Sunday, December 6, 2015

Bowl Game Previews: The Ten Worst, #40-31

Bowl Preview Part One: The Bottom Ten
It’s that time again. Our regular season has basically come to an end (come on, do you really give a flying crap about Army/Navy?) and it’s on to this absolute circus (and I mean that in the worst possible way) of the dumpster fire that has become bowl season.
Most of these bowls are meaningless TV timeslot fillers for ESPN and their corporate advertising partners to rack up ad dollars whether or not the game makes any revenue, or whether or not schools actually lose money attending most of them.
Want to attend a meaningless, sparsely attended football game in the Bahamas? It’s yours for the taking. How about Christmas eve in rundown Pearl City, Hawaii and a three quarters empty Aloha Stadium for your viewing pleasure? Sure…why not.
Hey kids, winter vacation in Detroit for Central Michigan and who the hell cares? Hell yeah!
A Heart of Dallas road trip to see a resurgent Southern Miss and a barely scraping by Washington? Outdoors? In the old Cotton Bowl? No, they haven’t torn it down yet. Sure they moved its namesake bowl to the obscenity that is the Jerry Dome. Sure! Let’s go sit out in that Dallas winter cold!
Hell, I live in Vegas and won’t attend any more Vegas bowls played after 5PM. It either rains, or we get massive windstorms right around that time of year. Remember that year when Oregon State played BYU, and the Beavers punted and the ball got caught in a 75 MPH cross wind and landed 10 feet behind the punter after it was kicked? I do. I was there, it was the second quarter, and it was enough to make my Wife and I head right for the car to drive home and watch the rest on TV.

Bowls are simply not what they once were. They are a meaningless corporate shill played out for you to have to bear all while thinking that you cannot miss a game during bowl season, because ESPN told you that you can’t. Well, I am here to tell you differently.

This is part one of my annual bowl preview, and since there are now a whopping 40 of these fallacies, I will post this in four parts, starting with the worst to the best, 10 at a time.

#40 Arizona Bowl, 12/29
First of all, you cannot fit the State of Arizona in a bowl. Come up with a name that makes sense. Remember, the original bowls were actually named after items that could be placed in a bowl. Roses, Oranges, etc. I digress.
One of the gifts that keep on giving this bowl season is that we get to see two teams from the same conference play each other in a bowl. That’s right, Colorado State and Nevada will square off forcing some two share split of whatever crappy check comes out of this mess.
Neither team was relatively worthy of this honor, but Colorado State did finish with a relatively slightly average Quality Win/Loss Index number of 29, good for 52nd nationally. Nevada, which finished with a miserable -55 against their 2015 schedule, should never have been considered in a sane environment.
Final Verdict: Do something worthy of your time, like flushing your radiator, or taking a polar bear plunge instead of wasting your time here.

#39 Quicklane Bowl, 12/28
Nothing says holiday and successful season reward for a fan base like a trip to cheery ole Detroit. Come on kids, lets go to the most broken city in America for a fun filled trip to empty factory land, where we can go on such luminary attractions such as "It’s a Burned Out Abandoned Crack House After All", and the "Car Jacking Avoidance Whirligig". Seriously NCAA? When will you get back to regulating these bowls again?
In this viewing gem, we get Central Michigan, who I am sure would have done anything to get the hell out of the great frozen north in the winter, only to get told that they can stay home, against a 5-7 Minnesota team that while sucking for a good most of the season, and far underperforming to my pre-season expectations, got to a bowl because their football players, in a novel concept of sorts, actually went to class and got passing grades. Sounds great to me!
Final Verdict: No…just no.

#38 AutoNation Cure Bowl, 12/19
Just what is AutoNation trying to cure here? Our love for the game? Georgia State, who struggles to even get homeless people trying to get in out of the elements to accept a free ticket to the Georgia Dome to watch them play, will take on a 5-7 San Jose State, who’s kids also apparently attend class (kudos, by the way).
Now I will give some credit to Trent Miles and his Georgia State Panthers. This team won four straight to get into this bowl, but since when is finishing 6-6 in the nation’s worst conference worthy of playing in a bowl? Well, welcome to the modern bowl era, where average is awesome!
Want to plan a family trip to Orlando? How about on 12/19? Nobody will be there. I promise.
Final Verdict: If you screw over your Christmas shopping for this game, then you’re just an asshole.

#37 Camping World Independence Bowl, 12/26
So the Independence Bowl has been around for a very long time. I’ve grown up with it being a bowl fixture. You can’t put Independence in a bowl either, but I give up. Seriously, as long as the Independence Bowl has been around, the best sponsor you could get was Camping World? Really? What, the Duck Dynasty buffoons weren’t available anymore?
In this shitfest, we are saddled with a 6-6 Tulsa team playing Virginia Tech, also 6-6. At least Bobby Bowden got to check out with a New Year’s Day bowl, and he was no better in that final season than Beamer was this season. Where’s the love? I am guessing that Beamer would rather quit now than take a trip to averageville and coast out on this wing dinger.
Final Verdict: Even Tech fans should skip it and wait until the Justin Fuente era begins in 2016.

