Packed Bowls

Every college football season is like a
miniature lifetime played out each year. There's the early summery
excitement, full of promise, that makes way for the settled in crisp fall middle before the final cold, confusing, meaningless end.

Someday in the future
there will be a playoff system and everything will make sense, but until
then college football fans across the land are stuck with a diabolical
supercomputer that spits out a “champion” and then a string of roughly 30
other meaningless games with names like the “Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St.
So, it's not perfect but that's how it goes. The main upside is that
watching 10 consecutive hours of football is a great way to weather the
annual skull-splitting New Year's Day hangover. We'll already be in the
midst of the 2010-2011 bowl season when New Year's Day rolls around, but
none of the games played thus far have really mattered, so it's
not too late for a little preview of the ones that do… or used to
matter and maybe some day will matter again.

Texas Tech Football Jerseys

Ticketcity Bowl
Who: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
Where: Dallas, Jan. 1st, Noon EST, ESPNU

Show of hands, who cares about this game? Anyone? Anyone? Making a
prestigious northern university travel to Texas to play Texas Tech in
the most Texas'd out city in Texas seems sort of unfair. Also, have you
seen how ugly Texas Tech's jerseys are? Jesus. They had some special
edition camo ones this year for their game against Missouri and as they
were running out the clock the crowd chanted “U S A! U S A!” and I
almost barfed. Not that Northwestern's purple and black ones (why is
this a sports color combination?) are really any better but still.

Prediction: Northwestern 24 – Texas Tech 17

Jow Paterno and Woody Johnson

Outback Bowl
Who: Florida vs. Penn State
Where: Tampa, Jan. 1st, 1pm EST, ABC

and Penn State used to conjure up greatness, but both have had disappointing seasons, so
whoever wins this one will get to say “well at least we won that bowl”
while the other one just wonders what could've been. Their head coaches
are equally likely to keel over on the sidelines during the game so
that's one thing to watch. This might be Joe Paterno's last game as the
coach of Penn State, though the 84-year-old has said he plans to keep coaching. He coached his first game there
(as an assistant) in 1950 which is really, really insane. It seems
likely that he made some deal with the devil that as long as he's a
coach he'll stay alive so he is refusing to stop until a hole opens up
in the middle of the field and Hades rides up on a chariot and pulls him
down into the underworld. But seriously though, he's a badass and sort
of awesome.

Prediction: Penn State 28 – Florida 17

Alabama Crimson Tide

Capital One Bowl
Michigan State vs. Alabama
Where: Orlando, Jan. 1st, 1pm EST, ESPN

State kind of got screwed on this one because they actually beat
Wisconsin, but Wisconsin still won the Big Ten title, putting them in the
Rose Bowl. Such is the complex nonsense of a league with 100+ teams in
it. The Crimson Tide (whose mascot is an elephant for some reason) is
on the ebb right now, so they could probably lose this game, but their
quarterback is a monster and they still have Ingram and Julio Jones, so
actually they'll probably win.

Prediction: Alabama 35 – Michigan State 31

Michigan Heisman Trophy Pose

Progressive Gator Bowl
Michigan vs. Mississippi State
Where: Jacksonville, Jan. 1st 1:30 PM EST, ESPN2

Michigan, the winningest program in college football history, is in
turmoil right now with their head coach possibly facing the axe after
three sub-par seasons. Mississippi State is only really known for those
two basketball players fighting each other and if Michigan can defend
at any point whatsoever it'll stay that way. Michigan has a quarterback
named Denard Robinson who is basically a one-man offense and fun to
watch on a good day. Their secondary is sort of like something from
Cool Runnings where a bunch of people who have no idea what they're
doing try hard but end up failing. They've had an extra month to
practice so maybe they're better now.

