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BOWLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL

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BOWL PREVIEWS: EXPRESS-O EDITION! Shit, there's one starting at five o'clock, so let's roll this fast. Today's slate starts to get into the good stuff--at least matchup wise--with this pre-New Year's games picking up a little more in the way of wattage and notoriety. We say this despite the fact that the most entertaining game we've watched yet was the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, a nail-biting shootout that ended with a cruel missed PAT downing UCF and Coach of the Year George O'Leary 49-48 to Nevada. And they had many gratuitous shots of hot ass walking down Waikiki, which should be a priority for every bowl broadcast: more hot ass. Basta! Mush, dogs, mush!

Name: Champs Sports Bowl
Motto: "Something's Got To Give!" Sorry, just kidding there. the Champs Sports bowl has no motto. Well, it did, but Gary Barnett put it in a foot locker along with thirty five grand in unmarked bills and "put it away for safe keeping" in the CU locker room.

Intrusive Corporate Sponsor: Champs Sports, where the nation goes to try on shoes they will later buy off the internet for half-price.

Tradition rating: The Champs Sports Bowl boasts a long history extending all the way back to 1990, when the n00b bowl somehow nabbed Florida State and Penn State for their inaugural matchup. We remember it most for Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison," which taught our young souls that we should never trust a big butt and a smile. (Oh, but we did, boys, we did. Would that we had listened! Shakes angry fist at sky) Therefore, we give the Champs Sports Bowl a rating of "Bell Biv Devoe."

Tradition rating: me and the crue used to do her.

Setup: Big 12 vs. ACC

Location: Orlando, which could be a fun place, we guess, if you didn't mind strollers hitting you in the Achilles' tendon every three seconds. (We actually wouldn't be surprised to see that in the IR on gameday. "C. Stuckey, achilles bruise, doubtful.) To be fair, in addition to the well-worn Disney/Universal circuit of tomfoolery (anyone willing to place wagers on one of Colorado's players re-enacting Bobby Brown's masterwork of getting arrested at Discovery Pleasure Island, Disney's "adult entertainment center"?) Orlando's got loads of bars and cheap hotels set up to keep even the most sun-poisoned vacationer reaching happily for the funnel. The downtown district in particular could leave significant wiggle room for subtle recruiting violations, so keep an eye on the Buffs boosters stuffing Benjamins into the garnishes of bucket-sized Mai-Tais belonging to suspiciously naive-looking young men.

Matchup quality: Poor like Laos. Poor like cracker sandwiches. Brokeass eating sawdust poor. Walker Evans is taking pictures of you poor. Poor. One team finished relatively strong with a victory over its bitter archrival and a bareass humiliation of Florida State. The other lost its last three games by a score of 8370-3, including a loss by three thousand points to Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. (All scores are approximate-ed.) Your head coach is gone, you've gotten your ass kicked, and someone just gave you a new Ipod and packed you off to...Orlando, Florida? We quote a more knowledgeable source on performing at all under these conditions:

Former LB Channing Crowder on the 2004 Outback Bowl: “They (Iowa) were playing like they weren’t partying all week. They wanted to prove a point and we were like, ‘Well, forget it. Our season is already a mess.’”

Colorado's season is mess as mess gets. Clemson will hammer them.

Matchup quality: "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" poor.

What to watch for: One or two jackass trick plays Tommie Bowden will pull in the bowl game. That's a technical term, by the way, coined when we watched the Peach Bowl a few years ago as Clemson actually ran the "fumblerooskie" on Tennessee for a TD and watched the words "jackass" cross Phil Fulmer's lips in response. He's got some good ones, and with an eye for the theatrical should call them appropriately. Also watch as a hell-for-leather tough Joel Klatt suffers with dignity through an unjustly miserable finale to his career at Colorado.