The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 15 - Bowl Game Edition!
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
December 9, 2015
We're trying to make the best of this. But making the 2015-16 bowl season look good is like trying to make the Special Olympics seem like the real thing. Here's the best we could do:
Almost three-quarters of this year's contests feature two (2) teams with winning records!
Three-quarters! And ten bowl games - a full one-quarter! - feature at least one (1) team with a winning record.
That's the best we could do.
Not every bowl game, however, features a team with a winning record. Two bowl games - and we are not making this up, though we swear on an old Bluebonnet Bowl program we wish we were - actually feature zero (0) teams with winning records and three (3) 5-7 teams are actually still playing.
This year's mess:
1. Cure Bowl
Details: December 19, Citrus Bowl, Orlando Florida, 7pm EST
Teams: San Jose State (5-7) vs. Georgia State (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You are interested in seeing what may well be the worst bowl game since Tijuana Tech and Central Juarez A&M played in 1968 Fritos Bean Dip Challenge…B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" this is only bowl game "more or less ever" to feature two (2) past B-10 champions (San Jose State, 2010; Georgia State 2014)…You're curious as what exactly they are finding a cure for because it isn't lousy college football…Maybe cancer or something like that.
Reasons Not To Watch: Teams have a combined 11-13 record, worst ever for a bowl game.
Bottom Line: San Jose State defeated four (4) major division teams in 2015…These four (4) teams combined for 16 wins, one more than Clemson will have if they win the national title.
2. Independence Bowl
Details: December 26, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana, 5:45pm
Teams: Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulsa (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You live in Shreveport and you were too lazy to go to the corner Brookshires to buy the loaf of day-old bread that has a pair of free tickets in it…You don't get out much and are wondering what people from Tulsa look like.
Reasons Not To Watch: You have to put the snow tires on…ISIS is waiting outside to behead you…You got a bone-in ham for Christmas dinner and you want to gnaw on the bone some more.
Bottom Line: Exhibit II in the case for replacing the bowl season with a real, honest-to-goodness NCAA Division I Football Playoff.
3. Pinstripe Bowl
Details: December 26, Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York, 3:30pm
Teams: Duke (7-5) vs. Indiana (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You have 50-yard-line seats and realize not only are they on the 50-yard-line, but they are 50-yards away from the field…You are excited to see the epic battle two teams that rallied to win three (3) of their last 13 games will put on.
Reasons Not To Watch: Two (2) of college football's historically bad programs, B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" this is only bowl match-up to features teams that have combined for over one thousand losses (1,163) and are a combined 281 games below historical .500.
Bottom Line:One of few bowl games ever to feature teams that have played in and never won the Rose Bowl, combining for an 0-3 mark in Pasadena/Durham.
4. Hawaii Bowl
Details: December 24, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, 8pm
Teams: Cincinnati (7-5) vs. San Diego State (10-3)
Reasons To Watch: It's Christmas Eve and you are spending it with your relatives.
Reasons Not To Watch: It's Christmas Eve and you are spending it with your relatives.
Bottom Line: Showing they have even less of a soul than Scrooge, ESPN scheduled game for one of the most sacred nights of the year, meaning Hawaii Bowl should have no problem continuing its tradition of being one of the worst attended bowl games…Always fun to see lengths cameramen will go to not to show 50,000 empty seats.
5. Quick Lane Bowl
Details: December 28, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Teams: Minnesota (5-7) vs Central Michigan (7-5)
Reasons To Watch: You live up north, are one of the five (5) people who don't like hockey and actually care whether Minnesota or Central Michigan has the better football team…You're none too bright and think it's the real Michigan playing Minnesota and are wondering why the Little Brown Jug game is being played so late in the year.
Reasons Not To Watch: Gophers have lost five (5) of six (6) and are one of three (3) teams who can't play football who got their bid because they can read and leave an appropriate tip.
Bottom Line: Like everyone else who doesn't live within a three-block radius of Ford Field, we had to look and see who/what Quick Lane was, too…Turns out it's an auto shop chain specializing in tires and oil changes…Now we know.
6. Foster Farms Bowl
Details: December 26, Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California, 9:15pm
Teams: Nebraska (5-7) vs UCLA (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: UCLA, the first team to play a bowl game with a losing record (2011), gets to show novitiate Huskers how to deal with commotion surrounding playing in second-rate bowl game in Bay Area with losing record.
Reasons Not To Watch: Halftime chicken plucking/bobbing for deep fried drumsticks biathlon not exactly to your taste.
Bottom Line: December 26 day that will live in bowl infamy, as only one (1) of the day's six (6) games feature two (2) teams with winning records.
7. Armed Forces Bowl
Details: December 29, Amon G Carter Stadium, Ft Worth, Texas, 2pm
Teams: California (7-5) vs Air Force (8-5)
Reasons To Watch: You are a big fan of fundamental football, and you are anxious to see two (2) teams who combined to average only eight (8) penalties a game get it on…This game used to be sponsored by Bell Helicopters, and you want to see if Lockheed-Martin puts out as good a helicopter as the Bell you bought in 2010.
Reasons Not To Watch: It's a Cal team that has lost five (5) of their last seven (7) playing the latest crop of flyboy officer candidates…We're better than this.
Bottom Line: With three other lousy bowl games following this one, make sure to get good and blitzed during this thriller in order to lay a good foundation for the rest of the day.
8. Cactus Bowl
Details: January 2, 2016, Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona, 10:15pm
Teams: West Virginia (7-5) vs. Arizona State (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: After 15 (15) games in four (4) days, you must see game number 16 (16) or your life will have been wasted…You love watching football games in stadiums where the evil New York Yankees have lost the World Series.
Reasons Not To Watch: Another game with only one team that has a winning record…With Motel 6 now sponsoring game, you want if see if motel chain has replaced blocks of granite they were passing off as beds with real mattresses.
Bottom Line: Motel 6 is taking a huge step down the sponsorshipp lader with this one, having once been presenting sponsor of Bottom Ten championship trophy (Walmart Trophy Presented By Motel 6).
9. Rose Bowl
Details: January 1, 2016, Rose Bowl. Pasadena, California, 4:30pm
Teams: Iowa (12-1) vs Stanford (11-2)
Reasons To Watch: It's still the Rose Bowl and it's still New Year's Day and it is still the Pac-12 vs. the Big Ten and it is not completely out of the question it will be one heck of a game…We'll take it.
Reasons Not To Watch: The College Football Playoff has rendered the Rose Bowl to a sideshow…All is lost, all we are is dust in the wind.
Bottom Line: This is not the first time the Big Ten has sent its runner-up to Pasadena…Bonus points if you know the other times.
10. Amos Alonzo-Stagg Bowl
Details: The NCAA Division III National Championship Game, December 18, Salem Football Stadium, Salem, Virginia.
Teams: Linfield/St Thomas winner vs UW-Wherever/Mount Union winner.
Reasons To Watch: A real, honest-to-goodness college football national championship game, which followed a real, 32-team tournament...They real college students paying their own way, playing for fun and to impress girls.
Reasons Not To Watch: As usual, there is no reason not to watch this game.
Bottom Line: Mount Union is in the national semifinals for the 21st consecutive year.
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