It’s only five days until the first bowl game (and, for a change, it’s not the New Orleans Bowl) so we’d better get around to picking the games, right? Well, with 26 bowl games on tap for this season, picking them all at once is bound to be as big a mess as a vegetable soup omelet. But, if we break down the games into categories, we can probably get through this. Right? Right?
Anyway, there’s four distinct categories of bowl game taking place this season:
- Exhibition games involving only teams from non-BCS conferences.
- Grudge matches pitting BCS and non-BCS conference teams against each other.
- The undercard of non-BCS games involving two teams from BCS conferences, and
- The actual Bowl Championship Series.
This being Part One, guess where we start? You may now throw up in your mouth a little, if you must.
POINTSETTIA POINSETTA PONTSTIA FUNNY RED FLOWER BOWL
Northern Illinois v. TCU
Northern Illinois has Garrett Wolfe, the all-everything running back who humiliated a fair number of quality defenses this season. TCU has Gary Patterson, the phenomenally successful coach who strangely has not yet been linked to the Alabama job. Both these teams come to San Diego on a hot streak, with NIU having beaten MAC champion Central Michigan soundly (31-10) and TCU having dispatched the weaker teams in the Mountain West (i.e., everybody but Utah and BYU). NIU has the worse record, but they’ve faced far superior competition, and you know how we feel about that around here. NIU.
THE NEW ORLEANS BOWL NOBODY CARES ABOUT SINCE THE SAINTS ARE REALLY, REALLY GOOD THIS YEAR
Rice v. Troy
Good on Rice for making it to a bowl game. I think the last time they played in a bowl Dick Maegle was involved. As for Troy, we can’t go against them, because they are unofficially Friends of the Site. And besides, they’re pretty good. Troy.
THE “IT WORKED FOR HAWAII AND BOISE STATE, SO WHY WOULDN’T IT WORK FOR NEW MEXICO?” NEW MEXICO BOWL
New Mexico v. San Jose State
Oh, here’s a laugher: New Mexico is the road team on this game being played in their home stadium. $5 says they still use the home locker room. Too bad for them they’re paired up against a suddenly ascending San Jose State team in Dick Tomey’s last game before he takes over at Stanford. Because you know that’s gonna happen, especially since Tomey has also not yet been mentioned in connection with the Alabama job. SJSU.
AS ALWAYS, DON’T FORGET THE MOTOR CITY BOWL
Middle Tennessee v. Central Michigan
Two schools, two completely different philosophies on how to avoid being called a “directional school.” CMU’s wunderkind, Brian Kelly, is gone, so I’m guessing that MTSU has the upper hand in this game. Unless Kelly left extensive notes on how to run his freaky ninja offense, that is. But I’m guessing that he’s the mastermind. MTSU.
THE “WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE BUY A SATURN ION?” GMAC BOWL
Ohio v. Southern Mississippi
Frank Solich, late of Nebraska, gets back to a bowl game with his really pretty good Ohio U Bobcats. He has not been publicly linked with the Alabama Job. Neither has Jeff Bowers, who has Brett Favre U in a bowl for what seems like the eight millionth time. USM is one of those schools that perpetually flies under the college football radar. A decade from now, they’ll probably still be playing games on Tuesday nights just to get a little exposure. Bowers has an impressive resume, but I think Solich has better players and will get the job done here. Ohio.
(Crossposted from The Bemusement Park.)