I've never really understood this whole bitchfest regarding the number of bowl games.
"Why reward mediocrity?," moan the haters, pointing to the presence of a team like 6-6 UCLA playing in the EagleBank Bowl this season.
Since when did a holiday trip to some locale like Detroit or Mobile become a reward? Sure, these middling performers get some gift baskets with a bottle of Cool Water and a T-Mobile cell phone in them, but, again, do these really qualify as rewards?
Unless you're a shareholder of Little Caesars or Meineke Car Care, it should be of no importance to you if a braintrust somewhere decides it wants to stage an exhibition between the Big 10's fifth-place finisher and the MAC champ at Ford Field. Change the channel if it's so irritating. Or, take up gambling and add some spice to your holiday eggnog.
(Oh, and if you own stock in Little Caesars or Meineke Car Care, maybe you should devote more of your energy to culling your portfolio, rather than bemoaning the outrage of the bowl season.)
Don't forget that six months from now, a Central Florida - Rutgers nightcap would be a godsend. With that in mind, here's Homerism's take on the five most compelling bowl matchups:
Talk about a culture clash! On one side of the field stand the uber-disciplined Navy Midshipmen and their methodical triple-option offense. Navy averaged just seven pass attempts per game this year, fewest in the country.
Across the way, wild man Gary Pinkel and his Tigers bring their wide-open offense to Reliant Stadium. In stark contrast to the Middies, Mizzou goes shotgun 24-7, rarely huddles and loves to spread the field with four- and five-wide sets.
As our buddy Blue Horseshoe noted, the "Separate But Equal Bowl" offers one of the few games this season in which we can be pretty sure both teams will be locked-in. Frankly, I don't get why everyone is so incensed about pitting the two non-BCS party crashers against each other. Giving a team like TCU a chance to beat an alright team major conference team in a game that means a whole lot more to the little guy isn't my idea of a fun time. At least this way everyone gets to watch a good game.
Last year, the Doobie Brothers blew the roof off what was then known as Pro Player Stadium at halftime of the epic Cincinnati - Virginia Tech match-up in the Orange. What pleasant musical surprise does the Orange Bowl committee have in store for us this? My money is on Three Dog Night or Cheap Trick.
The real reason to watch here is to see how USC comes out. Trojan coach Pete Carroll has built his reputation on his teams' bowl game performances since he arrived at Southern Cal. The big game mojo seemed to be missing in action in 2009, though, and this isn't a BCS game. Will 'SC even bother to show up? No, I mean literally, will the Trojans be there?
The personalities of these two teams couldn't be more different. The nouveau riche Ducks, heading south from the Pacific Northwest with their funky offense in tow, represent college football's vanguard. Opposing Oregon is one of the sport's true blue bloods, Ohio State, led by The Senator, whose field goal-heavy philosophy stands out as a relic of a bygone era.
If that's not enough for you, these two teams return plenty of young talent in 2010 and could meet again next postseason–in the BCS title game.