The Hybrid is a weekly preview of every
Big Ten relevant bowl game, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate all other bowl games because I hate myself
So... did this college football season actually suck?
The final four in December were ranked 1-2-3-5 in the preseason AP poll. What a crazy season!— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) December 7, 2014
And... is this bowl season about to suck?
All 10 Big Ten teams are underdogs in their bowl games. Michigan State at +2.5 is smallest underdog. .— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) December 8, 2014
Like... really insufferable?
SEC is favored in 10 of 12 bowl games. TCU is -3 vs. Ole Miss, WVU -4 vs. A&M— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) December 8, 2014
Man, I don't know. I still say no. I don't think it sucked. Because, as someone who I forgot pointed out, we at least have this four-team playoff. Could you imagine if our debate was "should Alabama or Oregon be the one who gets to decapitate Florida State?" Bleck.
Though it woulda been pretty funny if they both were able to leap an undefeated, defending national champion. Ohhhhhh, Jameis.
Welp, let's preview all these bowls. I promise it won't be all that bad. As they say in "The Big Lebowski", it's strikes and gutters...
December 20 (Saturday)
New Orleans Bowl -- Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette: Pretty good start jk.
New Mexico Bowl -- Utah State vs. UTEP: I actually would go to this as my excuse to hit up the "Breaking Bad" tour.
Las Vegas Bowl -- Utah vs. Colorado State: These teams kicked ass all year, and they're both playing on Day 1? And CSU lost their coach? Bummer summer. We're gonna call this bowl underrated anyway.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl -- Western Michigan vs. Air Force: Not a joke, I legitimately was thinking about going to this game... until I looked up the flight prices and was appalled at what a December trip to Boise would actually cost. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl? You're fuckin' out.
Camellia Bowl -- South Alabama vs. Bowling Green: What's a camellia, a flower?
It's a flower.
December 22 (Monday)
Miami Beach Bowl -- BYU vs. Memphis: This game is played at Marlins Stadium.
December 23 (Tuesday)
Boca Raton Bowl -- Marshall vs. Northern Illinois: Marshall should be honored -- and not disgraced -- by their selection to this bowl. My man (and Miami native) KLV hits us with some gorgeous shots:
Don't worry, Huskies -- he didn't forget about you, you deserving dogs.
ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF!!!
Poinsettia Bowl -- Navy vs. San Diego State: Poinsettia? Definitely a flower.
/reclaims flower expert status
December 24 (Wednesday)
Bahamas Bowl -- Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky: Wait, is this game actually in the Bahamas?
It is!!! How is this not one of the most coveted bowls? They should play the national title there.
Hawai'i Bowl -- Fresno State vs. Rice: For those not up to speed, a Hawaii broadcaster had this to say about Fresno during Fresno State's game against the Rainbow Warriors:
"Good night from the armpit of America."
Haha. He's since apologized. And guess who's going bowling in Hawaii?!?!?!?!? Why, it's the Fresno State Bulldogs!
ROOF ROOF ROOF MAHALO ROOF ROOF ROOF!!!
December 26 (Friday)
Heart of Dallas Bowl -- Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech: I wonder if they can show this on the big screen at Jerry World:
BTN also interviewed lil homie, and the highlights were probably when he talked about getting monthly pedicures, growing out his hair, social media campaigns, and his mom awwwwwwwwwwwww.
Quick Lane Bowl -- Rutgers vs. North Carolina: Gary Nova. Goodbye, old friend.
Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl -- NC State vs. UCF: I usually try to leave the sponsors out of my bowl preview... but Bitcoin?! I wonder who they took over for.
RIP, Beef O'Brady's Bowl.
December 27 (Saturday)
Military Bowl -- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech: All VaTech did this season was beat tOSU, lose a ton, weaken tOSU's schedule, and become our heroes... only to have tOSU make the playoff anyway. God damn it, VaTech! This is all your fault somehow.
Sun Bowl -- Arizona State vs. Duke: Geez, Arizona State. Weren't you supposed to 15% maybe win the PAC-12?
Independence Bowl -- Miami (FL.) vs. South Carolina: We already let KLV contribute to this, so how about KLV's fiancee...
My #Canes alum, season ticket-holding fiancée on the Independence Bowl: "I don't have the time, money, or interest." So there that is.— Ken LaVicka (@KLV1063) December 8, 2014
Excitement is not high.
I also had to ask my friend Paige (Miami alum/fan) about her thoughts on the game. Her e-mail:
I'm looking forward to watching Miami partake in bowl season and against a team from a real conference! It's our second year back after two years of self-enforced bans and this time we're not facing Teddy Bridgewater. Maybe I shouldn't be optimistic, since Miami hasn't won in the postseason since 2006, but I think the outgoing seniors are eager and capable of getting the bowl win they deserve and Brad Kaaya, ACC Rookie of the Year, can lead us there.
Excitement is back!!!
