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Why I Love the Bowls and Their Names

Unfortunately Rambler (and dawsonPSU10 in the comments), I'm afraid I'm not agreeable...

It was one thing when it was "FedEx Orange Bowl", or "Sunkist Fiesta Bowl", but the Citrus Bowl was a great name for the bowl in Orlando. It was so accurate. They couldn't be as cool as oranges, so they just went with citrus in general. Grapefruit? Tangerines? Who knows. But it's perfect for a bowl that will never be as cool as the cool kids and I'm sad to see it go.

I guess it really just doesn't bother me that much.  As I said in the comments, I view the bowls as soleless money grabs to begin with, so it doesn't bother me when they bend over for the corporate suits and rename their games.  And that goes for any bowl.  If the Rose Bowl changed it's name to the Citi Bowl, it wouldn't bother me one bit, because while it has great tradition and all, it's probably the single biggest reason we don't have a college playoff system today.  In the event that we DID have a playoff, the Rose Bowl would be less meaningful, and far less meaningful than if we keep the current system in place and rename it.


That's why I don't fret.

Now Dawson

...but I just feel like any sense of history these places represented is kind of lost (not that the Citrus bowl has the history of say a Rose, etc.). But let us not forget that it was our 1987 NC that set all this in motion (not that it was our fault, especially since it was the highest rated college football game ever played). Before that, you didn’t have all this little consolation prize bowls for every half the teams in CFB with 6 wins, so they actually meant something more than money.

Maybe the bowls don't mean as much on a national scale as they used to, but I would argue that they still mean something.

Back in the day, before we had 34 bowl games, the big name programs played each other out of conference at a far higher rate than they do now, and while yes, bowls are all about the money, their purpose is to put together appealing matchups that will fill their stadiums and draw big TV numbers.  In my opinion, the fact that this is the bowls' mission is precisely why so many are needed.  We don't get these matchups during the season like we used to, and now the bowls can help make up for that a little.

Let's just go through the matchups outside the biggies.

GMAC, Central Michigan vs. Troy-This one's your last chance to see one of the best players no one talks about in Dan LeFevour.

Alamo, Michigan St. vs. Texas Tech-The Red Raiders are the definition of the Nintendo XII, and it'll be interesting to see if that sh** flies (literally), against a Big 10 defense (even if that defense is Sparty's). 

Papajohns.com, Connecticut vs. South Carolina-I'm not sure why this one isn't just the Papa John's Bowl...but I'm over it.  This one is going to mean a hell of a lot to the kids in that UNCONN locker room.  Is it sexy?  No.  But in my opinion, it's still worth watching on a human level.

Gator, WVU vs. FSU-It's Bobbah's last game, and I'll be pulling for him #1because I'd like to see HickU lose to a 6-6 team, and #2 because the race is over, and Bowden deserves to go out a winner, even if he's not Paterno.

Outback, Northwestern vs. Auburn-On first glance, there's not a whole lot to care about here, but nationally, Northwestern is still kind of a joke.  If they walk into Tampa and beat an SEC team, it'll be a nice "Kiss our asses" for them but also for the conference.  While the teams at the top of the ticket are still going to carry the banner, it'd be nice to not have a parade of fat losers following them. 

Chick-fil-A, Tennesse vs. Virginia Tech-I don't like Kiffin.  I'd love to see him lose this one.

Insight, Minnesota vs. Iowa State-Will the Gophers score?

Texas, Missouri vs. Navy-Depending upon what happens in the Army-Navy game, the Midshipmen could be looking at a 10 win season, which isn't to freakin' bad for a service academy in this day and age. 

Sun, Stanford vs. Oklahoma-First bowl since 2001 for Stanford, and an unmitigated disaster for Oklahoma.  I think I'll quite enjoy seeing Toby and the boys give Big Game Bob's team one last kick in the crotch for 2009.

Armed Forces, Air Force vs. Houston-In the Dan LeFevour mold of "good players we don't see."  I look forward to seeing what the kid can do.

Holiday, Arizona vs. Nebraska-Arizona vs. Oregon this year made me sit up and say "Gee, the Pac-10 is worth watching" for once, so I'll enjoy watching the Wildcats to see how good they really are.  I also look forward to watching Suh.

Humanitarian, Idaho vs. Bowling Green-OK, I'm sure there's a compeling reason to watch this game, but I don't know what that is.  When I tune in, I'm confident I'll find out from whatever interns ESPN pulls off desk duty to call this one.

Champs Sports, Wisconsin vs. Miami-As was said in the comments of one of these posts, the Bielemas will be playing in the same bowl at 9-3 as they did last year at 7-6.  I laugh at this.  And as Penn State fans, we should be interested in this one simply because we'll be in town, and it's a chance to get 2 football games into one trip.

Eaglebank, Temple vs. UCLA-Sure, the Owls might be playing in perhaps the biggest craphole ever at RFK, but they're still in a bowl.  And despite the fact that their fans, young and old (and I mean, pretty old), taunted Nittany Nation members after the game Saturday, I'll be rooting for the ungreatful bastards because we made them.  They're our B team.  Anything good they do reflects well upon us.

Independence, Texas A&M vs. Georgia-The fireworks from this one will come mostly before the game.  What horribly insensitive thing will the Aggie yell leader say about Georgia?  Will he make fun of their deceased mascot?

Music City, Kentucky vs. Clemson-Any excuse I get to watch CJ Spiller again is a good one.

Emerald, Boston College vs. USC-It's happening.  USC is slowly rapidly becoming the U as many of us have predicted.  Would the irony be lost on anyone if the team that had a hand in one of Miami's most epic losses could hand the Golden Boys their 5th loss?

