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Americans love a good football game. But there’s something we love even more than that: lucrative commercial sponsorships. That explains why the college football bowl season has bloated to 32 games, most of which pit mediocre teams unworthy of a postseason appearance in games with ridiculous titles like the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. Here’s a list of the top must-miss games this holiday season.

15San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

TCU 37 Northern Illinois 7
San Diego
, CA

Qualcomm Stadium
December 19, 2006


With the TCU Horned Frogs (real name, we swear!) dominating the Northern Illinois Huskies through all four quarters in this ridiculous mismatch called the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, this game proved as boring as its name. In fact, it would have been more exciting to watch the San Diego County Credit Union conduct credit checks for three hours instead of witnessing this rout.

14Motor City Bowl

Central Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee
Detroit, MI
Ford Field
December 26, 2006, ESPN

 

The Motor City Bowl is going to be a shootout. And several people will die because of it. Nothing’s better than celebrating a bowl game in the country’s second most violent city. On your way over to the stadium, stop by and pick up some smack from the gas station attendant, take a pot shot from a random bystander or admire the haunted house-like infrastructure of a city people stopped caring for 50 years ago. A fun tailgating game is to drink every time you spot a condemned building. You’ll be cross-eyed by kickoff.

 

13Champs Sports Bowl

Purdue vs. Maryland
Orlando, FL
Florida Citrus Bowl
December 29, 2006, ESPN


The last time Maryland squared off against Purdue with any sort of meaningful implications involved, social security was just being formed. Maryland might win. Purdue might win. One of these two teams is going to win, but the bottom line is this: three days after this game, you won’t remember which team it was.

12R & L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Troy 41 Rice 17 
New Orleans, LA
Louisiana Superdome
December 22, 2006, ESPN


The R & L Carriers New Orleans Bowl is particularly anonymous in the exploding bowl game population as it is a bowl nobody has ever heard of with a sponsor nobody has ever heard of pitting two teams against each other that nobody has heard of. In other words nobody cares.
 

11Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl

BYU 38 Oregon 8
Las Vegas, NV
Sam Boyd Stadium
December 21, 2006, ESPN


The #19 BYU Cougars from pious Mormon country headed to heathen capital of the United States, Las Vegas, to square off against the unranked Oregon Ducks. Not surprisingly, BYU blew out the Beavers in a snooze-inducing game that was already over at half time. But that’s not important. What is important is that ESPN had something to broadcast on a Thursday night.

10Papajohns.com Bowl

South Florida 24 East Carolina 7
Birmingham, AL
Legion Field
December 23, 2006, ESPN2


Isn’t it nice to see that the spirit of competition and the authenticity of genuine sportsmanship will never be compromised in any way just to make a quick buck. Now, who’s hungry? We could really go for some Papa John’s.

9Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Utah 25 Tulsa 13
Fort Worth, TX
Amon G. Carter Stadium
December 23, 2006, ESPN


In the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the only bowl to sound like it’s sponsored by a cheap plastic toy you would buy from a dollar store, the Utes handled the Golden Hurricane easily. Jim Donnan of Espn.com attributed Utah's success to--this is for real--"good punting." Tell us that doesn't sound like a damn exciting game.

8Emerald Bowl

Florida State vs. UCLA   
San Francisco, CA
AT&T Park
December 27, 2006, ESPN


Even the marquee name of Florida State cannot save the bowl which most sounds like a toilet from Wizard of Oz. At 6-6, Bobby Bowden’s Florida State Seminoles had an uncharacteristic year. Aside from the low win total, only a few of Bowden’s players were incarcerated, apprehended for misconduct or expelled from school. What has happened to college football? 

7PetroSun Independence

Oklahoma State vs. Alabama
Shreveport, LA
Independence Stadium
December 27, 2006, ESPN

The Independence Bowl is one of the most blatant examples of the college football system rewarding meritocracy. Both teams are 6-6! If we wanted to watch mediocre athletes play other mediocre athletes we could just watch the NHL.

6Insight Bowl

Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
Phoenix, AZ
Sun Devil Stadium
December 29, 2006, ESPN


I have an extremely important piece of Insight for you all: this game is pointless. The Insight Bowl promises to pack all the pulse-pounding non-stop thrills of a memorial service into one four and a half hour game. However, a memorial service may be more interesting than this game because there’s usually free food. 

5Pacific Life Holiday Bowl


California vs. Texas A&M
San Diego, CA
Qualcomm Stadium
December 28, 2006, ESPN


The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl is just good politically correct naming. If it called it was the Christmas Bowl instead, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Rastafarians might feel excluded and not watch. But since it is called the Holiday Bowl, people of all religions can tune in, be bored by lousy play, and change the channel after the first quarter.

4Brut Sun Bowl

Missouri vs. Oregon State  
El Paso, TX
Sun Bowl
December 29, 2006, CBS


We can only hope that anybody watching this game will enjoy a better reaction than the time we used some Brut cologne : hives, followed by convulsions, foaming at the mouth, followed by hives again, burning heat rashes, followed by a scream denouncing Satan, more hives, followed by dizziness, enflamed eyebrows, followed by difficulty breathing, bring back some more hives, no breathing, followed by the actualization of eternal life, followed by a sudden jolt back to earth only to receive numerous larger hives, stomach bleeding, followed by a desperate plea for sanity, the appearance of Milk Duds, and finally more hives. 

3AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Houston vs. South Carolina
Memphis, TN
Liberty Bowl
December 29, 2006, ESPN


The AutoZone Liberty Bowl officials could have saved a lot of money by arbitrarily recruiting two high school freshmen B teams to duke it out. Neither team would have scored, but it would still be more eventful than watching Houston play South Carolina. Still it’s nice to know that at any time during the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, if either team starts to break down and run out of a gas, a friendly AutoZone retailer is right around the corner to service their every need.

2Meineke Car Care Bowl

Boston College vs. Navy
Charlotte, NC
Bank of America Stadium
December 30, 2006, ESPN2


One of the great things about living in a free capitalist country like America is choice. If we want to watch a college bowl game sponsored by an automobile repair company we can choose the Autozone Liberty Bowl or the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Or we can just choose neither. We think we’ll just choose the latter.

1Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl

Kentucky vs. Clemson
Nashville, TN
The Coliseum
December 29, 2006, ESPN


Let’s face it, the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl gets the award for having the queerest of all the bowl game names. What is difficult to figure out is how when the game is over, players on either Kentucky or Clemson will feel any sort of pride hoisting up a trophy with the word “Gaylord” on it. May the winners of this game be mocked and taunted with blindly cheap stereotypical Gaylord jokes.

 

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