A Bowler's Guide to Bowl Games

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A Bowler's Guide to Bowl Games

A bowling inspired preview of all 34 bowl games.  This installment covers the upcoming weekend games.

The breakdown is as follows:

Gutter ball: a non-appealing game with two mediocre-bad teams.  This game wouldn't be on national TV without the bowl tie-in.

Split: a game with one featured team playing one bad team.  Watch it if a) you watch every bowl game or b) you want to see the good team play. 

Spare: A good game, but not a can't miss game.

EagleBank Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Navy

Dec. 20th, 11 a.m. on ESPN

Wake Forest limped into their final game against an equally-demoralized Vanderbilt.  Although the Churchmen from Hell won, it didn't prove anything or improve their ACC standing.

Navy is equally unimpressive (they lost to Duke and Charlie Weis' Hunchbacks) and are infinitely more one-dimensional. 

Reasons to watch

Aaron Curry

The leader of the WF defense was a true demon this year in the eyes of opposing offenses.  His performance this season did not go unheralded; he was awarded the Dick Butkus Award. 

It’s the first bowl game.

That’s always a reason to watch.

Reasons to skip

It’s a rematch.

Navy already won this game back in September.

These teams are snorers.

WF is inconsistent and boring on Offense.  Navy runs a fun offense, but they aren’t very good.

Bowler's take: Gutter ball


New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State vs. Fresno State

Dec 20th, 2:30p.m. on ESPN

Fresno St. is "The Dude" minus the charm.  The early "dark horse" pick for BCS buster proved to be nothing more than a constant underachiever.  Maybe a bowl win will really tie this season together, man?  CSU played BYU tight, losing 45-42.

Reasons to watch

You’re bored?

Reasons to skip

No major matchups.

Quick, name one player off of either squad.  It’s kind of hard to create story lines and drama when nobody knows who’s playing.

7-5 vs. 6-6

Bowler's take: Gutter ball


magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl: Memphis vs. South Florida

Dec 20th, 4:30p.m. on ESPN2

Memphis would rather play USF in basketball.  Probably a blowout, but USF is pretty wacky.  This game could be entertaining if Matt Grothe throws picks like he has the past five games.

Reasons to watch

Grothe could throw picks and be the hero in the same game.

He is a poor, poor, poor, diseased, disabled man’s Tim Tebow in that he also leads his team in rushing.  He also likes to throw a lot of picks.  Memphis could get a few gift wrapped TDs while letting Grothe run all over them.

Reasons to skip

This is Memphis football, not basketball           

Bowler's take: Split/Gutter ball


Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Arizona

Dec 20th, 8p.m. on ESPN

BYU's mad at blowing their perfect game in the seventh frame and ending the season with a big gutter ball.  Arizona is a mediocre team that lost by eight to a team BYU beat by 18.

Reasons to watch


They’re supposed to be good, so watch and see for yourself.

Max Hall

3600 passing yards and 34 TDs.  Good luck, Arizona.

Arizona keeps it close.

Sure, they have five losses.  All five are by 10 or fewer points though.  BYU may have a statistical advantage, but Arizona doesn't get blown out.


BYU likes to score.  They haven't done a very good job keeping their opponents out of the endzone either.

Reasons to skip

A really sexy coworker invites you to the office party?

Bowler's take: Spare


R L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Troy

Dec 21st, 8:15p.m. on ESPN

Troy thinks they should be 10-2.  Instead, they dropped two games in the Louisiana that they were leading going into the third quarter.  Southern Miss. is happy to be here.

Reasons to watch

You really like C-USA or Sun Belt Conferences.

Reasons to skip

Troy is not 10-2.

Had Troy beaten LSU this would have been a far more intriguing team.  Granted, they would be in a better bowl game too.

Who is Southern Miss?

They beat UAB by a million points, but that doesn’t prove anything.  Where are the matchups, bowl people?  Where’s the hype, ESPN?

Bowler’s take: Gutter ball



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