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BOWL PREVIEWS Part 4: Another Weekend in Paradise

Today we travel to The Bahamas, Hawaii, and...Idaho

Hawaii v UCLA
ROLOCLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Happy FRIDAY. May your workdays be brief and your last-minute consumering stress-free. For diversion, here’s an insider peek at the six bowls happening across the next two days.

Bahamas Bowl

by Rush

FIU vs. Toledo | Friday, Dec. 21st | 11:30 a.m. | ESPN

This coaching matchup features Butch Davis vs. a guy who was born when Butch Davis was coaching wide receivers at Oklahoma State in the late ‘70s. Forget Ponce De Leon, the real discoverer of the Fountain of Youth is the guy who keeps on landing head coaching gigs two decades after ejecting from his jetski seat at Miami as they stood at the precipice of one of the more dominant runs in modern history, leaving smoking piles of rubble at stops along the way. FIU finished like many Butch teams: 8-4, shuffling around the Florida coast, and mired in ugly scandal.

Meanwhile, Jason Candle’s Toledo team has kicked around the middle of the MAC West all season and finished strong with not one but two nice little brawls against bottom-dweller Central Michigan. Y’all remember how there were zero penalties in the first half of one of the bowl games last Saturday? All that great discipline and focus and coachemup? That’s not what this is going to be.

The official motto of The Bahamas is “Forward Upward Onward Together” which is absolutely absurd when you consider it’s just a collection of very lofty and platitudinal directions for improvement thrown hastily together. It is also probably why Popeye’s, famous for just putting whatever they damn well please in your order, is no longer with them as a sponsor. As a result, we now have a troublesome C-USA team playing a brawling MAC team at 11:30 a.m. on a weekday in paradise, all sponsored by the largest industrial park in the USA. Just gaze upon this and feel the excitement:

”Makers Wanted,” indeed.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

by Shooter

Western Michigan vs BYU | Friday Dec. 21 | 3:00 PM | ESPN

{Scene: Four GBHer’s with proton packs standing on top of the Pitcock Hotel next to Kyle Field. Dark skies engulf and surround us.}

Saban the Saberian: Sub-creatures. Saban the Saberian, Saban the Destructor, Alabamus Zildrohar, the Traveler has come. Choose and perish.

Shooter Flatch: What do you mean, choose? We don’t understand.

Saban the Saberian: Choose. Choose the form of the Destructor.

ChuckGBH: Oh, I get it! I get it. Oh! Very cute. ”Whatever we think of.” If we think of Mike Sherman, Mike Sherman will appear and destroy us, okay? So empty your heads. Empty your heads. Don’t think of anything. We’ve only got one shot at this.

Saban the Saberian: The choice is made.

ChuckGBH: Whoa! Ho-ho-- Whoa!

Saban the Saberian: The Traveler has come.

ChuckGBH: Nobody “choosed” anything! Did you choose anything?

Dr. Camacho: No.

ChuckGBH: Did you?!

Jimmy Gards: My mind is totally blank.

ChuckGBH: I didn’t choose anything! [All three slowly turn to confront Shooter]

Shooter Flatch: I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.

ChuckGBH: What? What ”just popped in there”?

Shooter Flatch: I-- I-I tried to think--

Dr. Camacho: LOOK!!! [They all look over one side of the roof]

Shooter Flatch: No! It can’t be!

ChuckGBH: What is it?

Shooter Flatch: It can’t be!

ChuckGBH: What did you do, Shooter?!

Jimmy Gards: Oh, shit!

[They all see a giant brown head, bobbing up and down]

Shooter Flatch: It’s the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Mascot.

ChuckGBH: Well, there’s something you don’t see every day.

Shooter Flatch: I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood, something that could never, ever possibly destroy us: The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Mascot.

ChuckGBH: Nice thinkin’, Shooter.

Shooter Flatch: We used to eat potato chips, and laugh at the bouncing Idaho Potato on the Smurf Turf. [Shooter looks heartbroken]

ChuckGBH: Shooter has gone bye-bye, Dr. Camacho. What have you got left?

