Joe Lavin

February 2007

From Boston Sports Review

Bowl Game Preview

Once again, it's college bowl season, that exciting time when the top 64 college football teams play in 32 bowl games. Itís sort of like March Madness except that if the 64th best team somehow wins the Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl, they don't live to play another day. Here's just a little of what to expect:

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
December 19th, San Diego, CA

This should not be confused with the Central Arizona Telephone Workers Credit Union Geranium Bowl which doesn't exist (yet). Here, in the first bowl game of the season, an at-large team will meet a representative of the Mountain West Conference, in an exciting attempt to preempt a regularly scheduled poker game on ESPN2.

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Presented by Bridgestone
December 29th, Nashville, TN

I believe this may be the first ever bowl game to have two sponsors in the title. Bravo!

Chick-fil-A Bowl
December 30th, Atlanta, GA

Sadly, the Peach Bowl is now officially the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This is part of an ongoing quest by the Fried Food Producers of America to take every bowl game named after healthy food and rename it after a fast food joint.

Meineke Car Care Bowl
December 30th, Charlotte, NC

Hey, it could be worse. This could be called the Jiffy Lube Bowl instead. Boston College won this game in 2004, when it was the Continental Tire Bowl. Incidentally, in their history, Boston College has also won the Motor City Bowl and the Carquest Bowl, making them the king of automobile-related bowl games.

MPC Computers Bowl
December 31st, Boise, ID

There's nothing quite like spending New Year's Eve in Boise. This is the game that Boston College was in last year, when they defeated Boise State, which coincidentally has played in four of the nine bowl games ever played in Boise. You have to hand it to Boise State. Not only have they convinced the NCAA to hold a bowl game in Boise, they've also given themselves an extra home game during many years. They won't need it this year, but it's always nice to have a backup plan. Cheyenne, Wyoming must be simmering with jealousy.

Note: Do not adjust your set. The field is supposed to be blue.

AT&T Cotton Bowl
January 1st, Dallas, TX

Here, the absolute best team from the Big 12 that wasn't good enough to be in the BCS meets the absolute best team from the SEC that wasn't good enough to be in the BCS. Wow, remember when this game used to matter?

Rose Bowl
January 1st, Pasadena, CA

At least, one thing is sacred. The Rose Bowl will be taking place at 5 pm on New Year's Day, as God intended. Unfortunately, the very best of the Big 10 will be elsewhere.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
January 1st, Glendale, AZ

This is the true granddaddy of them all, at least when it comes to sponsorship. In 1985, its name was changed to the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, becoming the first bowl game with a sponsor in the title. Later, it would become the IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl. Compared with that name, the names of todayís bowl games positively roll off the tongue.

FedEx Orange Bowl
January 2nd, Miami, FL

This remains the last bowl game named after a fruit. With the Peach and Tangerine Bowls renamed, expect this to become the KFC Bowl by 2010 at the latest.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
January 3rd, New Orleans, LA

With the exception of the Rose Bowl, all BCS bowl games will now be on Fox. Brace yourself. Though they haven't said so officially, you just know that this will somehow involve Joe Buck.

International Bowl
January 6th, Toronto, Canada

Here, the second or third seeded team of the MAC and the fourth or fifth seeded team of the Big East are rewarded with a trip to Toronto, Canada in early January. One can only imagine how relieved the sixth-seeded team of the Big East is feeling. They really dodged a bullet on this one.

Still, it's an important event. It's the first college bowl game held outside the United States since the Bacardi Bowl, which was held in Havana, Cuba in the 1940s. Of course, weather aficionados will notice that Havana is located in a warm weather climate, and Toronto is, well, not. Isn't the whole point of bowl games for them to take place someplace warm as some sort of reward?

January 7th, Mobile, AL

Like the International Bowl, this is another bowl game that takes place between the four major BCS games and the BCS championship on January 8th. It's sort of like holding the NCAA basketball tournament play-in game between the 64th and 65th-seeded teams on the Sunday before the Championship game.

BCS Championship Game
January 8th, Glendale, AZ

At last, we have a bona-fide championship game, in which the top two teams in the nation are guaranteed to face off in order to determine a national college football champion, unless, of course, there's a third team that has the same record as the top two teams, in which case it'll be just like old times. But, hey, at least, sponsors now have an extra bowl game.

©2007 Joe Lavin
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