Bowl season is underway in college football.
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
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,
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
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
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.