Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bilo's College Football Bowl Game Breakdown

Here they are, love them or hate them (for the record, I hate a ton of them), here is my breakdown from worst to best of the overly bloated cash grab...errr...I mean bowl season...

Games You Cannot Pay Me to Watch

Heart of Dallas: Army (6-5) vs. North Texas (5-7)
I simply hate this bowl, and I absolutely refuse to watch bowls involving teams with losing records, in this case, North Texas. Bowl games are supposed to be rewards for good seasons, not something to be given to any team with a heart beat.

New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss (6-6) vs. UL-Lafayette (6-6)
Again, nobody with a winning record equals a bowl that just should not be played. End of story.

Hawaii Bowl: Middle Tennessee (8-4) vs. Hawaii (6-7)
I have always hated this sparsely attended game that nobody really wants their team to go to. Hawaii was given this game by convenience only, and again, there is that lack of a winning record thing going on.

St. Petersburg Bowl: Mississippi State (5-7) vs. Miami (Ohio) (6-6)
Again, nobody with a winning record to be found, and MSU lost to South Alabama. Enough said.

Quick Lane Bowl: Boston College (6-6) vs. Maryland (6-6)
Again, no winning record to be found, and this one has all the excitement of a pair of sloths in a boxing match.

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico (8-4) vs. UTSA (6-6)
What a reward...Albuquerque in December. You will freeze your nuts off in a terrible facility. Yay you. And once again, a barely .500 team in the fold in UTSA. Cancel this bow forever.

Independence Bowl: Vanderbilt (6-6) vs. NC State (6-6)
I remember as a kid that the Independence Bowl used to attract some very good teams. Wow...I'm old.

Cure Bowl: UCF (6-6) vs. Arkansas State (7-5)
I have seen both play multiple times in 2016. I am left thoroughly bored by this conceptual match up.

Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan (7-5) vs. Old Dominion (8-4)
Play this game at Ford Field, I watch it casually. Play it in the Bahamas, in an old broken down soccer stadium, and I would rather watch a cold war era communist car show.

Military Bowl: Temple (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (6-6)
Temple wins a massively loaded AAC, and the best they can do is Annapolis on a Tuesday? Again, pure garbage, and against a team with a non winning record, no less. Shameful.

Foster Farms Bowl: Utah (8-4) vs. Indiana (6-6)
I boycott all bowls with non winning teams, so Indiana makes me miss this game on purpose, especially with their fiasco coaching situation. Nothing on Utah, but Indiana is crap.

Cactus Bowl: Baylor (6-6) vs. Boise State (10-2)
Boise State got a bit screwed with this bowl assignment, and I basically will not watch Baylor because I do not actively give ratings to schools who actively ignore sexual assault claims. Two shots against Baylor here.

Liberty Bowl: TCU (6-6) vs. Georgia (7-5)
This game has all the excitement and buzz as toe nail fungus. The Liberty Bowl used to get great match ups back in the day, like the Independence did. Again, damn I am old.

Arizona Bowl: South Alabama (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)
Air Force deserved better than this. South Alabama finished in the lower half of the freaking Sun Belt, but hey, they won 6. Garbage. Maybe Air Force could have been pitted against Middle Tennessee in this game, and it would have been a huge winner.

Birmingham Bowl: USF (10-2) vs. South Carolina (6-6)
Watching South Carolina these days is like watching paint dry. USF deserved a much better opportunity than this game, again, in a broken down old facility that everyone hates. This is a disgraceful landing spot for a 10 win football team.

Pinstripe Bowl: Northwestern (6-6) vs. Pittsburgh (8-4)
A bowl game in Yankee Stadium has all the charm and draw of bad clams mixed with a dose of bad Taco Bell. Pitt, who beat both Penn State and Clemson, deserved a better draw than a 6 win Northwestern team.

Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Tulsa (9-3)
I really like Tulsa, but not against a lower tier MAC team that stumbled into this position. I just cannot support this ridiculous notion that 5 and 6 win teams deserve bowls.

Outback Bowls: Florida (8-4) vs. Iowa (8-4)
Neither one of these teams deserves to be actually playing in a traditional New Years Bowl. Watching either of these teams makes gastritis look fun, especially on offense. I hate this match.

Rose Bowl: USC (9-3) vs. Penn State (10-2)
I am boycotting a game that I have not missed since 1981. USC does not deserve this spot, and I don't care what an arrogant segment of USC fans have to say about it. USC in the Rose Bowl above Colorado, who won the South in the PAC-12, and finished second overall to Washington, deserves this game. This is no knock on Penn State, but this cannot be tolerated.

Games That I Will Casually Glance At If Convenient

Dollar General Bowl: Ohio (8-5) vs. Troy (9-3)
The sponsorship makes me want to vomit, but what the hell ever. Ohio was a decent, not great team that won a watered down MAC divisional title because nobody else in the division finished over /500 overall for the season, but they are astill an interesting team with an interesting coach in Frank Solich. Troy was a team that finished a year ahead of schedule as far as winning was concerned, and Neal Brown should be a hotter candidate for open jobs than he is. Should be a fun game overall.

Poinsettia Bowl: BYU (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-5)
BYU was all over the place most of this season, and if they were in a conference rather than playing as in independent, they would not have won 8 games. Wyoming stumbled at the end of the year rather badly, but they are finally in a great place developmentally. The style of play should be fun, and the fan bases should travel well.

Potato Bowl: Idaho (8-4) vs. Colorado State (7-5)
The big draw here is that this is Idaho's final game as an FBS football team. They certainly went out with a bang in Sun Belt play, and getting a nice regional match with always tough Colorado State is a nice way to head back home to the Big Sky.

TaxSlayer Bowl: Kentucky (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (8-4)
I still don't know what in the hell a TaxSlayer is, but whatever. Kentucky scrapped all season to get to this point, and Mark Stoops saved his job. Georgia Tech is always fun to watch if the triple option is humming along. Contrasting styles in bowls are always entertaining.

Belk Bowl: Virginia Tech (9-4) vs. Arkansas (7-5)
Virginia Tech gets screwed out of a better bowl despite being the runner up in the ACC. I really miss the old pre-BCS days. The Hokies did stumble some at the end of the season, but Justin Fuente has done a fantastic job, and Arkansas is always a wild card in what they bring to the table.

Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech (8-5) vs. Navy (9-3)
This game once again brings seriously contrasting styles of football to the table, with Tech's passing fiesta coming up against Navy and their triple option ground chewing attack. You will be entertained.

Texas Bowl: Kansas State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)
Remember when Texas A&M was ranked 4th in the nation? Wasn't that fun? Seems like so long ago...Kansas State really surprised some people by finishing strong and getting to 8 wins this season. It was another remarkable job by Bill Snyder. What happened with the Aggies? Not so remarkable.

Holiday Bowl: Washington State (8-4) vs. Minnesota (8-4)
Washington State is always fun to watch when they are on top of things. Minnesota can be downright boring at times. I am a big Mike Leach guy, and I support the Cougs, and I love the Holiday Bowl, so I will probably be all in, if nothing else is going on that particular day.

Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami (8-4) vs. West Virginia (10-2)
West Virginia was a huge surprise for me this season, which is why Dana Holgorsen is one of my quarter finalists for coach of the year. Miami was fun at times, and I like to watch Brad Kaaya play. I don't have a horse in the race, but this could be a fun game to watch on a lot of levels.

Tennessee (8-4) vs. Nebraska (9-3)
Both teams benefited from playing in really bad divisions in their conferences, which is why they won as many games as they did. Neither team has a great QB. Neither team plays overly great defense consistently. Still, I am intrigued because of the tradition in both places.

Sun Bowl: North Carolina (8-4) vs. Stanford (9-3)
El Paso is a terrible place for a bowl game, with a raging drug cartel war just miles away over the border. I still respect it for the duration of time that it has survived. North Carolina is fun on offense, Stanford is fun on defense, so something has to give here. You cannot forget the Mitch Trubisky vs. Christian McCaffrey offense war in this one.

Boca Raton Bowl: Western Kentucky (10-3) vs. Memphis (8-4)
Don't expect any defense in this Arena Football on 100 yards match up. I hate the venue, but love the match here, and Jeff Brohm has done it again with a 10 win team.

Citrus Bowl: LSU (7-4) vs. Louisville (9-3)
Louisville may have a huge problem breaking this amazing LSU defense, but the contrasting styles may be too much to pass up on if you have the time to watch. Not the best game on the January 2 billing, but not horrible.

Games That I Will Absolutely Not Miss

Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State (11-1) vs. Clemson (11-1)
This game being played on New Years Eve is a fiasco, and ratings will crumble because of it, but that is not my problem, as the Wife and I may just be at home with our one year old daughter anyway. I am not entirely fond of Ohio State being in the playoff as a non conference champ, but this game should still be one for the ages.

Peach Bowl: Alabama (13-0) vs. Washington (12-1)
The committee actually got something right this year. Washington's defense may be enough to frustrate Jalen Hurts and company, and really will be the toughest opponent that Alabama has played all season. The Tide will be favored, but not by a lot if people are smart.

Capital One Bowl: Florida State (9-3) vs. Michigan (10-2)
Florida State may be back in title contention in 2017, but Michigan was right there until Wilton Speight went down with an injury. He was not himself against Ohio State, and Michigan got screwed with a bad spot on a 4th down play against Ohio State. This could be a final 4 match next season.

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Colorado (10-3)
Oklahoma State really laid down in the second half against Oklahoma, but should have gotten a better bowl than this one, and Colorado should rightfully be playing in the Rose Bowl. When you add the fact that both got totally hosed, this is a very nice game.

Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan (13-0) vs. Wisconsin (10-3)
This will be especially great if PJ Fleck is still coaching WMU, but that may not be so. If he is , by some miracle, WMU could give the Badgers a strong run for their money. If not, Wisconsin wins in a runaway.

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Auburn (8-4)
There was no better team in college football after September than Oklahoma, not even USC. Bob Stoops did a masterful job in reorganizing and firing up his Sooners after a 1-2 start, and if healthy for this game, there is nobody in the game that is more buzz worthy than DeDe Westbrook of Oklahoma. Oh yeah, Auburn is playing here as well.

Las Vegas Bowl: Houston (9-3) vs. San Diego State (10-3)
What a score this was for the Las Vegas Bowl execs, who scored one of the best games of the bowl season with Houston and SDSU. If I were not going to be at what should be one of the best basketball games of the young college season between UCLA and Ohio State at T Mobile Arena across town, I would be at Sam Boyd watching what should be a wonderful game showcasing Greg Ward, Jr. and Donnel Pomphrey.

Camellia Bowl: Appalachian State (9-3) vs. Toledo (9-3)
Another game on my DVR for 12/17 (We feed the homeless in the AM, go to a bday party in the late morning, go to a college hoops game in later afternoon) will be this game I normally would not consider. The match up of Toledo and their often high powered offense, and Appalachian State and their history and drive, is just a thing of college football beauty. Check it out by all means.

That is all of entire viewing breakdown as to what to watch, and what to ignore. I am sorry if I have pissed anyone off in the process, but those are the breaks.

P.S. I do not include bowl sponsors in the names of these games, unless they are in the title, because simply enough, those bastards don't pay me to use their names, so they can screw off. Thanks for understanding!

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