Your team not in a bowl? Make up your own
You know, that time of year where mediocrity is rewarded and seemingly every day of the calendar for three-plus weeks is dotted with ho-hum matchups between teams you probably didn't watch during the regular season.
Thirty-five bowl games are currently in existence. That means 70 of 120 FBS teams get invites to play in games like the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, the Little Caesars Bowl, the Belk Bowl (?) and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Why stop there?
I say bowl games for everyone! Just because your team won only two games, why should they be left out of all the fun?
For the third straight year, I've come up with bowl matchups for the other guys; the 50 teams who didn't get invitations this season. Enjoy.
The Viral Video Bowl - Connecticut Huskies (5-7) vs. Arizona Wildcats (4-8) - Both the Huskies and the Wildcats had completely forgettable seasons, but at least both programs made their mark online with viral videos. UConn QB Johnny McEntee's trick shot video garnered over 6.3 million views, while U of A student Jace Lankow made national "news" with his streaking bit captured on video during the UCLA game. Over 2.3 million people watched that. Both were more entertaining than their respective football teams in 2011.
The Thank God It's Basketball Season Bowl - Memphis Tigers (2-10) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2-10) - Fans in Memphis and Lawrence just used football season as a primer for hoops season.
The If LSU and Alabama Can Play Twice, Why Can't We Bowl - Army Black Knights (3-9) vs. Navy Midshipmen (5- 7) - Hey, why not? The first meeting between these two teams produced 48 points and six offensive touchdowns. It would take LSU and 'Bama about 7 games against each other to produce those kind of numbers.
The Al Gore Let's Go Green Bowl - Tulane Green Wave (2-11) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (5-7) - OK, so Bowling Green doesn't actually wear green uniforms (instead opting for the always appealing brown and orange), but that doesn't mean they can't recycle.
The Uniforms That Will Burn Out Your Retinas Bowl - Maryland Terrapins (2-10) vs. South Florida Bulls (5-7) - Under Armour is a good company. They produce very comfortable and functional athletic wear. But good lord do their designers have a skewed idea of what looks good on a football uniform. Remember when Maryland wore these beauties this season? How about South Florida rockin' these? Watch at your own peril.
The Thank God It's Hoops Season II Bowl - Duke Blue Devils (3-9) vs. Syracuse Orange (5-7) - The Dukies and the 'Cuse on the hardwood, sure. On the gridiron, not so much. The two football teams have combined to lose 12 games in a row.
The Improper Benefits Bowl - USC Trojans (10-2) vs. Miami Hurricanes (6-6) - This game of course, brought to you by Nevin Shapiro and Reggie Bush's family.
The Swashbuckler Bowl - East Carolina Pirates (5- 7) vs. Washington State Cougars (4-8) - We have actual pirates taking on a team coached by a man who thinks he's a pirate. Puffy shirts for everyone! Arrrgh.
Sports Movies of 1986 Bowl - Indiana Hoosiers (1- 11) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (5-7) - Hoosiers and Wildcats! This should be a classic matchup of a team from a small town, playing for all the little guys against the inner-city screw-ups coached by Goldie Hawn.
The Buck-Toothed Rodent Bowl - Oregon State Beavers (3-9) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-9) - You'd think in 2011, the mascots of Minnesota and Oregon State would have taken advantage of the wonderful advances in modern dentistry.
The Buffalo Bowl - Buffalo Bulls (5-7) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (3-10) - Of course this game will be played in the only logical place a game with this much Buffalo could be played -- Toronto.
The Helmeted Warrior Bowl - San Jose State Spartans (5-7) vs. Troy Trojans (3-9) - C'mon, you've always wondered who'd win between the Spartans and Trojans, right?
The 3rd Annual Hooters Bowl - Florida Atlantic Owls (1-11) vs. Rice Owls (4-8) - The sponsorship tie-in of course is strong. There are three FBS teams named 'Owls', and every year two of them are left out of legitimate bowls. Hint: change your mascot.
The Weak Political Analogy Bowl - Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (2-10) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5- 7) - Nothing like a fictitious bowl game to stir up the right vs. the left.
The Wow It's Been a Long Time Since We've Been in a Bowl Bowl - Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-6) vs. New Mexico State Aggies (4-9) - Considering that every year almost 60% of college football teams get bowl invitations, it's amazing that these two programs haven't been included in a combined 75 seasons. The Aggies haven't gone bowling since the 1960 Sun Bowl, while Eastern Michigan hasn't seen the postseason since the 1987 California Bowl. These two teams need this.
The At Least We Have Guys That Can Tackle Bowl - Boston College Eagles (4-8) vs. Ball State Cardinals (6-6) - These two teams aren't very good, but at least you'll get to watch BC's All-American Luke Kuechly (191 tackles) and Ball State's Travis Freeman (134 tackles) crush ball carriers all night long.
The Your QB Will Leave With a Clean Uniform Bowl - UAB Blazers (3-9) vs. New Mexico Lobos (1-11) - The safest guys on the field will be the quarterbacks, as these two defenses combined for 18 sacks all season long. Around the country, 89 of the 120 FBS teams had more sacks than that by themselves.
The Defense Optional Bowl - UNLV Rebels (2-10) vs. Akron Zips (1-11) - With all due respect, these two defenses can't stop a nosebleed (thanks, Bart Scott). Combined they gave up 50 or more points eight times in 2011. Akron got lit up for 68 points by Western Michigan and Washington State hung 59 on UNLV. I'm not a betting man, but I'd take the over.
The We Got Embarrassed by LSU Bowl - Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (6-6) - These two teams both had decent seasons, they just didn't look very good when playing against the number one team in the nation. LSU pounded the Hilltoppers 42-9 and drilled the Rebels 52-3. But then again, they pretty much made everyone look bad, didn't they?
The We Got Embarrassed by Alabama Bowl - Kent State Golden Flashes (5-7) vs. North Texas Mean Green (5- 7) - In the spirit of fairness to the two teams competing for the "mythical" national championship, it's only right to point out two teams smacked by the Crimson Tide. Kent State lost 48-7 on opening day to Saban's crew and North Texas got blanked 41-0.
The Something's Gotta Give Bowl - Miami, OH Red Hawks (4-8) vs. Colorado State Rams (3-9) - Miami can't run the ball (120th in FBS) and Colorado State can't stop the run (116th in FBS). To make the game more entertaining, they should not allow forward passes. Good old-fashioned slobberknocker football.
The We Once Got Blindsided By One-Year Coaches Who Bolted to the Pac-10 Bowl - Idaho Vandals (2-10) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (5-7) - You can make the argument that both of these programs are still recovering. Idaho thought Dennis Erickson would retire there, yet he jetted to Tempe to take the Arizona State gig after one season. And I'm pretty sure it's a state law that you can't mention Lane Kiffin in Tennessee after he left for USC. Good thing I'm in Arizona.
The We're Not Used To This Bowl - Central Michigan Chippewas (3-9) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (4-9) - Playing in my fictitious bowl games is a new feeling for CMU, who went to four straight real bowl games from 2006 to 2009 while Pat Hill's Bulldogs made four straight bowl trips from 2007 to 2009.
The We Didn't Beat Anybody Decent Bowl - Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (4-8) vs. UTEP Miners (5-7) - UTEP had 4 wins against FBS teams that had a combined record of 14-36 while the Warhawks had three FBS victories against foes with a combined record of 6-30. Combined winning percentage of these two teams' "victims": a less-than-stellar .233. And almost needless to say, all seven of those teams (New Mexico State, Tulane, Colorado State, East Carolina, Troy, Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic) are all competing in other fictitious bowl games.