Falcons over the Pats, ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that!’

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Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway in Super Bowl XXXIII

There doesn’t seem the be much hoopla around Super Bowl LI. It could be because the Broncos aren’t playing this year, but all the news channels have better stuff to cover these days.

My cohousing community will likely have a Super Bowl party in the common house. I’m not much of a Patriots fan, but Tom Brady has bridged the comings and goings of lots of players and he is part of a winning formula – six Super Bowl appearances and four rings? A fifth will be amazing.

As for the Falcons, I’ll be silently hoping they win. When they handled the Broncos during the regular season, it was clear Atlanta had a pretty good team and have played well the entire season.

The Falcons played in one other big game – Super Bowl XXXIII against John Elway and Broncos, which brings me to my story.

In 1999, I was doing some consulting work for a non-profit in Boulder called Rock the Planet that used mountain climbing as a metaphor for positive youth development. The group sent me on a field trip to attend a climbing wall convention in New York City.

It was the dead of winter. I made arrangements to stay with one of my college classmates who still lives on the Upper Westside between Broadway and Central Park on 72nd. It’s between the 72nd and Broadway Station  and the Dakota.

A couple days before my visit, he called and said he was deathly ill with a cold and made arrangements for me to stay at one of his friend’s short term rentals in Greenwich Village.

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The view of Christopher from my apartment on Super Bowl Sunday 1999.

I arrived and was greeted by Jon who escorted me to the little studio, that he rented to me for a couple hundred bucks for the weekend. It was cozy but cold. By the time the steam heated up the small place, it was time for me to leave.

I don’t recall anything about the meeting I attended, but it was Super Bowl Sunday and the Broncos were playing. I didn’t know the neighborhood that well, since I normally stay a little further uptown at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Below my apartment was a bar – or what looked like a bar. There wasn’t a prominent sign. Since neither of the New York teams were playing, I suspected the crowd would be light.

When I walked through the door, the place was rocking – loud music, people dancing. There was a TV behind the bar. I elbowed my way through the crowd, and sat down on an empty stool and ordered a beer. I asked the bartender to put on the game.

Meanwhile a couple guys walked over and sat down and struck up a conversation wondering what I was doing there. We had a couple laughs before they disappeared into the crowd.

Eventually, I noticed that the bar was not only full of mostly men, which wasn’t unusual, but there were men dancing with men and guys making out with guys in the booths.

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The Stonewall Inn was ground zero for the modern day gay rights movement.

Turned out, I had stumbled upon the infamous and now famous Stonewall Inn. Back in the summer of 1969, it became the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.

In those days, police routinely raided gay bars, but on June 28th of that year, nobody cooperated and a riot broke out. The following morning thousands joined a protest on Christopher Street.

In 1973 when on a college class trip to Washington DC for Nixon’s inauguration, a group of us were led by a classmate from another Nebraska school into a bar in Georgetown. That was my first gay bar experience as a doe-eyed kid from Wyoming at school in Nebraska. It was also the only time I was in a crowd dispersed by tear gas – there were countless demonstrations protesting the secret bombings of Cambodia.

Lots happened during Nixon’s inauguration. Roe v. Wade was decided, LBJ died, I was tear gassed and went into a gay bar.

Back in the late 1980s when I was living in Lander, Wyoming, I was out drinking with a buddy. After the bars closed we went over to his place. That was the first and only time I had been propositioned by a man. I told him I prefer women. He made it sound like being gay was a choice and tried to talk me into it,  “You might like it,” he said.

I told him I prefer women.

That was that.

Not hearing from any of my neighbors, I’ll put out the invite for the Super Bowl gathering and figure out a few gluten-free, vegetarian, no dairy snacks to serve up.

Red or white?

By the way, the Stonewall was hoppin’ by the time the confetti was flying at the end of Super Bowl XXXIII. I was the only one in the housoe who cared that the Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons 34 – 19. I got on the train and went uptown to Sardi’s to celebrate.

