Some people love to prognosticate the whole bowl season. In our self-appointed role as college football anti-pundits, we love to make our picks based on predjudice, caprice, and regional politics. With that, we present who we're rooting for in each bowl this season.
New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State versus Southern Mississippi.
Orson: At the risk of infuriating SMQ, we have to pull for Arkansas State, since we bludgeoned them to death innumerable times with the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in NCAA 2004. As coach Blue McFistley we put the Blue Raiders on track to four straight national championships, each one of which ran squarely over the squashed innards of an Arkansas State team. So for karma's sake, we're pulling for them with the full knowledge that they'll stand little chance against a disgruntled and very pissed off Southern Miss team.
Stranko: At first I confused Arkansas State with the University of Arkansas-Monticello Fighting Boll Weevils and was going to pick them both because I actually know an alum and because, in that region of the country, what mascot could be more frightening. Having realized that they are in fact the now banned Indians of Arkansas State, I was disappointed. Kind of like when you take a sip of your beverage at a restaurant expecting a Pespi and it turns out to be Iced Tea... you might have been satisfied with Iced Tea, but because of expectations, you almost spit it out. So, I have chosen Southern Mississippi.
GMAC Bowl: Toledo versus UTEP.
Orson: By day she go to school, and night she turn strip-PAHHHH... Mike Price, baby. Dig 'em, Miners. Hehhhhnnnggghhhh!!!!
Stranko: I want to root for Mike Price, I really do because it is more entertaining. But as explained below, I can't because he's coaching in Texas.
Mike Price wants Toledo to drop it to the floor. Hehhhhnnnggghhh!!!
Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Cal.
Orson: Caffeine, sex outside of marriage, pornography, and booze: four reasons we're rooting like hell for Cal.
Stranko: No brainer. South Park ruined any hope of me ever rooting for BYU Fighting John Smiths(sad and puerile, I know) so I too will be pulling for the crazies from Berserkly.
San Diego State Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Colorado State versus Navy. Sonny Lubick is hard to root against, especially after you read the chapter on him in Every Week A Season. And he's named Sonny, which automatically makes him cool.
But Sonny gets outranked here in coolness by the Navy. It's not his fault; it just so happens that like most red-blooded American males, we imagine that if fate had tweaked itself in one flap of of the butterfly's wing or another, we'd be climbing the outside of a building in a desolate corner of the world wearing underwear made of plastic explosive with a survival knife in our teeth, poised to strike and then make our escape on the back of a combat llama. Navy SEALS or Sonny? Like Michael Bolton in Office Space, we've got SEAL envy, and will therefore pull for Navy.
Like Michael Bolton, we've got Navy SEAL envy. Anchors Aweigh!
Stranko: Wouldn't I have to either be a CSU alum or hate America to root for the Rams??? Well, I love this country and I too think that there is nothing more bad ass than a Navy Seal, so Anchors Aweigh!!! (By the way, is it Point- Set- A or Point- Set- Ee- A)
Fort Worth Bowl: Kansas versus Houston.
Orson: Kansas, because they're so...happy.
Stranko: As explained further below, I can only root for so many teams from Texas and this is not one of them. So, even if there is something the matter with Kansas, I'm pulling for the Jayhawks.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Nevada vs. UCF
Orson: UCF, because if they win, O'Leary finally gets to put a national championship on his resume.
Stranko: UCF, because.... dare I admit it.... they have the best Marching Band I've seen that wasn't FAMU.
Motor City Bowl: Memphis vs. Akron
Orson: A bowl so bad we're not even going to make a pick or accompanying Detroit crime joke.
Stranko: Come on Orson, how can you not pull for the Zips?
Even Zippy can't make Orson care.
Champs Sports Bowl: Clemson vs. Colorado
Orson: Karma's pushing us toward Clemson to continue the Buffs time on the rack for not firing the Sooper Genious sooner. Look for Mexican waiters to soak Buffs' food in spit during bowl buffets.
Stranko: I too am pulling for Clemson but for different reasons. I love that Tommy Bowden is perpetually hanging by a thread in job security, not because he isn't doing a nice job there, but because for some reason, Clemson thinks their coaching job is on par with Oklahoma, USC, Texas, Florida ect... but have no rational basis for it (kind of like Texas A&M). Thus, Bowden needs these bowl wins to hang around so the rest of the college football world can enjoy an annual Spurrier/Bowden matchup.
Insight Bowl: Arizona State versus Rutgers
Orson: A 6-5 bust or a 7-4 team for the ages for Rutgers? Rootdom made simple. Rutgers channels Abe Vigoda and pulls a Luca Brasi on an ASU team that never recovered from a last minute defeat to LSU.
Stranko: It is all about the University of New Jersey for me too. They have suffered long enough.
MPC Computers Bowl: Boise State vs. Boston College
Orson: This game's kickass quotient would go through the roof if they renamed it the MCP Bowl and made them play it on the Smurf Turf with lethal frisbees. As it is, it's got two teams that make us shrug with equal indifference. We'll go with Hawkins and the Broncos to give Boise fans one last kiss before watching their coach trek down south to clean up Barnett's wreckage in Boulder.
