The Bottom Ten/Bowl Game Edition
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Seldom has the bowl season seen such dire straits. With only 39 bowl games – down one from 2017 and 173 less than 2013’s high – not to mention a surplus of six (6)-win teams, there are no 5-7 teams playing in CrackWhore2U.com Bowls in frozen baseball stadiums this year.
Sadder, there are only two games where both teams are 6-6, down from five (5) games last year where neither team had a winning record.
It gets worse. Last year, only half of the 80 bowl games featured two (2) teams with winning records. This year darn near three-quarters of all bowl games will feature teams with winning records, a figure which has the good folks at the Special Olympics ready to give somebody associated with college football a plaque or a ribbon or something.
Still, though, Duke – the Bottom Ten Team of the Decade for the Double Aughts – has a bowl game, so the coming weeks will not be complete competitive greatness.
So let’s open the manhole cover on the 2017-18 bowl season:
1. Bahamas Bowl
Details: December 22; Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, The Bahamas
Teams: UAB (8-4) vs Ohio (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: UAB defeated Bottom Ten champ UTEP and runner-up Rice, so you know they’re not too bad…Ohio actually pretty good, with a Top 20 rushing offense and a Top 10 rushing defense.
Reasons Not To Watch: UAB lost to B-10 finishers Charlotte and Ball State, so you know they’re not any good.
Bottom Line: Thomas Robinson Stadium almost as bad a bowl facility as Yankee Stadium, with 50-yard line seats a mere 130 feet from field, behind running track, long jump/triple jump pits, detention area for opposition leaders.
2. Military Bowl presented by Northrop Gumman
Details: December 28; Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
Teams: Virginia (6-6) vs Navy (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You purchased a B-2 bomber from Northrop Grumman and you want to see what the 2018 models are looking like…A bowl game “purist”, you enjoying seeing two .500 teams playing in the freezing cold.
Reasons Not To Watch: Both teams are on a roll…Navy has lost six (6) of seven (7) while Virginia has lost five (5) of six (6)…Both have lost three (3) straight (straight).
Bottom Line: Great game to watch if you’re doing shots every time announcer says Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.
3. Arizona Bowl
Details: December 29; Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
Teams: New Mexico State (6-6) vs Utah State (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You’re “pretty sure” this is the first ever bowl matchup between two schools that used to be in the Big West, WAC and Sun Belt conferences together and don’t want to miss it…The in-laws are in a couple of days early for New Year’s and this a safer way to avoid them than having affair with babysitter.
Reasons Not To Watch: This is the second and final thriller this bowl season between two teams not good enough to win more games than they lost…Both teams are nicknamed Aggies…Or maybe this is a reason to watch…Your B-10 pollsters are still researching this one.
Bottom Line: New Mexico State barely rushes for more than 100 yards a game, while Utah State gives up almost 220-yards rushing every game…You figure something’s got to give.
4. Rose Bowl
Details: January 1, 2018; The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
Teams: Oklahoma (12-1) vs Georgia (12-1)
Reasons To Watch: You are Satan incarnate…Maybe ISIS will bomb west grandstand and you want to see the damage.
Reasons Not To Watch: Sooners and Bulldogs have no business playing in Rose Bowl. Bottom Line: With game being played on New Year’s Day and with both teams having played in one previous Rose Bowl, Rose Bowl fan(s) are able to save some shred of dignity, but otherwise game is considered nothing more than sacrilegious affront to God, flag and country.
5. Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
Details: December 19; FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
Teams: Akron (7-6) vs Florida Atlantic (10-3)
Reasons To Watch: You’re watching every other goddamned bowl game, so you might as well watch this one, too.
Reasons Not To Watch: The wife wants to talk about the bills… The guy in the van you borrowed money from is knocking on the door and wants to stick something in your eye. Bottom Line: No, we don’t know what/who Cheribundi Tart Cherry is, either, but thank God they forked over money to sponsor this bowl or we would never know who’s better, Akron or Florida Atlantic.
6. Quick Lane Bowl
Details: December 26; Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Teams: Duke (6-6) vs Northern Illinois (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: You’re wondering if Duke can finish below .500 by losing a bowl game for the second time this decade…It’s the day after Christmas and you haven’t moved from your chair all day, so why start now?
Reasons Not To Watch: Duke has won one (1) bowl game since 1961…There is no reason to see if they can make it two (2).
Bottom Line: Used to be known as Little Caesar’s Bowl, but changed in 2014 when organizers realized people would rather get an oil change during a football game than order pizza.
7. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Details: December 21; Tropicana Field, St Petersburg, Florida
Teams: Temple (6-6) vs Florida International (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: Game might actually be pretty good, as Temple has won three (3) of four while FIU has won five (5) of seven (7).
Reasons Not To Watch: Game might not be any good, as neither team a master of football’s fundamentals, combining to average almost 14 penalties every game…You’re not entirely sure what/who a Gasparilla is/was and you are too embarrassed to ask.
Bottom Line: A match-up of former B-10 stalwarts, with teams expected to wear B-10 stickers on helmets to pay homage to humble origins.
8. Cotton Bowl
Details: December 29; AT&T Stadium, Dallas, Texas
Teams: USC (11-2) vs Ohio State (11-2)
Reasons To Watch: Should be one hell of a game.
Reasons Not To Watch: You’re feeling pouty because Pac-12/Big Ten champions meeting two days before New Year’s in northern Texas instead of on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.
Bottom Line: Don’t get us started.
9. College Football Playoff National Championship Game
Details: January 8, 2018; Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Teams: To be determined.
Reasons To Watch: You watch whatever ESPN chooses to spoonfeed us…You genuinely believe a four-team invitational that left out two (2) conference champions is way better than an NCAA Division I Football Playoff.
Reasons Not To Watch: It’s Monday, January 8, a week after you’ve lost interest in college football…Besides, by watching you’re just encouraging them to keep this nonsense up.
Bottom Line: If a 32-team NCAA Division I Football Playoff had begun on December 2, the nation would be looking forward to the national quarterfinals this weekend instead of three (3) Sun Belt/Conference USA bowl game matchups.
10. Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl – The NCAA Division III National Championship Game
Details: December 15; Salem Football Stadium, Salem, Virginia
Teams: Mary Hardin-Baylor (14-0) vs Mount Union (14-0)
Reasons To Watch: It’s a real, NCAA national championship game that culminates a 32-team tournament…We are not making that up…Nobody is on scholarship…These are real college kids playing their fifth playoff game – half their regular season – all the while juggling real classes and scamming chicks with football practice/games.
Reasons Not To Watch: You dislike watching the defending national champion take on an eleven-time champion looking for their first title since 2015.
Bottom Line: You’ll note that the players are a little smaller than you’re used to watching on Saturdays, and they’re a mite slower, but pound-for-pound it’s top-quality football…If you haven’t seen a Stagg Bowl, do yourself a favor and introduce yourself this year.