Parum pum. I am going to bring you reasons to care about every bowl game. You can find love in every bowl game. Or at the very least I am going to strive for it.
I can find love everywhere.
Wake Forest vs. Navy
Like the #1 song in my iPod, Navy loves the run. They are one of the few teams that will likely end the season with dual weapons of thousand yard thunder in Shaun White and Eric Kettani. And with Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada? There could be a triumverate of hundred yard rushers if everything breaks right.
Wake Forest does have a tough defense, so shooting the moon might not happen. But when a nomenclaturologist such as myself still looks at Wake Forest and sees names like Brandon Pendergrass and Sam Swank as the best parts of Wake Forest? There may be a 10 win season in Navy's future. Even despite Aaron Curry.
Colorado State vs. Fresno State
The Colorado State Rams were made of adversity in 2007. And that was supposed to be an experienced team. Way back when, I made mention of Kory Sperry having to deal with a potential 0-12 season. I was glad to be wrong. They have Dion Morton and Rashaun Greer as a great passcatching trio.
But suffice it to say, you have two teams with solid passing offenses and poor skills on defense (Fresno State can't ballhawk, and Colorado State can't rush the passer). You look like you're going to have a shootout. Shootouts are made of awesome.
magicJack St. Petersburg
Memphis vs. South Florida
Now Jim Leavitt should win this game. He really should. They have the best players on both sides of the ball. Matt Groethe and George Selvie. And they are both still awesome, despite the statistical falloff.
However? Memphis has the momentum and the swagger of the Comic Book Villain Named Arkelon Hall. He's built to last, even despite his injury. But he's not the reason why Memphis can win. That belongs to Steel. Curtis Steele. He's the best running back since DeAngelo.
Pioneer Las Vegas
BYU vs. Arizona
If you grow up in the days and nights of the Destert Swarm defense? This would be a shock to you. Their game is almost solely based on its offensive appeal. Willie Tuitama is a pretty good thrower. Nic Grigsby is the frontman runner, but Keola Antolin is the senastional freshman. And Rob Gronkowski managed 10 scores in 9 healthy games.
The defense may be not be bad, but away from Arizona? It's shaky. And with a Max Hall-Harvey Unga-Austin Collie triplet formation? There could be blood in this game. There could also be 70 points. But there will be The Hoff!
R+L Carriers New Orleans
Southern Miss vs. Troy
Southern Miss is awesome based on momentum and freshman sensationalism. They've won their last four games atarting with a 70-14 beatdown on UAB, with the defense doing the lion's share of the work. That being said? DeAndre Brown qualified academically. He is 6'6" of destructicity. And with Austin Davis, they've got a shot at being deadly by 2011.
Troy, on the other hand, just might have a seasonal jinx by playing in Louisiana. They got beaten in Monroe because a 56-yard desperation field goal just didn't have the extra oomph. And they lost to LSU after holding a 3rd quarter 31-3 lead. They also have Levi Brown as a scrappy former Richmond transfer. And DuJuan Harris is an adorably tiny 1,000 yard rusher.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Boise State vs. TCU
This game needs no explanation. This is the lost BCS game. I mean, both Boise State and TCU have a higher level of gravitas than Virginia Tech and Cincinatti. That being said?
TCU's defensive skills can be sufficiently deeped as mad. Ian Johnson and Jeremy Avery are going to have a long day. TCU's run skills are the best in the nation. Best in the nation by far. And Kellen Moore may be skilled, but he is a freshman. Jerry Hughes could get in his head.
However? Chris Peterson is the best coach who is comfortable in the Mid-Majors. He will probably unleash some trickery to keep TCU from overpursuit. And while TCU's #2 in scoring defense and #1 against the Run, Boise State's defense is stout as well. They could very well grab a pick six. Some would say this will be high scoring. I'm not so sure.
Hawaii vs. Notre Dame
Yeech. Notre Dame has no offense. Hawaii's line is troublesome. It's Chistmas Eve anyway. This one is the shittake mushroom growing kit that my mom got me.
Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
The quarterbackery. By god. You want to see two of the best non-BCS quarterbacks? Come to Detroit. Dan LeFevour missed some time this year due to injury, and while Brian Brunner is a step down? He still has skills to start for many decent developing Division 1 football teams.
And while Rusty Smith fell off from his sophomore year? He destroyed November. 14 scores to 3 picks? That's a beautiful ratio. I know. This is a long shot game between the 4th place team in the Sun Belt and the third best team in the MAC. But the fact is this has the potential to be a Leftwich vs. Garrard sort of classic. Except for, you know. Black people.
Meineke Car Care
West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Obviously, this is Pat White's final game as a quarterback. And while Bill Stewart hasn't lead this team in the right direction, Pat White has been spectacular in the 11 games that he's played. And Noel Devine has done nothing to refute the claim that he could be a rich man's Steve Slaton.
Now the Tar Heels are not the same team as they would have been had Brandon Tate stayed healthy. But that's not to say that C.J. Yates and Cameron Sexton weren't servicable despite really only having Hakeem Nicks to throw the ball to. But Shaun Draughn is decent running the ball, and Ryan Houston will bring the thunder when called upon, but the defense is going to have to bring the thunder if they are gonna get the duke.
Wisconsin vs. Florida State
I'm not going to lie to you. This could be ugly. Christian Ponder has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. Dustin Sherer thrown the same amount of picks to touchdowns. Neither team has a spectacular and consistent receiver. (Though Harry Gilreath has made big plays and Greg Carr has the build to make some.)
And while Antone Smith, Jon Clay, and P.J. Hill are a trio of great running backs, both teams are hovering around the top third in terms of run stopping. So where's the love? The secondary. Myron Rolle is the would be Rhodes Scholar for the Noles. Jay Valai is the would be Bob Sanders for the Badgers.
Miami (Fla.) vs. California
As momentum goes? Jahvid Best has it. 11.9 yards per carry and eight scores in his last three games. Him and Shonn Greene are going to have themselves an outsider Heisman running back candidates dream ticket next year. That being said? The Miami defensive line has allowed 691 yards in his last two games. This means Jahvid Best could be one very golden pony boy.
However? Miami is built on youth. And while they seem to have hit the wall in those last two games. There could be a bounceback for the Hurricanes. At least on the defensive side of the ball. And with an injury-riddled O-line for Cal? Alex Mack may be alone with his secret files.
Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
Larry English is a bad man. He's the current active sack leader for the Huskies and will get at least one TFL in every game. His is the face of Derek Dooley's nightmares. And add to that Chandler Harnish's dual threat magic? And you have a team that has swagger for being .500
But don't disrespect the Bulldogs. Daniel Porter has a Maurice Jones-Drew swagger and style about him. Phillip Livas is a big play threat as a retrurner and a pass catcher. And as it turned out, Louisiana Tech ended up Crooming the Croomer. They will slap your face if you disrecpect them.
NC State vs. Rutgers
The two hottest mediocre teams clash here. NC State has won 4 games in a row to get bowl eligible. Rutgers is one of only seven teams to make a bowl off of a 1-5 start. So you know, momentum, and something's gotta give. We get it.
Why we're here is not because of Mike Teel to Kenny Britt, though they are the magic and mystique of the Scarlet Knights. Were here for Russell Wilson. Wilson is in the lead to be the next Pat White. He has a remarkable 16/1 TD-INT ratio and good run skills, though he doesn't need to carry the day toting the rock.
Missouri vs. Northwestern
The expectation is that Missouri is going to administer some frontier justice upon the roody poot candy ass braniacs of Northwestern. After all? They still have Chase Daniel to Jeremy Maclin. Not to mention Derrick Washington's 17 touchdowns and the other Chase in Columbia. Their offense is still superpowered. And Northwestern may be beat down and beat down hard.
That being said? Northwestern does have a punchers chance. They did lead the Big 10 in Sacks, and Corey Wooton is someone that you absolutely have to double. They get to Chase Daniel enough to force a mistake or three? And they can rely on awesome running back Tyrell Sutton. The Alamo Bowl has had it's share of upsets, and Northwestern could get one here.
