Trevonics: Bowl Week 1
I don't get it. You don't pay the bookie, he breaks your legs, but you still owe him the money? How is that fair? Well, as is my Las Vegas Bowl custom, I spent the day perusing various online wagering houses, unable to leave the compound due to previously mentioned wagering injury (It's just his kneecaps, he'll be fine.-IO). I will say, this college basketball, the Arena football of college sports, sure does pass the time I spend with my money during the offseason. There are just games on all over the place...but that is just not our bag here. I mean, it is if I say it is, but I don't think anyone wants to read Trevonics: Davidson vs. Ohio U. Well, maybe you would, if those $!$#%!$ Bobcats could cover at home!
I digress. There has been some real sports action brightening our dull pre-Xmas midweek. Scoreboard?
Straight Up: 2-0
Against the Spread: 1-1
Given the mashed-up schedule of this bowliest of bowl seasons, I'm going to mash the rundowns in with the picks. So, first things first, old business!
TCU 37-Northern Illinois 7
Um, yeah. Sorry about this one everyone. I forgot that despite TCU's Mountain West persuasions, they can still push around damn most anyone, especially the MAC-tastic Huskies. NIU's one-dimensional offense remained one-dimensional, despite my sincerest non-financially based longings, and got 60 freaking yards of offense. Total. End of story. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs learned about this new-fangled forward pass gizmo, and reminded everyone why NIU was 7-5 in the first place. Garrett Wolfe ends his college career with a whimper, but we're all pulling for him to be an NFL fantasy sleep in 2010.
BYU 38-Oregon 8
The new Cal LOVES playing down, especially in bowl games, and most certainly when the only real storyline is which team performs the most accurate haka. Respecting ancestors aside, the Cougars thoroughly dusted up the Ducks, and were notably unimpresssed by their fancy helmets with the shiny paint business. The kid told me that that paint costs like four grand a gallon because it's got some kind of fancy glass polymer science stuff in it. Yeah, checking this up, Oregon put Flubber on their helmets and still couldn't beat the Mormons. Mark that down.
And now for the riveting weekend games: Bowl games that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot predicting pole a month ago that now have that kind of cheap sheen of respectability now that they have "bowl" in their name and are the only game in town. OK!
New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans LA
Troy (+4) vs. Rice (700pm, 12/22, ESPN2)
The glamorous New Orleans Bowl, now back in New Orleans. Did it ever leave? I'm not sure, but if I were in charge, I would put this game exactly 7 days before the Sugar Bowl, creating a week-long Cajun extravaganza of football, New Years, festive alcoholic beverages, and delectable cuisine that I can never pronounce. What the hell is a beignet? All I know is at 3 am, I need a donut after 7 or 8 Hurricanes, but those will do. As for the game, several Trev-factors come in to play here. The Troy Trojans are a better name than the Rice Owls, and I'm partial to their new logo and jerseys. Combine this with the fact that Rice is basically the Ivy League of Texas and Troy is the Florida State of whatever-state-Troy-is-in, and you've got yourself a mismatch.
Trev's pick: Troy
Papajohns.com Bowl, Birmingham AL
South Florida (-4.5) vs. East Carolina (1oopm, 12/23, ESPN2)
The Papa John's Bowl should be held in Louisville, it should be a law. Simply breaking down one of the more ridiculous matchups of the month, South Florida is an underrated Big East team in the mold of Rutgers and UCONN...and they get to recruit from both Florida and South Florida. These are the guys who couldn't get into Florida, Florida State, and Miami of Florida but have D-I football talent. Uh oh. Not even a top-notch uniform/mascot combo out of the likes of the East Carolina Pirates will be able to stop it. I can't wait for the inevitable rematch in the NIT.
Trev's pick: South Florida
New Mexico Bowl, undisclosed location
San Jose State (+3.5) vs. New Mexico (430pm, 12/23, ESPN)
Sigh. I don't know where to start with this one. I can't even come up with anything good about either of these teams other than this feels like a participation trophy. Congratulations, Aztecs and Lobos, you didn't completely suck this year, here's a bowl game, signed Lobos' Mom. That's what this game is, its a freaking playdate. Yay! Playdate! Playdate! Playdate! I hope they all go out for pizza afterwards. Let's split the pick, that way everyone's a winner!
Trev's pick: New Mexico to win, San Jose State to cover
Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth TX
Tulsa (+1) vs. Utah (800pm, 12/23, ESPN)
Utah's mascot is the Ute, and Tulsa's is the Golden Hurricane. According to ancient legend, the Utes were almost wiped clean by a Golden Hurricane, and banished to Salt Lake City where they wait in joyful hope for the state gaming board to loosen up. I really don't have a clue, so I'll learn my lesson and take the "Southern" team over the "Western" team.
Trev's pick: Tulsa
Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu HI
Hawaii (-6.5) vs Arizona State (800pm, 12/24, check local listings)
Hold it right there. The proud tradition of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl featuring Hawaii and their Rainbow Warriors will not be seen tonight so that I can watch a very special Christmas special? Shenanigans! I swear, if ESPN is showing "Ali Rap" again instead of this game, I will cut someone, and that is for reals, yo. Why should we be denied the unintentional greatness of Colt Brennan lighting up ASU for nigh on 75 pass attempts while every third play we get to here about Dirk Koetter's struggles in Tempe and how this is his final game. No happy endings here, just pain, suffering, molten TD's raining from the sky, and if we're lucky, a sideline correspondent interviewing Dennis Erickson as he rides a golfcart into an active volcano.
Trev's pick: Hawaii
Trev Alberts is a former ESPN analyst. Yeah, he thinks that "Sportscenter College Showdown" is BS too.