Prediction: Michigan 42 – Mississippi State 38


Rose Bowl Presented by Vizio
Wisconsin vs. TCU
Where: Pasadena, Jan. 1st, 5pm EST, ESPN

Way to go Vizio, you've come up with a novel way of totally
butchering the naming conventions of a sanctified tradition. Next time
I'm buying a flat screen TV, or whatever it is that you sell, I will
subconsciously find your product irresistible in comparison to the
other, non-bowl sponsoring brands. TCU, like Boise State, is a team from a shitty conference that pretty much goes undefeated all the
time and therefore gets to hop into the periphery of the national
championship conversation every season. Unfortunately for them, all
that beating 12 joke teams proves is that you can beat 12 joke teams and
they never really break through to the mainstream. TCU's marquee win
this year was shellacking of then #5 Utah, but a quick look at Utah's
schedule, which includes a lopsided loss to a terrible Notre Dame team,
only furthers the viewpoint that all those teams have no place that far
up in the standings. Wisconsin has a pretty brutal running game and
can probably wear them down.

Prediction: Wisconsin 24 – TCU 10

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Who: Oklahoma vs. UConn
Where: Glendale, Arizona, Jan. 1st, 8:30 PM EST, ESPN

It's pretty weird that UConn is in this game. Someone decided that
the Big East should get a BCS slot and every team in that conference
spent this year trying to make themselves look completely mediocre. Not
to take away too much from UConn, though, because they were a I-AA team
until 1997 and are now in a top tier bowl. Oklahoma has been around
the block a few times and will likely tear UConn a new one. UConn would
need a huge day from their running back Jordan Todman but Oklahoma will
probably try to just shut him down, leaving it up to their terrible
quarterback to make a difference. Probably the least interesting Fiesta
Bowl I can remember, but I can't even remember who played in it last
year because I smoke too much weed.

Prediction: Oklahoma 27 – UConn 7

Stanford Tree

Discover Orange Bowl
Stanford vs. Virginia Tech
Where: Miami, Jan. 3rd, 8:30 PM EST, ESPN

It's kind of cool that Stanford is really good after being
terrible for like 100 years. Therefore, I hope they win this game. That is all.

Prediction: Stanford 24 – Va. Tech 14

Ohio State Girls showing asses

AllState Sugar Bowl
Ohio St. vs. Arkansas
Where: New Orleans, Jan 4th, 2011, 8:30 PM EST, ESPN

If it isn't clear by now, the problem with bowl games in the BCS-era
is that there are all these decent games but none of them really mean
anything. The winners just end up in a sort of five-way
tie for 3rd. The Big Ten/SEC match-ups are good though because bragging
rights for the semi-accurate claim to best conference in the nation are
on the line. Ohio State is embroiled in a scandal right now that will
see a few of their best players, including the hilariously quotable
Terrelle Pryor, benched for about half of next season. For some reason
(it couldn't be money, could it?) the NCAA has decided to let those
players play in this bowl, despite screwing other players in similar
positions out of their chance to do that in the past. Also, the reason
they are all getting suspended is they sold memorabilia and accepted
discounts on tattoos that amount to $2,500-$5,000 each, which, when you
figure that OSU stands to make millions of dollars on this bowl
appearance alone, really isn't a very big deal. On the other hand, I'm a
Michigan fan, so take that, you dumb fucks!

Prediction: Arkansas 27 – Ohio St. 21

Oregon Ducks Wrestling Speedo

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
Oregon vs. Auburn
Where: Glendale, Arizona, Jan. 10th, 8:30PM EST, ESPN

All my bitching about the BCS aside, this should be a really good
game. Both teams are undefeated and exciting to watch. They both have
fast-paced, wide open offenses and talented defenses. It was sort of
fun to watch Oregon games during the season and see the stands full of stoner hipsters cheering on an amazing football team without it being ironic or anything. Auburn is a welcome break from the
Florida/Texas/Oklahoma trifecta that seem to make it every year. Auburn's quarterback Cam Newton won the Heisman despite what
seems like some very likely involvement in some shady shit, but maybe
they'll just find out the full extent a few years later, Reggie
. Anyway, it should be rad, and if it isn't, at least
there's pro football for a few more weeks after that.

Prediction: Oregon 35 – Auburn 31