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January bowl predictions – Oregon takes it all

mariota wyo Photo by Mary Jane Schulte Oregon News lab The December bowl games are nearly over. My guesses? So far, ot so good. If I were a betting man – I’d be broke. These early games are like betting on horse races in the middle of the week – the odds are all the same since the teams are marginal “also rans” in their conferences.

On December 20th, I channel surfed all of them. Over the last week I’ve caught parts of most of the others.

I was surprised to see that Utah is really good, but CSU played without coach Jim McElwain who bolted to Gatorville, Florida. That’s par for the course in the Mountain West Conference.

Wyoming coach Pat Dye took off for Auburn after one mediocre year with the Cowboys. He went on to get the Tigers put on NCAA probation in 1993 while athletic director and coach.

Wyoming coach Pat Dye took off for Auburn after one mediocre year with the Cowboys.

It will be interesting to see how Mike Bobo does in CSU.

He’ll be moving from a pretty good job as the offensive coordinator at Georgia to Fort Collins sight unseen with his family of 5 kids. He says CSU is his “dream job”. He’s been dreaming about getting $7 million for a five year contract.

Guys from the south have strong roots there. I remember when Wyoming hired Pat Dye. He bolted after one year to Auburn where he was athletic director and coach. In 1993 Auburn was put on two years probation.

Add CSU coach McElwain to that list. He came from Alabama before leaving for greener pastures in Florida.

back to the games, so far the biggest excitement was the fight that happened in the Miami Beach Bowl that cleared the BYU and Memphis benches.

BYU and Memphis cleared their benches and brawled after BYU lost to Memphis in the Miami Bowl. (Fair Use Photo By - AP)

BYU and Memphis cleared their benches and brawled after BYU lost to Memphis in the Miami Bowl. (Fair Use Photo By – AP)

Typical despicable BYU. Maybe it’s an ill-founded perception, but BYU teams are sore losers.

This is very ironic because BYU sports teams are purported to maintain high morals because of their attachment to the LDS church.

The college football championship quasi-tournament happens this week. I’m picking Alabama and Oregon with the Ducks winning it all on January 12th. Here are my guesses for the January games.

Outback Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Auburn
Jan. 1, Tampa, Florida (Noon ET)

G’day mates, the Outback Steak House Bowl features two great running teams. I watched the Badgers chew up Nebraska, but didn’t do that great containing Ohio State.

Auburn, is and also ran. This should be a pretty good game.
My Guess: Wisconsin

Good Year Cotton Bowl – Baylor vs. Michigan State
Jan. 1, Arlington, Texas (12:30 p.m. ET) 
This could be a high scoring game.  I watched Michigan State pummel Wyoming early in the season and haven’t seen Baylor. But the big question is, “Will the Goodyear blimp make an appearance?”
My Guess: Baylor

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl – Minnesota vs. Missouri
Jan. 1, Orlando, Florida (1 p.m. ET) 
Yet another chicken – related business sponsoring a bowl game. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. It should be changed to the Chicken Bowl. I don’t know much about either of these two teams.
My Guess: Missouri

Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Florida State
Jan. 1, Pasadena
Oregon beat up on Wyoming early in the season. They are fast paced and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota can run and throw. Florida State controls the line of scrimmage and will have to contain the Duck’s quickness. These tourney games must need the big bucks and sponsored by insurance companies like Northwestern Mutual.
My Guess: Oregon

Allstate Sugar Bowl – Alabama vs. Ohio State
Jan. 1, New Orleans (8:30 p.m. ET) 
This could be a high scoring affair. Ohio State looked pretty good in the Big 10 championship game against Wisconsin, considering the quarterback hasn’t had but one start. The Buckeyes have been quiet this year. The tide will be “In Good Hands”.
My Guess: Alabama

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl – Houston vs. Pitt
Jan. 2, Fort Worth, Texas (Noon ET) 
I don’t know anything about this game. I wonder if sponsoring football games is an eligible expense in the Lockheed Martin government military contracts.
My Guess: Pitt

