Bowl Matchups: All you need to know to survive

Someone please tell me what Roy Kramer was thinking when he devised this beast that we now call the Bowl Championship Series. And someone please tell me why it is that we have the Nawlins Bowl and the Weedwacker and a bunch of other bowl games that will pit 6-5 against 7-4? Someone? Anyone? I'm dying here. Are you? <p> There are 28 (count ‘em) bowls. Here are the projected matchups and everything you need to know that's important about them:

1. NEW ORLEANS BOWL: North Texas will play Southern Miss in the Super Dome. The champs of the Sun Belt vs. a 6-5 also ran from ConArtist USA. Oops. Conference USA. It's only cleverly disguised as a football conference. Some 60,000 or so fans will come to this one cleverly disguised as empty seats.

2. CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL: This is the Tangerine Bowl. Georgia Tech at 6-5 is playing 6-5 Iowa State. Both teams throw the ball at least nine times a game. Wide open means a pitchout around the end. Really wide open means throwing on second down with less than 28 yards to go.

3. GMAC BOWL: This is one of the few bowl games actually worth watching. Memphis Blues Again vs. Holy Toledo in Mobile. It's sold out too. And the kids have fun. What a concept. Plus the teams are good and they score a lot of points.

4. FORT WORTH BOWL: They're salivating in Fort Worth over this one. Or is it just the pungent smell from the stockyards which aren't all that far from Amon G. Carter Stadium, located on the TCU campus in a neighborhood that people call "over there by TCU?" Marshall at 6-5 goes against 6-5 Cincinnati. Cincy's has a quarterback named Gino Guidugli. What? He couldn't make the cut for the soccer team?

5. LAS VEGAS BOWL: More 6-5 madness with Syracuse and New Mexico having at it. The Strip is probably buzzing over this one. They will play this one in Sam Boyd Stadium. Who was Sam and why are they doing something this terrible to his memory?

6. HAWAII BOWL: Not enough teams had winning records in the Big Ten so the designated bowl opponent for U-Hawaii, which gets this bowl anytime they go 6-6 or better (they get to play 12 games since they're a bazillion miles from the continental US), is UAB, which actually did win seven games although there are only 12 people (the entire number of season ticket holders) who can remember who those seven wins came against. Hawaii features Timmy Chang, the passingest Chinese quarterback in history. He actually broke Ty Detmer's records. Did anyone notice? Did anyone care?

7. MPC COMPUTERS: This is the Smurf Turf Classic in scenic downtown Boise which used to be called the Humanitarian Bowl. It was considered humanitarian to give Boise State its own bowl game until the Boise will be Boises became good enough to get to a real bowl game. Virginia wouldn't go to the Champs Sports game because of exams so it has been exiled to Boise to play Northern Illinois, which is rewarded for qualifying for its first bowl game ever by allowing its brave fans to see how many can get frostbite which is what you do when you stay outside too long in Boise in late December.

8. MOTOR CITY BOWL: Miami (Ohio) which is Ron Zook's alma mammy, gets punished for losing to Holy Toledo by having to spend a week in Detroit. U-Conn has never been to a bowl game in the school's history so the Huskies aren't complaining about being custom fitted for bullet proof vests. The game is being played indoors so all players must watch out for ricochets.

9. INDEPENDENCE BOWL: This was and will always be the Weedwacker. Win and you get to go home. Lose and you are required to stay an extra week in Shreveport. Okie State is being forced at gunpoint to go to this one as punishment for losing to Texas Tech on the last game of the regular season. Troy State is just happy to be here. People from Troy (go to Dothan and head north) think Shreveport is a resort.

10. INSIGHT BOWL: The only insight in this one is that Notre Dame is here, which tells us how the mighty have fallen. It wasn't that long ago that Ara Parseghian and Notre Dame refused to go to a bowl rather play in the Gator Bowl, which was beneath ND's dignity. That the Irish are here to play UCLA tells you that Ty Willingham won't be fired, although Notre Dame fans think that firing him would be a Christmas present worth remembering. Translation: the Domers who were so in love with Ty three years ago seem to have lost that loving feeling.

11. SILICON VALLEY BOWL: They play this at San Jose State's Spartan Stadium. Spartan is probably a good word to describe this mini-pasture with grandstands. Fresno State is 8-3 and should have gotten a better bowl. Bowling Green fans are simply happy they don't have to be up to their wazzoos in snow in northern Ohio. After blowing the season finale to Holy Toledo, any bowl will do for Bowling Green.

12. ALAMO BOWL: For the next couple of years you will be able to say you saw Ohio State football on the radio. The NCAA jailhouse is the next stop after this close encounter with Texas Tech. It won't be long before the Buckeyes will be wearing those fashionable NCAA jumpsuits with crepe sole shoes. You don't think Jim Tressel won at Youngstown State with boy scouts, do you? He didn't do it at Ohio State, either. Texas Tech has promised to run the ball at least once a quarter.

13. EMERALD BOWL: This is Navy against Wyoming. Since the government pays the tab, Navy will show up to play anywhere and is just happy to get a bowl bid. The typical citizen of Wyoming has to drive 70 miles to a movie theater. San Francisco won't seem like a long way away. Sears will sell out of new overalls in Casper as Wyoming (alma mammy of Dick Cheney) fans prep for the big trip to the land of fruits and nuts, San Francisco.

14. CONTINENTAL TIRE BOWL: North Carolina is rewarded with a trip eighty miles down the road for saving Bill Bunting's job. Boston College, which had a chance at a BCS bowl in its last year in the Big Least gets to try out the Almost Competitive Conference which it joins next year. The ACC is already represented by the Methodists (they own Dook) and the Baptists (they own Wake Forest) so it was imperative to give the Catholics some representation.

