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GBH WATCHLIST bowls games installment 2: weekday football

For Christmas we would like a poinsettia, a GoDaddy, and a potato. Thanks Santa.

look at all those damn poinsettias
look at all those damn poinsettias
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

It's Monday. The office is nearly empty. There is something called a Miami Beach Bowl coming on in the early afternoon that sounds rather enticing. Turns out there's more after that: a whole slew of minor weekday bowl games to browse.

The next few days

Monday, December 21st
Miami Beach Bowl: South Florida vs. Western Kentucky 1:30 pm ESPN / WatchESPN
Tuesday, December 22nd
Idaho Potato Bowl : Akron vs. Utah State 2:30 pm ESPN / WatchESPN
Boca Bowl : Temple vs. Toledo 6:00 pm ESPN / WatchESPN
Wednesday, December 23rd
Poinsettia Bowl : Boise State vs. Northern Illinois 3:30 pm ESPN / WatchESPN
Go Daddy Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern 7:00 pm ESPN / WatchESPN

That'll get you to Christmas Eve, and hopefully some time off. Let's run these suckers down:


by jimmygards
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. South Florida Bulls
December 21st, 1:30 PM | ESPN

A TRADISH UNLIKE ANY OTHER SINCE 2014. Look, when directional schools from states known for grifters, cheats, ne'er-do-wells, and hooch square off in a baseball aquarium on a Monday, well, you tune your ass in. That's right, gang. The Miami Marlins are still a thing and this game will be LIT. As you may have heard, college players are not paid for their dangerous, popular labor. However, when they go to bowl games, they're given opulent gift baskets replete with all kinds of shit that college guys want or that sponsors are trying to push to kEwL millennials. I'm told the Miami Beach Bowl has put the following in their gift baskets: glow-in-the-dark rubbers, (cut) cocaine pouches, aqua velva, a Pitbull vinyl album, and a drink coupon to Marco Rubio's parents' bar. Not bad.

Western Kentucky brings one of the best offenses in the country down to Florida to take on the resurgent Bulls. The Bulls are lead by Willie Taggert who was the architect of Western Kentucky's recent ascension into Conference USA royalty. Also, this:

Oh, and hey South Florida

Idaho Potato Bowl

by Rush
Utah State vs. Akron
Tuesday, Dec 22, 2:30 p.m.  |  ESPN

hot potato taeks

Denise Austin is a fitness guru. She was a child and collegiate gymnast who married into a legendary tennis family. She's produced about five hundred fitness videos over the past four decades. She's 58 years old but looks 20 years younger. So why does she help shill for Idaho Potatoes, the empty calorie, carb-and-starch-loaded vehicles for high-fat toppings? Money, same thing that makes people think having this bowl game is a good idea. This sucker pays out $750,000. Sounds pretty good for a lower-tier bowl, but Akron is 2,000 miles from Boise. It's six hours by plane.  It's just as damn cold in Boise as it is in Ohio, so that's a tough sell for MAC fanatics. #BUSINESS be damned, it's still a bowl game, and it's still gonna be fun to watch.

Chuckie Keeton is approximately 32 years old and on his 8th knee reconstruction, but he'll be starting his final collegiate game against Akron. He'll be facing Jatavis Brown, the nation's 8th-leading sacker, and this is by far the most interesting duel to watch here. If Chuckie can just stay about 50% healthy he can rely on elbow grease and magic to limp around and squeak out one final win on pure gumption to cement his legend status in Aggie history. [checks off cliche BINGO card] Cold weather ballgames are a blast to watch on TV. Spike some hot chocolate and turn on the AC to set the mood and enjoy it.