Pinstripe Bowl -- Boston College vs. Penn State: Any chance Hackenberg tries to go pro after this year as a true sophomore? "Just don't make me go back!!!" He was actually the No. 1 pick in my Big Ten only (/shudder) college fantasy football league. The team was named "Can You Hack It?" They did not make the playoffs.
Holiday Bowl -- Nebraska vs. USC (24): I like the idea of this game because these teams used to be cool.
December 29 (Monday)
Liberty Bowl -- Texas A&M vs. West Virginia: Two teams that were exciting all year but somehow ended the regular season unranked (somehow = lost a ton).
Russell Athletic Bowl -- Oklahoma vs. Clemson (17): OU isn't ranked either?! I still say this game should be awesome. Wait, is their QB still hurt?
Texas Bowl -- Arkansas vs. Texas: Is Texas the only team who could play in a bowl named after their state and not get made fun of? All I know is if Indiana won the Indiana Bowl, everyone would laugh at them. Or imagine if West Virgnia played in the West Virginia bowl. Just rolling groves of burning couches.
December 30 (Tuesday)
Music City Bowl -- Notre Dame vs. LSU (23): I really, really love this game. They should be able to sell some tickets.
Belk Bowl -- Georgia (13) vs. Louisville (21): Eh.
Foster Farms Bowl -- Maryland vs. Stanford: So this is where the season ends for David "Pow Pow" Shaw. Unranked and playing a Big Ten reject. And he didn't even get the Nova brand of reject. Disappointing.
December 31 (Wednesday)
Peach Bowl -- Ole Miss (9) vs. TCU (6): Doooooope game. Also, after Laquon broke his leg on that heartbreaking almost-TD play, my password prompt at work needed to be changed that Monday, so it's been "treadwell1" for the last several weeks. Really feel like I'm doing my part in keeping his legacy alive.
* * *
This Drew TCU snub tweet killed me:
TCnotU! SCORNED FROGS HOPPIN' MAD OVER GETTING BUCKED IN THE EYE!— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) December 7, 2014
And this one is a Tweet of the Year candidate, as long as it's not satire (via PFT Commenter's column):
PFT Commenter himself also went in:
Folks you cant spell FBS without BS, and this proves it. In fact there football playoff members are so biased Im just suprised they didnt schedule the Christian schools to play the Lions.
Were literally being persecuted in this country just because of our religion and weak non-conference schedules and its time we put a stop to it.
But for all the whining and belly-aching, Its hard to look at the ommisson of Baylor and not think that it had something to do with Robert Griffins recent play. Your best player in the history of your college is the worst player in the history of the NFL and you expect the committee to just not notice that?
Fiesta Bowl -- Boise State (20) vs. Arizona (10): So Boise is in what would have been a BCS bowl, but we went, like, all year without hearing about them? What the hell happened?
/looks up their schedule
Oh yeah! They got rocked by Ole Miss in Week 1 (way better loss, in retrospect) and also lost 28-14 to...
Have at 'em, RichRod. Oh, also, this was kinda cool/I forgot about it:
Arizona QB Jerrard Randall was a one-time Oregon commit with Marcus Mariota and… Johnny Manziel.— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) December 6, 2014
I think I also also forgot to post the video they took of me watching the Oregon-Arizona PAC-12 title game...
Mississippi State (7) vs. Georgia Tech (12): A few thoughts...
1) Kills me that, in a year defined by "Mississippi football is ON THE MAP" rhetoric, neither of their two big schools ended up making the playoff. We really should be at eight or 10 teams for this thing. Leave it to CFB to finally cave and create a postseason, only to have people hollering "EXPANSION!!!" before they've ever even played out their first final four.
2) I love the triple option and I'm just fine with G-Tech, but man, it is such a buzzkill to play them at the end of the year. If you lose, you probably spent too much time partying and not enough time preparing. If you win, you didn't beat a "real" team. But shhhh, don't tell that to the Orange Bowl winning Iowa Hawkeyes.
* * *
I Hate Michigan Halftime Interlude
Michigan: Michigan didn't make a bowl game, but we can't end 2014 without a few more things about why they are the bane of my existence.
Let's put the 2014 team to bed with this:
While searching through the HTML to embed that, I used "michigan" to find this section, only to be reminded that both Central and Western Michigan are bowl bound and Michigan is not. Good grief.
I'll end with one final statement: fuck this coaching search which will so absolutely and positively fail. Here are some of the buzzed about candidates, with my reactions to each...
Jim Harbaugh: Said no to you four years ago, has no reason to leave the NFL, is an idiot.
The Duke coach: Old, coaches Duke, probably a way better school to coach at than Michigan anyway.
Jay Gruden: Because when I look at the Washington Professional Football team, I definitely think "There's a well run organization with a can do attitude!" ...not that it's really even his fault. But still.
Someone else I forgot: Probably sucks.
Les Miles: I subscribe to the Brian Cook "he's on the wrong side of 60 and his best days are behind him" philosophy. That said, he'd probably kill it in recruiting and field a great team of athletes with headless QB play. He, sadly, is probably the best case scenario.
