'Tis the season to suffer through awful football.
Photo: Tim Denison/ Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
It’s bowl season, and what else are the holidays about if not hiding out in the den, watching bad football, and pretending to be asleep every time Aunt Eileen comes by with “dessert” (fruit encapsulated by instant gelatin is not an acceptable after-dinner treat, you old spinster). And since you’ll be banished to the couch for most of it, you might as well be up to date on the happenings in the lesser bowls. Then at least you’ll have something to talk about with the other castaways.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: December 21st, 5:30pm EST
Who is playing: Buffalo (8-4) vs. San Diego State (7-5)
Why no one cares: The Boise-based game features a Buffalo team that won almost as many games this season as the last three years combined. SDSU is going to its first bowl in coach Rocky Long’s tenure there. That makes it a bit hard for either team to “act like they’ve been there before.”
Why you can pretend to care: SDSU actually beat Boise State last time they played on this (blue) field, but Buffalo is used to playing in frigid air, so this is a better matchup than you think. Also, potatoes become French fries, and French fries are delicious.
Belk Bowl: December 28th, 3:20pm EST
Who is playing: Cincinnati (9-3) vs. North Carolina (6-6)
Why no one cares: Cincy finds themselves in their second straight Belk Bowl (Belking again already, you guys?), this time in a lopsided matchup against UNC.
Why you can pretend to care: UNC finished very strong this season, despite their loss to Duke in the final game, so they could give Cincy (who beat Duke in last year’s Belk Bowl) a hard time. Plus, Cincinnati is wearing these badass chrome helmets.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: December 28th, 10:15pm EST
Who is playing: Michigan (7-5) vs. Kansas State (7-5)
Why no one cares: K State has a ton of momentum and a two-QB system that is firing on all cylinders for them. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have sputtered to 7-5 after starting 5-0. If form means anything, this will be a blowout.
Why you can pretend to care: The delightful and oddly-shaped Michigan coaching staff.
AdvoCare V100 Bowl: December 31st, 12:30pm EST
Who is playing: Arizona (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Why no one cares: The quarterbacks are nothing to write home about.
Why you can pretend to care: The running backs – Andre Williams and Ka’Deem Carey - are. Both teams have one of the country’s top backs and they will be on display against the other team’s average defense. Plus, a sporting event that starts early is a great excuse to start boozing early on New Year’s. Just try to make it to midnight.
Sugar Bowl: January 2nd, 7:30pm EST
Who is playing: Alabama (11-1) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)
Why no one cares: NO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP? COME ON! ROLL TIDE!
Why you can pretend to care: NO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! COME ON! ROLL TIDE!
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