Boca Bowl

by Shooter Flatch

Temple vs Toledo
December 226:00 p.m. CST | ESPN

This is the second year we're treated to the Boca Bowl, which is what you'd order from Taco Bell at 2:00 amafter cranking back a 12 pack of Coors Original.  Lets break this matchup down with a hat tip to EDSBS Five Factors:

1) Mascots.  Owls vs Rockets.  Owls are sorta creepy to me because you rarely even see one and they can turn their heads all the way around like a demon.  But they're no match against a Saturn V.  'Murica.  WINNER: TOLEDO

2) Give-A-Shit.  Temple started hot and then dropped 3 of their last 6 games.  Toledo also started with some nice wins and slipped down the stretch losing 2 of their last 4.  Winner likely finishes with a spot in the Top 25.  WINNER: TIE

3) Roster Names.
Temple - Eriq Fadahunsi, Cole Boozer, Rob Ritravto, Kiser Terry, Adonis Jennings
Toledo - Cheatham Norrils, Chase Murdock, Ramone Miles, Storm Norton, Chandler Cotterman
WINNER: TOLEDO.  You can't beat Storm Norton when he looks like that.

4) Revenge.  Toledo leads the all times series matchup 7-3.  After losing their conference title game, Temple could come out pissed off ready to prove something.  Especially after getting shunned by the bowls last year.  WINNER:  TEMPLE.

5) Random Semi-Pro Teams.  Temple makes it home in Philadelphia with several major pro teams, but they are also home to the Philadelphia Spinners, an ultimate frisbee team.  Toledo is home to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens, the Toledo Walleye (ECHL hockey team), and the Glass City Rollers (a women's roller derby team).  WINNER:  TOLEDO


by Rush
Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Boise State Broncos
Dec. 23rd, 3:30 PM  |  ESPN

This is the only bowl game sponsored by a county bank, so we can thank the robust US Navy-fueled economy and the private investigation skills of Rick and A.J. for that. Did you know Poinsettias are poisonous to dogs? Well that's just another #WarOnChristmas myth: they are only mildly toxic and in fact probably enhance the effects of recreational dog narcotics:

Remember when Boise State was really good and then they were under-appreciated and didn't get enough recognition and then their coach left even though everyone thought he'd never leave and they just couldn't get all that recognition they deserved and then they were snubbed for that big bowl even though they played some tough teams and then they painted their turf green as a gimmick and fired up those snow makers for that September game when it was 80 degrees outside just to try to recapture some of that Boise Magic?

Neither do we. This is probably the first Boise game you've seen this season. What the hell happened to them? Only one way to find out: cut work early and watch this MAC-MWC showdown. And please don't feed your dog Poinsettias.


by Chuck

In the age of corporate bowl sponsorship, there is something almost refreshingly honest about the GoDaddy Bowl which chooses not to even keep a vestigial reference to some fruit-named bowl of yesteryear. GoDaddy will slap their name and logos on every football game, V8 supercharged monster, and supermodel they can get their hands on. The players for both teams even attended something called the "Realtree Team Welcome Reception presented by Monroe Sausage" earlier this week, an event so strategically branded that they were almost certainly driven there in Ford F-150 Raptors and ate hors d'oeuvres inside a giant YETI cooler.

Nothing is more appropriate in the Christmas season than this Dickensian match up of orphans scrabbling over bowl game scraps. The head coaches of both teams went out to get cigarettes a couple weeks ago, and now they will both be coached by foster parents while the state looks for good men to adopt them. That's the nature of this Sun Belt / MACtion bowl where last year's game was the first in seven years to not feature at least one interim head coach. In this particular episode of Punty Brewster the role of Henry will be played by defensive coordinator Brian Ward for Bowling Green and assistant head coach Dell McGee for Georgia Southern.

Why should you watch this game? BECAUSE DELL MCGEE PLAYED IN THE XFL AND HIS TWO INTERCEPTIONS WITH THE LOS ANGELES EXTREME RANKS HIM IN THE TOP 10 IN LEAGUE HISTORY. The XFL was the pinnacle of football and in its wake we are all just wallowing in the antiseptic, faux-highbrow fart-sniffing that is the NFL.

On a disappointing note, GoDaddy has announced that any advertisements run during this game will not feature Danica Patrick as she has not met the requisite number of wins for bowl eligibility.