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The Beachwood Bowl Series '09

By The Beachwood Bowl Affairs Desk
Once again it's time for our annual guide to America's college bowl games. Read it, weep, and stay away from the parlays this holiday season.

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Game: The New Mexico Bowl
Date: Dec. 19 (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Fresno State vs. Wyoming
Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque

Comment: It's a shoot-out in the Old West! It's Shootout at the O.K. Corral II! It's . . . a bowl game no one really cares about. But for problem gamblers out there, remember the Beachwood Bowl Series rule: Never depend on a school named after a state that doesn't exist. Wyoming in a walk.

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Game: The Beef O'Brady's Bowl
Date: Dec. 19 (7 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: UCF vs. Rutgers
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

Comment: Formerly the St. Petersburg Bowl, this game is now sponsored by a chain of "family sports restaurants" that just rolled out Smokin' Jack Sliders. Be sure to choose the mashed potatoes with Guinness gravy as one of your sides. (Three locations in Illinois!)

Oh yeah, the game. Central Florida has the home-state edge, but they'll be done in by the Chocolate Eruption Cake. O'Brady's hasn't made it to Jersey yet, so we'll go with the Guidos.

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Game: The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Date: Dec. 20 (7:30 p.m, ESPN)
Matchup: Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee
Where: The Superdome

Comment: You've gotta be a hard-core Rebel to not just be Mississippi, but Southern Mississippi. Twice as much South! Really Ole Miss. Still, Middle Tennessee sounds a bit too much like Middle Earth. This game will end in a tie and mindless violence.

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Game: The MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
Date: Dec. 22 (8 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Oregon State vs. BYU
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium

Comment: MAACO sponsors because college students coming to Vegas for a bowl game get wrecked. (Ba dum-dum.) Caesar's has set the Over/Under on disgraced Mormons at 1.5 and the Beavers money line at $500/hour.

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Game: The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Date: Dec. 23 (7 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Utah vs. Cal
Where: Qualcomm Stadium

Comment: The San Diego County Credit Union sponsors a bowl game. The Cook County Credit Union fixes bowl games. And a little birdie told us Cal is taking a dive in this one.

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Game: The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Date: Dec. 24 (7 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Nevada vs. SMU
Where: Aloha Stadium

Comment: The Wolfpack and Mustangs had already accepted other bowl invitations when they received word that the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl would be insisting the game be played in grass skirts and coconut bras. Losers have to stay at Red Roofs on the road next season.

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Game: The Little Caesars Bowl
Date: Dec. 26 (Noon, ESPN)
Matchup: Marshall vs. Ohio
Where: Ford Field

Comment: Ohio State Jr. is no match for a franchise memorialized in the movies. Winner advances to next year's Big Salad Bowl.

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Game: The Meineke Car Care Bowl
Date: Dec. 26 (3:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Pitt vs. North Carolina
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

Comment: Ticket buyers automatically qualify for Bank of America's new Omerta card. No more hassling with paper bills; BofA's representatives will collect monthly payments in person. Terms subject to rapid change and non-negotiable. Pitt pulls this one out if they know what's good for them.

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Game: The Emerald Bowl
Date: Dec. 26 (7 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Boston College vs. USC
Where: AT&T Park

Comment: Trojans always perform well in San Francisco.

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Game: The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Date: Dec. 27 (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Kentucky vs. Clemson
Where: Nashville

Comment: Both teams play to a scoreless tie to avoid having to tell grandchildren about the time they won the Gaylord Bowl.

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Game: The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Date: Dec. 28 (4 p.m., ESPN2)
Matchup: Texas A&M vs. Georgia
Where: Shreveport

Comment: If AdvoCare was paying attention to the marketing geniuses at the NFL, they would have named this one the VC Independence Bowl. Better yet: The AC-VC Independence Bowl. Better yet: The Shreveport Is A Toilet Bowl. Georgia stinks less in this game.

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Game: The EagleBank Bowl
Date: Dec. 29 (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: UCLA vs. Temple
Where: RFK Stadium

Comment: Little-known fact: One of Robert F. Kennedy's most cherished dreams was to one day host a bank bowl. Losers forced to take on subprime mortgages.

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Game: The Champs Sports Bowl
Date: Dec. 29 (7 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Miami vs. Wisconsin
Where: Orlando

Comment: Ah, it's the good ol' former Sunshine Classic turned Blockbuster Bowl turned Carquest Bowl turned MicronPC Bowl then MicronPC.com Bowl turned Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl then Mazda Tangerine Bowl now Champs Sports Bowl! Fuck 'em, Bucky.

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Game: The Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
Date: Dec. 30 (3:30 p.m, ESPN)
Matchup: Bowling Green vs. Idaho
Where: Bronco Stadium

Comment: A U.N. peace-keeping force will be deployed to make sure tackling doesn't break out.

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Game: The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Date: Dec. 30 (7 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Arizona vs. Nebraska
Where: Qualcomm Stadium

Comment: Schools can receive their bowl fee in variable, fixed-rate or structured settlement annuities. Investors should carefully consider an annuity's risks, charges, limitations, and expenses, as well as the risks, charges, expenses, and investment objectives of the underlying investment options. Flight insurance also available.

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Game: The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Date: Dec. 31 (11 a.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Houston vs. Air Force
Where: Fort Worth

Comment: As part of their broadcast contract, commentators had to agree to avoid mentioning the 2003-2006 years of what was known at the time as the Halliburton Armed Forces Bowl.

