Wow, has there ever been a worse year for bowl games? People complain about the BCS for all the wrong reasons. The BCS works fine when it comes to matching up the two best teams in the country for the National Championship. Where it fails year after year is in the Bowl matchups. HORRIBLE! No wonder tickets for these dog shows are going for as little as $1.50 apiece. But at least, when it comes to the SEC, the bowl matchups are not awful and some are quite interesting. And, what’s more, they all happen when bowls are supposed to happen — around January 1st and a few days after! You may not be able to catch all of them, so as another public service, The Fan is here to tell you what is going to happen — and that means that you can decide for yourself if you want to watch. [as usual, don't thank us, just send money]
Vandy finished strong and got James Franklin all kinds of new money (and even got an agreement to build new facilities) so this was a stellar season for the Commydoors — and it ain’t over yet. You think 8-4 is good? Wait till you see 9-4 and a brand spakin new Franklin American Mortgage Company trophy in that empty trophy case! It’s coming. The Doors win this one.
LSU is still smarting over their last minute loss to Bama (and we can’t blame them). Beating the stripes off Clemson will not heal the wound completely, but it’s something. Dabo just thought the regular season was frustrating. It will get worse on New Year’s Eve. Tigurs win and start to look forward to 2013.
Tuesday, January 1:
The Cowbell Gang almost got shut out of the winner’s circle the entire last month and a half of the season. Almost. And if they hadn’t scheduled the hapless RazorPigs they would have finished 0-5 after going 7-0 in the first half of the season. But now they get to play a representative of the Little Ten! [throw confetti and blow those little paper tooters] Northwestern is a typical Little 10 team. Which means if you don’t give them turnovers and play the worst game of your life — you will win 9 times out of 10. Thankfully the Dawgs only have to play them once and that’ll be enough. The Bullies win and garner their 9th win of the season
Hey, now! The G-Dawgs get an opportunity to take out some frustrations on New Year’s Day! And they get to do it against a newby Little 10 team. A team that lost to a 7-5 Wisconsin team by 39 points. What’s left of the Cornhuskers will take the field in Orlando and try to remember how to play football. It won’t be enough. The G-Dawgs are still steaming over being 5 yards short of Miami and they’ll take this one. Georgia wins and finishes the season back in the top 5 in the polls.
The Aussie Steak Bowl actually hosts one of the better bowl games this year. The Game Chickens come into this one fresh off a rousing victory over their arch rivals, the Dabo-Tigers. The Wolverines, by contrast, come into this one looking for something to take away the bitter taste of a five-point loss to their rivals (the Buckeyes of Ohio A&M). The difference in this game will be the defense — namely, the team that has one will win it. And that means USC-east wins.
The Swamp Things think they deserve better — and really, Louisville is getting far, far better than they deserve. Their best wins came against a mediocre Rutgers team and a below average Cincinnati team. Couple that with the embarrassing losses they suffered to Syracuse and Connecticut, and that gives plenty of proof that the Gators have a point. UF ought to win by 30 points but this is the “Bowl Season” and everything depends upon the mental attitude of the favored team (witness Alabama vs. Utah in the 2010 Sugar Bowl). Truth is, however, Louisville would get clobbered by that Utah team and they’ll lose to the Gators too.
Here’s another great match-up (though we would have preferred to see LSU take on the Sooners). The newby SEC team takes one of their old Big 12 rivals. Johnny Heisman against . . . . well, against whoever is good on the OU defense. But whoever they are, they’re not as good as that guy who got a sport named after him. Sorry, Okies, this one is going to the Farmers from College Station. They’re excited and all Kevin Sumlined-up and will win.
Saturday, January 5:
The Compass Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Pittsburgh
Oh yeah! Somebody pointed out that we forgot the BBVA Compass Bowl and wondered, “How could that happen?” Answer: Easy. First of all it’s a bowl game with Pittsburgh in it, whoever heard of such a thing before? Second, it’s Ole Miss, and there is absolutely no team in the SEC that is more forgettable than the Ole Missuses. Third, it’s the Better Business Bureau Value Added Bowl or whatever — some bowl that nobody has ever seen before, so we’re not even sure this is a real bowl. But ok, we’ll play along. Assuming this is a real game, Ole Miss will win. Why? Well, for all sorts of reasons. Like: It’s being played on the 12th day of Christmas and the 12 drummers will be drumming and giving the Pitt players terrible headaches. Because Ole Miss is playing Pittsburgh, and even Grandma’s bridge club could beat Pittsburgh. Because nobody cares and Ole Miss plays great in meaningless games. And finally, because Ole Miss lost to Vandy and this will make them feel better and boost their self-image and make them feel pretty . . . and all that.
Now we finally get to the only game that matters: the defending champs against the Leprechauns of Notre Dame. Everyone has said that Notre Dame has a chance to win this game and that they match up favorably with the Tide. It’s been observed that the Irish quarterback has Johnny Football-like tendencies and that’s bound to cause horrible flashbacks for the Bama linebackers. The Irish defense has been lauded for its defense of its own endzone (no rushing TDs have been allowed all year). We’ve even been told that Notre Dame has “SEC-like” talent and that they look like a real, honest-to-goodness SEC team. Ok. Fine. And wow. We’re objective enough to hear all that. We respect it. We carefully consider it. We weigh it soberly. And our response is this: They are still going to lose. And not only that, we hope they lose by a historic margin. We hope that they lose so badly that their athletic director will seriously consider giving up football and stick to playing basketball in that new “Catholic” conference. We hope they lose so badly that on January 8, ND fans will happily line up to volunteer for a scientific test of a new drug which causes you to lose all memory of everything that happened in the past month. We hope they lose in such a humiliating way that their alumni burn their diplomas and refuse to tell people their alma mater. We hope they are so embarrassed in this game that the Pope denounces them and makes Brian Kelly do penance for his audacity in even showing up for this game. So. There. Alabama will win its 15th National Championship, it’s third National Championship in four years, and look forward to winning its 4th in 5 years in 2013. And all the people said, Amen!
So, it’s going to be an SEC Sweep this Bowl season — just as it ought to be. The BCITN (Best Conference in the Nation) shows why it’s Number 1 and gets 2013 off to a great start! So, pull out the ham and black-eyed peas and corn bread, fix up that last bottle of egg nog and enjoy some tackle football, bowl-style!
Happy New Year, y’all!
And Roll Tide.