Maryland vs. Nevada
In the bowl game nobody wants to go to, the Titan of Turlock wants the scalp of the Fridge. Like last years emergence of the nuclear powered Dan LeFevour, Colin Kaepernick was the dual threat who had the skills to pay the bills. 3594 total yards and 35 scores. And him to Vai "The Sikahema" Taua, and you have a running game that's vibrant and youthful and will be a real threat out of the pistol.
And why can Nevada win? Because Nevada can be thrown on, but Chris Turner might not be able to turn that to his advantage. He got sacked a lot as the regular season ended. And Nevada can pass rush very well. And stuff the run. If Da' Rel Scott can't get untracked? The Fridge may have a long cold day to wash down with chili cheddar fries.
Western Michigan vs. Rice
This game just might be a tough one. Rice has home-field advantage, Chase Clement to Jarrett Dillard, and a six game winning streak. They are going up against a team that has a bottom third pass defense. So it looks strong for Rice, am I right?
Wrong. Tim Hiller may be stealthy in the Drew Willy-Nate Davis led MAC quarterback class, but he's got a nice season going. He's made Jamarko Simmons a stud, and while the Broncos may only have a punchers chance here, but it's a real one.
Pacific Life Holiday
Oklahoma State vs. Oregon
There's a definite shot at 100 points combined here. Neither team can stop the pass. That makes a "Holiday, Celebrate" BYU-Penn State shootout very likely.
Chip Kelly has a hyperactive running game. 28 rushing touchdowns. Jeremiah Johnson and LaGarrette (yes, I spelled that correctly) Blount are the college equivalent of the great professional tag teams. It's unbalanced, but it's awesome unbalanced.
Oklahoma State has the triplets. Zac Robinson is the dual threat quarterback. Kendall Hunter is the runner who will likely be a Vernand Morency sized bust in the pros. And Dez Bryant? He's got 18 scores.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Houston vs. Air Force
Air Force is rocking the triple option to peak prefection. At least they did when last they played Houston. But Case Keenum almost managed to bring them all the way back. Case Keenum is the frontman for the #1 passing offense in all of football. There are seven receivers who have averaged at least two catches a game. The sleeper? L.J. Castile. He's a deep threat.
But they are not good against the run. That is why Air Force can do it to it. They have an almost interchangable array of runners who you can just plug in and watch them go. Shea Smith and Tim Jefferson are both built to option. And if they can keep answering? This should be fun.
Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
The Beavers and the Panthers both enjoy the services of young buck running back studs. LeSean McCoy ran for 21 touchdowns this year and runs with the power of Moljinir when he touches the ball. Jacquizz Rodgers is a delightfully tiny runner who stormed onto the scene to crush USC's dreams of a national championship, thereby endearing himself to America.
So what's the differences? Sammie Stroughter is the Pac-10 leader in receiving yards. Lyle Moveao has that advantage going for him, especially versus a pretty stout defense led by Scott McKillop. The Panthers? They don't have a passing weapon in their pocket. But LeSean McCoy just night be all they need.
Gaylord Hotels Music City
Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
This is a one paragrapher. Offense is fun. Superstars are fun. Tiny running backs, white receivers, and fat coaches are fun. None of them come up in spades in this one. Vanderbilt can't pass, and Boston College loves to ballhawk. Skip it. Watch the Faberge people get jealous over the running duel Sun Bowl.
Kansas vs. Minnesota
Mark Mangino football is nothing if not good times and great memories. Mangino goes without saying. Todd Reesing is an excellent quarterback, and if being third in receptions in the Big 12 can't get you to love Kerry Meier. I will dust off this old photo.
See? Kansas football is freaking adorable.
As for Minnesota? This is for White Power Bill and Heath Campbell. Minnesota was the first team to have an African-American take the team to a National Championship. But never mind that. This passing team's two leading receivers? Eric Decker and Ben Kuznia? They're Ed McCaffrey colored! OMG!
