The Indisputable Rankings of All 40 Bowl Games: Part 1 (40-21)
Bowl season is upon us, which means it’s time to get excited for ten great games of college football and thirty shitty ones.
To guide you through this mess of unpaid athletic competition, National Ave has put together a full ranking of the 2015-2016 bowl games, moving from the unwatchable to the can’t-miss.
In part one, we evaluate the atrocious, the terrible, and the mediocre match-ups. Here are rankings 40 through 21:
- Celebration Bowl (Dec. 19): Alcorn State (9-3) vs. North Carolina A&T (9-2)
No, Alcorn isn’t a misspelling. That isn’t supposed to be Akron, and Acorn State is reserved for the next film to be released from Satan’s scrotum: Alvin and The Chipmunks 7: Yep, We’re Still Making This Shit. Alcorn is apparently a city in Mississippi with a football team that lost to Georgia Tech 69 to 6, bringing joy to 14-year-old boys everywhere.
Meanwhile, North Carolina A&T is North Carolina’s fifth most-popular university, which is like being the fifth-most attractive Kardashian – it means less than nothing.
- Miami Beach Bowl (Dec. 21): South Florida (8-4) vs. Western Kentucky (11-2)
It would be more fun to get chlamydia on Daytona Beach than it would be to watch this game.
- Cure Bowl (Dec. 19): San Jose State (5-7) vs. Georgia State (6-6)
I hope the Cure Bowl comes with a cure for the sore throat you get from shouting “BOOOOOOOOOO” at your television. We’re all going to need it.
- Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 26): Duke (7-5) vs. Indiana (6-6)
Literally the only way this will even be vaguely watchable is if both schools realize nobody cares about their football teams and transform this into the first ever basketball game played on a grass court.
Am I excited to watch two mediocre football programs compete? No. Would I be excited to watch two storied basketball franchises try to jack 3-pointers after running a 100-yard floor? You better believe it.
- Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 28): Minnesota (5-7) vs. Central Michigan (7-5)
This game will be just as fun as watching a pimply-faced kid from the Midwest PECK MELK into a PLESTIC BEG at a fucking Kroger’s in Minnetonka. If none of that makes sense, you’re lucky and should avoid this game to make sure you don’t accidentally start to understand.
- Independence Bowl (Dec. 26): Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulsa (6-6)
This game is placed at the perfect time on ESPN’s schedule: Dinnertime the day after Christmas. Just as this game begins, you’ll finally get into that fight with your aunt you were waiting to have until after Christmas had finally passed and you had a couple drinks in your system so you could tell her what you really thought about the new guy she brought to Thanksgiving. You’ll drunkenly knock over the television by halftime, giving your husband just enough time to go buy a new one before the UCLA-Nebraska game starts.
- Arizona Bowl (Dec. 29): Colorado State (7-5) vs. Nevada (6-6)
Unless the good folks of Colorado decide to ship a couple grams of their best legal marijuana to everyone in the country and also a pair of kaleidoscope glasses to go with it, this game should and will go unwatched.
- Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 24): Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs. Western Michigan (7-5)
The only good thing about this game is the fact that every player on these teams will return to their universities in full awareness of how much their cities suck compared to the Bahamas. I will watch the final 10 seconds of this game just to see how many players disappear from the sidelines as they try to avoid being shipped back to their shitty states.
- GoDaddy Bowl: Bowling Green (10-3) vs. Georgia Southern (8-4)
Fun Fact: 75% percent of the fans attending this Mobile, Alabama-hosted game will have gone to first base with their cousins. Unless you like hearing announcers try to spice up an unexciting game by endlessly repeating, “Did you know Urban Meyer’s first heading coaching job was at Bowling Green,” this is a hard pass.
- New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 19): Arkansas State (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4)
I was going to say this will be the worst athletic performance the Superdome will see all year, but then I remembered the 2015 Saints still play there.
- Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec. 26): Washington (6-6) vs. Southern Mississippi (9-4)
This is the Odd Couple of bowl game pairings; “One of them likes marijuana, the other one hates civil rights. How will they share a football field? Coming this summer to TBS, The Heart of Dallas Bowl.” Considering Washington has been about as consistent as Michael J. Fox using an Etch-a-Sketch and Southern Mississippi is fresh off of a loss to a team called “The Hilltoppers,” this should be a real mess of a game.
- Belk Bowl (Dec. 30): North Carolina State (7-5) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)
It’s the battle of the annoying little brothers that nobody gives a shit about as NC State battles Mississippi State. Both teams played powder-puff non-conference schedules and underwhelmed against their in-conference opponents, so this should be a competitive matchup with no significance beyond this game. Watching this game will be like sleeping with someone you met four drinks in: you probably won’t hate yourself for doing it, but you know you should have higher standards.
- Camellia Bowl (Dec. 19): Ohio (8-4) vs. Appalachian State (10-2)
Bobcats versus Mountaineers would make a much better Liam Neeson movie than it does a football game. Expect these two powerhouses to…Let’s not pretend you’re willing to read an actual analysis of this game. On the bright side, this will be a great chance to remind your kids that there are actually two universities in Ohio and they can always just attend Ohio if they can’t manage the 1100 on the SAT (all three categories combined) required to get into THE Ohio State University.
- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Dec. 22): Akron (7-5) vs. Utah State (6-6)
This will be bad football. Very bad football. However, there is a way to make it into a great opportunity to get WASTED: Take a shot every time someone asks, “Why the fuck is the field blue?” It’s hard to be bored by a football game if you can’t see straight after five minutes.
- Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 23): Boise State (8-4) vs. Northern Illinois (8-5)
Speaking of Boise State being infuriatingly annoying! This battle of two teams that think they’re much better than they actually are will be fun to watch if only to revel in the smug satisfaction that you didn’t have to listen to anyone complain that Boise State “isn’t getting respect because they play in the Mountain West Conference.” I’m sorry, but going 12-0 in that conference is like the time I stiff-armed a peewee football player at a park after getting waaay too drunk at brunch. Sure, it looked awesome, but I don’t expect to get a Heisman for it.
- New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 19): New Mexico (7-5) vs. Arizona (6-6)
There are several reasons to watch this game, none of which involve football:
- This bowl is so steeped in New Mexico-ness there are bound to be at least a few good Breaking Bad mentions
- Los Lobos is a super fun name to say. As a language, Spanish is to English what Salma Hayek is to Larry the Cable Guy. Sure, they’re both popular in their own respects, but you should feel ashamed if you brag about how much you like Larry the Cable Guy.
- University of Arizona basketball highlights.
If none of those things do it for you, I don’t know, man – maybe you should reevaluate your priorities.
- Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 21): Temple (10-3) vs. Toledo (9-2)
Honestly, this will be a pretty alright game between two well-matched teams with similar records in mid-major conferences. These can’t all be funny, folks. Some of these games will just be totally acceptable.
- Hawai’i Bowl (Dec. 24): San Diego State (10-3) vs. Cincinnati (7-6)
The Aztecs should handle the injury-riddled Bearcats in this game. After all, the Bearcats lost to USF 65-27 after several garbage time touchdowns allowed them to crawl out of the 51-3 hole they were in at the half. That’s not why you should possibly watch this game though.
The primary reason to consider watching this game is that SDSU’s head coach is named Rocky Long. Rocky. Long. If that isn’t one of the greatest porn names in the history of non-fictional names, I don’t know what is.
- St. Petersburg Bowl (Dec. 26): Connecticut (6-6) vs. Marshall (9-3)
Reasons to watch this game:
- Shouting WE ARE MARSHALL at the television for three hours
- See reason #1
- Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 30): Auburn (6-6) vs. Memphis (9-3)
Yes, Auburn has had an underwhelming season. However, as long as there is a remote chance of hearing “AUBURN’S GONNA WIN THE FOOTBALL GAME” screamed at 1200 decibels through a throat presumably coated in Johnny Walker Blue, I cannot miss the end of this game.
That’s all for part one! Join us tomorrow when we evaluate all of the games you actually might want to watch.