It’s been a week to remember for FBS football and our Inner Circle. We did have a couple of nail-biting split-loyalty games (or, let’s be more precise: one nail-biter, and another period of blank despair – three and a half quarters worth – for one contingent of the Inner Circle). But that’s the fun of having such great teams in our Inner Circle. Just call us the Many Bowls Posse. Sometimes the bowls coincide, and the flavor is enhanced.
Congratulations to Air Force, LSU, Navy, and Wyoming for their bowl wins. Bravo Zulu to ALCON! Navy and Kansas State had a particularly competitive match; we were tickled to death to see Wyoming log a decisive win.
Attaboys to OK-State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech (‘nuff said), and Kansas State for going to bowls and coming home with their shields or on them. For all, even better luck next year. (For Oklahoma, 40 lashes with a wet noodle. We at least have hope that Lincoln Riley will recognize where adjustments need to be made; e.g., just suck it up and go recruit defensive talent in Georgia already. Wear a fake-mustache disguise if necessary.)
We don’t know the outcome yet for Nevada, as this is being written. But we assume it will at least involve, as advertised, a football game with the Ohio Bobcats.
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We also congratulate Minnesota for knocking off Auburn, and Oregon for edging out Wisconsin in a pretty darn good Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual. While we’re at it, might as well congratulate Cal for rolling over Illinois in the Redbox Bowl. Cal doesn’t get to roll over opponents very often.
Our Inner Circle has one more teed up, but we won’t be dealing with that until next week’s edition of the Follies. The CFP championship in New Orleans; LSU and Clemson; 13 January 2020; be there. (LSU is giving 5.5 at the moment.)
Saturday 4 January
It’s tough to let go of football season, so we appreciate having the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl coming up on Saturday in Fort Worth, featuring Southern Miss (7-5) and Tulane (6-6). The Armed Forces Bowl’s “thing” is hosting a stadium full of active duty and veteran service members for a memorable outing, with only a limited amount of the seating available to the general public. We salute our wonderful military, of course, and those among us who have served appreciate the mission of this unique bowl, and the sponsors (starting with Lockheed Martin) who make it possible.
Meanwhile, Tulane is a better team than the 6-6 record would indicate, but had some stiff peer competition in the AAC this season. Southern Miss of the C-USA Remnant landed about where you’d expect. Hence the Green Wave’s 7-point give. Look for static displays outside the stadium and military-involved live-action salutes to, well, liven up the action. And enjoy.
Monday 6 January
We regret to acknowledge out loud that Monday after a two-week holiday has to come. But at least it comes with a final blow for FBS bowl ball to go with it.
Do NOT break our hearts and tell us you’ve never heard of the Lending Tree Bowl (or, as it is formally designated, the lendingtree Bowl. Which is stupid, so we’re just letting you know, but we have no intention of calling it that). It’s one of the Booger Bowl GOATs, being played in a relatively out-of-the-way but justly beloved backwater of bowldom, and being on its fourth bowl sponsor after rejoicing as the Mobile Alabama Bowl (no title sponsor), GMAC Bowl, GoDaddy Bowl, and Dollar General Bowl – at the latter of which don’t laugh; your business, whatever it is, should have such universal presence and recognition in every hamlet, campsite, and gathering of outhouses in America.
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns (10-3) will meet the Miami (OH) Redhawks (8-5) at 7:30 PM Eastern at Ladd-Peebles in Mobile on Monday evening, to shake the rafters and close down Booger’s run for the 2019 season. The teams have their bowling challenge (9-pin variety) on Thursday 2 January, and there are various luncheons, rallies, and a ladies’ event planned (at what we are assured is an iconic oyster house). But, this being a venue on the salubrious waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there is also a Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, because of course. If you’re Mobile, it goes without saying that you can have a February Lenten event whose name says, right there, “Tuesday,” on a Saturday in January.
Like most of America, we would rather be in Mobile on Monday evening than wherever we are, basking in Booger’s last hurrah. Perfect 50s-ish conditions, with the usual Gulf humidity and eau de seawater wafting inland. U-LA-LA is giving 14.
We still await the FCS finale in Frisco, which will be played on Saturday 11 January. More next week.
In the spirit of noticing Other Ranks, it feels right to mention that the Patriots don’t get a first-round bye this year. Thank Miami for happening to be on the field for that.
And the Redskins Redskins Redskins have hired themselves a new HC in Ron Rivera, lateraling over from the Panthers.
The Cowboys are worthless. The NFC East is the Hotel California of multipurpose asylum-retirement homes. We’ll be back next year to ostentatiously pay them no never-mind.
Congratulations to the Saints and Packers, whom we remember some of our regulars taking an interest in. Imagine having a 13-3 record.