Time for all the bowls. Bowls and bowls of ‘em. We may be inconsistent in previewing shit throughout the season, but in December, we reach all the way down, rub some gumption on our elbow grease, and crank out these delectable and self-indulgent installments for all 95 bowl games. Enjoy irresponsibly, just as bowls and all other things in December were meant to be.
The Cure Bowl
by Shooter Flatch
Tulane vs UL Lafayette | Saturday December 15th | 12:30 p.m. | CBS Sports Network
This will be the first bowl to kick off the season and is also the first of 73 bowl games to be played in the state of Florida.
Y’all should expect this from me by now.
On foamy white legs the Angry-Wave comes
Softly through the shadow of the New Orleans sun
Stealing past the goal line of the blissfully dead
Looking for the victim, a chili pepper head
Searching out fear in the Orlando gloom and
A water splash in the corner of the room
And there is nothing I can do
When I realize with dismay
That the Angry-Wave is playing in the Cure Bowl today
New Mexico Bowl
Utah State vs. North Texas | Saturday December 15th | 1:00 p.m. | ESPN
This is the good stuff. Two G5 teams near the top of their conferences, high scoring offenses, “technically there” defenses, pre-bowl coaching carousel chaos, an empty stadium in the middle of nowhere 550 miles from either school - these are the ingredients of a genuinely entertaining Trashbowl Fun. Really the only thing missing from this trashbowl experience is some exploitively racist desert gas station souvenir kitsch.
The Aggies should have the slight edge in this matchup, with an offense like a runaway jet ski with the kill switch stuck on. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of being a Mountain West team that finished in the top 25 of the coaches’ poll is that half your coaching staff goes out for cigarettes one night and ends up in Lubbock, mailing you $20 every week and a Red Raider t-shirt on your birthday. What is a team to do but panic-hire your retread of a former coach who just left OregonState mid-season under nebulous pretenses after posting a 7-23 record. We’ve all been there. Meanwhile, North Texas is over here, walking into SEC stadiums and proudly displaying their medically troubling gigantic testicles:
Look for a lot of very tight camera work that goes to great lengths not to let you see how empty the stadium is, and feel disdain for the fans that did not travel to see what could be the most entertaining game of the day.
Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona State vs. Fresno State | Saturday December 15th | 2:30 p.m. | ABC
What the shit...has anyone ever seen either of these teams in daylight? Are we even sure they can survive in the harsh rays of the sun? Perhaps they’re like so many mysterious creatures of the deep ocean, wandering around the West, relying on sonar to achieve all their football goals. Look, one of these teams hired a retread who has had surprising success with the program. The other is Arizona State. Look for plenty of stunned confusion in the unfamiliar brightness of day as these two sort each other out.
Here’s one for all you stat dorks:
Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan | Saturday December 15th | 4:30pm | ESPN
Pop Quiz: Which number is higher, the Camellia Bowl game payout or the Montgomery population? Boy howdy, if you guessed the greater metropolitan area of the state capital of Alabama had swelled to over 199,000 and these teams were taking home a combined $100K, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you and examine your life choices ok? No one should know either of those.
This game features two teams who both feature ‘Eagles’ as mascots, a sneaky fun team on the rebound in Georgia Southern, and a team in Eastern Michigan whose giant green ‘E’ logo bores me so greatly I can’t be bothered to google one thing about them.
Raycom is in fact a company that still exists, and will be sponsoring the game while currently going through a $3.6 billion merger while slashing jobs and payroll in their hometown of Montgomery. Merry Christmas everyone.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State | Saturday December 15th | 8:00 PM | ESPN
Gang, respectfully, I thought R+L Carriers was one of those chotsky shoppes in Olde Mexico that sells knockoff Ralph Lauren crap to greasy foreigners in fanny packs. My bad. R+L Carriers is a global shipping company that boasts “We ship anything, anywhere, anytime.” I bet we can conjure up some shit they wouldn’t ship anywhere at anytime. Alas, this game is a gambler’s delight - If you know when to tap into either of these teams, you can make many mil$skies when they’re cover machines.
And geographically, it all makes sense. Coal and moonshine mountain men meeting up with rural Tennessee bootlegging grifters in New Orleans. In New Orleans, the underground economy of crime is adorably charming at best and blissfully ignored at worst. Take Middle Tennessee plus a touchdown $$.
Related: heretofore I’ll be calling the University of Texas “Middle Texas University”