Christmas is upon us, which means two weeks -- make that three weeks of postseason college football. Everyone is familiar with the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl and other bowls of that ilk. But, put them all together and you're talking two or three days of televised football. This means you're missing two and a half weeks of high quality, top-of-the-line gridiron action!
Now then, I hope you've already begun participating in the collegiate postseason by watching Tuesday's San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, TCU vs. Northern Illinois. By the way, this is why we'll never have a real playoff, ending with a real national championship in Davison I-A football. When a county credit union -- taking nothing away from the immense resources and hard-charging personnel to be found at your neighborhood San Diego County Credit Union -- when a county credit union can slap its name on a bowl, have said bowl nationally televised, and rake in enough bucks to pay each team $750,000, you know there's too much money to be had in made-up college bowls to ever switch over to a legitimate playoff tournament.
But that won't stop me from watching the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl. It's BYU vs. Oregon, December 21, at 5 p.m. on ESPN. The Mountain West Conference champion goes against the number 5 team in the Pac-10, which is a pretty good measure of how one conference compares to the other. Each team rakes in $950,000.
I want to credit Las Vegas Bowl organizers for posting an honest history on their website. The Las Vegas Bowl was... "Organized by community leaders out of a need to fill hotel rooms during a traditionally slow period..."
The following day, at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN, comes the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The New Orleans Bowl matches the Sun Belt Conference Champion against somebody from Conference USA. Pay out per team is $325,000. This year Troy University (7-5), is the Sun Belt champion. (Quick, name one other team in the Sun Belt.) The Trojans play Rice University (7-5), which finished number 2 in the West Division of Conference USA. (Can you name one other team in the Conference USA West Division? I thought not.)
PapaJohns.com Bowl is new this year. And let me be the first to welcome them to the postseason party. PapaJohns.com Bowl, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, kicks off on December 23 at 10:00 o'clock. ESPN2 is your vendor. The bowl features the number 4 team in the Big East, the 8-4 South Florida Bulls, against the number 2 team in the East Division of...wait for it...Conference USA. That team is -- I've got the envelope right here -- the 7-5 East Carolina Pirates! And here's your bonus points opportunity: name the Big East champion. Name one other team in Conference USA East Division.
STAY WITH IT! Right after the PapaJohns game is the New Mexico Bowl, another new bowl this year. Tune to ESPN on December 23 at 1:30 p.m. Albuquerque will be jumping as home-town defenders, University of New Mexico Lobos (6-6 and number 5 in the Mountain West) go up against the 8-4, number 3 in the WAC, San Jose State Spartans. It doesn't get any better than this.
DON'T CHANGE THE CHANNEL! Right after the PapaJohns contest is the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl sent to you from Fort Worth, Texas. It's University of Utah (7-5 and number 4 in the Mountain West) versus Tulsa University, one of countless unknown football clubs who populate Conference USA. This is the game we've been waiting for.
But, no, just one day later we have the game we've been really waiting for, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. This is offered as a special treat so you can spend Christmas Eve away from your family. Don't forget: 5:00 p.m. on ESPN, University of Hawaii (number 2 in the WAC) plays Arizona State (number 6 in the Pac-10).
One last thing. The Las Vegas Bowl, Fort Worth Bowl, PapaJohns.com Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, and Hawaii Bowl are owned by ESPN Regional Television, a subsidiary of ESPN. ESPN also owns ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Today, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN sports-themed restaurants, ESPN360, Mobile ESPN, ESPN On Demand, ESPN Interactive, and ESPN PPV.
ABC Network owns 80 percent of ESPN. ABC is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Disney owns the aforementioned ABC, six film studios, 10 television stations, 8 cable television networks, 65 radio stations, 4 record labels, 8 book publishing imprints, 15 magazines, 5 theme parks, plus the odd cruise line, Internet factory, and toy conglomerate for openers.
And five postseason college football bowls.