Now that the 2012 regular season has wrapped up and the bowl season is upon us, it's time for the Inaugural Bill Lynch Invitational, the pre-season exhibition tournament of mayhem preceding the Fulmer Cup. "Why is this happening?", you are probably not asking, if you are even reading this. (We know, the New Mexico Bowl is too fucking enthralling and sexy for you to pull your eyes away and waste your time on this shit) Here is a brief FAQ:
What is this I don't even-
This is a Fulmer Cup-style competition involving only those teams that did not get a bowl invite. Their season, for whatever reason, is now over. Between now and the MNC, players have nothing but cursory finals, no practice, and two weeks of potential debauchery masquerading as "Winter Break." Baby it's cold outside, so why not go keep warm in the club and maybe teach that guy in the corner not to look at you like that?
How long does it run?
From immediately after the final gun of the last regular-season game (Army/Navy, by my reckoning) through to the final gun of the Mythical National Championship. The Day of Grace following that game applies to the BLI just as it does to the Fulmer Cup. Starting at the final gun of each non-bowl team's last regular-season game, which is to say, the start of the offseason for the non-bowl-eligible, and running straight through the Mythical National Championship until the clock hits triple-zeroes. Specific dates may vary; consult your local listings WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH EASTASIA I AM LADY EMPRESS STARBLADE AND YOU WILL BOW, PEASANT.
WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE MESSING WITH THE FULMER CUP YOU CAN'T DO THAT ORSON IS THE QUEEN OF HEARTS ONLY HE CAN-
This is not the Fulmer Cup. BLI points do not apply to the Fulmer Cup. The BLI is to the Fulmer Cup what the Maui Invitational is to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. You might see the rise of a contender in this preseason tourney, but the points have absolutely no bearing on the Fulmer Cup whatsoever. So lighten up, Francis.
But why the hell are you doing this? And why is it called the "Bill Lynch Invitational?"
Back in 2008, I saw that this happened, and no Fulmer Cup points were awarded. Cup points didn't apply, as the crime occurred on Dec. 18th and bowl season had just begun. But I thought, why shouldn't they count? Indiana's season was over; for them it was the offseason. Why should the fact that other teams were playing bowl games stop a player from getting into shenanigans when they have nothing to do, especially over Winter Break? The BLI seeks to mark the achievements of players who must stare into the grim void of the offseason while other teams play on, who have nothing to play for, no practices, and not even any classes to attend for two of the hardest-partying weeks out of the year. Guys on teams who couldn't even make it to 6-6 in the era of the 12-game regular season and FCS wins that count toward making it to one of 34(!) fucking bowl games. It is a dark time, and this is a dark contest.
And it's named after Bill Lynch because the above arrest occurred under his watch, along with several other equally stupid arrests (including one involving water balloons and another involving a stiffed cab fare and a failure at basic maths.) The Invitational could be named for a variety of other coaches, sure. But it's not.
So, who's invited to this apres-vie?
The dead, of course. They are: Wake Forest, Maryland, Boston College, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Temple, Connecticut, South Florida, Kansas, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Marshall, Memphis, UAB, Southern Miss, Houston, UTEP, Tulane, Army, Buffalo, Massachusetts, Miami of Ohio, Akron, W. Michigan, E. Michigan, Wyoming, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Hawaii, Cal, Washington State, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, Troy, UNT, FIU, Florida Atlantic, South Alabama, UTSA, Texas State, Idaho, and New Mexico State.
Notice that Ohio State and Penn State are included, even though their teams are not shit. But they are not going to a bowl game. Their season is over; they're in the Invitational.
What about teams in shite bowls whose season will be over Saturday night?
Teams that made a bowl game are excluded from the BLI. They are practicing and playing for something (even something as inconsequential as the Poinsettia Bowl). Even if their season ends this week, they still can call their season some kind of success, and might even be paying attention to the other bowl games to see how other teams shake out in the final polls. The line in the sand is drawn: if you're in a bowl, you're not eligible for the BLI.
So, what are the rules?
Same as the Fulmer Cup, as devised by Spencer Hall His Majesty the Queen of Hearts, which follow below (note- after tooling around the archives for a bit today, I've updated the rules to be the most recent version devised by Spencer. They also format neater). I am not the Queen of Hearts of the Fulmer Cup, but as this is taking place in the international waters of the Fanposts, I am happy to name myself The Empress Lady Starblade of this private island.
- Murder: 10 points. We don't want to start quantifying evil, but if you violate society's original taboo, then you should get more than two points more than the guy getting a DUI. Thus the figure of ten points is decided on because ten sounds like a lot, and because if we are accused of trivializing murder we can point to it and go "hey, that's a big number, and seriously we didn't joke about it." As always, this is null and void if this involves the murder of a clown.
- Cannibalism. Also 10 points. You say, "Oh, when will you use THAT?" This is what people who have no idea how the universe works, since it is just looking for a reason to put a college football cannibalism scandal into this website's life. (Dibs on Wisconsin being the first. Sausage tells no tales, and you really don't want to know how this particular sausage is made.)
- Sex Crimes: 5 points. This is a new category to cover anything in the category, since the last thing we want to do is attempt to quantify the horrendous category of Sex Crimes. Five points and done.
- Bestiality: 4 points. Again: just in case. No, having sex with a rival's ladies does not count as a sex crime either, you clever person.
- Grand Larceny: 4 points. This has to be theft on a jewel thief-level so outrageous it demands to be called "a caper." Applies to money laundering, RICO violations,etc.
- Hitting Girls: 3 points.
- Car theft/Assault/Driving through houses drunk/Drug possession of the Tyrone Biggums variety: 3 Points.
- Fightin' in 'da Club/Weed Possession/Standard DUI: 2 points. Any scenario involving group fighting of a thugged-out, 'we run this place' variety, and marijuana possession of the nickel bag level. Possession of 100 pounds of marijuana is a totally different thing, and takes you right back up to the 4 point 'nefarious' level.
- Drankin'/Suspended License/Assorted petty misdemeanors: 1 point. Covers basic citations and stupid things cops like to cite drunk people for doing.
CRIMES NOT INCLUDED. We'll make it up as we go, of course. This isn't serious, and never has been.
BONUS POINTS. Bonus points are awarded as seen fit for crimes with flair or obvious pointworthiness. We take the awarding of points to be a subjective affair, and will always treat it as thus This the QUEEN OF HEARTS RULE: we're in charge, and otherwise off with your heads.
REDUCTION OF CHARGES. We do NOT adjust for plea deals or reduction of charges. The reasons, again, focus on the things we can control and have the time to track. Much of the time charges are reduced due to the machinations of lawyers working their clients into pleas, and if we wanted to track lawyerin', we would have started a cup for lawyerin'. So unless the charges are flat dropped by the court, we stick with the initial charges filed.
WE CAN ONLY ASSESS POINTS BASED ON CHARGES. If it's not there, we can't make it up. And if it is there in triplicate, we can't help but charge for it. The huge margin of victory for Auburn last year came from Lee County prosecutors throwing the book at Auburn football players, with four or five felony charges given to each player. We can only use the materials presented, and are not the judge and jury.
The scoring period for the BLI is much shorter than the true, full, wretched Fulmer Cup season, so expect a low-scoring affair reeking of despair, Kamchatka vodka, rickets and Seasonal Affective Disorder. B1G-style, baby. I'll be keeping an eye out for arrests, but if I miss something or you feel that something merits my attention, please email me.