Taxslayer Gator Bowl – Tennessee vs. Iowa
Jan. 2, Jacksonville, Florida (3:20 p.m. ET) 
Taxslayer is income tax software. I haven’ t heard of it – Office Depot must not carry it. Taxslayer also is a NASCAR sponsor, which makes a little sense since the company is located in Georgia. Tennessee is the home team for this game, but I don’t think they’ll win.
My Guess: Iowa

Valero Alamo Bowl – Kansas State vs. UCLA
Jan. 2, San Antonio (6:45 p.m. ET) 
The low gas prices must not be a deterrent to Valero sponsoring this game. I went to the Alamo a few years ago and watched Nebraska beat Michigan State. Frank Solich was fired and interim coach Bo Pelinski won and went on to LSU. These two middle of the pack teams should provide an entertaining game.
My Guess: Kansas State

Ticket City Cactus Bowl – Oklahoma State vs. Washington
Jan. 2, Tempe, Arizona (10:15 p.m. ET) 
This game is sponsored by Ticket City, which is a ticket brokerage company. Ticket City is selling tickets for all the games and plowing profits back into the Cactus Bowl. A couple more middle of the pack teams.
My Guess: Washington

Alabama Power Birmingham Bowl – East Carolina vs. Florida
Jan. 3, Birmingham, Alabama (1 p.m. ET) 
This game didn’t have a title sponsor for a long time. I don’t know when the Alabama Power Company agreed to sponsor. Too bad it isn’t a night game with the stadium lights burning up a bunch of Kilowatt hours.
My Guess: Florida

GoDaddy Bowl – Toledo vs. Arkansas State
Jan. 4, Mobile, Alabama (9 p.m. ET) 
I don’t use GoDaddy for my web stuff. I didn’t know 4,000 people work there who manage 12 million users around the world. I know more about GoDaddy than I do about these two teams. I do know that when Wyoming fired coach Al Kincaid, he coached at Arkansas State.
My Guess: Arkansas State

National Championship Game – Alabama v Oregon
January 12, 2015 – Arlington, Texas
This will be a pretty good game. I think the conventional wisdom is Florida State and Alabama, but Oregon will surprise everyone.
My guess: Oregon

That’s the college season. This time of year, I start paying closer attention to pro football and college hoops.

Pitchers and catchers report in February.

CU worst college football investment – Forbes

The CU football team was ranked as the worst investment by Forbes magazine. (fair use photo by the Daily Camera)

The CU football team was ranked as the worst investment by Forbes magazine. (fair use photo by the Daily Camera)

There was a recent article in Forbes magazine that ranked the University of College football team as the worst investment in terms of budget spent ($51.4 million) to wins (seven) over a three year period or $7.1 million / win.

Contrast that with the University of Cincinnati that spent $1.6 million / win over the same three years.

“Across the last three seasons, no team has spent more per football victory than Colorado, our pick for the sport’s worst team for the money … To put that into perspective, Mississippi State has built a competitive SEC program while spending $44 million across the same time period,” Forbes wrote of its CU pick.

Utah split from the Mountain West and CU from the Big 12 to join the PAC 12 in 2011. Utah had a 9-4 season this year and defeated a highly touted CSU team in the Las Vegas Bowl last week.

Meanwhile, when will CU be a contender in the Big 12?

I think it will happen when CU starts bending the rules like all the other high-value teams do. Penn State was, pretty much, given the death sentence when one of Joe Paterno’s assistant coaches was busted for sexual assault. The Nittany Lions have bounced back.

Here’s an interesting scholarly article that studies the relationship between NCAA infractions and striving for BCS championships. Seems that the SEC has the highest number of violations followed by other BCS conferences, including the Big 12.

The paper’s review of the literature cites a study that finds that the benefits of winning games as a result of recruiting violations raises more money for a program regardless of the NCAA sanctions which may limit the number of scholarships. So breaking the rules is worth the risks.

