Speed Read: Get Ready To Bowl For Relevance

All last-minute 11th-hour college football playoff protest lock-in petition candlelight vigils have failed, and the BCS has already declared who will play for the national championship. Sorry, Texas, Alabama, and Utah — two other states, Oklahoma and Florida, are going to the BCS Championship. Is it the right one? Meh, probably. But if we had playoffs, it might’ve been something weird like Texas Tech and Penn State. Yuck.

Bowl of cereal

Looking at the BCS games:

• We have two teams outside the top 10 that are in the BCS? Well, hell, put ‘em in the same game! Unlikely Big East champion Cincinnati and ACC winner Virginia Tech will see each other in the Orange Bowl.
• This might be hard to believe, but Ohio State is in the Fiesta Bowl. This is not a repeat from 2006, 2003, or 2002. Honestly, why even have bowl contingency plans for these guys? They’ll play Texas.
• The last time Utah played in a BCS game, they got set up with BCS fall boy Pittsburgh and massacred them. This time they’ll get a slightly better challenge, facing off against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
• And the Rose Bowl. Hey, sure.

Now to go through the rest of the bowl games, one by one, in painstaking detail. Okay, just a couple interesting ones:

Charlie Weis with lei

• Really? Does Charlie Weis wearing a lei this year represent anything that should happen in a fair and God-governed just world? The Irish went 6-6. Instead of schlepping off to some obscure game in Boise or Houston, Notre Dame gets the Hawai’i Bowl. No-foolin’ not-snowing beach-humpin’ Hawai’i. Since they play the local football squadron, odds are the Rainbowless Warriors will probably whump them, as is the local custom.
• Boise State, by going perfect, gets the high honor of playing not another strong power-conference team, but probably the next strongest mid-major, TCU, in the Poinsettia Bowl. Perhaps one of the most recently-created games will be the locale of the best non-BCS game. If nothing else, the bowl game will be a step up from 2006, when TCU smashed Northern Illinois by 30.
• “We beat the guys in the national championship game!” “Really? Because we beat the guys who beat the other guys in the national championship game!” It’s Ole Miss and Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.
• The MAC got five games. Five games? Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, too? Eek. As for Ball State and Tulsa, who both were supposed to roll in as the MAC and C-USA champs, respectively, they will lock helmets in the GMAC Bowl in a battle of Elisha Cuthbert-style sloppy seconds.

If I missed your favorite team’s game, I’m sure I did it for a good reason and/or to protect you. But no, seriously. Your team has a great shot to win the game. Here’s the master list of every single one.

Cardinals - NFC West champions

Yes, the Giants and Titans also clinched the NFC East and AFC South divisions respectively, but the Arizona Cardinals also gave themselves a division championship by virtue of not being the Seahawks, 49ers, or Rams. They’re 8-5, a record which isn’t even guaranteed an AFC Wild Card spot. Six of their wins are against losing teams. Against winning teams, they give up over 32 points a game. The Arizona Cardinals win the NFC West, everyone. The lone argument in favor of implementing a bowl system in the NFL.

In other fuss-trating news around the lower 48:

  • “I’m very frustrated on the way, particularly today’s game unfolded,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy kinda said. That’s how the Packers’ official site transcribes it, but ‘R’ you sure about that ‘R’ in the word “frustrated?”
  • So here’s a fun one. Carolina Panther Jeremy Bridges was arrested — perhaps a first in NFL history — over a dispute involving champagne. THE ROCK HILL (SC) HERALD reports when it was uncorked, some other diners got sprayed. Although it doesn’t say in the story, I think you can assume what ensued. FOOD FIGHT!
  • Time for a good news story from the MIAMI HERALD. Miami Hurricanes football assistant Stephen Field pulled a driver out of a flipped over car and to safety. And whaddya know, he’s a safeties coach.
  • The announcement from the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee is today at noon. Ron Santo is long overdue and will find out today if he’ll be put in the Hall of Fame.
  • Say buh-bye to Varitek, Red Sox fans. His agent says he will decline arbitration with Boston, and will talk with other teams. Of less consequence, Paul Byrd won’t accept arbitration either. The Boras has spoken.
  • Oh, yes, the Lions are still 0-something. The DETROIT NEWS looks at the depth chart, finds a little-known playmaking receiver named Calvin Johnson and asserts they have to throw it to them more if they’re going to win a game. Interesting idea!
  • Professional tolerable columnist Norman Chad writes The Michael Vick diaries. Pay the man, Shirley.
  • A Niagara Falls-area beat writer doesn’t like going to Toronto for Bills games. Don’t worry — once they’re permanently in Toronto, you won’t be assigned them anymore.
  • MVN OUTSIDER notes that the Carolina Hurricanes are making really bad personnel decisions when it comes to their coach.
  • Like we could go an entire Speed Read without previewing the upcoming NAIA football championship game. Mighty Carroll College, from Helena, Montana, has won five of six championships. The Saints opponent is the plucky University of Sioux Falls Cougars. Both teams’ colors are purple and gold. Oh, how embarrassing to wear the same dress to the debutante ball!

Hey aren’t you excited for the bowl games? Aren’tcha, aren’tcha, aren’tcha?

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crazy bills fan shirtless

(This man wants Toronto to open the Rogers Centre roof. Seriously.)

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Dolphins players are certainly all in the same camp, as you can tell from the quote after the jump.

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Isotoner

Of course, he could see how that could be bad if it was competition for Buffalo. And he wouldn’t want to Bills to leave Buffalo, either. But other than that, it might work. It’s just that sort of in-depth, hard-hitting analysis that he brought to Inside the NFL.

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