The Lightning Round Edition of our bowl previews must commence, a hurried twofer since the damn Emerald Bowl starts in thirty goddamn minutes. Autobots, roll out!
Name: The Emerald Bowl
Motto: "Nuts are tasty!" Not really, since there's no motto.
Intrusive Corporate Sponsor: Emerald, the "snack-nut division of Diamond Foods, Inc." Boggle at the irony of a nut company sponsoring a bowl game in America's gayest city and you'll have one foot in the mental gutter with us.
Tradition Rating: WHOA! Back that thang up, girl, 'cause the Emerald Bowl's been riding the pole since 2003, the year we spent wayyy too much of our life energy smacking up Georgian mercenaries as badass Sam Fisher, Third Echelon's finest and most grizzled black ops man in the classic Splinter Cell. We therefore give the Emerald Bowl a tradition rating of: Sam Fisher.
Knockin' bitches out like the Emerald Bowl: Sam Fisher.
Setup:Georgia Tech versus someone from the WAC. Or at least that's what it should be as long as Chan Gailey's coaching there.
Location. San Francisco. Home to America's most ruthless homeless people and a vibrant gay population. Just the kind of place you want to send a bunch of fresh-faced kids from Utah and the hapless dork populations of Georgia Tech, right? We keep hearing a certain song in our head...You know where you are? You're in the jungle baby...and you're gonna dieiieeeyaaaaAAAAHHH!!!!
Matchup quality:We're only going to type this once---who cares. We're not watching another Tech game as long as Gailey's coaching, because if we wanted to watch disorganized young men in tight pants trying to put balls in a certain place against other young men with intermittent success, we'll go down to Blake's in Midtown, a quality gay bar where the drinks are strong and we'll be spared the sight of Reggie Ball playing quarterback.
What to watch for: Jump balls to Calvin Johnson. Two interesting defensive schemes that blitz like mad. Some seriously, seriously janked-up offenses. Ratings scraping the "Quite Frankly" level. Evidence for everything you thought sucked about the bowl system. We're not watching, and neither should you.
Name: The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Motto: "The Pac-10 Consolation Bowl"
Intrusive Corporate Sponsor: Pacific Life, whose commercials show whales leaping in the air. Even money they've got overseas investments in Japanese whaling concerns.
Tradition Rating: Getting into the archives now--the Holiday Bowl has been in San Diego since 1978, which is probably why it's still got enough self-esteem and confidence to keep its maiden name as well as its corporate one. The Holiday Bowl has actually been on a mean-ass run of good nailbiters lately, including the shocking artillery run Texas Tech made on a mopey Cal team last year. Probably one of CFB's underrated bowl games, which is why we'll compare it to another underrated classic, the Clint Eastwood classic released in the same year featuring a hero of our childhood, the indefeatigable Clyde the Orangutang. If only modern Hollywood understood the humor of an ape drinking cans of Budweiser in a pickup truck...we give the Holiday Bowl a tradition rating of: Every Which Way But Loose.
Clyde: deserved an Oscar.
Setup:Pac-10 vs. Big 12. Pac-10 team must be disappointed, or at the very least be "slighted," or "miffed."
Location. Whale's Vagina, California. Nice place, we hear.
Matchup quality: Sterling. A disappointed Oregon team with a huge offense rolls in to face a developing Oklahoma team who did nothing but improve following a season-scuttling opening loss to TCU at home. Rhett Bomar's voice is still cracking but he's hitting some Steve Perry-like notes on his parts now, and Oregon's pair of young qbs subbed like Sammy Hagar for David Lee Roth--not quite the same, but well enough. (A reference Bill Simmons might get! Two of 'em!) Both defenses have tendencies to flub a few quarters worth of action, so yardage will be in surplus. Postponing watching the second DVD of Aqua Teen Hunger Force to watch this: we couldn't give a better rec here.
What to watch for: Adrian Peterson at something near full speed. The hybrid spread option Oregon OC Gary Crowton cribbed straight from Urban Meyer during Crowton's BYU tenure. The deliciously named Oregon DT Haloti Ngata, who aggravates our Samoan envy for Polynesian lineman wearing orange and blue. The oddly mustache-less Mike Bellotti, who went 10-1 despite losing a Cadillac of a nose warmer over the off-season. Bob Stoops' usual crop of no-name defensive talent busting ass all over the field, and likely doing something to win the game against a Cal we mean Oregon team that will come out flat and likely stay flat for most of the game.