Christmas is over, but for college football lovers, the "most wonderful time of the year" lingers on. That's because right now, we're in the short window of college football bowl games. For the next couple weeks, there'll be more match-ups than you can shake a stick at.
Now, I won't rant (too much) about the superabundance of bowl games this year (33 by my count). Far too many bloggers have tackled this issue and castigated college football for being so greedy. But more than thirty games does seem like a bit much. And what ever happened to bowl games being for division winners only? This year there are a number of teams playing that finished the season with run-of-the-mill records and in the middle of their divisional pack. Oh well.
Neither will I rant (too much) about the obviously ridiculous naming of some bowl games based on sponsorship. We're all pretty used to it being the "Tostitos" Fiesta Bowl by now, or the "FedEx" Orange Bowl. Although I will gripe about one. The San Diego County Credit Union
Poinsettia Bowl? Seriously? Oh well.
Maybe next year, we can get The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to sponsor a game. Or how about The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology? Let's hear Brent Musberger try to say that one.
In any case, more bowl games just means more football to watch. And who really cares about the names anyway? If watching the Meineke Car Care Bowl makes you want to run out and buy a muffler, well... you have issues.
A few good games have already come and gone from the gridiron. Utah intercepted a Navy pass in the final moments to win 35-32 in the Poinsettia Bowl. BYU blocked a 28-yard field goal by UCLA with time running out to preserve a 17-16 victory in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl.
And Boise State, who won last year's Fiesta Bowl on a number of trick plays, including a now famous "statue of liberty" play, ended up on the losing end of a last second field goal, falling to East Carolina 41-38 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. (Although I can think of worse places to lose a football game than Hawaii)
But the best bowl games may be yet to come, including the National Championship. Here is the line up. (All times Eastern)
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Connecticut (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
Saturday, Dec. 29, 1:00 p.m. on ESPN
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Mississippi State(7-5) vs. University of Central Florida (10-3)
Saturday, Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m. on ESPN
UCF's Kevin Smith is the nation's leading rusher and scorer with 2,448 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
Saturday, Dec. 29, 8:00 p.m. on ESPN
Petro Sun Independence Bowl
Colorado (6-6) vs. Alabama (6-6), 6 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, Dec. 30, 8:00 p.m. on ESPN
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Cal (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)
Monday, Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. on ESPN
Brut Sun Bowl
South Florida (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)
Monday, Dec. 31, 2:00 p.m. on CBS
Oregon was #2 in the country at one point, with visions of a Rose Bowl dancing in their heads
Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
Fresno State (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)
Monday, Dec. 31, 2:00 p.m. on ESPN2
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Florida State (7-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
Monday, Dec. 31, 4:00 pm on ESPN
Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)
Monday, Dec. 31, 6:00 p.m. on the NFL Network
Clemson (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)
Monday, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
I LOVE Chick-fil-A!
Wisconsin (9-3) vs. Tennessee (9-4)
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m. on ESPN
AT&T Cotton Bowl
Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m. on FOX
Capital One Bowl
Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida (9-3)
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 1:00 p.m. on ABC
Virginia (9-3) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 1:00 p.m. on CBS
USC (10-2) vs. Illinois (9-3)
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. on ABC
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Hawaii (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-2)
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. on FOX
Hawaii is the only undefeated team in the bowls. Why aren't they playing for the championship? Maybe it's the name. How tough can a
Rainbow really be?
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
West Virginia (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)
Wednesday, Jan. 2, 8:00 p.m. on FOX
FedEx Orange Bowl
Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)
Thursday, Jan. 3, 8 p.m. on FOX
Tulsa (9-4) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)
Sunday, Jan. 6, 8 p.m. on ESPN
BCS National Championship Bowl
Ohio State (11-1) vs. LSU (11-2)
Monday, Jan. 7, 8:00 p.m. on FOX
The BIG game. Ohio State is #1 for now, but I'm betting on LSU.
Ethan Morris: "Not always right, but never in doubt." Go ahead and write