They say Christmas is 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' but let's be honest: That's total BS. Between the travel, the pressure of buying gifts, the small-talk with family members you don't like, there really isn't all too much that's actually wonderful about Christmas. Sure, the movie 'Elf' is great, but once you get past that, it's all kind of meh.
But bowl season? Now that really is 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.'
After a 15-week college football regular season, how could there possibly be a better way to wind down the calendar year than by stuffing your face with leftovers, barely leaving your own couch, and enjoying three or so weeks of the most spectacular sport on the planet? But while bowl season really is spectacular, I do think we can once again be honest here: Not all bowl games are created equally, and frankly, some of them are tougher to watch than others. For every game like the Peach Bowl this year, there's also the Zaxby's Heart of Dal --- see, I'm already bored just typingit.
Still that doesn't mean you shouldn't be tuning in. As a matter of fact, as a Christmas present to you, we've decided to give you one reason to watch every bowl game this season. They won't all pretty. But there's still reason to tune in.
Here's the first week of bowl games:
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Nevada vs. UL Lafayette
Saturday, December 20, 11 a.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because it's football! And because after spending last weekend with your family, isn't it nice to once again have an excuse to sit in front of the TV for 12 hours and completely ignore them? Plus, if you're not mesmerized by this video of UL-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth bench pressing, well,
we can't be friends.
Quick Pick: Nevada 28, UL-Lafayette 24
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Utah State vs. UTEP
Saturday, December 20, 2:20 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because last year Colorado State won this game 48-45, and because the year before Arizona won 49-48. Good football isn't guaranteed in this one. But a lot of points sure are.
Quick Pick: Utah State 34, UTEP 21
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Colorado State
Saturday, December 20, 3:30 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because earlier this year I was watching a Utah game, when my girlfriend sidled up next to me, noticed Kyle Whittingham and said 'Ooo!! He's very good looking for an older man.'
Great story, I know.
In a related story, I haven't watched a down of Utah football since. Meaning, I'm probably the wrong guy to ask about this particular game.
Quick Pick: Utah 21, Colorado State 17
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Air Force
Saturday, December 20, 5:45 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because did you know that Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck is the youngest coach in college football? And because did you also know Fleck also once took a polar plunge for charity? With this game being played in Boise, think there's any chance he takes another plunge to fire up his team? That alone would be worth the price of admission.
Quick Pick: Western Michigan 31, Air Force 21
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: South Alabama vs. Bowling Green
Saturday, December 20, 9:15 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because while I'm not quite sure what 'Raycom Media Camellia' is, I just giggled when I typed it. And because all joking aside, it's pretty damn cool that South Alabama is playing in this game....considering they didn't even have a football program at all seven years ago.
Quick Pick: South Alabama 35, Bowling Green 10
Miami Beach Bowl: BYU vs. Memphis
Monday, December 22, 2:00 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because this game is at Marlins Park. Because I have been to Marlins Park. And when my buddy called Marlins Park 'Disneyland for Adults' he wasn't kidding around. And really, is there anything more entertaining than picturing a bunch of uncomfortable BYU fanssquirming around, while half-naked cocktail waitresses serve them non-alcoholic beverages right before kick-off?
Nothing I can think of.
Quick Pick: Memphis 28, BYU 14
Boca Raton Bowl: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
Tuesday, December 23, 6:00 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because doesn't the 'Boca Raton Bowl' sound like a made-up bowl game that Jerry and his parents would've attended on an episode of Seinfeld? And because with Northern Illinois playing in this game, it gives Illinois fans a chance to get a look at their next head coach a year ahead of time.
Everybody's a winner!
Quick Pick: Marshall 41, Northern Illinois 38
San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. San Diego State
Tuesday, December 23, 9:30 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because if triple-option football gets you hot and bothered, why wait until Georgia Tech plays New Year's Eve to get a taste of it?
And because if you're looking to get a good night's sleep at some point during bowl season, well, this is probably the night to do it.
Quick Pick: Navy 24, San Diego State 21
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky
Wednesday, December 24, 12:00 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because honestly, what's better than being in the Bahamas the day before Christmas?
The answer: Being in the Bahamas the day before Christmas...while eating a big bucket of Popeye's Chicken!
P.J. Fleck can take all the polar plunges he wants. You know damn well he, and pretty much every coach in college football would kill to play in this game.
Quick Pick: Central Michigan 28, Western Kentucky 24
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 24, 7:30 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because it's Christmas Eve, and what the hell else are you going to? Play scrabble with your in-laws?
Plus, while the uniforms may say 'Fresno State' and 'Rice' if you drink enough egg nog, they'll look like Alabama and Oregon by the end of the game.
Quick Pick: Fresno State 38, Rice 21
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
Friday, December 26, 1:00 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because be honest: You had no idea Illinois was even bowl eligible before reading this post, did you?
And because....seriously, when the hell did Illinois get bowl eligible? It's a Christmas Miracle!!
Quick Pick: Louisiana Tech 45, Illinois 24
Quick Lane Bowl: Rutgers vs. North Carolina
Friday, December 26, 4:30 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because this game might be called 'The Quick Lane Bowl' on paper, but it will always be 'The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl' in our hearts.
And because, well, that's all I've really got.
Quick Pick: Rutgers 24, North Carolina 16
Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl: NC State vs. UCF
Friday, December 26, 8:00 p.m.
Why You Should Watch: Because with all the moves the Tampa Bay Rays made this off-season, this might be the largest crowd Tropicana Field sees all year. And because if I sit through enough commercials during this game, maybe I'll finally figure out what a Bitcoin is.
Quick Pick: UCF 31, NC State 28