Our weekly college football shame index previews the shitty upcoming bowls.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6), tonight
Is "Interim Coach Just for the Bowl Game" the best job in football or the worst? We'll ask WKU's Lance Guidry after this, his second time taking the head coach spot for one game and one game only, having done the same for Miami (Ohio) in the 2010 season. Should Guidry win, we propose opening up a temp agency for bowl game-only coaches. Tagline: "I Have Two Bowl Victories and Charlie Weis Has One."
My boss went to Central Michigan and I need someone to bring up at work or else I'll never get promoted! (I work in that child slave mine from Temple of Doom.) Go with running back Zurlon Tipton, who finished the season with more rushing touchdowns than Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, and Stepfan Taylor. You'll get that cushy mine-cart repair shift in no time!
Surely there must be a clumsy metaphor you can apply to this game. Like Little Caesars, neither of these teams is especially great, but they are efficient, averaging six yards or more per offensive play while both ranking near the bottom of FBS for total plays run. Moreover, the halftime show features somebody getting shot for no particular reason.
Can you really make it through this preview without a single Bobby Petrino joke? Yes, because the thought of Petrino leading the Hilltoppers to a win over Kentucky in Week 1 next season is more hilarious than anything we'd come up with.
Military Bowl: San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4), Thursday
Being a MAC team, Bowling Green is POINTS POINTS POINTS POINTS, yes? Actually, the Falcons got here primarily with defense, allowing only 31 plays of 20 or more yards this year, third-best in the nation. They have senior lineman to thank for much of that containment effort: Chris Jones recorded a sack in eight of Bowling Green's 12 games.
That must mean San Jose State is toast? Hardly. The Spartans are one of only eight teams averaging nine yards or more per passing attempt and have the highest completion percentage in the country, connecting over 71 percent of the time.
So how am I supposed to know which team to be-um, believe in? Essentially, you'll have to guess which Bowling Green run defense shows up. The Falcons held opponents to 470 total yards and three touchdowns on the ground in their eight wins, but yielded 930 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in their four losses.
I would like to turn the Military Bowl board of directors into an NBA team. Is this workable? No, because the NBA limits you to 13 players on the active roster, and it apparently takes 26 board members to put on a bowl game in December. If you are ever offered a position on a board, do not turn it down, because I'm pretty sure you just get paid to eat continental breakfast four times a year.
Belk Bowl: Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6), Thursday
What is a Belk? When he opened his first store in 1907, Dr. Clarence Terwillinger sold only one product: a combination of beluga caviar and milk that he dubbed "BELK." It was touted as a prophylactic and a cure for pink eye, and Terwillinger shut down operations after a month.
Boy, how about those bowl-eligible Duke Blue Devils? Yes, they're really something, with their 33.3 percent third-down conversion rate, the worst of any team playing in a bowl, and their streak of giving up at least 400 yards to every offense they've faced from October on!
Well, what's so great about Cincinnati? They allowed only 22 touchdowns all year, tied for seventh in the nation. Oh, and their three losses came by a combined 16 points, while Duke lost by at least 18 points on five different occasions.
Are you trying to steer me away from watching this game? Look, when you die, you can't get any of the time back that you spend watching shitty bowl games. But time spent watching shitty ACC teams in bowl games counts for double.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4), Thursday
Wait, didn't everyone say Jim L. Mora was one of the worst coaching hires made last year? Yes, and everyone was right. Under Mora, the Bruins have had five games with at least 300 yards passing. But under Rick Neuheisel, the Bruins had six, and even if it took four seasons, SIX IS GREATER THAN FIVE RICK NEUHEISEL FOREVER.
Is it true Mora and Meg Ryan were born on the exact same day? Absolutely, which could mean we're looking at the most bizarre switched-at-birth scenario ever. Tom Hanks, you fell in love with the wrong person! Twice!
I like unpredictable nonsense. Is the Holiday Bowl for me? Possibly! We take a Baylor team that is 122nd in the nation in tackles for a loss (with 46 total), and we add a UCLA team that is 123rd in the nation in tackles for a loss allowed (with 105 total), and the result is probably madness!