The researchers also find that 77% of NCAA violations between 1970 and 2007 were accessed against BCS conference schools. Although the Big 12, Pac 10, Big Ten, and SEC have the highest mean violations per team member per year, these conferences also have the most football championships won from 1970 to 2007. From the 1970 to 2007 seasons, teams from the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac10, and SEC combined for 35 football national championships or co-national championships.

Buff Nation, can either have a corrupt program that has a good chance of competing for a national championship or a clean program that provides kids a good education and finish their football careers with degrees.

CU staff and administration, IMO, have the idyllic view that they can have a clean program and win, not with the best kids, but the best “good” kids.

The new BCS quasi-tournament national championship format  won’t reduce NCAA violations, it will only make cheating more enticing for the Mountain West, Conference USA and others when the playing field is leveled.

In college football, cheaters prosper.

Dec. bowl game guesses – lots of MWC teams and odd sponsors

In 2000 Hastings College classmates John and Julie Johnson played host to the Tostito Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix. Nebraska played Tennessee.

In 2000 Hastings College classmates John and Julie Johnson played host to the Tostito Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix. Nebraska played Tennessee.

In a past life, I was the sports editor for a small town Wyoming newspaper and tried to diversify the stories about little kid soccer games and high school sports with an annual “pick the bowl game winners” contest.  One of the local restauranteurs was also a big sports fan and donated a couple dinners for prizes.

This year, I noticed that there are a lot of Mountain West Conference teams in the December bowl games and made my guesses. I also think most of the bowl game sponsors are a little odd and fans know less about them than the teams.

I’ll pick the January games, including the BCS tournament games after Christmas.

Back in the 1990s, there were 19 bowl games. Today that number has grown to 38 and shows the parity in football these days.

Watching Barry Sanders was quite entertaining at the Holiday Bowl.

Watching Barry Sanders was quite entertaining at the Holiday Bowl.

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My pal, Ray Candelaria, and I went on a Bowl-a-thon to Memphis, Jacksonville and Miami.

I was a big college football fan back then having followed Wyoming to a couple Holiday Bowls the Las Vegas Bowl and a couple Copper Bowl games.

It was a good time to run into old friends. Cowboy football brought people together. I always saw Jim Izzo at the game. When a team has good and bad years, it’s tough to get any fan consistency.

One winter, a pal and I flew into New Orleans on Christmas day and road tripped to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis – also the first trip I made to Graceland; the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville – the first time I’d tried chitlins and hawg maw, the Orange Bowl in Miami – it was freezing that night.

I used to religiously follow Nebraska in the post season: Fiesta Bowl – met up with lots of college mates; Rose Bowl – Huskers blown out in the national championship game, Alamo Bowl – Bo Pelini’s first and last head coaching gig before working at LSU.

I’m onto other pursuits these days, but nonetheless, here are my picks for the December bowl games.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Nevada v Louisiana – Lafayette
Dec. 20, New Orleans (11 a.m. ET)
The game is sponsored by a big trucking company. R+L must be hauling a lot of stuff. Being a Mountain West Conference fan, I’m pulling for Nevada. That’s a team that’s bounced around conferences. I mostly remember them being in the old Big Sky Conference, like Wyoming was in the original Western Athletic Conference.

In these lesser bowls, organizers always have to pick a local team to guarantee attendance and Louisiana-Lafayette fits that bill this year.

The game should be a good one to watch since both teams play a wide open offense.
My Guess: Nevada in a high scoring game.

Gilden New Mexico Bowl – Utah State v UTEP
Dec. 20, Albuquerque, New Mexico (2:20 p.m. ET) 
A clothing manufacturer sponsors this game. I bet part of the sponsorship is cheap T-shirts. I indirectly advertise for the game, but too bad the tags are inside the shirt.

This is another Mountain West match up with Utah State taking on UTEP. The Aggies are another team that has bounced around having been in the Big Sky Conference. I miss UTEP, which also was a member of the Western Athletic Conference with Wyoming.