Meineke Car Care, North Carolina vs. Pitt-via the PG

North Carolina preferred a game with Pitt -- which is No. 17 in the final BCS rankings -- for a variety of reasons, and the bowl officials worked out a deal to make that matchup happen.

One of the key factors is that North Carolina will help sell a small portion of Pitt's ticket allotment, which is 12,500.

That, and the fact that this man has to cover the game will have me smiling ear to ear.  

 Little Caesars, Ohio vs. Marshall-The Bobcats return to the field that they lost to Central Michigan on.  If they lose again, I'd find that pretty funny.  

Hawaii, Nevada vs. SMU-Did you know that SMU is in University Park, Texas?  Betcha did'n't. This will be the Mustangs' first bowl bid in 25 years, and I for one find it unfair that they get to play it in a nicer place than we have in, oh, I don't know, EVAAAAAR.  

Poinsettia, Utah vs. California-If the MWC has another good showing in the bowls, the cries for the BCS to expand to a 7th league will only grow louder...  

Maaco, Oregon St. vs. BYU-This one used to be the Las Vegas Bowl because...it's in Las Vegas.  I can't think of a better vacation destination for a Mormon school.  

New Orleans, Middle Tennessee State vs. Southern Miss-Is it just me, or does something screwey always seem to happen in this game?  

St. Petersburg, Rutgers vs. UCF-Let's face it.  This is the real Senior Bowl.  I can hardly wait to see Dick Vitale jumping on a dugout at the Trop and providing Sportscenter with it's quirky lead-in to "This Is Sportscenter".  

New Mexico-Wyoming vs. Fresno St.-I know you think you don't care now.  But after a week and a half of listening to ESPN's c-list NFL analysts speak in superfluous clichees about the Colts and Saints, trust me, it'll be great.  

Liberty, East Carolina vs. Arkansas-Listening to Lou Holtz slober all over his son while he already has a distinct lisp makes for great television.  Also, everytime I think of Bobby Petrino leaving a note to his Falcon players telling them he quit, I laugh pretty hard.  If we're lucky, the Buccos (yeah, I said it.  What?) can help him quit permenently.  

Cotton, Oklahoma St. vs. Ole Miss-The Rebels' win in this game last year propelled them to one of the best off seasons in college football history.  They were ranked No. 6, and their quarterback was picked by Steve Spurn-ier as the preseason SEC player of the year.  With a win, who knows what the offseason holds for the Rebels this year?  

International, South Florida vs. Northern Illinois-How ass backwards is this?  I mean, it's one thing to ask USF fans to leave their retirement homes in the first place, but to ask them to go to Toronto in the winter?  Isn't that the kind of place they moved south to avoid?  But  there are a lot of casinos up there...  

These games aren't meaningless in my opinion, just less meaningful, and I guess I don't feel as though it cheapens college football very much.  The truth of the matter is, bowl season is really just one last week of football spread out over the course of the holidays to help get us cope with whatever family and friend get togethers our moms/wives/girlfriends drag us to, and for that, I'm thankful.  Let's Go State.

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And now a special addendum.  This is my 100th post here at BSD.  To celebrate, let's take a stroll down memory lane...

Rakes of SHALLOW-My first post was a hitpiece on a domer who called Penn State fans "delusional" after reading one of Mike's posts.

21 PSU Basketball Games?-Hard to believe it was only 2 years ago that we were wondering if the BTN would get off the ground. 

PSU Admin=Crooks-Who knew it was actually me who coined "I tried it and it sucked" in this post's comments on PSU charging for seat backs?

I sat in one for the fourth quarter of FIU, and it sucked.

Don't Blame The Coaches!-This was the beginning of my defense of the coaching staff in the tail end of the Morelli era after the Michigan loss in 2007.  I always stood beind Morelli, and the staff's choice to keep him out there instead of playing Clark/Devlin.  In hindsight, not one of my better causes...

The PA @ Beaver Stadium-Some material just never stops presenting itself.

Really Stupid Question But...-Believe it or not, this post received no comments.

Basketball?-These were my thoughts after the Blue-White game in before the 2007-2008 season when Battle, Jones, Jackson, Brooks, and Pringle joined the squad, and turned the ship around.  They included:

-By the middle of the second half, I found myself yelling "Stop IT!!!" at Mike Walker.  What a player.  He was NAILING 3s left, right, and center.  He was 9-16 from behind the arc and scored 33 poonts, and that was with Morrissey, hardly a sloch, guarding him.

Hassell is going to be key for us this year.  If he can become a dependable guy inside, we'll be OK.

-Talor Battle impressed me for a freshman.  I'm not exactly sure how I feel about him leading the team from the point at Michigan St., but he has the potential to be a good player for us.

Significance on 2008-One of my favorite posts.   Eerily prophetic in hindsight.

Teach Them Once And For All-The folks over at Mondesi's House have given me hell for this one.  Apparantly they don't think drum majors and the blended smell of burgers and cowsh** is anything to get excited about.  But I sure as hell do.

The Fraud That Is The Big XII Conference-Always thought this was one of my better ones, though it wasn't widely commented on.

Time to Question Curley? and Time To Question Curley (Clarified) and Fire Tim Curley-It's funny.  I've never been one to want people to get fired, but because of this post, "fugimaster24" and "Curley" will be forever linked on BSD...

Hold The Phone, Smizik Still Drinks For Free-This post got a ridiculous 17 recs, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's my masterpiece. 

Significance on 2009-The followup to the 2008 version...Read it again.  Have your opinions changed?

Thanks to Mike, Kevin, and RUTS for running such a great site.  A lot of this stuff probably doesn't get read without you guys, and I appreciate not only the content you guys generate, but the voice you give to those of us who might otherwise be left out of the Penn State conversation.

And thanks to those of you who've put up with read my posts over the last couple of years.   

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