With all the attention focused on the College Football Playoff, there has not been enough attention paid to the myriad bowl games scheduled to start in two weeks. There are a few good games sprinkled into the mix; however, as usual, many of these games have no compelling reason to exist. Let me start with the good games – other than the ones in the CFP itself of course:
- Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28, Orlando, FL: The two teams involved are both in the Top 25. VA Tech and Oklahoma St. are both interesting teams to watch.
- Alamo Bowl – Dec 28, San Antonio, TX: These two teams finished the season ranked in the Top 15. TCU takes on Stanford here; TCU’s defense seems to be able to hold down anyone other than Oklahoma.
- Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 30, Glendale, AZ: Penn St. and Washington should be a good match; there is potential for lots of points on the board here.
- Orange Bowl – Dec 30, Miami, FL: Wisconsin takes on Miami in a home game for Miami. Expect a defensive struggle here; the Total Line for the game is only 45.5 points.
And now comes the list of the games that are surely not important and in most cases, are not even interesting. There will be 6 abjectly meaningless bowl games on December 16 to start the college football silly season. I won’t even bother going through the games on that date other than to say none of them is significantly more interesting than an infomercial for a colon cleansing product.
- Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 19, Boca Raton, FL: Akron and Florida Atlantic will square off here. This is one minor bowl game that ought to have decent attendance. Akron supporters might enjoy a trip south at that time of the year plus this is a home game for Florida Atlantic. Other than that, …
- Gaspirilla Bowl – Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, FL: Temple and Florida International will play this game for reasons known only to them. Temple supporters do not travel reliably to see home games about 10 miles from campus; I doubt they will show up in numbers 1500 miles from home.
- Birmingham Bowl – Dec. 23, Birmingham, AL: Here you can see Texas Tech and USF. Do not watch this game if you like to see any defense played at all. The Total Line opened at 65 and jumped to 67.5 overnight.
- Dollar General Bowl – Dec. 23, Mobile, AL: Appalachian St and Toledo met in the Camelia Bowl last year; it was so much fun they decided to do it again. You do remember how much fun it was last year, right?
- Heart of Dallas Bowl – Dec. 26, Dallas, TX: If you can explain to me how Utah and West Virginia have anything to do with the “Heart of Dallas”, I’m listening…
- Texas Bowl – Dec. 27, Houston, TX: Texas plays Missouri in this game. Neither team has been to a bowl game since 2014. Both schools used to put quality teams on the field regularly; not so much anymore…
- Military Bowl – Dec. 28, Annapolis, MD: Virginia plays Navy at Navy’s home field. That is the most exciting news I can think of regarding this game.
- Arizona Bowl – Dec. 29, Tucson, AZ: Utah St. Plays New Mexico St. in this game. This is the first time since 1960 that New Mexico St. has been to a bowl game anywhere. If that is not enough to get you to tune in, then you will miss the game and be happier for it.
Oh, by the way, there are two games on New Year’s Day that are pretty bland fare. Normally, that day presents interesting teams in interesting games. However, this year I can opt to watch Michigan/South Carolina in the Outback Bowl followed by Auburn/ UCF in the Peach Bowl. Neither pairing piques my interest much at all…
While on the subject of college football – sort of – I have a suggestion for the folks at Tennessee who are still searching for someone who will take the job of head football coach there. Recent reports say that new Athletic Director, Phillip Fulmer, wants to have someone from the “Tennessee family” to take over the team and lead it back to previous glory. The problem is that there appears to be some fissures in the “Tennessee family” at the moment; there are various factions that are not getting along with other factions. So, what Tennessee needs is identified uniquely with Tennessee who is also someone that everyone involved in the football program there can admire. I have the answer for Phillip Fulmer; no charge for my consulting fee here:
- Davy Crocket
“Born on a mountain top in Tennessee; greenest state in the land of the free …”
With that bit of fanciful nonsense out of the way, allow me to jump to another sport where reports say there is more fanciful nonsense afoot. As the Miami Marlins go about the business of restructuring the team and the organization under the new ownership/leadership of Derek Jeter, there are management positions that need filling. Someone recently took to Twitter – where all of the Twits go to Tweet evidently – to tell Jeter that he would like to be the manager of the Marlins and be part of the effort to “straighten things out there”. And the identity of the Tweeter who would straighten things out in Miami is – – drum roll please – –
- José Canseco
Given the reports that Aaron Rodgers is back at practice with the Green Bay Packers with his surgically repaired collar bone on the mend, it is worth recalling that he has a metal plate and 13 screws in his body and on the bone to assist in the rapid healing process. It is a good thing that the Packers travel as a team on charter aircraft. With that much metal in his body, Rodgers would probably trigger the TSA metal detectors about three steps off the cab at curbside check-in for baggage if they flew commercial.
Finally, regular readers here know that I like to have fun with the names of athletes in various sports. Here are two that came to my attention in the past couple of weeks:
- The Washington Post agate type for “Transactions” listed an addition to the Denver Broncos’ practice squad. They signed NT, Chunky Clements. What a great name for a nose tackle.
- A reader sent me a note – and I have confirmed – that Cal has a redshirt-freshman offensive lineman named Gentle Williams. Presumably, offensive line coach, Steve Greatwood, wants him to be something other than gentle.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………