Becky Flaum
December 27, 2013 3:00 pm

Growing up in the South, football dominates the TV, radio and, well, the air itself every weekend from September to January. You get up at ungodly hours to tailgate. You stand in the cold, the rain or the sweltering heat to cheer on your team for a place in a game between Christmas and New Year’s….bowl season. When I was a kid, every New Year’s Day my parents’ friends would have a party to watch all the bowl games and I would always root for the Oregon Ducks because I felt like this was the most hilarious team name my kid brain could imagine.

Not everyone grew up in a football crazed family, town or region of the country. But it can’t hurt to know about the games that will be on in the background at every party, dinner, or bar you go to for the next 10 days. Sure, maybe no one is really watching the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (actual bowl game), but wouldn’t it be great in a moment of awkward silence when you run into an ex from high school to be able to point to a TV and say “This game is gonna be good, both teams are 7-5 in the regular season”.

Here are 8 more diversions to get you past any weird conversations with acquaintances you see out. These are sure to get you out of the kitchen with your nosy Granny and into the den with your quiet grandfather.

1. Thank God this is the last year of this screwed up BCS bowl system.

The Bowl Championship System is the governing body in college football that decides who plays in the most lucrative bowl games. Everyone agrees that the current BCS bowl system is crap..everyone. Your Buddhist cousin, your Republican dad and your Libertarian uncle, they all agree that the BCS has screwed up the bowl system. But starting next year, the BCS will be doing a tournament like the NFL, only with the top 4 teams. Not the ideal solution, but it is a start. Out of the 35 bowl games, only 5 are BCS games. The teams that had okay seasons get to play in consolation bowls like the Outback bowl and the Gator Bowl. There are so many consolation bowls that a team only needs to win HALF of its regular season games to get into a bowl! The five BCS bowl games are the Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, Rose and BCS Championship Bowls.

2. I still can’t believe that Auburn beat Alabama a month ago.

Auburn and Alabama are SEC bitter rivals. Both located in the great state of Alabama, their meeting once a year is called the Iron Bowl. Well, this year’s match up ended in an amazing play where with one second left in the game, Auburn ran back a missed field goal for a touchdown and won the game. To figure out which side of the Iron Bowl people are either shout War Eagle (the Auburn battle cry) or Roll Tide Roll for Alabama’s Crimson Tide….then duck if you’re wrong.

3. I think it must be a law that an SEC team is in the championship.

This will mark the 8th year in a row that an SEC team has battled for the BCS championship. SEC or South Eastern Conference is one of 11 conferences in college football. The South lives and dies by the gridiron, so it just makes sense that these teams dominate college football. Not to be out done are the Big 10 and the Big 12 (which University of Texas ruined, but that is another story). Notre Dame doesn’t even deign to be in a conference and they get to play in a bowl game. The BCS championship game is between SEC team Auburn and ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) team Florida State. What’s great about the SEC is that no matter what team is playing, the SEC teams stick together, even Alabama fans will begrudgingly root for Auburn on January 6th.

4. I get why Johnny Manziel is going pro, I just wonder if he will be a good NFL quarterback.

Johnny Manziel or Johnny Football as he is more widely known, is the red shirt sophomore quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies. Last year he became the first red shirt freshmen to win the Heisman Trophy (the highest honor for a single player in college football). The Chick-fil-a Bowl in Atlanta will most likely be his last as an Aggie. Lots of critics believe that Johnny Football plays too much “out of the pocket” to be a good NFL quarterback, but so does Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, and he’s doing just fine. With that said, expect the Chick-fil-a Bowl against Duke, to be as anti-climactic as this season has been for the Aggies.

5. Jameis Winston is arguably the best college athlete out there, though maybe not the best human being.

Not only does Winston play quarterback for the Seminoles but he’s the star pitcher for the Florida State baseball team. He’s also the youngest player to win the trophy. That arm, no doubt, is one of the reasons he walked away with the coveted Heisman this year. Although a lot argue that his police rap sheet, mainly a sexual assault investigation, should’ve kept him off ballots. Although there are tons of professional players we should be having that conversation about too.

6. It will be interesting to see if the Oregon Ducks can get it together and spoil Mack Brown’s going away party at The Alamo Bowl.

The Alamo Bowl features University of Texas and Oregon. This will be Texas Coach Mack Brown’s last game after 15 years with the Longhorns. But the Ducks are what you want to watch. First of all, Nike CEO Phil Knight is an alumni and their uniforms are different almost every game. Secondly, this team went from a possible BCS championship to playing in the Alamo Bowl in the last few weeks of the season. The Ducks just sort of fell apart. This game depends on which Oregon team shows up.

7. I gotta be honest, I’m kind of rooting for Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, it’s been a while for them.

26 years to be exact. You can only make this statement if you have no Ohio State fans in the family. If that is the case, you are rooting for Stanford in the Tournament of Roses since Michigan State is the reason that Ohio State is playing the Orange Bowl and not the championship. One of the best things about the Rose Bowl is the parade, where all the floats are made entirely of flowers. It’s no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it’s pretty incredible.

8. Oklahoma could benefit from Alabama’s disappointing season end or it could be bloodbath.

Former BCS champs, Alabama missed what would have been their third championship year in a row by one game this year, and that game, as you will recall, was against Auburn. This game could go two ways. They could slack off, or go off the rails against Oklahoma. I have faith in the Tide’s senior quarterback A.J. McCarron and 2014 Heisman hopeful, running back T.J. Yeldon. And Alabama’s coach Nick Saban is a crazy muthaf**ka, I don’t think he knows about backing down. Besides, they are playing the game in the Superdome, where they won their 2012 BCS title.

FOR MORE INFO

Here is where you can find all the games, when they are on and who is playing. But chances are wherever you go with a TV will have one of these games on.

BCS Viewing Guide

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