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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bob Lutz: Never enough bowls

BY BOB LUTZ
The Wichita Eagle

I have put Christmas shopping on hold today so that I can sit in my favorite easy chair and watch three of the best college football games you can imagine.

Christmas can wait. It isn't every day you get a chance to start your day with the New Mexico Bowl, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl.

I'll say one thing about these bowls: At least the six teams playing in them have winning records. Which is something 10 of the 35 bowl games can't say. Here's a rundown:

Today

New Mexico, Temple (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-4) —The Owls have an outstanding running back named Bernard Pierce. I've never met a Bernard I didn't like.

Famous Idaho Potato, Ohio (9-4) vs. Utah State (7-5) —These teams are a combined 1-9 in bowl games. I'll bet ESPN isn't going to tell you that.

New Orleans, Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) vs. San Diego State (8-4) —Expect lots of offense. Or lots of defense. I'm not really sure. This is Lafayette's first bowl. First of many, we're sure.

Tuesday

Beef 'O'Brady's, Florida International (8-4) vs. Marshall (6-6) —This MAC-Sun Belt matchup will command most of the television screens in Huntington, W. Va. and whatever city FIU is located. Oh wait, that's Miami. Forget it.

Wednesday

Poinsettia, Louisiana Tech (8-4) vs. TCU (10-2) —Did you know the milky sap from poinsettias can cause skin irritation? Did you know that watching too much of this game can do the same?

Thursday

Las Vegas, Arizona State (6-6) vs. Boise State (11-1) —Arizona State doesn't have a coach. Boise State has Kellen Moore. Looks like a mismatch.

Dec. 24

Hawaii, Nevada (7-5) vs. Southern Miss (11-2) —Expect these teams to be highly focused and prepared for helmet-rattling football. Or to be totally distracted by being in Las Vegas on Christmas Eve.

Dec. 26

Independence, Missouri (7-5) vs. North Carolina (7-5) —It would be so sad to see the Tigers leave the Big 12 with a loss. I get verklempt just thinking about it.

Dec. 27

Little Caesars Pizza, Purdue (6-6) vs. Western Michigan (7-5) —If your kids were unappreciative of their gifts on Christmas morning, don't send them to their rooms. Make them watch this game.

Belk, Louisville (7-5) vs. N.C. State (7-5) —Belk is a department store chain in the southeast. Daughtry, of "American Idol" fame, is a pre-game performer. Nice to see his career taking off.

Dec. 28

Military, Air Force (7-5) vs. Toledo (8-4) —OK, Air Force I get. But why is Toledo playing in the Military Bowl?

Holiday, California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5) —The state universities of the two largest states hook up in San Diego. It sounds a lot more impressive than it is.

Dec. 29

Champs Sports, Florida State (8-4) vs. Notre Dame (8-4) —The only way this game is interesting is if Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd show up and take us back 20 years.

Alamo, Baylor (9-3) vs. Washington (7-5) —This game has Robert Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner. It also has... well, that's enough for me.

Dec. 30

Armed Forces, BYU (9-3) vs. Tulsa (8-4) —Not to be confused with the Military Bowl. And who doesn't think of BYU and Tulsa when thinking about armed forces?

Pinstripe, Iowa State (6-6) vs. Rutgers (8-4) —We have Iowa State to thank for the all-SEC championship game. Thanks for throwing that wrench into the system, Cyclones.

Music City, Mississippi State (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (6-6) —For fans of the Grand Ol' Opry, this is like a Minnie Pearl-Grandpa Jones duet.

Insight, Iowa (7-5) vs. Oklahoma (9-3) —A game that matches two coaches — Kirk Ferentz and Bob Stoops — who are being mentioned as potential Kansas City Chiefs coaches. Hey, it's a hook.

Dec. 31

Texas Bowl, Northwestern (6-6) vs. Texas A&M (6-6) —— This game matches a highly respected institution of higher learning against a bunch of dummies who think they'll be better off in the SEC.

Sun, Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Utah (7-5) —The Utes' 13-4 record in bowl games is the best of the 70 bowl teams. But strange things happen in El Paso.

Fight Hunger, Illinois (6-6) vs. UCLA (6-7) —The only bowl team with a losing record plays in this game. At least the other team is .500. To fight hunger, I'm going to shut off the TV and eat when this is on.

Liberty, Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6) —I think Daughtry is performing before this game, too. The guy is on a roll.

Chick-Fil-A, Auburn (7-5) vs. Virginia (8-4) —Aren't we getting a Chick-Fil-A in Wichita soon? I swear I read that. Or did I dream it?

Jan. 2

TicketCity, Houston (12-1) vs. Penn State (9-3) —On a serious note for a second, Penn State should not be playing in a bowl game. Not this season.

Capital One, Nebraska (9-3) vs. South Carolina (10-2) —I've been trying to come up with something smart to say about this game but I can't. Must be pretty good.

Gator, Florida (6-6) vs. Ohio State (6-6) —I would watch this game if Urban Meyer had to coach both teams for a half. Otherwise, not that interested.

Outback, Georgia (10-3) vs. Michigan State (10-3) —You know, some of these Jan. 2 games remind me why I used to love college football bowl games.

Rose, Oregon (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (11-2) —You couldn't tear me away from this one. It's such a joy to hear Keith Jackson calling the Rose Bowl. He still does, right?

Fiesta, Oklahoma State (11-1) vs. Stanford (11-1) —I'm going to watch this one live, then I'm going to watch it on replay, then I'm going to save it and watch it again when it's snowing outside.

Jan. 3

Sugar, Michigan (10-2) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2) —It seems like Virginia Tech is in a BCS bowl every year. And it seems like that's the one BCS game I don't watch.

Jan. 4

Orange, Clemson (10-3) vs. West Virginia (9-3) —The Mountaineers won the Big East this season. Heights winning the City League was a bigger accomplishment.

Jan. 6

Cotton, Arkansas (10-2) vs. Kansas State (10-2) —This is a BCS game without all the BS. If you know what I mean.

Jan. 7

BBVA Compass, Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. SMU (7-5) —If you have a compass, please point it away from this game.

Jan. 8

Godaddy.com, Arkansas State (10-2) vs. Northern Illinois (10-3) —This game was originally scheduled for March 24, but they couldn't find a field.

Jan. 9

BCS championship, LSU (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1) —Yes, we've seen this one before. And we didn't really like it then. But is anyone disputing these are the two best teams in college football? I don't think so.

Check sports columnist Bob Lutz's blog at blogs.kansas.com/lutz. Reach him at 316-268-6597 or blutz@wichitaeagle.com.

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