The first bowl games are in the bag so it's time to move along to the pre-Christmas games that whet your football-watching whistle for the games to come. Think of these as the stuffing in the turkey; delicious sure, but not as filling as the actual main course yet to come. As always we start by defining the MCR scale.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
(9) Boise State (12-0) at (11) TCU (10-2)
Dec. 23, 8 PM - ESPN
A word from our sponsor: As the name suggests the San Diego County Credit Union is a financial institution wholly owned by its members but its claim that "earnings are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher dividends on deposits and lower fees" doesn't really hold water when you consider the gianormous amount of money they had to fork over to have their name attached to a bowl.On the field: Congrats Boise State, you are one of two undefeated teams left in the country! No really you should be proud, if it were not for the God-awful system we use to decide the national champ you might actually be playing in a meaningful game and not on December 23rd. Actually this looks to be a very awesome matchup and should not be relegated to such a crappy timeslot but here we are. Boise State has the 12th-ranked offense in the nation, averaging 39.4 points a contest and TCU has the second-ranked scoring defense, holding opponents to 10.9 points per game. The Horned frogs also have the top-ranked rushing defense while Boise boasts the third best scoring defense in the nation holding opponents to 12.3 points per game. TCU has the nation's best time of possession margin and the 13th best rushing attack. On paper this thing should be a barn-burner. Frogs D-end Jerry Hughes leads the nation with 14 sacks and 18 ½ tackles for loss, and you thought Aaron Maybin was good. TCU's two losses? No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 10 Utah; it's going to be good, shame on you if you don't watch.
+2 two statistically stout teams
+1 matchup of two teams in the top 15
+1 chance to see an undefeated team
+1 statue of liberty play anyone?!?!
MCR 5 (Super Atomic Hot Wings)
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL
Hawaii (7-6) vs. Notre Dame (6-6)
Dec. 24, 8:00 PM - ESPN
A word from our sponsor: Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has reached a multi-year and multi-faceted agreement with ESPN Regional Television to become the title sponsor of the fourth annual Hawai'i Bowl.
I'm not entirely sure how the agreement can be "multi-faceted" but there you go. Other corporate sponsors besides ESPN and Sheraton: Heineken and Outback Steakhouse. That pretty much sounds like a deal with the devil if you ask me.
On the field: Hey look, Notre Dame is actually in a bowl they deserve and not grossly outmatched, how refreshing. If it were not for the chance to see Notre Dame lose its 10th straight bowl game and end with a losing season this game would not be much to watch. We're talking about a matchup of the 63rd and 73rd best offenses and 108th and 99th best rushing attacks. Golden boy Jimmy Clausen completed about as many passes to the opposing defense as he did to his own guys (20 TD's 17 INT's). Neither team boasts a running back with more than 576 yards or a wide receiver with 1000. Basically you'll tune in to see fat-ass Chuck Weis lose again and that's all.
-1 two horrible offenses
+1 possibility of seeing Chuck Weis in a Mumu
MCR 2 (Microwave Diner)
MOTOR CITY BOWL
Florida Atlantic (6-6) vs. Central Michigan (8-4)
Dec. 26 7:30 PM – ESPN
A word from our sponsor: Hey it's a bowl game sponsored by GM and Ford which means it's sponsored by you and me thanks to the tax payer bailout. It's also sponsored by ESPN but what isn't these days?
On the field: Central Michigan has a fondness for the Motor City Bowl as this will be their third straight appearance. FAU started out 1-5 but won 5 of their final 6 games including a bowl-clinching 57-50 overtime win over Florida International. Central Michigan ranks 24th in offensive yards per game at 427.1 and is led by quarterback Dan "I have a" LeFevour who leads the team in passing and rushing. LeFevour is familiar with this bowl, he was the 2006 Motor City Bowl MVP. Wide receiver Antonio Brown is LeFevour's favorite target and he's also the recipient of the MAC's best special-teams player award. Legendary FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger is 5-0 all-time in bowl games and will look to keep that streak alive. Florida Atlantic has a top defensive presence in senior linebacker Frantz Joseph, the nation's second-best tackler with 141 to lead the Sun Belt in that category for a second straight season.
-1 .500 team
+1 dual threat quarterback
+1 strong defense
MCR 1 (Woman's Heart)