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Clu Closes out the Rivalry Trophy Series in style.

In my final installment of the Rivalry Trophy Series for the 2012 football season, we will be breaking down the most wonderful time of the year…for college football fans that is. Yes, you guessed it everyone, its bowl season! Now I have carefully looked at every bowl game being played this December and January and carefully selected a handful that I feel are either amazing bowl games that everyone needs to watch, or others to just point and laugh at. Oh and I also got a little creative with the titles as to what I think the names of the bowl games SHOULD be instead of whatever the corporate sponsor has named them. Anyways, I could just breakdown the BCS games that will be taking place in January, but whats the fun in that when we can make fun of the red beans and rice bowl, am I right guys? Ah? So let’s save the real meaty games for another time.

I Cant Believe They’re Playing in a Bowl… Bowl

Why are they in a bowl? Beats me! Watch it anyways! (Adam Ring/Iowa State Daily)
Why are they in a bowl? Beats me! Watch it anyways! (Adam Ring/Iowa State Daily)

The Autozone Liberty Bowl: December 31 @ 3:30pm

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricanes

This goes out to the Iowa State Cyclones because they somehow managed to make the Autozone Liberty Bowl despite only winning three in-conference games and finished out the year with a 6-6 overall record. Surely there was someone else who was worth receiving this bowl bid! At least ISU had quality wins over #15 TCU and Baylor, so maybe that helped the NCAA push them into a bowl game. As for Tulsa, they are looking to avenge the 38-23 loss they had against Iowa State in Week 1. The Golden Hurricanes (10-3, 7-1), who won the C-USA title over UCF, should put up quite a fight in this post-season rematch.

The Mr. Tremendous Bowl

Can Northwestern end 60+ years of losing? (Jerry Lai/US PRESSWIRE)
Can Northwestern end 60+ years of losing? (Jerry Lai/US PRESSWIRE) Gator Bowl: January 1 @12pm

Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. #20 Northwestern Wildcats

Now the reason that this is called the Mr. Tremendous bowl is that it is the best named bowl game of the year. I mean how does the Gator Bowl just not sound awesome? But, do you know what is even more awesome? The two teams who will be playing in it. Mississippi State and Northwestern were pretty much written off as contending football programs for 2012. Mississippi State would go on to start the season 7-0 and, although they stumbled at the end, they still managed to finish off the year with an 8-4 record. Good for them! As for #20 Northwestern, they played in some tough games throughout the year, won the games they needed to get to a 9 win season, and are now playing in their 5th consecutive bowl game… Lets hope this is the year they break their nine-game bowl losing streak (tied for the longest losing streak in college bowl history). Their one win came all the way back in the 1948 Rose Bowl during the Pappy Waldorf Era.

Also, since it a January 1st bowl game…Tax season will be right around the corner! So here’s the link to taxslayer incase you want to get going on those taxes there buddy! (See what I did there?)

The Mr. Irrelevant Bowl

Seriously though, is anyone gonna watch this game? ( Bowl: January 6 @ 9pm

#25 Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

This one I call Mr. Irrelevant because its the last Non-BCS game to be played for the year and, of course, it is between two teams who nobody will really watch unless they are students or alumni. Now I am not knocking these programs because both are among the top in their respective conferences. Kent State is ranked 25th in the nation and had an 11 win season and Arkansas State had a 9 win season and won the Sun Belt conference. But, in all honesty, who the hell is really going to watch this game?! The next night is the National championship game for one, and two… the bowl is being played at 9PM on a sunday!! Hellooo! The NFL will be right in the midst of the first round of the playoffs. So good job whomever scheduled this game.

The Its too early for football Bowl

Which is the better bird? We'll find out soon! (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Which is the better bird? We’ll find out soon! (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: December 29 @ 11:45am

Rice Owls vs. Air Force Falcons

This game is just way too early for any college football fan to be watching. It is slated to go on Saturday Dec. 29th at 11:45AM EST, so in actuality thats 10:45am for those watching in the central standard time zone. College football fans who follow Rice and AF will most likely be having some coffee along with those frosty brews and maybe some hotcakes while we’re at it too? This battle of the birds bowl (Rice University team name is an Owl while Air Force are Falcons, get it?) game features two teams going in opposite directions on the season. What I mean by that is that, while Air Force lost three out of their last four games, Rice had to win five of their last six games to make a bowl appearance. Can AF stop the bleeding and get a much needed win? Or will Rice continue their hot streak? Both schools are at 6-6, so a win would  ultimately prove to be a positive for either program. On top of that, this game might also finally put to rest the ultimate question…which bird is cooler, An Owl or a Falcon?