Dr. Camacho: Sorry, Chuck. I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.

Birmingham Bowl

by Rush

Wake Forest vs. Memphis | Saturday Dec 22 | 11 a.m. | ESPN

Folks I call this the BAD AT BARBECUE BOWL because both these geographies think brisket is a type of deli meat. Memphis vs. Wake Forest is like a cross-country race between a Ferrari 488 and a Toyota Corolla. That octane looks sexy as hell on paper, but somehow or another that sensible, plodding family sedan evens it up a couple hundred miles from the finish and all bets are off after that. Memphis started 1-3 in conference play before torching the entire month of November. Wake Forest’s marquee win this season was an upset of #14 NC State, and the Deacs also have scoreboard over A&M after last year’s Belkening. Please never talk shit about Wake Forest. Give me this guy in a Corolla on Saturday.

Armed Forces Bowl

by Chuck

Houston vs. Army | Saturday, Dec. 22nd | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN

It’s time to find out who wins in a drag race: Houston’s four-banger rocket or Army’s rumbling turbo diesel. Let’s race for pinks, and just for fun lets cut both sets of brake lines because nothing says Trashbowl quite like two G5 schools playing without their defensive coordinators. Houston is doing so by choice after firing DC Mark D’Onofrio for allowing a 124th-ranked 488.5 yards per game. By contrast, Army lost DC Jay Bateman as the first blue-chipper flipped by UNC’s Mack Brown Revival Tour. (Side note: Bateman is about to find out what happens to your defensive numbers when your offense doesn’t average 70% time of possession.)

Houston is the better team despite the records, but they are also missing their starting quarterback and top two wide receivers. That puts Houston in a ground attack skirmish against Army, who has demonstrated time and time again that they could win with literally no wide receivers at all. Evidently Sun Tzu is not on the summer reading list at Cougar High.

Army has never lost the Armed Forces Bowl.

Army has never won 11 games in one season.

GO ARMY BEAT HOUSTON

Dollar General Bowl

by Shooter

Buffalo vs Troy | Saturday Dec. 22nd | 6:00 p.m. | ESPN

This is an aptly named bowl since every degenerate gambler like myself is quite familiar with these two teams this season. Both have been “under the radar” Group of Five teams that have been profitable for anyone that paid attention. Buffalo is 9-4 ATS and Troy finished up 7-3-2 ATS. They both notched a straight up win over B1G teams this year as well. Keeping an eye on these two bargain teams has helped put a little extra fun money in my Christmas gambling stocking this year. This game fits nicely with the rest of the Saturday lineup that is low-key a fun little day of college bowl games. How about a few parlays! *wink wink nudge nudge* It’s also a perfect game to have on in the background if you’re having an early Christmas weekend with the family or in-laws. The MAC overall had a bit of a down year, and since this game is being played in Troy’s backyard, I’m leaning with just betting the Trojans money line. Crack a beer, unwrap a gift, and let’s try to keep some good gambling mojo rolling through the weekend.

Hawaii Bowl

by oscarwildecat

La. Tech vs. Hawaii | Saturday December 22 | 9:30 PM | ESPN

Junior year of high school I had the opportunity with our basketball team to travel to Hawaii to play in a tournament. My position on the squad primarily being attributed to several prominent individuals failing a drug test, I was mainly there to launch terrible 3’s in practice and see what I could get away with on the island. One the third night (after faking an sudden illness during a film session), I ran across a group of like-minded girls on the beach that included Rachel, who drove a CJ7 and knew how to spin fire.

Well, this was before cell phones, Rachel never returned my emails, and I was kicked off the team when we returned to the mainland - so I kind of know what Skip Holtz feels like as he prepares to lead his Louisiana Tech Bulldogs into Honolulu after losing 3 of his last 4.

I’ll primarily be paying attention to [engages google search] Rainbow Warriors’ quarterback Cole McDonald and definitely watching [bing.com] La. Tech wide receiver Adrian Hardy who is a [closes eyes and chants to 10] a big-play target. But mainly I’ll be live-betting the under and scanning the dozens of individuals in the crowd for Rachel.