The year I was born, there were eleven bowl games in college football and there were no Division I-AA playoffs because there was no Division I-AA. Back then, no one made bowl predictions on a weblog because there was no web, the only log was being recorded by Captain James T. Kirk, and computers occupied whole rooms and/or went crazy and murdered astronauts.
Fortunately, we live in the here and now, which is much better in many ways, and the first installment of my bowl predictions picked the winners of the first five postseason tilts yet didn’t even make it all the way to Christmas Eve. There being no time to waste, therefore, I will issue my usual disclaimer---Don’t Bet On It!---and dive right into my next set of forecasts:
Poinsettia Bowl: Navy Midshipmen v. San Diego St. Aztecs (Dec. 23): San Diego State got eighteen different kinds of hosed. The Aztecs haven’t been to a bowl game since 1998, and, when they finally make it back into postseason play, they get an invitation to spend the holidays in exotic distant . . . San Diego? Lame. Then again, if you’re already in the most livable city in the United States, you’re probably not chomping at the bit to celebrate Christmas in Shreveport, so it’s cool. What isn’t cool is the fact that Navy is going to run all over the Aztecs.
Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii Warriors v. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Dec. 24): Tulsa could take a lesson here. Hawaii used to call itself the Rainbow Warriors, until someone in the Aloha State realized that naming your sports teams after a boat that was sunk by the French lacked masculinity, even for Hawaii. By dropping the "Rainbow" from "Rainbow Warriors," Hawaii halved its nomenclature yet doubled its toughness. "Golden Hurricane" sounds like a term that, if used on a less family-friendly weblog, would require you to do a UDCU that taught you more about the twisted creativity of other people’s personal lives than you ever really wanted to know. Tulsa should lose the "Golden," but, in the meantime, they’re going to lose the game, as the Warriors are going to win at home.
Little Caesars Bowl: Fla. International Golden Panthers v. Toledo Rockets (Dec. 26): When I imagine what an ad for this game would look like, I think of the commercial for the 1988 "Saturday Night Live" episode hosted by Judge Reinhold and featuring 10,000 Maniacs as the musical guest. Dana Carvey, dressed as the Church Lady, pointed out that Reinhold was not a jurist and 10,000 Maniacs were just a handful of people. By the same token, Little Caesars is a third-rate pizza company rather than a Roman emperor, only eight per cent of FIU’s 2009 enrollment was made up of international students, and the University of Toledo has nothing to do with designing spacecraft or ballistic missiles. (The nickname "Rockets" was inspired by a 99-yard Toledo fumble return in a 32-12 loss to Carnegie Tech in 1923. No, I am not kidding.) The Rockets had better win this one quickly, before this bowl game is shut down by federal agents for violating truth in advertising laws.
Independence Bowl: Air Force Falcons v. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Dec. 27): The over/under on total passing yards in this game is twelve. Seriously, this is going to look like the junior varsity version of a Nebraska-Oklahoma game from the 1970s. While I am no fan of Paul Johnson, he guided Navy to a few Commander-in-Chief’s Trophies, so I am confident of his ability to lead Georgia Tech to a win over Air Force.
Champs Sports Bowl: N.C. State Wolfpack v. West Virginia Mountaineers (Dec. 28): I’m almost positive these two teams came into November very much in the hunt for the championship of
the ACC Atlantic the ACC Coastal the ACC Legends Division one of the divisions of the Atlantic Coast Conference. (Note: Yes, I know that the ACC and the Big East are two different conferences; I just don’t care, and I think that, if you combined the best of both leagues, you’d get one legitimate conference. Basically, they’re like the Mountain West and the WAC with more history better public relations the good fortune of being located in the Eastern time zone.) I have no faith whatsoever in either of these teams, but I trust Tom O’Brien to be able to win a bowl game, so I’m siding with N.C. State.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s ten bowl games down, and only 73 more to go! All right, that was an exaggeration, but there is no hyperbole involved in my regular disclaimer, which I urge you to heed. When it comes to my predictions, whatever you do, . . . Don’t Bet On It!