Utah State had an up and down season with a couple quarterback changes this year. If Utah State can take an early lead, that passing offense is tough to stop, considering the Miners are predominantly a running team.
My Pick: Utah State in a lopsided blow out

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl – Utah v Colorado State
Dec. 20, Las Vegas (3:30 p.m. ET) 
Have you ever heard of Royal Purple synthetic oil? Not me.
For a fan like me, this is a great throwback to the Western Athletic Conference in which both teams originally competed and evolved into members of the Mountain West Conference.

Utah fled for the PAC-12 during the big shake up in 2011 and experienced culture shock there. After a couple bad seasons, the Utes have turned it around, but still not at the top of the league. Incidentally, CU joined the PAC-12 at the same time and is still trying to find a football identity.

As opposed to Colorado State, which has been dominant under erstwhile coach Jim McElwain who took the Florida job and won’t be working.

My Guess  I think this is going to be a close one. I’m going with a better balanced Utah team

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl- Western Michigan v Air Force
Dec. 20, Boise, Idaho (5:45 p.m. ET) 
This potato group has been advertising on cable TV lately. This game used to be called the Humanitarian Bowl, which I thought was a little strange. It features yet another Mountain West Conference tie-in with Air Force making the trek to Boise. I don’t know much about Western Michigan, but Air Force has always had a great running game and this year has been no different. Air Force had a bit of a topsy turvy season having upset both Colorado State and Boise State – both teams had a shot at the At Large BCS football tourney spot.
My Guess: Air Force, but the game could be a yawner

Raycom Camellia Bowl – Bowling Green v South Alabama
Dec. 20, Montgomery, Alabama (9:15 p.m. ET) 
I don’t know anything about these two teams. What I do think is interesting about the game is its sponsor, Raycom. It’s a media conglomerate that owns a bunch of TV stations in the south and a sports media company that started up it’s own bowl game. The other interesting thing about Raycom, is that it is owned by the Alabama public employees pension fund.
My Guess: A shot in the dark with South Alabama

Miami Beach Bowl – BYU v Memphis
Dec. 22, Miami (2 p.m. ET) 
The American Athletic Conference puts on this game. The home team is Memphis. BYU was the most despised team in the Western Athletic and the Mountain West conferences. So much so, the Cougs bowed out because they didn’t like to play Wyoming in any sport.
My Guess: I don’t like to ever cut BYU any slack – Memphis

ESPN Events Boca Raton Bowl – Northern Illinois v Marshall
Dec. 23, Boca Raton, Florida (6 p.m. ET) 
This game is sponsored by ESPN. ESPN should sponsor all the games. I’m thinking I should get a bunch of indie producers and partner up with a public access TV station and organize a bowl game someplace. Marshall was close to getting into the national championship mix, but lesser schools with one loss don’t stand much chance. I don’t know anything about NIU except that they’ve won the Mid-America conference a bunch of times recently. This may be one of the better games of the post season.
My Guess: Whatever team gets the ball last will win, which I’m hoping is Marshall.

San Diego County Employees Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – Navy v San Diego State
Dec. 23, San Diego (9:30 p.m. ET) 
San Diego State is another Mountain West Conference mainstay. This is a home game for the Aztecs. There’s also a big US Navy presence there and should be a balanced crowd. The game is sponsored by the Credit Union and by the San Diego Bowl Game Association that also produces the Holiday Bowl. That’s a pretty good business – producing football games.
My Guess: San Diego State in a back and forth game.

Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl – Western Kentucky v Central Michigan
Dec. 24, Nassau, Bahamas (Noon ET) 
This is the inaugural game and a strange one at that. The People’s Republic of China built the stadium, but it only has 15,000 seats. That’s probably a good crowd for a cricket match. On top of that, the game’s presenting sponsor is Popeye’s. There are at least three chicken restaurants sponsoring games.

