that equity fade into oblivion) for that to happen. Anyway, we will start with the Pre-Christmas bowl games otherwise known as the “You really don’t deserve this” bowls.

December 19
Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl: Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T (Atlanta, Georgia Dome, 12 ABC): Starting the bowl season off with a bang featuring two teams that I was unaware were playing Division I football (or FBS or whatever they are calling it now). Alcorn State is the alma mater of Steve McNair while North Carolina A&T is an indication that North Carolina has way too many schools. I mean you have North Carolina, North Carolina State, East Carolina, Western Carolina, Coastal Carolina, UNC-Charlotte plus Duke, Wake Forest and Elon (which I believe exists solely as an answer in crossword puzzles). Plus, why can’t we have Air Force playing in the Air Force Reserve Bowl?

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. New Mexico (Albuquerque, University Stadium, 2 PM ESPN): God, it must suck to play for New Mexico. First off, you have to go to school in New Mexico, a state that exists solely for the purpose of placing people in the witness protection program. Then, you play all year in front of a crowd of dozens in one of those conferences where the games are seemingly all played at 2 in the morning. Then, after striving and fending off injuries you get to play in a bowl game and where do you get to go? Albuquerque. Gildan indeed.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Utah (Las Vegas, Sam Boyd Stadium, 3:30 PM ABC): It’s BYU vs. Utah in Las Vegas! The casinos have all ordered extra sparkling water for the event. Everyone is invited to bring the wife and kids. And the other wife. And the other wife, you know the one that was caught in a catfishing scheme. I swear that every time I write one of these reviews BYU is playing in Las Vegas and I make the same comments. Except that this year they are sponsored by Royal Purple, which according to Wikipedia is a lubricant manufacturer. There is a joke there with Las Vegas and lubricant manufacturer but even I don’t want to go there.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Ohio vs. Appalachian State (Montgomery, Alabama, Cramton Bowl, 5:30 PM ESPN): The fact that they named a bowl game after Gonzo’s chicken girlfriend is rather surprising but hey, who am I to judge. Plus, we have the Raycom Media game being shown on ESPN instead of, I don’t know, Raycom Media. Not much else to say other than a) we should probably call it The Ohio for consistency sake and b) here is another school to add to the North Carolina list.

Cure Bowl: San Jose State vs. Georgia State (Orlando, Orlando Citrus Bowl, 7 PM, CBSSN): Yes! It’s The Cure Bowl! Break out the eyeliner and mascara! Both teams will be dressed in black and after every touchdown the entire stadium will sing “Saturday’s great and Sunday always comes too late”. Turnovers will be met with a rousing rendition of Boys Don’t Cry. And don’t you dare miss the halftime performance…

(By the way, to my KC readers we will be seeing The Cure at Starlight in June so I can make my triumphant return to the city. And you damn well know that I will be making my way to a trivia game while there.)

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech (New Orleans, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 9 PM ESPN): In one of the lesser known trophy games Arkansas and LSU play for the Golden Boot because if you look at Arkansas and Louisiana on a map it kind of looks like a boot. This has absolutely nothing to do with this game other than Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech should play for some type of trophy, possibly a Silver Slipper or a Bronze Ballet Flat. That said I will become an Arkansas State fan for a day if it gives me a reason to go to New Orleans.

December 21
Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Florida (Miami, Marlins Park, 2:30 PM ESPN): This is like the non-union equivalent of an SEC game. There is something completely wrong with calling a game the Beach Bowl and then playing it inside a domed baseball stadium. They should just make this game a flag football game on the beach. At least that would give us a reason to watch other than to see the Western Kentucky mascot and be reminded of Grimace.

December 22
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Akron vs. Utah State (Boise, Idaho, Albertsons Stadium, 3:30 PM ESPN): This is my favorite bowl game dating back to its origins as the Humanitarian Bowl. There is no bigger screw you to a college football player to spend all year permanently injuring yourself for no pay only to be sent to play an extra game on blue turf in Boise. Still better than being in Akron I suppose.  Also, the Potato Bowl sounds like one of those menu items at KFC that includes whatever is within reach of the cashier with the possibility, though no guarantee, of potato or potato by-products.

Marmot Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo vs. Temple (Boca Raton, Florida, FAU Stadium, 7 PM ESPN): This game is being sponsored by a rodent. I don’t care what anyone else says, I don’t care that Marmot is supposedly an outdoor clothing company, I see the name Marmot and I immediately think of a small, furry creature that lurks in swamps. This is the first game so far that I wouldn’t mind actually watching due to the fact that Temple has been much better this year than you would ever expect it to be.

December 23
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. Northern Illinois (San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium, 4:30 PM ESPN): I have never understood the sponsorship of this game and this one has been around for years. I assume the only people who would care about the San Diego County Credit Union live in San Diego and as a result have much better things to do than watch a game between two schools they know nothing about. That said last year’s halftime show “A Tribute to LIBAR” was very touching. I’ll get into my rant about Northern Illinois being in a bowl and Illinois being delegated to oblivion in another entry.

GoDaddy Bowl: Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green (Mobile, Alabama, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 8 PM ESPN): GoDaddy is no longer going to sponsor Danica Patrick in NASCAR due to their belief that it is not the best use of their advertising dollars. Now think about all of the GoDaddy commercials you have seen in the past decade and ask yourself at what point did they ever do a cost-benefit analysis on their marketing budget before. Now I won’t be able to find Danica by looking for the green car and will now have to go back to looking to see who is running 21st. Anyway, this game exists and Ladd-Peebles sounds like a really cool name for a stadium.

December 24
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan (Nassau, Bahamas, Robinson National Stadium, 12 ESPN): Part of this game should just consist of the two teams hanging out on the beach and watching the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and laughing their asses off. Talk about a sweet deal. I’ll take Christmas Eve in the Bahamas. Anyway, we have yet another directional state versus directional state contest and other than the location I really don’t know what to say other than despite the fact that there are two bowl games in New Orleans Popeyes sponsors one in the Bahamas. I guess fried chicken executives need a vacation as well.

Hawai’i Bowl: San Diego State vs. Cincinnati (Honolulu, Aloha Stadium, 8 PM ESPN): It’s a holiday tradition unlike any other. It’s Christmas Eve. The tree is lit, the presents are all wrapped, there is no snow to shovel because thanks to global warming winter no longer exists and you have a choice to make: do you spend time with your family or do you plop yourself down on the couch to watch two middling college football teams. The choice is clear. I mean, you spent good  money on that couch and it was such a pain getting it into the living room so you might as well make full use of it.

That is it for part one. Stay for part two where we review the holiday week games and hopefully have some involving teams you may have heard of.

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