Garbage à Trois: Previewing the Three Best College Football Bowl Games on ESPN on Thursday, December 27, 2012
Normally I’d be elated over the following situation: three college football games on a Thursday starting at 3:00 in the afternoon. But this isn’t a normal situation, it’s Bowl Season.
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
It wouldn’t be a subpar Bowl game if the Title and Sponsorship wasn’t either a total misnomer or a combination that made you ask, “Why the heck is company X sponsoring Bowl Game Y?” Well, it makes sense for Northrop Grumman, a producer of thousands of products used by the military, to sponsor the Military Bowl. What doesn’t make sense is the name in general as it falls under the “misnomer” category for failing to feature even one of the service academies in its two competition slots. And for what it’s worth: Navy could have ditched fighting hunger in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to fight Air Force (featured in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl). Or maybe Northrop Grumman and Bell Helicopter could have teamed-up for a soldier-only Bowl game that Americans would actually enjoy (they’ve teamed up before).
I digress to make this recommendation: Don’t spend your time watching San Jose State and Bowling Green in the Military Bowl today at 3:00 PM. There’s a high likelihood that you will actually be at your job during that time frame. It’s not worth losing your employment to see this battle of WAC vs. MAC. And, if you’re not working this afternoon I recommend that you spend your three hours doing something that actually benefits the Military and its personnel in some way instead. You’ll feel better about yourself and do some good in the process.
But since I promised to preview every single Bowl game this year here is what you need to know in six sentence fragments:
- Bowling Green lose to Florida and Virginia Tech in September, also lose to Toledo and Kent State.
- San Jose State only lose to Stanford and Utah State.
- Bowling Green good defense – allow only 15.8 points per game
- San Jose State good offense – 28th in the country
- San Jose State good defense – 25th in country
- Bowling Green score once every few years – kidding but rank 93 in country
The math says take BGSU +7.5, but I think this is a problem along the lines of what I discussed yesterday. I think SJSU will win handily.
This must-watch game pits future NBA first round draft picks Kenyan Martin and DerMarr Johnson along with future second round pick Steve Logan from Cincinatti against a star-studded Duke team featuring Shane Battier, Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy and Chris Carawell. Wait. This is not a basketball game from the 1999-2000 season. Ok, so there really isn’t a reason to watch this.
Just know that Cincinnati went 9-3 in sharing a portion of the Big East (a surprisingly underrated conference this year. Yeah, I said it.) crown with Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse (all 5-2 in conference play). Know that Duke went 6-6 overall and 3-5 in a terrible ACC (Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech were both way down, Miami is still mediocre, no surprise like Wake or BC a few years ago).
The spread reflects these differences (Cincy is favored by 11), but the math thinks the gap may be even wider.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Remember the whole misnomer theme? Here’s another one. Who gets educated during the Holidays? The short answer: nobody. The long answer: Nobody except those fine folks who seek higher college football education via DudeYouCrazy.net.
Everybody in the country saw Baylor beat the tar out of Kansas State on November 17th, and everyone in the God’s Country (the South) loved it. But, nobody remembers Baylor’s 14-point loss to Iowa State (the cyclones only beat two other Big 12 teams) or the Bears’ 28-point home loss to TCU.
Similarly, everybody in the country seems to remember UCLA’s two losses to Stanford in back-to-back weeks (because that was pretty weird), but nobody seems to notice that the Bruins are 5-1 against other Bowl teams (you know, the non-BCS Bowl teams) and that they’ve outscored those six opponents (Rice, Nebraska, Arizona State, Arizona, USC and Oregon State – the lone loss) by a combined 92 points.
So, for Las Vegas to list this game as “Baylor -1” seems a bit ridiculous. Granted, a one-point line implies there isn’t a favorite and presents a generous opportunity for all bettors. But, the résumé and the math seem to favor UCLA.
That’s all I got/