Can't they just hire Tom Herman and piss everyone off? It's the only thing I want for Christmas. Steal him from Urban, Blue! You can (can't) do it!!!!!!!
Peace out, 2014.
* * *
January 1 (Thursday)
Outback Bowl -- Auburn (19) vs. Wisconsin (18): You didn't lose everything, Wisconsin.
But besides that, yeah. I'm not sure I've ever seen such an egg laid in a conference title game. Plus Melvin is going pro. With that glaring production needing immediate replacement, head coach Gary Andersen really needs to right the ship in the offs--oh, he just left you for Oregon State.
Why can't you keep head coaches, Wisconsin?!
Cotton Bowl -- Michigan State (8) vs. Baylor (5):
Michigan State v Baylor in the Cotton Bowl! They've met before . . . pic.twitter.com/ufRdXILrxK— SPARTANTIQUES (@SPARTANTIQUES) December 7, 2014
Citrus Bowl -- Missouri (16) vs. Minnesota (25): Nah, probably not.
Rose Bowl -- Oregon (2) vs. Florida State (3): This is really the only preview this game needs:
(Jameis Winston loses Dr. Pepper contest) "WELL HE GETS EVERY CAN’S BEST GAME" - #FSUTwitter— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) December 6, 2014
Also, as a big time hater of the historical tradition of the Rose Bowl, I'm very pleased to see a Big Ten-less contest this time around. Maybe now, our conference can finally focus on championships instead of making this stupid game and getting blown out every time. Progress, perhaps.
Sugar Bowl -- Alabama (1) vs. Ohio State (4): Ohhh man, if you guys don't hate Urban Meyer yet, then do I have the massive block quote for you. The headline: "Urban Meyer's wife 'cried tears of joy' when learning Ohio State made the College Football Playoff"
Ok, let's do it. Actually, I'm not gonna block quote it, I'm going to line by line it, FJM-style.
Meyer sat in his Dublin, Ohio, living room, operating the remote controller as the 12:45 p.m. ET unveiling approached.
Why? Is he toggling the selection announcement with the shitty NFL pregame shows or something?
When he finally learned the good news, per Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, who was there with Meyer and his family and friends, Meyer "reflexively jumped out of his chair" and when he landed "his knees buckled, seemingly in disbelief."
He... had a reporter there to cover his reaction? And buckling knees? A little dramatic, no?
"I kind of melted," Meyer said.
I hate you so much.
Meyer took one step away from the crowd gathered on the outskirts of his living room before raising his right arm in triumph and enveloping his daughter Nicki in a long embrace.
In an ideal world, it's me and Nicki in that embrace.
His wife, Shelley, cried tears of joy.
Neighbors Jeff and Bonnie Roby stepped forward and popped a $180 bottle of 2004 Dom Pérignon for a celebratory toast, the cork’s explosion coinciding with a merciful decrease of the TV volume.
He just *had* to include the price. Actually, popping Dom is pretty cool -- let's keep going, as it will certainly get worse.
Meyer circled the room and gave everyone a hug, his look a mix of joy and relief. "Wow," he said at one point. "This is history."
FUCKING DIE I HATE YOU SO MUCH.
Not long after, Thamel wrote, the small crowd dispersed and Meyer was back in business mode.
/stabs self in head with a shard of glass from the broken frame of The Contract
"Time to go to work," he said. "Exams. Practice schedules. Travel. All of that."
Just eat shit. Eat all of the shit.
Y'all can "root for the Big Ten" all you want; I hope 'Bama incinerates Ohio State.
January 2 (Friday)
Armed Forces Bowl -- Houston vs. Pittsburgh: <-- haha, this game
Taxslayer Bowl -- Iowa vs. Tennessee: Was very disappointed to see Iowa pull their offer on Captain Jack after his erratic senior season. But it did lead to this brilliant exchange:
Alamo Bowl -- Kansas State (11) vs. UCLA (14): UCLA finished ranked kinda higher than I thought.
Cactus Bowl -- Washington vs. Oklahoma State: Lana, can you give it to us one last time?
January 3 (Saturday)
Birmingham Bowl -- East Carolina vs. Florida:
January 4 (Sunday)
GoDaddy Bowl -- Toledo vs. Arkansas State: /walks away
January 12 (Monday)
Alabama (1) vs. Oregon (2): The national title we all deserve! I hope I don't jinx it.
Wrapping It Up...
If I can get serious for two sentences, I really appreciate y'all reading this season and welcoming me with open-ish arms to the BHGP community. I know an Iowa alum with Michigan and Wazzu roots is very hard to accept or even tolerate (just ask all my friends!), so I appreciate those who tried to wrap their head around it.
Enjoy the bowls, Go Hawks, Go Blue (jk they're dead), and I'll hopefully catch you in 2015.
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Black Heart Gold Pants. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or e-mail at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.