Saturday, December 17, 2011

P6 2011: Bowls To Care About

Every year, the bowl season sprawls out with unfamilar sponsors like "Belk" and "R + L Carriers" and exotic locations like San Francisco and Boise. How to make sense of all of it? And what does it mean for the Pick Six?

Luckily, I've put together my annual list of the bowl games, starting with the ones that have zero impact on the Pick Six game, because no one picked either team:


Dec. 17 Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Wyoming vs. Temple, Albuquerque
Dec. 17  R & L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: San Diego State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette; New Orleans
Dec. 20  Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Florida International vs. Marshall; St. Petersburg
Dec. 24  Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Nevada; Honolulu
Dec. 27  Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Purdue vs. Western Michigan; Detroit
Dec. 27  Belk Bowl: NC State vs. Louisville; Charlotte
Dec. 30  New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa State vs. Rutgers; New York
Dec. 31  AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt; Memphis
Jan. 8 Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State; Mobile

If you want to watch these, hey, it's your choice. Caveat watchtor.

Next, if you want to have your rooting interests nice and clear, these games involve just one Pick Six selection:


Dec. 17   Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Ohio (4) vs. Utah State (0); Boise
All players who went with Ohio are alums or spouses of alums.

Dec. 21 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: TCU (9) vs. Louisiana Tech (0); San Diego
TCU was a popular preseason pick, but two early losses knocked them out of the Top 25. With a win, they can finish the year about where they started (14th).

Dec. 26  AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: North Carolina (0) vs. Missouri (12); Shreveport
Dec. 28   Military Bowl: Toledo (1) vs. Air Force (0); Washington, DC
Dec. 29   Valero Alamo Bowl: Baylor (0) vs. Washington (2); San Antonio
Dec. 30   Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Wake Forest (0) vs. Mississippi State (4); Nashville
This wins the award for longest bowl name of the year.

Dec. 31  Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Illinois (2) vs. UCLA (0); San Francisco
Illinois was picked by an alum, plus a native-born kitty. In other words, no one without a connection to Illinois wanted this team. 

Dec. 31   Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech (0) vs. Utah (1); El Paso
Jan. 4  Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson (0) vs. West Virginia (9) Miami
For most the year, Clemson was the highest ranked team that no one picked. What is it about the color orange that makes us not trust the team that wears it? 

Jan. 7  BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh (0) vs. SMU (1); Birmingham
Don't sleep on "The Bobcat." A strong showing by Notre Dame and SMU could get those teams into the final poll. Add in wins by Nebraska and Arkansas (both favored) and that could be enough for The Bobcat to make a run for first place. 

Finally, here are the games that have a lot of picks involved. The P6 championship may hang in the balance of one or more of these games.


Dec. 22 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas: Boise State (10) vs. Arizona State (6); Las Vegas
Dec. 28  Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Cal (1) vs. Texas (8); San Diego
Texas was the most popular Pick Sixth team. I guess many of you thought, there's no way that Texas can be that bad two years in a row! And you were right ... Texas flipped that 5-7 record into a 7-5.

Dec. 29   Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State (14) vs. Notre Dame (16); Orlando
This won't decide the P6 championship or anything, but it is in a tie as the most involved bowl with 30 picks total. (A couple players have both teams, and thus will be rooting against themselves.)

Dec. 30  Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: BYU (1) vs. Tulsa (1); Dallas
Call this the "Dave on da Car Phone" vs. "No (Bleeping) Clue" Bowl. This is the beauty of the Pick Six game, bringing together a former co-worker and a high school friend's wife, using college football.

Dec. 30  Insight Bowl: Iowa (7) vs. Oklahoma (12); Tempe
Dec. 31   Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl: Northwestern (3) vs. Texas A&M (7); Houston
Dec. 31   Chick-fil-A Bowl: Virginia (1) vs. Auburn (14); Atlanta
Jan. 2   TicketCity Bowl: Penn State (3) vs. Houston (1); Dallas
Current second-place "HORRIBLE Dog" has Houston. Would a Houston win be enough to boost the dog to the top spot?

Jan. 2   Outback Bowl: Michigan State (11) vs. Georgia (14); Tampa
Jan. 2   Capital One Bowl: Nebraska (20) vs. South Carolina (10); Orlando
Jan. 2 Gator Bowl: Ohio State (7) vs. Florida (8); Jacksonville
Jan. 2   Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (17) vs. Oregon (9); Pasadena
Jan. 2  Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State (2) vs. Stanford (9); Glendale
Boy, don't we all look dumb. Both teams went 11-1 and are in the BCS. They were right there for the taking in group "B", but no, we all wanted Florida State. (Sigh.)

Jan. 3  Allstate Sugar Bowl: Michigan (3) vs. Virginia Tech (6); New Orleans
Jan. 6 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic: Kansas State (1) vs. Arkansas (10); Arlington, TX
"Violas Rock" against the world!!!

Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game: LSU (4) vs. Alabama (17); New Orleans
LSU was the least popular pick in Group A. Put another way, 48 of 52 players looked at LSU and went with someone else. So "Tressel's Tats," The Bobcat, "Dennis Erickson's Guidance Counselor," and "The Undertaker," I say congrats to you. If LSU wins as expected, you will have picked the undisputed 14-0 champion of the 2011 season.

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