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Game: The Brut Sun Bowl
Date: Dec. 31 (1 p.m., CBS)
Matchup: Oklahoma vs. Stanford
Where: El Paso

Comment: Fresh off last year's Dust Bowl victory, the Okies get those Stanford snobs in their backyard this year. By the way, international climate change officials meeting in Copenhagen have decreed that next year this be called The Brutal Sun Bowl.

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Game: The Texas Bowl
Date: Dec. 31 (2:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Navy vs. Missouri
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston

Comment: The Navy's a little busy right now ferrying a new batch of soldiers to Afghanistan, so Missouri will face a team composed of patients from the National Center for PTSD instead. Could go either way.

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Game: The Insight Bowl
Date: Dec. 31 (5 p.m., NFL Network)
Matchup: Minnesota vs. Iowa State
Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe

Comment: Typically the longest game of the season because the sponsor - the American Psychology Association - encourages players to reflect after each play on why they did what they just did.

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Game: The Chick-fil-A Bowl
Date: Dec. 31 (6:30 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee
Where: Georgia Dome

Comment: Volunteers suddenly have the upper hand over techsters in today's economy. Tennessee goes home with The Golden Chicken Bucket.

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Game: The Outback Bowl
Date: Jan. 1 (10 a.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Northwestern vs. Auburn
Where: Tampa

Comment: Next year this game will be played in Chicago and called The Kickback Bowl.

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Game: The Capital One Bowl
Date: Jan. 1 (Noon, ABC)
Matchup: Penn State vs. LSU
Where: Orlando

Comment: Just by tuning in you agree to pay 27.99 percent on all purchases made until next year's Capitol One Bowl.

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Game: The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
Date: Jan. 1 (Noon, CBS)
Matchup: West Virginia vs. Florida State
Where: Jacksonville

Comment: In today's Konica Minolta world, Bobby Bowden is a Polaroid.

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Game: The Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Date: Jan 1. (3:30 p.m., ABC)
Matchup: Ohio State. vs. Oregon
Where: Pasadena

Comment: If I'm contributing to Ohio State and Oregon universities through jacked-up rates on my Citi card, at least they could send me a sweatshirt or something.

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Game: The Allstate Sugar Bowl
Date: Jan. 1 (7:30 p.m., FOX)
Matchup: Florida vs. Cincinnati
Where: Superdome

Comment: Locals whose claims were denied by Allstate after Katrina will not be admitted.

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Game: The International Bowl
Date: Jan. 2 (11 a.m., ESPN2)
Matchup: South Florida vs. Northern Illinois
Where: Toronto

Comment: Original contestants Pakistan and India backed out after failing to come to an agreement on what time to start the game. NIU Coach Jerry Kill has the scariest football name this side of Chad Slaughter. The winner here gets free health care and all the poutine they can eat.

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Game: The Papajohns.com Bowl
Date: Jan. 2 (1 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: South Carolina vs. UConn
Where: Birmingham

Comment: Dot-com bowls are so pre-Great Recession.

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Game: The AT&T Cotton Bowl
Date: Jan. 2 (1 p.m., FOX)
Matchup: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington

Comment: Roaming charges will apply to anyone outside of the Metroplex watching the game.

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Game: The AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Date: Jan. 2 (1 p.m., FOX)
Matchup: Arkansas vs. East Carolina
Where: Memphis

Comment: The winner goes on to fight for liberty in Iraq. The loser goes to Afghanistan.

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Game: The Valero Alamo Bowl
Date: Jan. 2 (8 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Michigan State vs. Texas Tech
Where: Alamodome

Comment: The gas station chain Valero will sponsor the Alamo Bowl this year. In return, the Alamodome will add the following items to the concession stand: 24 oz. cans of Monster, packs of Mini Thins, tins of Kodiak, plus complimentary copies of Juggs magazine in the whizzjohn.

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Game: The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Date: Jan. 4 (7 p.m., FOX)
Matchup: Boise State vs. TCU
Where: Glendale, Ariz.

Comment: In honor of the blue turf in Boise State's home stadium, Tostito's will offer blue corn chips at the concession stands this year. In honor of TCU's home stadium, Tostito's will offer bibles at the concession stands this year.

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Game: The FedEx Orange Bowl
Date: Jan. 5 (7 p.m., FOX)
Matchup: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
Where: Land Shark Stadium, Miami

Comment: What, no FedEx Kinko's Bowl? Iowa players don't do well around land sharks. Yellow Jackets swarm.

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Game: The GMAC Bowl
Date: Jan. 6 (6 p.m., ESPN)
Matchup: Central Michigan vs. Troy
Where: Mobile, Ala.

Comment: Is General Motors still around? Is Central Michigan still around? Who is Troy and what does he bench press?

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Game: The Citi BCS National Championship Game
Date: Jan. 7 (7 p.m., ABC)
Matchup: Texas vs. Alabama
Where: Pasadena

Comment: In the six days between the Citi Rose Bowl and this game, the average Citi credit card holder will have had his interest rate raised another 6 percent and seen monthly minimums double. And if you don't watch this game and provide the ratings promised to advertisers so Citi can pay off Texas and Alabama and have a hefty chunk of dough left over, you will be charged even more to make up the difference. Coming next: The Citi Super Bowl.

- Mike Luce, Dan O'Shea, Steve Rhodes

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