First, a brief recap of what all of this nonsense is about: In order to determine whether my diet would consist of Ramen noodles (mix them with ranch dressing and you've got yourself a real treat!) or large quantities of meats and cheeses if I ever did embark down the slippery slope of minor high-stakes gambling that would most likely lead me to living out my days in a YMCA shelter, I shall conduct an experiment of the opposite of the scientific variety.
I'll be wagering 20 Confederate dollars on each bowl game (minus the three I ignored during my Christmas/traveling odyssey) and at the end of the bowl season, we'll see just how poor I would have become. Or just how vast my estate would be. Bring me another $100 bill, Pendleton, I can't seem to light this fire properly!
2010-2011 Bowl Season Dollars as of 12/30: -$20
Record Against the Spread: 3-4-1
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Army vs. SMU (-7)
Rationale: Coming into today, 14 bowl games have been played. Of those 14, exactly 1.5 have been watchable. Not competitive games (sorry, FIU and Toledo), but watchable. Iowa/Missouri earned a full point, while Southern Miss/Louisville scored a half point. And I give credit for that half point to my fascination with all things Beef 'O' Brady's, which was rewarded by a game that went down to the final few minutes.
Luckily for all of us, our conference commissioners are hell-bent on preserving the great traditions and matchups of shit sandwiches like this one. Now, of the 35 bowl games, no matter how crappy, I made or will make every effort to watch. Mainly because I'm a loser and have nothing better going on, but also because it's more entertaining than whatever the hell else is on TV and I am addicted to college football. However, of those 35, here's a list of games I found or will find compelling enough to make sure I'm watching most of the game:
So that's 7 out of 35. God forbid we ever have more than seven compelling football games to end a college football season. HOW DARE ANYONE WANT TO MAKE COLLEGE FOOTBALL EVEN MORE AWESOME.
Pick: SMU (-7)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Kansas State vs. Syracuse (pick 'em)
Rationale: Most impressive win for Kansas State: 27-20 over Iowa State (5-7). Most impressive win for Syracuse: 19-14 over West Virginia (9-4), whose most recent work you may remember in their bed-shitting performance against NC State. Thankfully, I'll be at work and cannot expose myself to this atrocity. Oh, hey there, ESPN3. What's up? Why yes, you do look very nice and shiny over in that corner. Check you out? Okay, maybe for just a minute. Or thirty.
Pick: Syracuse; chosen based on the hobo who chased another hobo off a valuable intersection corner today at lunch.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
UNC vs. Tennessee (pick 'em)
Rationale: At least this misery won't take place in 33 degree weather and rain. Or 20 degree weather and ICY DEATH. Checking the weather, they'll still have the rain, but it'll be a balmy 50 degrees at kickoff. I know people who went to the Ole Miss/West Virginia game in 2000 and they still talk about it as if they survived six months in a Soviet work camp in Siberia. I'm talking about people staying in the bathrooms or gift shop rather than being in the stands and dying from exposure or hypothermia.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Washington vs. Nebraska (-14)
Rationale: Occasionally, the Holiday Bowl spits out a game worth watching. I seem to recall Oregon/Oklahoma State two years ago was highly entertaining. Yes, the same Oklahoma State team beaten by Ole Miss in the 2009 Cotton Bowl, who, despite losing its top two offensive players, won 11 games this season, while Ole Miss won four. That's right, Houston Nutt, they nearly TRIPLED your win total.
Pick: Nebraska (-14)