In case you missed it, college football bowl season got underway Tuesday night with the New Orleans Bowl and the GMAC Bowl. These games could be tributes to the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. The New Orleans Bowl was played in Lafayette, Louisiana and the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Reports are that the Superdome will be repaired for action by Nov. 1.
If you care to stay up late tonight you can watch the Las Vegas Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl from San Diego. I wouldn't mind watching Paul Johnson's Navy team play Colorado State in the Poinsettia, but I doubt I can hold my eyes open for the 10:30 p.m. kickoff. Johnson is the former Georgia Southern coach that runs the triple option offense. I expect Navy to win that one and California to beat BYU in San Diego.
My other bowl game predictions for games to be played through December 29 are:
Forth Worth Bowl/Dec. 23 - Houston over Kansas
Hawaii Bowl/Dec. 24 - Central Florida over Nevada
Motor City/Dec. 26 - Memphis over Akron
Champs Sports/Dec. 27 - Clemson over Colorado
Insight/Dec. 27 - Arizona State over Rutgers
MPC Computers/Dec. 28 - Boston College over Boise State
Alamo/Dec. 28 - Michigan over Nebraska
Holiday/Dec. 29 - Oregon over Oklahoma
Emerald/Dec. 29 - Georgia Tech over Utah
Those of us around here will only pay attention to two of those games. The Champs Sports Bowl, formerly the Tangerine Bowl, will involve the Clemson Tigers. Clemson will play Colorado, who will be under the direction of a lame duck coaching staff. Coach Gary Barnett was fired after losing to Texas 70-3 in the Big 12 Championship game. Their defensive coordinator will direct the Buffalos.
Their new coach, Dan Hawkins, will be busy the next day coaching his old team, the Boise State Broncos, in their home game on the blue rug against Boston College. Rather than meeting with the Broncos on the eve of their game, I guess Hawkins will be watching Colorado on TV. I'll be scouting Colorado too because they play Georgia in Athens on Sept. 23. Strange indeed.
I have read where Clemson will carry about 12,000 fans to Tourist Trap, USA. My Carolina cousins who call themselves Clemson fans told me they weren't going. Their excuse was that I-95 would have too much traffic on it during the holidays. I could only laugh thinking about the country roads that lead into Clemson, S.C. A Tiger home game is never a holiday for those trying to get there.
Georgia Tech will get to play in Barry Bonds' stomping ground, the baseball park that is home of the San Francisco Giants. I suppose this is the only stadium in California small enough to host the Emerald Bowl. Tech fans are buying tickets and giving them away to military personnel on the west coast. That's a very noble way of not having to travel cross-country to watch a game against the mighty Utah Utes, post Urban Meyer version.
I haven't seen Utah play, live or on TV, but I can't see them handling Georgia Tech. If the Yellow Jackets are interested in the game after the sightseeing, their defense will be a bit much for Utah. Again that game will be on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 29, with a 4:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. I won't be able to watch it because that day is my wife's birthday, and I'll be busy cleaning house. Too bad.
The interesting thing about these basically anonymous games is they are mostly played west of the Mississippi River. They seldom involve major southern schools. The ACC and SEC have bowl tie-ins to protect their teams involving the traditional bowls played in the southeast. I'm not going to sit up late and watch, but I'll tell you, it's college football. In my humble opinion, there is no other programming on the tube that can match it.