Herald Journal Columns
Dec. 12, 2005, Herald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch

28 bowl games not enough? Here’s 7 more

By Matt Kane

Here we go again.

It’s almost bowl game season in college football and the match-ups are set.

Of course the four BCS games will draw the most interest and everyone is waiting to see who the next national champion will be – USC or Texas – but until Jan. 2, when West Virginia and Georgia play in the Fiesta Bowl, the first BCS game, fans should have enough appetizers to hold them over with 28 games leading into the BCS four.

In all, 56 teams have one more game to play on their schedule, but that leaves 63 teams with nothing to do the rest of the season.

Because of this, I have coordinated seven additional bowl games the NCAA should seriously consider, using the remaining teams. I have also suggested a few sponsors that seem appropriate for each game.

Rice Bowl

Well, duh, the automatic bid for this game goes to, who else, Rice.

And the Owls opponent, after a minute of pondering – oh, wait, did I say ‘minute’ and doesn’t it take only a minute to make rice – is none other than the UMass Minutemen.

So UMass plays in Division I-AA, big deal. I am confident the Minutemen (7-4) can hang with the CBS SportsLine.com’s No. 114-ranked Owls (1-10).

I am in the process of contacting Uncle Ben, Rice-A-Roni and Kraft – maker of Minute Rice – about sponsorships.

If Rice-A-Roni comes on board, the game would have to be played at Candlestick Park, for Rice-A-Roni is the “San Francisco Treat?”

It Ain’t’ Easy Being Green Bowl

This one just came to me while I was researching college nicknames and noticed who the Nos. 110 and 111 ranked teams in the nation are.

Heading north to Le Sueur, Minn., the Ho, ho, home of our sponsor, the Green Giant, will be the Green Wave of Tulane and the Mean Green of North Texas.

Both teams come in with 2-9 records so this one could be an incredible hulk of a contest.

Look for celebrity appearances by Kermit the Frog and Green Lantern.

Don’t worry Minnesotans, Norm Green is not invited.

The Popcorn Bowl

A guy dressed in an Orville Redenbacher costume will be handing out free popcorn balls to all fans who enter the Metrodome for this one – put a chrome finish on the roof and the Dome will look like a Jiffy Pop container – and if they look closely, fans will notice the steal chains connecting the sideline markers have been replaced with 10-yard strings of popcorn – cheesy of course to match the orange computerized first-down marker that runs across the television screen.

At 4-7, No. 93 Indiana was a lock for this one, not because of its record, but because they are the Hoosiers, named after one of the best sports movies of all time I’m sure. Too bad Gene Hackman doesn’t coach the football version.

In finding an opponent for Indiana, it was a toss-up between Arizona (No. 88) and Kentucky (No. 89), which both finished 3-8 in their respective conferences.

Both are nicknamed the Wildcats, which is also a classic football movie starring Goldie Hawn as a mother and football coach of a misfit football team with Woody Harrelson at quarterback and Wesley Snipes as the stud receiver.

And who could forget the 400-pound Finch blocking the final kick to win the big game?

Ultimately, Arizona wins the bid for this one by the simple fact that Kentucky is ranked higher in the NCAA men’s college basketball polls.

Kentucky needs to start worrying about March Madness, so we didn’t want to disturb them in December.

Kitty Litter Bowl

This game features two teams who didn’t exactly live up to the preseason hype.

The easy pick for this one is the Pittsburgh Panthers, who entered the regular season ranked No. 23 and exited it ranked No. 73.

Dave Wannstedt was suppose to be the team’s savior, but the Panthers coughed up a fur ball on six occasions to go with only five wins.

For their opponent, maybe we won’t let Kentucky off the hook just yet. The Wildcats play in the highly competitive SEC, where they have been mainstays of the conference litter box, so they deserve this spot.

A city and venue has not been decided yet, but it looks like Tidy Cats is going to pick up the sponsorship.

For those attending this cat fight, remember kitty litter can also be used to soak up vomit.

Dog Bowl (aka the Dog Dish)

I couldn’t let the felines have all the fun, the K-9s need to run as well.

This one will be for bragging as to which Huskies are the top dogs – Connecticut or Washington.

In a battle between the Northeast and Northwest, UConn (5-6, No. 75) and Washington (2-9, No. 104) will meet halfway at, where else, Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University.

One quick Google and I found a sponsor.

Keeping it local, Twin Cities-based Pet Yard Pick-up is the perfect company to clean up this Husky-sized mess, for, as they say, “We do doggy doo-doo so you won’t have to!”

Party Bowl

These selections are based solely on the Princeton Review’s annual list of the top party schools in the county.

Since the No. 1 party school Wisconsin is already playing in the Capital One Bowl, the second-ranked Bobcats of Ohio University will go up against the Engineers of Lehigh (Pa.) University, third on the list.

Coming out of the Patriot League in Division I-AA, Lehigh may seem overmatched by the Division-I 97th-ranked Bobcats of the Mid Atlantic Conference, but the Engineers come in with an 8-3 record. Ohio is 3-8.

The trip to Amsterdam will be a lengthy one for both teams, but a pre-game trip to the Red Light District should calm any nerves before the Chex Party Mix Party Bowl.

I’m sure the players and fans of each team can find something to do. They’d better, they have a reputation to uphold.

Toilet Bowl

Finally, the granddaddy of them all. The infamous Toilet Bowl, to be played Jan. 27 in London, where, according to about.com the legendary Thomas Crapper operated two of his three Crapper plumbing shops.

The date commemorates Crapper’s date of birth, and, although it has been dismissed that Crapper invented the toilet – the first flushable toilet was invented in 1775 by Alexander Cummings – the myths that surround the 19th century plumber and inventor make for great storylines heading into the game, which, obviously, is played between the two worst football teams in Division-I football.

This year the honors to play in the 2000 Flushes Toilet Bowl go to New Mexico State and Temple, the 118th and 119th ranked teams, respectively.

Both teams forgot to jiggle the handle during the season and laid eggs in the wins column. The Aggies of New Mexico State’s futility was one game greater than the Owls’, 12 losses to 11, yet, by strength of schedule I’m sure, got the higher seed.

Don’t flush to another channel too early in this contest between the only two perfectly defeated teams in the country. With the evenness of the Aggies and Owls, the Toilet Bowl could rival the Rose Bowl in its unpredictably and toe curling intensity.

The history of what this game can do for a team is telling.

Last year’s participants, Central Florida (0-11), the nation’s only winless team in 2004, and Western Michigan (1-10), both improved drastically this season and failed to qualify for any of my bowl games.

Western Michigan finished at 7-4 and ranked No. 60, and the Golden Knights of Central Florida did the unthinkable by becoming the Conference USA runner up and winning eight games (8-4) to qualifying for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Dec. 24 against Nevada.

The Broncos lost in the MAC title game and were not selected for a bowl game.

But this year it’s a battle between the Aggies and Owls with the trophy going to the loser, of course. After all, this game is to crown the worst team in college football.

2000 Flushes narrowly outbid the Tidy Bowl Man and Sani-Flush.

So, that’s it for the Matt Kane bowl selection column. We can now look forward to a lot of good games from a lot of bad teams. But, hey, that’s better than the usual – bad game from good teams.

So now all you die-hard football fans have a few more reasons to sit on your couch and fatten up for the rest of winter.

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