At a glance, this looks as if it could be quite an exciting game. Will the winner be rewarded with an appropriately outrageous trophy? Regrettably, no. We are not savvy enough to comment on the relative corporate merits of current sponsor Bridgepoint Education and previous sponsor Pacific Life Insurance, but we can say this: Pacific Life gave us the most baleen award ever.
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Ohio (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (8-4), Friday
Since this game is played in the lawless wasteland of Shreveport, which team will feel more at home? That would be Louisiana-Monroe, seventh in the nation at converting its own fourth downs and 109th in allowing opponents to convert theirs. Punts and traffic rules will be the first things to go when society collapses, and ULM is ready.
If the Warhawks are the rebels, does that make the Bobcats the conformists? Conveniently, yes. Ohio committed only eight turnovers this year, best in the nation, and the Bobcats follow a very simple formula: score 30 points and win (they're 6-0 when they do); score fewer than 30 and lose (they're 2-4 then).
I would like to support AdvoCare by purchasing a V100. What is it? Our first guess was lawn mower, but it seems this game is sponsored by the manufacturers of a tropical-flavored vitamin supplement. Of course, that holds no interest for you, unless you're one of those sheeple who don't think scurvy was invented by the government to scare children away from legitimate employment in piracy.
I didn't listen and now I'm addicted to tropical-flavored vitamin supplements. Help! You're going to need to flush your body with BELK. Fortunately, we have the last three cases in existence. Cash only, no cops.
Russell Athletic Bowl: Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6), Friday
I still don't understand—why was Virginia Tech so crappy this season? The Hokies have always relied on their running game, and this was the first year in Frank Beamer's tenure that Tech didn't have a running back total 500 yards on the season. That means all the responsibility on offense fell on Logan Thomas, who did shit like this:
But surely a lowly Big East team like Rutgers will be just the cure for the Hokies? Well, Rutgers did finish sixth overall in rushing yards per carry allowed at 2.94 soooooo PASSING WUNDERKIND LOGAN THOMAS EVERYBODY!
Isn't there any hope you can offer Virginia Tech fans? Actually, there is. As Suffocating as the Rutgers defense is, the offense will never put you out of the game entirely, as the Scarlet Knights have broken 30 points only twice this year and are one of but 13 FBS teams that failed to score 40 points in at least one game. Their company in that sad category includes Illinois, Hawaii, Kentucky, and New Mexico State.
It's a bowl game! The high stakes will bring out the best in both of these teams, right? Philip Rivers won MVP of this bowl twice so, no, it's not exactly a playoff atmosphere.
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5), Saturday
Remember when Texas Tech was undefeated going into October? That was fun. It sure was. Those first four games, the Raiders allowed only five touchdowns while forcing six turnovers, but in the next eight, they gave up 42 touchdowns and forced only four turnovers. If only the schedule allowed you to play Texas State EVERY week!
Minnesota! That must be some Native American word, right? Your hunch is correct; it's a Dakota word that roughly translates to "Great Spirits, Must We Continue to Watch This Bumblefuck Offense?" Surprisingly prescient, given that the Gophers are 117th in the nation at offensive plays of 10 yards or longer.
I don't feel confident pronouncing "Seth Doege," so who are some Texas Tech players I should watch out for? Stick with receivers Darrin Moore and Eric Ward, each of whom has double-digit touchdowns on the year. They're one of only three duos in the country to accomplish that feat this season.
How do I know if Meineke really cares? You can't know if Meineke, or anyone else, for that matter, cares for and loves you. The cold reality is it's all entirely a matter of faith on your part, and it's possible you've been deluding yourself for decades. Happy holidays!
Celebrity Hot Tub is a college football fan who lost the ability to truly love thanks to three years of Florida head coach Ron Zook. He writes for Every Day Should Be Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @celebrityhottub. Top photo via the Columbia Missourian.