The WTF Bowl

This guy's ready for Vanderbilt to play ball! (
This guy’s ready for Vanderbilt to play ball! (

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: December 31 @ 12pm

NC State Wolfpack vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

So the reason for naming this the WTF bowl is because I was kind of shocked and the absurdly long title that it was given. The Music City Bowl is a very nice and prestigious bowl game in my opinion. It takes place in Nashville Tennessee, it promotes the music and I mean Nashville is known as the Music city! Why would they ruin it with such an absurd sponsor as Mortgage realty? I just don’t get it… I expect next year they will have someone like JandR or someone in the music/entertainment industry try and sponsor it. Anywho, back to the teams. Vanderbilt has definitely been a surprise story this season. They are another hot team who cant seem to lose, reeling off six wins in a row to get into bowl contention and finishing 8-4 on the year. North Carolina State is not your typical cream puff 7-5 team. They played in a tough division within the ACC. And, as everyone always knows, ACC/SEC matchups are usually tough and gritty. Should be a good one!

(Honorary bowl name mentions: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)

The Oh Wow They’re Playing One Another Bowl

Will Syracuse win big in the Bronx? (Nicholas Lisi/The Post-Standard)
Will Syracuse win big in the Bronx? (Nicholas Lisi/The Post-Standard)

New Era Pinstripes Bowl: December 29 @ 3:30pm

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange

When I first saw this, I was actually not really excited for this matchup because Syracuse has already been to the New Era Pinstripes bowl (back in 2010). Why couldn’t they play somewhere else? On top of that, I am always nervous when the Orange face WV because of how dangerous the Mountaineers can be. But the more that I looked at it, the more I realized that this would be good for both schools. It brings back their old rivalry for one more season (which I have mentioned numerous times). It’s also being played at Yankee Stadium, which is only a five hour drive/train ride for loyal Syracuse followers to go to and it also gives Syracuse somewhat of a home-field advantage (and rightfully so, since they won a share of the Big East title). Both schools played a very tough schedule this year. West Virginia had to go up against the monsters of the Big 12, while Syracuse had one of the toughest non-conference schedules of the season (facing USC, Missouri and Northwestern). Both schools have very high powered offenses which should lead to a high scoring affair.

The Look At These F***ing Guys Bowl

Who is better than Johnny Football? (Nick De La Torre/Houston Chronicle)
Who is better than Johnny Football? (Nick De La Torre/Houston Chronicle)

Cotton Bowl: January 4 @ 8pm

#9 Texas AandM Aggies vs. #11 Oklahoma Sooners

Boy this game should be a doozey! Former Big 12 rivals, playing in Cowboys Stadium the freakin’ Cotton Bowl. Big named QBs squaring off:  Johnny Manziel a.k.a “Johnny Football” vs. Landry “Biscuits and Gravy” Jones (see our college football previews for this reference). Manziel, in case everyone has been under a rock this year, made history this past weekend by winning the Heisman Memorial trophy (best player in football) as a freshman… That’s never been done before just so you know. Texas A&M is in its inaugural season playing in the SEC, while Oklahoma, who has had an amazing team all year long, has this game circled as they go up against one of their former rivals. This will be one of the most watched games (outside of the national title game) for sure, especially since it features a Heisman winner in Johnny Manziel and one of the best QBs in Oklahoma Sooners history (2011 Manning Award finalist, owns 13 program passing records, OU’s all time passing leader with 16,368 career yards) in Jones.
(Honorary mention: Outback Bowl – #10 South Carolina vs. #18 Michigan)

Big League Clu

About Big League Clu

Clu Haywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When he sneezes, he looks like a party favor. Also, he's been known to hit the ball "too high" and alleges to have illegitimately fathered Jake Tayor's non-existent children. You can also find him on Twitter @bigleagueclu

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