It's no secret that the college football bowl games are nothing more than programming content for the ESPN family of networks, with a game or two thrown in for Fox and CBS. With 41 games and 82 teams (not counting the national championship game), it's a pretty watered down field of contests. It isn't surprising that the sponsors and the names of the games have gone far beyond the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, Peach, Gator, Liberty and Sun, the bowls that started all of this needless frenzy to get into the postseason. There are 128 teams in the FBS, so 64% of them will get to play in a bowl. Really? How does that happen? Most will be played in front of sparse crowds in cold stadiums with very little interest in the outcome, except for those crazy sports addicts that will take the time to enter a bowl pool or bet on meaningless games. Sure, there are the BIG games, like the Rose with Penn State traveling to play USC in UCLA's home stadium, or Auburn taking on an Oklahoma team in the Sugar bowl, with the Sooners looking to let everyone know they should have been in the playoffs, and Michigan playing Florida State in the Orange Bowl, an odd matchup considering the 'Noles were generally thought to be the third best team in the ACC Atlantic for most of the season. Oh wait, Michigan finished third in the Big Ten East. Nevermind!
It all kicks off on December 17, with something called the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. Are we supposed to be reserved in our celebration? That's a pretty difficult task given the energy displayed by Grambling's entertaining marching band. Or later that day, Camping World Stadium is the site for the AutoNation Cure Bowl, and then the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28, and finally the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on New Years Eve. Will people be sleeping in tents in the parking lot until their cars somehow get cured of whatever ails them by the AutoNation? Is that something out of a Cars movie? Or will there be more outdoors lovers at the Camping World Independence Bowl, formerly the Poulan-Weedeater Bowl, the Sanford Bowl, the Mainstay bowl, the PetroSun Bowl, the AdvoCare V100 Bowl and the Duck Commander Bowl. A couple of days later, we get treated to the Miami Beach Bowl, not to be confused with a Miami Beach ball, however it is a bit odd to play a football game in the Marlins' baseball stadium. My biggest disappointment is that they chose not to make the the Famous Idaho Potato and Popeyes Bahamas Bowls a double header, because fried chicken and french fries go together like, well, the aforementioned Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl (but without the fries).
If you can somehow watch, in succession, on Dec. 30, the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl and the Capital One Orange Bowl without taking a significant hit to your credit rating, then you deserve that cash back credit card and a new house payment. Leading up to that trio, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl will remind you how many new parts your old car needs, after which the Hyundai Sun Bowl will show you how nice it is to have a shiny new one, which brings us back to getting all the advice you need on where to get the money to pay for it. Thank goodness you had the foresight to tune into the Dollar General Bowl earlier in the week, so it's possible to pay less for everything else, even if it's stacked to the ceiling or kept outside on the sidewalk.
If you'd rather watch what I call the Steve Miller bowls (okay, it's an obscure reference to his Rockin' Me tune), check out the Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Hawaii, St. Petersburg and Birmingham Bowls. If you decide to take the trip to see the games in person, then Motel 6 is your place to stay, as they have what must be the greatest bowl tie-in of all time for a hotel chain: The Cactus Bowl in Phoenix. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up.
Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.