This one of those games that will be the game any lesser team will want to play. I don’t think there’s enough room for the Notre Dame or Michigan fans.
My Guess: Western Kentucky, but I don’t know why.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State v Rice
Dec. 24, Honolulu (8 p.m. ET) 
It stands to reason that Sheraton sponsors this game. Fresno State was an early fave to win the Mountain West Conference, but I can think of worse places to play football on Christmas Eve.

It was all over for the Bulldogs when hapless Wyoming beat them 45 – 17 on national TV.

Wyoming and Rice were both in the reconfigured WAC that was way to massive of a conference. I always remember the Rice marching band as having played one of the more well known versions of “Louie, Louie.”
My Guess: Fresno State, even though the Bulldog’s don’t have much of a defense.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl – Illinois v Louisiana Tech
Dec. 26, Dallas (1 p.m. ET) 
I don’t know much about either of these two teams except Lousisiana Tech scores a lot of points. The Illini play in the Big 10 and the game may be close. There must be a lot of successful chicken businesses in the south. This game is sponsored by one called Zaxby’s. I’ve never tried Zaxby’s Chicken.
My Guess: Louisiana Tech, but I think it will be close.

Quick Lane Bowl – Rutgers v North Carolina
Dec. 26, Detroit (4:30 p.m. ET) 
This is another one of those games that I don’t know much about either team. It’s the inaugural bowl game in the Silver Dome sponsored by Quick Lane, which must have something to do with the automotive industry. I did a little research and I didn’t know that Rutgers is in the Big 10.
My Guess: Rutgers

Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl – Central Florida v North Carolina State
Dec. 26, St. Petersburg, Florida (8 p.m. ET)
Times have changed. Bitcoin and Bitpay signed on to sponsor this game for the next four years, along with ESPN events. Visa must still think it has image problems – or maybe they aren’t allowed to squander the credit card 18% interest fees on football games. I don’t know if I’ve seen a bitcoin ad on TV.

All I know about UCF is that it has a huge presence in Florida and has produced a lot of rocket scientists and quarterback Blake Bortles.
My Guess: UCF – the Knights still have an explosive offense.

Northrup Grumman Military Bowl – Cincinnati v Virginia Tech
Dec. 27, Annapolis, Maryland (1 p.m. ET) 
I wonder why there isn’t a military connection to this game, since it also benefits the USO – maybe that’s Tech. The Hokies were involved in a big sex assault case a few years back that ended with SCOTUS gutting the Violence Against Women Act.
My GuessCincinnati

Hyundai Sun Bowl – Duke v Arizona State
Dec. 27, El Paso, Texas (2 p.m. ET) 
No American car companies sponsor games, which is a good thing. I haven’t followed either of these teams this season. With so much parity among the middle tier of teams, and so many deals between conferences and games, it’s tough to keep the games straight. The Sun Bowl is tied to the PAC-12 number 4 and an at large ACC team.
My Guess: Arizona State, for no particular reason

Duck Commander Independence Bowl – Miami Florida v South Carolina
Dec. 27, Shreveport, Louisiana (3:30 p.m. ET) 
This is another one of those games between middle of the pack teams from the ACC and SEC. If either of these schools were in other leagues they would be at the tops of their heaps. The game is sponsored by the Duck Dynasty guys. Who would have thought a duck call brand would present a football game. Logo on the hood of a NASCAR? Yes. Logo on a football scoreboard? No.
My Guess: Miami (FL) for no particular reason.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Boston College v Penn State
Dec. 27, Bronx, New York (4:30 p.m. ET) 
It stands to reason that New Era caps would be the main sponsor for the Pinstripe Bowl played in Yankee Stadium. If a bowl game can be held in New York in the dead of winter, a bowl game can be played anywhere. You have to hand it to Penn State for bouncing back like it has after that sex abuse coaching scandal there. Again, a couple teams from the ACC and BIG-10.
My Guess: Penn State is my sentimental favorite.

