Well, we’ve gone through 31 of the 35 bowls. Thankfully, the ACC isn’t in any more of them, so I might be able to get the outcome of one correct. Given the way the last several games have gone, however, I doubt it…
Let me be frank here, however: These bowls only serve to irritate us. The Cotton Bowl is a legitimate high-level bowl matchup, so it can stay during BCS week. The other two have no excuses being this close to the national title game. Let’s do this quickly:
Cotton Bowl: #8 Kansas State vs. #6 Arkansas
Arkansas is here because the BCS doesn’t allow three teams from one conference into their little club. Now, I have publicly bashed the bottom three-fourths of the SEC, and I have no reason not to continue to do so, but I’d also be a total idiot to deny that LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas are all really good football teams. Arkansas certainly should have gotten an at-large selection (Michigan’s. Sorry, they were still ranked lower before the game. I’ll indict the Hokies in a second, just hang on.) but the rules of the BCS prohibited it. Sure, it’s a stupid rule, but it’s a stupid system, so why change a theme? Kansas State comes in representing a surprisingly good (6-1 this bowl season) Big 12. K-State also should have gotten a BCS spot (Virginia Tech’s. There, I said it.) but I guess they don’t bring enough fans or something? I don’t know, but this has set up a pretty good Cotton Bowl.
Pick: Kansas State’s good at keeping the ball in their hands, and I’m still not 100% sold on Arkansas. The Hogs have 2 losses this year, to the 2 teams in the title game, but K-State’s going to slow down the game with a strong, methodical rushing attack. The Wildcats have played above their ability all season, let’s see if they can do it one more time.
The other two minor bowls whose name no one knows or cares about:
Bowls like this, if you haven’t guessed, irritate me. It’s not their existence, because I believe that any true college football fan should have the opportunity to see the little teams in action, and bowl season is a great time to do that. The timing of these bowls, however, is off. As I mentioned before, the first match of ranked teams this bowl season came on January 2! After sitting through two weeks of fairly obscure teams in mediocre bowls (obviously not your team, all the others), we got some really good football these past few days. Now they want us to go back to the tiny teams? Right before the big game. No, thanks. And before I’m accused of being an elitist snob, take note that I don’t blame the schools, they didn’t schedule these games at absurdly late times. I blame greedy bowl committees trying to…actually I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish with the dinky January games. I’ll still watch them (because I hate myself) but that doesn’t mean you should.
Picks: SMU throws past Pitt’s shoddy defense, Arkansas State completes the best season in school history with a win over Northern Illinois. (PS: Please tell me in the comments section whether or not you could have named any of the four teams in these games without looking them up.)
That’s all for the meaningless 34! Come back next time to see me be wrong about the national title game!