#36 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 12/22
First of all…you can put a potato in a bowl!!! Finally, someone actually gets it! But really, a 7-5 Akron against a 6-6 and skidding in Utah State is kind of like watching paint dry. Speaking of watching paint dry, going to Boise in December is some kind of reward? Even Boise State got leave and head to San Diego for their bowl. That’s something worth doing.
Do you at least get to chop a commemorative log for going there this time of year? No? Then oh hell no.
Final Verdict: Forget about this game. This spud is a dud.

#35 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, 12/19
If I were a coach or an AD, I would just decline this trip, and I’d do it every single year I was offered. Did you not watch Breaking Bad? They even showed you some of the nice parts of Albuquerque, and it looked beat to hell. And to go there this time of year, where the high temp isn’t a low for most warmer locales? That’s not a reward, that’s a stern kick in the teeth.
Arizona, at 6-6, is taking on New Mexico, at 7-5. At least UNM is playing a home game, but leaving Tucson for this locale in December is just punishment.
Final Verdict: I don’t know what Gildan is, and I don’t care. I’d rather jump in a Walmart mosh pit for that last Vizio flat screen at midnight on Black Friday than waste my time with this bore fest.

#34 St. Petersburg Bowl, 12/26
I don’t get it. Is the city of St. Petersburg sponsoring their own bowl, or did the greediest of hack corporations not feel the need to get in on this fantastic gem? Someone tweet me the answer to this quandary.
Speaking earlier of watching paint dry, U Conn is playing in this game, and that makes it worth eating a whole fruitcake and puking it up afterwards a better option than tuning in. If you are loathe to teams moving the football, than U Conn is your club! They take on Marshall, who really is a better football team at 9-3 than a team that deserves the fate of playing in a game that’s not even sponsored in today’s sponsorship happy world. Or, wait, is it sponsored by the city? Yes? No? God, I am confused.
Final Verdict: Drown yourself in left over eggnog rather than subjecting yourself to what a 6-6 U Conn team calls offense. By the way, U Conn scored a horrid -69 on our Quality Win/Loss Index. So, there’s that.

#33 Foster Farms Bowl, 12/26
Hey kids, Nebraska is 5-7! Let’s give them a bowl game. How I truly detest ESPN and their machinations. Go broke you demon bastards! Go broke!
So UCLA gets the reward (punishment) of playing a game on what is particularly known as the stadium with the worst field conditions in the nation in Santa Clara (unless you count the field at the University of Rhode Island, because that shit is an ankle injury a minute God awful mess) against a team that played a losing season out but got to come to a bowl because their kids went to class and ESPN just loves rewarding mediocrity! That’s what you get for losing to Arizona State and a below average USC team last week! By the way, I am begging Santa Guerrero to find a way to fire Noel Mazzone, UCLA’s OC, one of the most overrated assistants in the nation. That would be swell. Thanks. I am sure UCLA will be so uninspired, that they may actually find a way to lose to Nebraska in this snore fest. I’m sure the fans will turn out up there as well, right?
Final Verdict: The Chicken Bowl? How about the Chicken Shit Bowl? That’s more like it.

#32 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, 12/26
Remember when Duke was unbeaten, in the top 25, and then got royally screwed by the ever worsening officiating that this country has been subjected to in a ridiculous loss to Miami that should have been overturned time and again? And then remember when they went on that self pity skid that forced them to play in New York in December? Duke has stumbled into Yankee Stadium ( a bowl game in a baseball stadium…oh, how I love that) to take on an Indiana team that only took the last 5 years to finally get into a bowl at 6-6. The collective record of these two teams is 13-12. Didn’t Ruffin McNeil just get fired at East Carolina for collecting that very same record over the last two seasons? Oh, the hypocrisy of it all.
Final Verdict: College football in New York is what apple pie covered in fish sauce is like. The two just do not mix.

#31 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, 12/24
I gave this bowl a chance last season, just out of curiosity of what I may see. What I saw was an empty stadium, with some spectators that really looked like they had no idea in hell as to what they were watching, in a stadium that looked like something out of what a dilapidated facility in Cuba must look like. It was just bizarre.
So you want to take the wife and kids to the Bahamas for Christmas Eve? Well, I think that’s just ridiculous, but whatever. What’s worse is that you will make them watch Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee, both 7-5 football teams that have a collective Quality Win/Loss Index number of -16. Thrilling, right? Seriously...this game needs to be discontinued, and the sooner the better.
Final Verdict: It’s Christmas Eve for the love of God. Do something Christmas-like that doesn’t include football in backwater locales, like playing with your kids or something. Bahamas for Christmas? Bah humbug.

Coming up next…Bowl Games #30-#21

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