Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What is your favorite random-ass bowl game?
Jami’s Take: The Cheez-It Bowl
Clemson vs. Iowa State (-1.5)
Dec. 29 at 5:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
It’s no secret that most of the random bowl games have absolutely ridiculous names, so to nail down my favorite, I had to really think long and hard about this question. Some of the bowls aren’t so much absurdly named as they are extremely corporate. Lending Tree Bowl? WHO CARES? Next.
But some of the sponsors, names, and history are downright funny. Few of them have anything to do with football. Many of them seem like a game of MadLibs. I considered all of the following when making my selection:
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Mayo belongs on a sandwich. It does not belong in a bowl. It is a condiment, not the main event. I mean honestly, what could be more unappealing than a BOWL OF MAYO? It sounds absolutely disgusting, especially at 8:30 AM, which is when this game airs for me locally. The last thing I want to think about over breakfast is mayonnaise.
Somehow, it’s worse when you consider that the folks over at Duke’s Mayo are trying to make mayo baths a thing. Yes, you read that right — you know the traditional Gatorade baths the winning coach receives at the end of a major game? Duke’s Mayo is offering to donate $10,000 to charity if the winning coach takes a mayo bath.
I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it.
In addition to being absolutely sickening, I associate mayo with things that are bland or boring. Who wants to watch a bland or boring bowl game? Especially one that kicks off before lunch time? My guess is very few people. If I’m watching football with my morning coffee, I want excitement, big plays, maybe a last-minute upset or a crazy Hail Mary pass. Boring is sending me back to bed. 3 points. Minus 3 if they go through with the Mayo Bath.
Tony the Tiger Bowl
Grrrrrrreat name. Brings up fond memories of breakfast cereal, which makes me want to get cozy in my PJs for the game. Also feels kind of chaotic, which is what you want when watching a random bowl game because it ups the excitement factor. 8 Points.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
There is no doubt where this bowl takes place. Potatoes are delicious. If I had to exist on one food for the rest of my life, it would be potatoes. So many ways to prepare them. So much starchy goodness. No notes for potatoes. Still not entirely sure what it has to do with football. 10 Points for potatoes, 7 points for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
This brings me to the best random ass bowl game: The Cheez-It Bowl.
This year’s Cheez-It Bowl takes place on December 29 at 5:45 PM Eastern between No. 19 Clemson and Iowa State, and it’s sure to be a decent matchup where random bowl games are concerned.
But where the Cheez-It Bowl really shines is the imagery its name invokes. It takes me back to the days of coming home from school, grabbing a snack, and chatting with friends on AIM while Nickelodeon played Gushers commercials in the background.
The nostalgic elements of this bowl make me want to grab a box of Cheez-Its, which, as it turns out, are also a perfect game day snack. I suppose this means the sponsors are winning, but I don’t care. The Cheez-It Bowl is the best random bowl game, and the only thing missing is a Cheez-It Bath.
Matt’s Take: The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl
Oregon State (-7) vs. Utah State
Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. ET on ABC
Leave it to Jami to try and name all of the interesting bowl games in hopes of stealing my thunder. But, try as she might, she left off the most random-ass bowl of them all, the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented By Stifel. Least importantly, I have no idea what the hell Stifel is, but I gave it a goog and it turns out that they are “an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company.”
I have no idea why they would be sponsoring a bowl game, let alone one with Jimmy Kimmel’s name attached, but when you’ve got $157 billion that you are managing, the naming rights for a mid-tier bowl game is chump change. But, I do now know what the hell Stifel is, so I guess that marketing money was well spent. I’m still never going to have enough money to be a client of theirs, but at least I know what exactly it is that they do, so I suppose we can chalk this up as a win for Stifel.
Now let’s get to the Jimmy Kimmel of it all. For him, this is brilliant. Not only is the game in the city where he films his late-night talk show, but it will be broadcast on the network that airs his show as well — and therefore will likely be replete with ads, appearances, bits, etc. from the comedian and his crew.
But more interestingly to me, there is something very Andy Kaufman-esque performance art about Kimmel attaching his name to a bowl game. Like, who does that?
Dating back to his days on “The Man Show,” Kimmel has known how to get attention, whether that was with grotesque displays of overt misogyny or speaking out about the health care issues that have plagued his family, but dude knows how to grab a headline, and while he is not putting on a horrible plaid jacket to become his lounge-singing alter ego, I feel like this is the type of gimmick that Kaufman would be in favor of; especially if Kimmel is able to integrate himself into the bowl’s broadcast, which honestly, I truly hope he does.
What we also should discuss is the fact that I think this game will be a pretty good contest. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Oregon State is currently a seven-point favorite over Utah State. However, the Aggies come into the game with the No. 15 passing offense in the country, averaging 305.8 yards through the air per game. On the flip side, the Beavers are 87th in pass defense, allowing 241.1 per outing.
Utah State has been on a tear to end the season as well. In their final five regular season games and the Mountain West Championship game (all wins), they are outscoring their opponents 259 to 101, for those of you who are not so great at math, that’s an average score of 43.2 to 16.8.
Oregon State is 2-3 in its last five games with losses to Cal, Colorado, and Oregon; their wins came over Pac-12 Stanford (3-9, 2-7) and Arizona State (8-4, 6-3). So, to me, this is a classic strong Group of 5 team up against a middle of the road Power 5 team, and those games are always fun to watch. And, a seven-point spread in favor of Oregon State (7-5, 6-3) really makes me want to put some money on the Aggies (10-3, 6-2).
So, when you combine the potential intrigue on the field itself with the potential ridiculous of a late-night comedian headlining the broadcast — and honestly the entire week leading up to the game itself — how could this game not be one of the most interesting, random-ass events of the entire bowl and holiday seasons?
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed
Jami: The Cheez-It Bowl
Matt: The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl