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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Renaming America's bowl games

A lot has been made in recent years about the weird sponsors for college bowl games. In the spirit of that argument, I’m going to go through and highlight several bowl games that should be given different, more fitting titles.

Pinstripe Bowl: The “Nyah-Nyah Big East” Bowl. West Virginia started the mass exodus from the conference by bailing to the Big 12, and Syracuse continued it by moving to the ACC after this season. You have to think the conference, headquartered less than three hours away in Providence, Rhode Island, is asking its bigwigs as far away from Yankee Stadium as humanly possible.

Sun Bowl: The “Wait, HOW do you win one of these things?” Bowl. USC is coming off a bowl ban following the excesses of the Pete Carroll era, and Lane Kiffin has never won a bowl game as a head coach. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has lost its last seven bowl games, including all four under current head coach Paul Johnson.

Heart of Texas Bowl: The “Team in front of a firing squad” Bowl. In this case, it’s Purdue, hands down the worst BCS conference team to sneak into a bowl game. Their opponents? Oklahoma State, which boasts one of the highest-powered offenses in college football. The Cowboys are a 16 ½-point favorite, and that might be generous. Bowl: The “I’m auditioning for the head coaching job” Bowl. Both Arkansas State and Kent State saw their coaches leave; Arkansas State’s Gus Malzahn went to Auburn, while Kent State’s Darrell Hazell is headed to Purdue. Matchups where one head coach leaves for another job are tough enough to deduce, but this one is just a total crapshoot.

BCS Championship Game: The “This is the worst game I’ve ever seen” Bowl, Part II. Remember Alabama-LSU last year, when neither offense could stay on the field? Be ready for more. Both Notre Dame and Alabama are built around the running game on offense and the front seven on defense. Alabama is a favorite over the Irish, but judging by the matchup, the smartest bet in all of bowl season may be the “under” bet in this game.


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