Hello, I’m back and on my way to a semi-important football game in Los Angeles, where no owners are hiring search firms to submarine their own team’s playoff chances because, well, Los Angeles doesn’t have an NFL team. I’m so old that I remember when L.A. actually had two NFL teams, but then I think I burned so many brain cells during this fall’s investment season that maybe I misremember and need Arthur Blank to hire a search firm to replace me. (He’d love that.)
So I’m not going to down the list of all remaining bowl games because, really, if you care how Toledo does against Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl, you’re the one who should’ve been mopping up the sewage backup in the Georgia Dome Sunday (the mother of all symbolic malfunctions).
Let’s begin in Charlotte, where Georgia would rather not be. Nothing against Charlotte. It’s a nice little town. It’s home to a lot of insurance companies, and that screams excitement. Charlotte also has an NFL playoff team for the second straight season, and that’s two more seasons than Atlanta.
Do you know what else is in Atlanta? The Belk Bowl. So not only did Georgia not get into a major bowl game, it didn’t even get into a major department store. Then again, after being run over by Florida, the Family Dollar Manufacturer’s Defective Gloves With Six Fingers Bowl seems about right.
Nobody would care about Georgia vs. Louisville in the Belk Bowl except for that the backdrop for this game reads like a Grisham novel. Bobby Petrino, responsible for a different kind of sewage backup with the Falcons, is the head coach at Louisville -- again. Life really does repeat itself. Expect Petrino to be meeting an Auburn booster behind an airplane hangar in 3…2…1…
The Cardinals’ defensive coordinator is Todd Grantham, who was about to be run out of Athens when Petrino did everybody a favor and hired him, perhaps as his way of making amends in a 12 Step program for cretins.
This is a dangerous game for the Bulldogs, as much as a meaningless bowl game can be dangerous. After losing to Florida, blowing the SEC East title and ending the regular season by losing to Georgia Tech, I’m not sure how much Georgia players really care about this game. I know Louisville players will care because Petrino and Grantham will dip their cleats in kerosene and threaten to light their shoes laces as a motivational technique.
The line is seven points. That seems like a lot, considering I’m not even sure Georgia is going to win. But consider this a vote for Nick Chubb and little else: Dogs win but take Louisville and 7.
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs Mississippi State: First one to 60 wins. Seriously, this would be so much better as a video game. The Other Dogs average 506 yards and 37 points a game, which Paul Johnson no doubt takes as a challenge (Jackets: 469 yards, 37 points). Amusing pregame note of the week: Tech defensive back D.J. White refers to Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott as, “Best quarterback we’ll see this year.” Wonder where that puts Jameis Winston? Take the seven points and Jackets in a straight upset.
Rose Bowl: Florida State vs. Oregon: College football’s mini-playoffs have finally arrived and this will be the first semifinal. A legal world update on Jameis Winston: He was cleared in a code-of-conduct hearing, which is what a courtroom, a jury and a real judge would be like if the court room, a jury and a real judge were manufactured by Fisher Price. End this. Quack. Ducks cover 9.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Ohio State: As subplots go, it’s hard to do better than Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes were given a hall pass into the playoffs because they’re pretty good, despite having to start a third-string quarterback, and, besides, their biggest competition was two schools from the Big 12 (speaking of Fisher Price). Actual factual: Ohio State is 0-10 against the SEC in bowl games. Bammy covers 9.