After 347 long and meaningless days, bowl season is back. No longer must you limit yourself to dumb water cooler conversation about "cabinet appointments" when all you want to talk about is the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl. No longer will you find yourself searching for a reason to crack open a case of Coors Light on a Tuesday afternoon. No longer will N.C. State simply be the ACC's 10th best team.
It's quite an adjustment, but fortunately SIOC is here to make sure you're fully armed heading into college football's increasingly bloated postseason.
EagleBank Bowl, Washington D.C., Dec. 20th
Navy (8-4) vs. Wake Forest (7-5)
Everybody will be talking about how this game illustrates our banking industry's careless money managment. Who says it's a bad idea to have an obscure bowl game in an old, inconvenient stadium in an NFL-only town?
Pick: Wake Forest
New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque, N.M., Dec. 20th
Colorado State (6-6) vs. Fresno State (7-5)
And this game clearly illustrates the state of New Mexico's careless money management.
Pick: Fresno State
magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl, St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec 20th
South Florida (7-5) vs. Memphis (6-6)
It's the only new bowl game. That's how you really know the economy is in bad shape. We're adding completely unnecessary bowl games at a rate of only one per year.
Pick: South Florida
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 20th
Arizona (7-5) vs. BYU (10-2)
The game will be played in Sam Boyd Stadium, the only stadium CFL and XFL teams once called home. It's not the same as playing in a BCS bowl, but I'm sure the players will appreciate the history.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans, La., Dec. 21st
Troy (8-4) vs. Southern Miss (6-6)
R+L Carriers also sponsors Matt Kenseth's car, so if you're a Kenseth fan, you'll definitely love this game.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, San Diego Calif., Dec. 23rd
TCU (10-2) vs. Boise State (12-0)
I'm hoping for a Boise State victory. That way, we'll get to hear that one Boise journalist who makes it his life's mission to convince people the Broncos should be national champs. He'll preach his case from coast to coast, refusing to rest until everyone sees the BCS's flaws. Then one day the NCAA will have him killed.
Pick: Boise State
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, HI, Dec. 24th
Hawaii (7-6) vs. Notre Dame (6-6)
You know what would be ironic? If Charlie Weiss wanted to switch from AT&T to Verizon, but couldn't because it would be too expensive to break his contract with AT&T.
Motor City Bowl, Detroit, Mich., Dec. 26th
Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida Atlantic (6-6)
Soon to be the "T. Boone Pickens Renewable Energy Electric Motor City Bowl."
Pick: Central Michigan
Meineke Car Care Bowl, Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 27th
North Carolina (8-4) vs. West Virginia (8-4)
Let's all shed a tear in honor of Pat White's final college football game. He will be missed. If White can't latch on with an NFL team, he needs to become a professional flag football ringer. He'll be available to clubs or offices that desperately want to win their flag football league. Of course he'll need an alias to keep from arousing suspicion. Something like "Leopold Steinberger."
Pick: West Virginia
Champs Sports Bowl, Orlando, Fla., Dec. 27th
Florida State (8-4) vs. Wisconsin (7-5)
I don't know if Florida State is prepared to play a bowl game without any suspended players. Will it have space in the locker room? Will there be enough food?
Pick: Florida State
Emerald Bowl, San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 27th
Miami (7-5) vs. California (8-4)
Because the game is being played at AT&T Park (an odd shaped baseball stadium) both teams have to stand on the same sideline. Still, a brawl is unlikely. It's the last thing you would expect a team like Miami to -- uh, oh. (On another note, I'm a big fan of the Emerald Bowl logo. It seems to be saying, "Killer Football Attacks Golden Gate bridge!")