LSU vs. Georgia Tech
The pick six is the most exciting play in football. And Jarrett Lee, in providing his service as a balancing force in college football? He has proven himself to be a master of the returned errant toss. And with a front four as stout as your Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets? A pick can be thrown. The last bit of justicical balance.
As for Gerogia Tech? Triple Option! The only BCS team with the intestinal fortitude to belly the ball into the fullback on more than one occasion. Now while Jonathan Dwyer is the man who will get the bulk of the action, my favorite is Roddy Jones. He grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It makes a man tough. Believe me.
South Carolina vs. Iowa
Every time I can, I like to make mention of how WWE announcer Jim Ross' major catchphrases were creatively purloined from former Iowa coach Hayden Fry. Now, considering that this may be the first you've heard of it. Hayden Fry made famous the phrase "Buh Gawd, it's gonna be a slobberknocker!"
And that's why we're here. If the educated feet of Shonn Greene can make certain business is about to pick up? Then this slobberknocker between two well regarded defenses has the potential to turn bowling shoe ugly. STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!
Georgia vs. Michigan State
Even though I will likely misspell his name, the immortal Knowshon Moreno is a man among boys, even if other elements of the team fell flat on their face this season. Moreno was the master of highlight reel moves. But while Georgia has been mediocre for this season. They have a shot at the destruction of Michigan State. Why?
Personnel-wise, I would put them up there with the Penn States, the Ohio States. You can see they have talent. We definitely have our work cut out for us.
That was from Brian Hoyer. Michigan State has been a Javon Ringer Army this entire season. If he's already shook by the Georgia Bulldogs? Then this could get out of hand real quick like.
Konica Minolta Gator
Nebraska vs. Clemson
I have to admit, I was wrong about Joe Ganz. He is not merely a mythical creature who feasted on second and third team defenses of the Big 12 North. He is a real professional college quarterback. And he could give the Huskers one last new years treat.
Because while on paper, Clemson is a special team. On the field? The consistency is lacking.
Sure, Dabo Swinney has an awesome first name and an ability to get his team together. But let's be honest. Cullen Harper will be a problem. He has weapons. But he's lost himself millions of dollars with his performance this season. And that is why Dabo will be better next season with Willy Korn.
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi
Penn State vs. USC
USC is boring. USC is spectacular. But they are boring. Never mind the inspiring story of Joe McKnight. This is a very boring good team that gets entirely too much love from ESPN. I wish I could find something to love about ol' SC. I just can't. Besides Joe McKnight.
Reasons to love Penn State. One, Joe Paterno's acting from his bowels on the Big 10 Network football commercial. Two, Derrick Williams. He's just awesome. Three, Aaron Maybin leads a defense that will keep the game close. There's hope for Nittany Nation, even if the expectation is something else entirely.
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Beamer Ball is always one of the most enjoyable aspects of College Football. A quicksilver running quarterback like Tyrod Taylor is quite tantalizing as well. That being said? They are a team that's highly tantalizing and they can never seem to put it all the way together. They are a microchasm of my life.
Cincinnati has a football swagger developing under Brian Kelly. They can lose twenty-three quarterbacks. No problem. UConn can whip them. They come back. Tony Pike has two good receivers to throw to. But Marshawn Gilyard is the man, the myth, and the legend. Drunken fraternity brothers and Cincy are trying to get run over by him. Getting run over means being consoled by a comely lass.
Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech
I wish I could say I like Ole Miss. Not to say that Ole Miss is a team without adorable talents in Jevan Snead and Michael Oher, among others. And everybody loves Houston Nutt. But you know, if they just could have lost to Florida. Then Tim Tebow wouldn't have had that press conference. Bah.
The T-squared experience is obvious. It's cool. You know why you like them. In case you don't? Graham Harrell is a bad ass. His #1 receiver, Michael Crabtree? Also awesome. Mike Leach? He's like Tony Siragusa's more successful and infinitely less annoying brother. They're gold with the guns up.
