Thursday, December 24, 2009

FVG's Guide to Bowl Season

For boyfriends, watching the bowls used to be simple: There were just the right number of games, and they were all on New Year's Day -- the day the whole country lays in bed with a headache. There were no expectations from girlfriends. Just wall-to-wall, uninterrupted football.

But inevitably, college football got greedy. And greedier and greedier. Not only did they add games to the mix (from 8 in the '60s to 15 in the '80s to a whopping 34 today), they spaced them out over what's now a three-week bonanza, beginning last Saturday with Wyoming's overtime upset in the New Mexico Bowl.

So for boyfriends today, the challenge is greater than ever. The stretched-out bowl season is littered with holiday parties, family gatherings, and dinners we allegedly promised to go to. It's too much to keep track of. We have to go in with a plan.

FVG's recommendation: Look at the bowl schedule beforehand, and make a list of five to ten games you don't want to miss, along with a brief reason for why you don't want to miss them. Then take it your girlfriend, and get it approved.

Here's ours:

1) The Champs Sports Bowl (Miami vs. Wisconsin, Dec 29, 8:00 ET)
I don't know if you saw ESPN's (fantastic) documentary, 'The U', or not, but I know Miami's players did. And when those impressionable young men see the way their predecessors took college football by storm with their dominant play and excessive celebration, they're gonna be inspired...and we'll be in for a show. FVG Pick: Miami -3

2) The Sun Bowl (Oklahoma vs. Stanford, Dec 31, 2:00 ET)
Lindsey's team vs. "Great White Hope" Gerhart. I get a free pass on this one, but even if I didn't, this'll still be a fun one to watch before before New Year's Eve hoopla commences. FVG Pick: Oklahoma -8

3) The Capital One Bowl
(Penn State vs. LSU, Jan 1, 1:00 ET)
What else are you gonna do, get out of bed? FVG Pick: LSU +3

4) The Rose Bowl
(Ohio State vs. Oregon, Jan 1, 4:30 ET)
Enjoy this better-than-usual (and finally USC-less) Granddaddy of Them All as you continue to nurse your granddaddy of a hangover. FVG Pick: Oregon -3.5

5) The Sugar Bowl (Cincinnati vs. Florida, Jan 1, 8:00 ET)
I've never seen a team more outwardly pissed off at their coach than the Bearcats when Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame. They seem way more motivated than the teary-eyed, heartbroken Gators, who have no famous Tim Tebow speech to inspire them this time. FVG Pick: Cincinnati +11.5

6) The Papa Johns Bowl
(South Carolina vs. Connecticut, Jan 2, 2:00 ET)
Not to be confused with the Little Caesars Bowl, this pizza interests me for personal reasons: I want to love UConn football like I love UConn basketball. If Randy Edsall commits to the school the way Jim Calhoun did, I think it can happen. FVG Pick: UConn +4.5

7) The Fiesta Bowl
(Boise State vs. TCU, Jan 4, 8:00 ET)
I'm actually not that interested in this one, even though I know I'm supposed to be. I just don't get why they would put these two teams against each other when the whole idea is to see how they'd fare against BCS-conference teams. Maybe we'll have a dinner party that night. FVG Pick: Boise State +7

8) The BCS Championship
(Texas vs. Alabama, Jan 7, 8:00 ET)
You don't need to give a reason for this one. FVG Pick: Alabama -4

Last Week: 2-1
Record to Date: 31-34-3