Stranko: I'm pulling for Boston College. They are well coached, well disciplined and play in a tough conference despite having high academic standards. I just respect them more.
The MCP Bowl would be the rulah.
Mastercard Alamo Bowl: Michigan vs. Nebraska
Orson: Wolverines!!! We're brandishing an AK-47 as we say that, which is true most of the time, actually. We can't root for Callahan, even after he doesn't snicker at sideline reporters who ask him about particularly satisfying dumps. Plus, if we piss off Brian we risk death by sniper kitten.
Stranko: I applied to (and got
excepted accepted [damn my lack of proof-reading] to) two law schools, one was Florida the other was Michigan. Weather and scholarships dictated that I stay in Florida, but I've always kept a small part in my heart for Michigan for graciously letting me in and sending me a kick ass recruiting video. So I too can scream Wolverines while watching the Mastercard Alamo Bowl.
Emerald Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Utah
Orson: Chantasy! Victory! In a life...called...Chan-ta-see.... We can't stand Chan Gailey, but with Urb gone, the number of compelling reasons to pull for the Utes just fell to zero. Here's hoping troubled corner Reuben Houston can get back on the plane without carrying a hundred pounds of Humboldt County's finest in a duffel bag with him.
Stranko: See my response to the MPC Computers Bowl, subtract the well coached and well disciplined part and Go Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech!
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl: Oregon versus Oklahoma.
Orson: Stoops, there it is! Oklahoma.
Stranko: Oregon fans have been whining and whining about the fact that Notre Dame and Ohio State (both of whom are better than they are and more deserving) are in the Fiesta Bowl instead of them. I, therefore, will relish it when their disappointed team mails it in against Oklahoma.
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl: Minnesota vs. Virginia.
Orson: Why can't this bowl take place in San Francisco? Another one where we'll rely on blogger loyalty to make the decision: Ian, we're pulling for the Cavs. Repek.
Stranko: I'm going with the Gophers here. Al Groh's lack of personality isn't even charming like Weis'.
Gaylord Hotels and Brokeback Mountain bring you the Music City Bowl!
Vitalis Sun Bowl: Northwestern vs. UCLA.
Orson: When you couldn't care two shits for a game, you resort to the lessons of nature.
Bear vs wildcat= dead wildcat, pissed-off, lacerated bear.
...and thus we pull for UCLA!
Stranko: I was on the fence for this one but Orson makes a persuasive argument. Go Bruins!
Independence Bowl: Missouri vs. South Carolina.
Orson: Really, that wasn't us calling last week. We must have just dialed the wrong number, that's all---fifteen times in a row. At one in the morning. Drunk. And we saw that new paint job you've got on the house...when we just happened to drive by the other day. A few times. Like ten or so. And that new guy you're dating? Yeah, we've heard--all cock. Hope you're happy, whore! No one will ever love you like we love you! No one! Pulling for SOS and the Cocks, since we really wish him the best, we really do...
Stranko: This is a no brainer for me. Man crush isn't the right term here... more like father figure. I am the fan I am today solely because of Spurrier. Once upon a time, I preferred the NFL, but the Ole Ball Coach sucked me into this addiction and I've been chasing the dragon ever since. Go Cocks!
Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl: Miami vs. LSU
Orson: Sentiment and narrative dictates that we root for poor, hurricane-ravaged LSU. We're watching just to see how many remarks in poor taste inadvertently pop up during the broadcast. ("Well, remember that they don't do well in domes...") Conference ties wiggle us the Tigers way, but just barely.
Stranko: I'm going with the Tigers too so I don't have to deal with the arrogance of all the non-college graduate fans of the U I see throughout the state.
Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida vs. NC State.
Orson: A phenomenally misplaced bowl--how do two 6-5 teams make it to December 31st? This really should have been played at a more appropriate time, like last week, especially given its status as "Cheapest Sounding Bowl." Chuck Amato wears red shoes and funny glasses. When Elton John did it in '74, it ruled; when Amato does it, we want him trampled by a herd of rogue wilderbeest, especially at a night game. Go Bulls.
Stranko: Jim Leavitt obviously on cares about football and doesn't give much thought to things like... haircuts. For his sake (and the fact that I am related to some alums here) I say Go Bulls!
Amato is about three steps away from coaching in this.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Tulsa vs. Fresno State.
Orson: Bowl preference, Chinese Lesson Edition. Tulsa coach, Steve Kragthorpe: meiyou mustache. Pat Hill: you. We therefore xihuan Fresno State.
Stranko: I've done no research on this so I could be completely wrong here, but I've heard that Tulsa is the smallest school with a DI football program out there. I'll pull for the little guy here, if only because there poor students have to live in Tulsa.
EV1.net Houston Bowl: TCU vs. Iowa State.
Orson: We quote from the TCU website: When angered or frightened, horned frogs can squirt a fine, four-foot stream of blood from their eyes.