Kentucky vs. East Carolina
Yeah. I admitted Skip Holtz was a good coach before the season started. Do I really have to make him the reason why East Carolina is a good game? After the first two weeks of the season, I was sick of him. No. No I don't.
Because Kentucky's all-purpose sensation Randall Cobb went down to a knee injury against Tennessee and is out for the bowl game, I can make East Carolina freshman sensation Emmanuel Davis my pick to click. Because he's a ballhawk, see. And ballhawks are awesome.
Is it unfair to Kentucky? Yeah. But they've had really bad luck this season. Dicky Lyons' career ended. Mike Hartline has little to no dynamism. They're stumbling to Memphis. It's a passable defense, but there's not much O for Big Blue right now.
Utah vs. Alabama
Utah was able to manage a very stern test from TCU, but they have never seen a man like Terrence Cody. He's a man mountain space eater who makes Rolando McClain a very active downhill threat at linebacker. And lest we forget Glen Coffee and Mark Ingram running behind a very experienced line.
But if Utah's line can keep Brian Johnson ambulatory? Then you cannot discount the chances of the Utes. Matt Asiata is a thumper back. And Freddie Brown is my favorite athlete name that I will never use in a screenplay. I want to see an upset. Everybody does. Go for it Utes!
Buffalo vs. Connecticut
For the UConn fan who may not have been able to make the leap, I'll tell you this. While their passing game is a comedy joke, Donald Brown is the truth, even if he won't go pro this season. (Financial Mistake). And even if Moe Petrus is the only person with major honors. They will provide a defensive test.
And for the 50th anniversary of the boycott of the Tangerine Bowl, Buffalo has an offense that can score points almost at will. Drew Willy is going to be on an NFL roster next season. James Starks is a running back with style and grace. And Naaman Roosevelt? He is a local boy making good this season.
Ohio State vs. Texas
This game could get boring. Both teams are great at tamping down scoring. This game could get ugly. Ohio State has not done well offensively when faced with a team with any sort of talent, and Colt McCoy's got plenty of weapons.
Not to say that Terrelle Pryor is a special little snowflake. Not to say that Beanie Wells can't run the ball with dynamic power. But you know what? We want you to lose. America wants you to lose badly. You stole from Boise State.
...Texas is the less Evil Empire in a big game again.
Ball State vs. Tulsa
The weirdo raper guy that is Todd Graham has the Golden Hurricane in good stead as this game doesn't need a bailout to help it be awesome!
...sorry. Put it this way? You have a team with no qualms about running up the score with a balanced breakfast of David Johnson as a thrower and Tarrion Lewis as a runner who is coming in with a minimal amount of momentum. Brennan Marion is a home run threat of the highest order. This is a team not to take lightly.
But Ball State cannot be called chopped liver. They can run as well as gun. MiQuale Lewis is a tiny man with superpowered rushing. And Nate Davis isn't going to go out like he did versus your Buffalo Bulls. This is going to be an offensive classic. Could we see 100? Yes.
FedEx BCS National Championship Game
Florida vs. Oklahoma
I talked with Gary Danielson about the National Championship game. He said "Tim Tebow's tears can cure cancer. I touched the podium after his press conference after he lost to Ole Miss, did you know he had a press conference after he lost to Ole Miss. he promised that he wasn't gonna lose again and he hasn't since, it's as if people didn't know Jerome Bettis was from Detroit or something. Anyway, I never felt better after my hand touched the podium. The Tebow is good the Tebow is great, I surrendered my will long before this date."
Okay. Billy Sims apologized. But if Drunky McNoknees had any sense at all? He would have never said anything. I mean, they weren't at the Oklahoma Football Team Banquet. Then that shit would have been acceptable.
(Why the negativity? Because this is the most known known. Two superpowered offenses led by two great quarterbacks. Two solid defenses. It should be a classic. Should be.)
I am going to have to apologize. I failed you. There are two bowl games that have no redeeming qualities. But there are 32 games that you should watch. It's made of gold. Believe in this bowl season.
Because I do.