Years ago, they had generic names like Gator Bowl or Sun Bowl or even Liberty Bowl. The big ones were named Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Rose. These games used to belong to the athletes and the students, but now they are owned by corporations. The Cotton Bowl belongs to Goodyear, the Orange Bowl to Capital One and the Sugar bowl is the property of Allstate. At least the #1 bowl is still called The Rose Bowl.
Of course, if that's too boring for you, we have some new and improved names: the Gildan, the Royal Purple, Ticket City and, of course, the Tax Slayer. Now doesn't that warm the cockles of your heart? Maybe nest year we'll have the Cockles Bowl, but for now, enjoy the Duck Commander Bowl. The winner of the longest name goes to the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. When the marching band spells that out at halftime, it will be the first time abbreviations will be used.
At least all the "big" teams are in, the ones who have earned their place with stellar seasons. Teams like Navy (6-5), and South Alabama (6-6) and Fresno State (6-7). Well your have to fill the spots. There are 76 of them available. That's right, there are 38 bowl games plus one Championship game. So 39 games, three on ABC, one on CBS and thirty-five on ESPN. 38 games in the space of 16 days, sometimes as many as 5 in a day.
As long as we're talking about the participants, can someone explain to me how a team can be rated #3 in the country, win their last game 55-3, and drop to #6? TCU would like to know that, too. Naturally, they are a little upset. Make that a lot upset. Pissed, even.
How can the committee who makes those decision, possibly justify their actions? They don't even attempt to explain the arrogance of their choices. I am reminded of a routine by Lily Tomlin when she played her telephone character, Ernestine. "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."
## So now it starts - the famed Baseball Winter Meetings. The owners will throw around more money than my grandchildren do when they're playing Monopoly. It seems that everything hinges on Jon Lester. When he signs, the floodgates will open. There are two position players that will draw some money: Chase Headley and Melky Cabrera. After they go, any major movement will come from trades and there will be some big ones. Last year, ESPN had a minute-by-minute feature of the activity at the meetings. Presidential elections don't get this kind of coverage.
## From Brad Dickson's "The Bottom Ten":
9. Tulsa (2-10): The postseason banquet is at a Wendy’s drive-thru.
7. Kent State (2-9): The Golden Flashes won their last game of the season. Ask Bo Pelini where that will get you.
3. Connecticut (2-10): UConn has enough returning players to challenge for No. 1 next season.
...and the number one team--
Last ranking of the year. I've picked #9 Tulsa and #3 Connecticut to play in the Prep. H Backdoor Bowl.
## One final note, Daisuke Matsuzaka, after spending 8 years in the Major Leagues and amassing all of 56 wins, has signed to play in Japan again. Don't feel too bad for him; he got basically one million dollars per win while he was here.
***THEY SAID IT***
"The NFL suspended Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for four games for using a banned performance-enhancing substance. Team officials figured something was amiss when he missed the quarterback and toppled the goal post." -- Dwight Perry
"A sure sign the Raiders have given up on the NFL season: Their challenge flag is white." -- TC Chong
" The supposed reason the BCS has a four-team playoff instead of eight is that extending the season would interfere with studies. Yes, and they said this with a straight face." -- Janice Hough
"The World-Herald reported that Bret Bielema called reports linking him to the job hogwash. Isn’t “Hogwash” the name of the Arkansas fight song?" -- Brad Dickson
"Hawaii play-by-play broadcaster Robert Kekaula has apologized for signing off from a telecast at Fresno State with the words "Good night from the armpit of America." Coincidence? His player of the game was the right guard." -- Dwight Perry
"The University of Alabama-Birmingham is shutting down its football program. A football program that can’t work in Alabama? That’s like having a failed cheese store in Wisconsin." -- Brad Dickson