We would love to have the talent of a horned toad, especially in crowded stores.
Stranko: If they went by the moniker Horny Toads, I might reconsider, but my Texas rule applies here too so I am rooting for Cyclones to lay waste to Houston, taking out TCU in the process.
Cotton Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Alabama
Orson: Mike Leach likes pirates, rollerblades down the middle of two lane roads, has no playbook, and would claim the wives of opposing coaches as booty following victories if he could.
Mike Shula, as far as we know, isn't into any of this. Man-crush prevails: avast ye, Crimson Tide!
Stranko: This one is tough for me. I too became an instant fan of Mike Leach after reading that New York Times profile... but his team is in Texas and I am already pulling for one Texas team (for the first time in my life). There is also the conference loyalty thing, with Alabama representing the SEC against a really shitty Big XII this year. But, Alabama kicked Florida's ass this year.... yet the fans were so nice to us in the process.... This is a tough one, but I know as the game gets going, I'll be saying Roll Tide!
Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. Florida
Toyota Gator Bowl: Louisville vs.Virginia Tech.
Orson: Jenkins will cast his mysterious curses on us if we don't pull for the Hokies.
Stranko: Beamer and Jenkins built this program from nothing in the middle of freaking nowhere. They also has managed to recruit to a place with an out of wack boy to girl ratio. Go Hokies.
Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Auburn.
Orson: Again, sentiment would dictate that we root for Barry Alvarez in his final game as Wisconsin head coach. However, Tommy Tuberville made his living as an adult by opening his own catfish restaurant and frying fish for profit. Plus, we're SEC biased, so nothing but War Eagles will be heard from the Swindle Estate here. We will be watching to see if the winner of the Capitol One Mascot Challenge will be decided in a halftime death match---we can dream, right?
Forced to root for Auburn by the threat of a beatdown by Cuddles, the Ray Jackson of Opelika, AL.
Stranko: Cuddles Swindle wouldn't be happy if you said anything else. I fear the wrath of Cuddles as well and will pull for the
War Eagles Plainsmen Tigers.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State.
Orson: Notre Dame, in the Lord of the Rings comparison, are the Elves of the college football world--forever bunkering up from the masses, moving to their own distant lands, and insisting on being a powerful meddling force in things while simultaneously raising their nose at their mention in the same sentence with other teams. Despite this, we have to pull for them over Ohio State and their coach, who is as fake as lopsided tits.
Stranko: I was actually hoping Orson would be pulling for the Evil Sweater Vest here so I could root against him. Notre Dame usually conjurs up powerful love and/or hatred from college football fans. Not so for me. My feelings aren't strong here, but I must confess that I have always had a soft spot for the Domers. I rooted for them in the Rocket Ismael cliping call game as well as against the Noles in 93 (and I still give them a share of the National Championship for that year as I do with Auburn last year). So, there is no reason for me to fight it this year.
Nokia Sugar Bowl: West Virginia vs. Georgia.
Orson: As an Atlanta area resident, we're hoping the couch burning is kept to a minimum down by the Georgia Dome despite its obvious benefits for downtown's significant homeless population. Rooting for Georgia could help ensure that. Go Dawgs.
Stranko: Let's see, Big East Champion v. SEC Champion. It really doesn't matter which teams they are, I'm going SEC here.
FedEx Orange Bowl: Penn State vs. Florida State.
Orson: Will hopefully become this year's version of last year's Utah/Pitt game, a lopsided skullknuckle tooth-shatterer between a strong team that won its conference honestly and a floundering program who backed its adult-diaper clad ass into the game. In case you can't read through the broad strokes of that statement, it means we hope Penn State runs them into the sea.
Stranko: Go Joe Go! Go Joe Go!
Grover Cleveland spanked Joe on two non-consecutive occasions. He plans to put a spankin o another oldster in Miami.
The Rose Bowl, sponsored by Citi: Texas vs. USC.
Orson: We owe HP 20 bucks if USC wins, since they're the only remaining member of the Gang of (Insert Number Here) left in the hunt. Therefore: Hook 'Em.
Stranko: Alright, I have long held a bias against the State of Texas and everything associated with it. I hate country music and cowboy boots. I don't eat steak three meals a day. And I have never rooted for a sports team from the State of Texas unless it was playing against another team from Texas. But this season, I have looked into my unconscious as Freud would suggest, only without the cocaine, and I have realized that this all stems from a girl I went to the Homecoming dance with in the 9th grade who was from Dallas (along with all the weird shit you see in the news that comes from Texas... but being from Florida how can I judge based on that). I need to work on this, but I can only handle baby steps. So, I have chosen one Texas team to root for and it is UT-Austin. That makes sense because I've heard wonderful things about the city of Austin, they have a great music festival, and they are playing the official team of the City of Quartz. Like all good American sports fans, I love to see a program (or athlete) reach a pinnacle of acheivement only to come crashing down. Can't help it, we are programmed that way by the ever-present narrative. So, with great hesitation, I say Hook 'Em Horns.