15. HOUSTON BOWL: If Mike Price thought the strippers were hot in Pensacola, wait till he gets a look at the talent at Sugar's in Houston! Hoocheemama baby! UTEP is playing in a bowl which tells you that when he's not helping poor girls named Destiny earn their college tuition money that Mikey is a pretty fair football coach. No one wins at UTEP, but Mikey did. Do they have good strip joints in El Paso? Well they do in Houston. Fitting that the opponent is Colorado, which induced recruits with visits to strip joints! These guys are going to love Houston!

16. HOLIDAY BOWL: The Texas A&M Aggies will take Tijuana by storm. The over-under is 17 Aggie football players who will spend time in the Tijuana jail after sneaking across the border after Coach Fran's bed check. Arizona State has a coach named Dirk. Dirk meet Fran. Fran meet Dirk. Sounds like something from the script of "Boogie Nights."

17. MUSIC CITY BOWL: Minnie Soda vs. Bammer, another titanic matchup of 6-5 teams. Glen Mason vs. Mike Shula. If ever there was a game matching two coaches in serious need of personality transplants, this is it. Their style of football is as boring as their personalities.

18. LIBERTY BOWL: At last! A game worth talking about. And because of the idiots with the BCS, this one isn't played on January 1! Boise State (11-0) vs. Louisville (10-1). This might be one of the two or three best bowl games and it's not in prime time on New Year's Day. A pox on Roy Kramer! A pox on ABC! A pox on the presidents who won't give us a playoff! The over-under is 120 points in regulation and 1100 yards. Then figure they'll probably battle it out for at least eight more overtimes. This could be the first bowl game in history with an NBA-like score. I'm guessing after the overtimes 111-108 Louisville.

19. SUN BOWL: Pur-Don't against Oregon State. Another 7-4 vs. 6-5. Call Mike Price before making the trip to El Paso, guys. One call from Mike and you probably get the VIP treatment at all the good nekkid women emporiums. Wait a second! Mike will be back from Houston on December 31. Winner gets to go out on the town with Mike!

20. PEACH BOWL: If it's Miami then the best bet is that Ron Zook's coaching for Florida. Can you think of a better way to say "Up yours!" to Jeremy Foley and Bernie Machen than closing out your career by beating Florida State and Miami? If it's Virginia Tech, the head coach will be UF offensive coordinator Larry Fedora and this will be his first audition for a big time head ball coaching job that he's going to get someday.

21. COTTON BOWL: Assuming Dollywood's finest get hosed by Aubrin in the SEC championship game and assuming the BCS folks allow a rotten Pitt Big Least Conference champion in the BCS party, then it's Texas vs. Tennessee. The real question here is can Mack Brown whine his way into the Fiasco Bowl? There's one easy way to make the BCS, Mack. All you have to do is beat Oklahoma. Then you won't have to do your impersonation of Al "I Was Wronged" Gore.

22. GATOR BOWL: Bobby Bowden coached West Virginia before he came to Florida State. The Little SOB (Little Son of Bob, Terry the Former Tiger) actually lettered in football at West By God Virginia. Panhandle rednecks vs. hillbillies. At halftime, grateful members of Bwana Bob's last West Virginia team will present the winningest coach ever with a guide dog trained to get him home every day so he doesn't have to punch On-Star to tell them he's lost again.

23. OUTBACK: Wisconsin's slow Badgers get to face a bunch of Poodles who can run like scalded apes. Wisconsin can't throw and the Poodles can't stop the pass but do a dandy job against the run. Seven thousand Wisconsin students will use the time in Tampa to enroll at USF after discovering there are parts of the country that aren't butt deep in snow.

24. CAPITAL ONE: This one could be fun because it acutally pits two coaches with functioning brains. Give Kirk Ferentz of Iowa 30 days to prep for anyone and he usually wins. Give Nick Saban of LSU 30 days and he'll negotiate a raise in his contract. Now if he can only remind Jemarcus Russell that it's not a complete pass unless someone wearing the same color shirt catches the ball.

25. ROSE BOWL: The last time Cal made the Rose Bowl was in 1959, the same year they made the NCAA championship game in hoops with a guy named Darrel Imhoff at center. Quick, who was the center for the Lakers before Wilt Chamberlain? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Beuller? Did someone say Imhoff? Darrell Imhoff? Take a seat at the head of the class. The Bears play Michigan. The game will be entertaining and would be a nice playoff matchup... if we only had playoffs.

26. FIESTA BOWL: The Fiasco Bowl looks like it will get 8-3 Pitt which could be sans a coach and 11-0 Utah, which could also be sans a coach. Walt Harris will probably get canned and Urban Meyer will return to the United States to coach football after a two-year exile to Utah. If there is justice, Utah plays Aubrin in the Sugar Bowl and Texas ensures a sellout for the folks in Tempe against Virginia Tech or Miami.

27. SUGAR BOWL: It's Aubrin, if it wins the SEC, against the winner of Virginia Tech or Miami. Let VaTech go play Texas out in the Fiasco and give us unbeaten Utah and unbeaten Aubrin. Please? Anyone? Can you hear me? Common sense calling! Yoo hoo!

28. ORANGE BOWL: Southern Cal vs. Oklahoma would be so much better if both came in undefeated and survivors of four weeks of playoffs, wouldn't it? You wanna bet that a playoff final with these two teams wouldn't outdraw the Super Bowl?


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