National University Holiday Bowl – Nebraska v USC
Dec. 27, San Diego (8 p.m. ET) 
I’m a big Nebraska fan and we’ll see how the Huskers play after Bo Pelini was fired. Big Red didn’t look that great in a few games, namely the Wisconsin thrashing.  I don’t think Nebraska has ever defeated USC over the years. This game is sponsored by National University, which is one of those big private colleges.
My guess: USC is favored, but I’m going with Nebraska.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl – West Virginia v Texas A&M
Dec. 29, Memphis, Tennessee (2 p.m. ET) 
I haven’t been paying attention to the SEC nor the BIG-12. Another match up between two “also-rans”. It should be an evenly matched game.  Why do car oil companies and auto parts stores sponsor games, but American car companies don’t?
My GuessTexas A&M

Russell Athletic Bowl – Clemson v Oklahoma
Dec. 29, Orlando, Florida (5:30 p.m. ET) 
When I hear Russell Athletic, I always think of jock straps.  Just another ACC – BIG-12 game. I have nothing on this.
My Guess: Clemson

Advocare V100 Texas Bowl – Texas v Arkansas
Dec. 29, Houston (9 p.m. ET) 
This game used to be the Independence Bowl. It’s sponsored by Advocare, which, I think, is a multilevel marketing company. This game is one that old time college football fans will appreciate. The Frank Broyles v Darryl Royal game was always a classic game. That will be the hype this time around.
My GuessArkansas in a squeaker

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – LSU v Notre Dame
Dec. 30, Nashville, Tennessee (3 p.m. ET) 
The housing business must be pretty good with a mortgage company sponsoring the game. If I’m a homeowner, I’d rather have a lower interest rate than sponsoring a football bowl. Even though Notre Dame was on network TV every Saturday I didn’t watch a complete game. I do know that LSU has a pretty good running game and a good defense.
My GuessLSU

Belk Bowl – Louisville v Georgia
Dec. 30, Charlotte, North Carolina (6:30 p.m. ET)
Belk is a department store in the south. Business must be good if it is sponsoring a bowl game. It used to be called the Queen City Bowl, the the Continental Tire Bowl and the Meineke Car Care Bowl. No wonder I have no heart in this one either.
My GuessLouisville

Foster Farms Bowl – Maryland v Stanford
Dec. 30, Santa Clara, California (10 p.m. ET) 
This is another one of those games with an identity crisis now sponsored by a chicken company. It has always had some food sponsor being known as the Fight Hunger Bowl, then the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, then the Emerald Bowl, then the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl. Luckily hometown Stanford is playing.
My GuessStanford

Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl TCU v Ole Miss
Dec. 31, Atlanta (12:30 p.m. ET) 
TCU has Mountain West Conference history. I was happy that they had a chance to move to the BIG-12. The Horned Frogs were the class of the league. There was a controversy a few years ago when the Peach Bowl was set for a Sunday and Chik-Fil-A refused to play the game on a day the conflicts with church.
My Guess: TCU in a rout

Vizio Fiesta Bowl – Arizona v Boise State
Dec. 31, Glendale, Arizona (4 p.m. ET) 
Mountain West Conference Boise State gets a shot at the PAC-12 this year. Who can forget that trick play Dan Hawkins pulled on Oklahoma in a BCS Fiesta Bowl game a few years back to win the game? Bob Stoops was ticked. The game is sponsored by Vizio. In the past Frito Lay Tostitos were the long time sponsor until last year. I have Vizio TVs am I supporting the game in some way?
My Guess: Boise State is explosive, but I’m picking Arizona based on strength of schedule.

Capital One Orange Bowl – Georgia Tech v Mississippi State
Dec. 31, Miami (8 p.m. ET) 
I have a Capital One credit card. That means I’m a part of this game. I went to the Orange Bowl when it was sponsored by FedEx. This should be a pretty good game. Mississippi State was tops in the nation for a few weeks then faded.
My Guess: Georgia Tech

There you have it. I hope some of my pals from other parts of the country and more aware of their regional college football teams will chime in and give their views.

Preparation for the bowl season is exhausting.

I’ll give my guesses for the January games including the BCS tournament in a wrrk or so.