Best and worst games of the 2010 bowl season


College football fans have unleashed a lot of unnecessary ire at the bowl system, but I’d like to ask them why? It’s the BCS you should be pouring all your Haterade on. Good old-fashioned bowl games have been wrongly co-opted into the argument against the BCS, a corporate America-driven abortion that sticks a coat-hanger into the fertile vagina of college football, and pulls out a bloody mess of dollars and made-for-TV failures where a beautiful baby playoff system should have been.

So I’ll go ahead and say it. I still love bowl games. I mean, I LOVE bowl games. If the Orange Bowl were a woman, I would juice her lovely mandarin like a Vitamin C crack addict. If the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (yes, that is a real bowl) were a woman, I would still put a bag over my head and caress her homely, meaty thighs until her flatulent parts started whistling.

Why not? At every point of the D-I spectrum, bowls give passionate fan bases a last shot to watch the kids they only get to keep for four years play one last game that in theory should be highly competitive against a new, fun opponent that isn’t likely to be on the schedule again any time soon. Sure, there aren’t a lot of people who have a stomach for vintage match ups like North Texas-Toledo, but it’s not hurting you that the game is being played. (Well, there’s a slight chance humanity wasting time on something so meaningless in lieu of solving world hunger might anger God and incite the Apocalypse, but that withstanding…)

I, personally, love ’em all. Love the terrible ones almost as much as the great ones, just for the humor the existence of names like the (Uh oh, gotta get) MAACO Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl bring to the universe. Seriously, San Diego, don’t you have to be, like, bigger than Darryl’s Corner Pawn Shop to win naming rights for a bowl game?

In the old pre-career days, I would watch every bowl game – every one, start to finish. Nowadays, I’ll watch anything on New Year’s Day, weekends and after work. They’re just good, even when they’re bad, because if you love college football, you’ll do anything to cling on to the dying season before the dark times set in again until August.

As for 2010, there are some doozies and some dandies, but my picks for best and worst bowl game of the season were pretty easy to make.

Worst bowl game of 2010: Little Caesar’s Bowl (Toledo vs. Florida International, Dec. 26, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Looking for a quick and easy way to destroy any leftover Christmas spirit? Just turn this game on the day after. The mere prospect of this game might destroy enough Christmas cheer that Santa’s reindeer are no longer able to fly. And as if the poor people of Detroit didn’t have enough misery and hopelessness to face every day, the college football world has decided to throw this gem at them. As Moe so eloquently put it in The Simpsons a few weeks ago: “Take it easy on Detroit. Them people is livin’ in Mad Max times.” The anger this game will cause in Detroit will be single-handedly responsible for cementing the city’s place as the murder capital of America. The abandoned houses will burn bright in the Motor City this night.

And who let Florida International off ESPN’s Bottom 10 list? How bad was college football this year that the team that spent the last decade as one-half of the flashing FIU-FAU icon eternally entrenched on the Bottom 10 qualified for a bowl?

Best bowl game of 2o1o: Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 1 Auburn, Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m.)

Is it a cop-out to pick the national title game as the best bowl game of the year? Hell no – Any game that features a plodding Ohio St. team against an SEC champion has zero chance of being entertaining, much less competitive – and that happened two years in a row after the ’06 and ’07 seasons.

But this game is going to be special. I mean, like, Texas-USC after the 2005 season special. The casts are even eerily similar to that all-time classic with Cam Newton in the Vince Young role of unstoppable one-man wrecking ball and Oregon in the USC role of flawless offensive system with weapons all over the field. Like that game, don’t expect much defense and expect the game-winning score to come in the last minute. The only thing I’m not sure: Will the team with the Heisman runner up beat the team with the Heisman winner again or should we expect the magician at quarterback to will his team to victory again?

I don’t know, but I do know two things: The Ducks’ uniforms will be hideous (although, not as bad as usual, despite the tennis ball-colored socks) and Cam Newton’s Dad will be on a cell phone given to him by Deion Sanders every second of the game pimping his son to every half-bit Jerry Maguires and used car TV ad producer in the nation.

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