2012 New Mexico Bowl scoreboard

Go (much further) east, young man.
Photo by Wildcat Universe

In a couple more days we get all sorts of football.

The bowl season is upon us and this year 70 college teams will each get one last game. The Pac-12 will be a heavy participant, sending nine teams to the postseason for the first time in the conference’s lengthy history.

TWit-Pac takes you through all nine faster than a New Mexico Bowl momentum swing.

(This week’s basketball TV schedule can be found here.)

Here are the record-setting nine Pac-12 bowl games (all times Arizona/Mountain):

Sat Dec 21New MexicoWash. St.Colorado St.12 p.m.ESPN
Sat Dec 21Las VegasUSCFresno St.1:30 p.m.ABC
Tue Dec 24Hawai'iOregon St.Boise St.6 p.m.ESPN
Fri Dec 27San FranciscoWash.BYU7:30 p.m.ESPN
Mon Dec 30AlamoOregonTexas4:45 p.m.ESPN
Mon Dec 30HolidayArizona St.Texas Tech8:15 p.m.ESPN
Tue Dec 31IndependenceARIZONABoston Col.10:30 a.m.ESPN
Tue Dec 31SunUCLAVirginia Tech12 p.m.CBS
Wed Jan 1RoseStanfordMichigan St.3 p.m.ESPN

Yes, I realize a bunch of these bowls are officially named after corporate sponsors but I’m going with the names most fans recognize since none of these sponsorships last. For example, the Sun Bowl was called the “Hancock Bowl” for a while and AdvoCare has already announced it won’t be sponsoring the bowl in Shreveport after this year.

To the games, whatever they may be called:

New Mexico Bowl
Washington State (6-6) vs. Colorado State (7-5)

When Cougar fans were watching their team play Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl one year and beat Texas in the Holiday the next year, they probably weren’t expecting their next bowl to be against Colorado State a decade later.

Las Vegas Bowl
USC (9-4) vs. Fresno State (11-1)

Among the many reasons the Pac-12 bowl arrangements are lacking is the fact that bowls like this are played so early. Two teams with 20 combined wins (including a conference champion) should not be squaring off on the first day. Where is the sense of rising action, people??

Hawai’i Bowl
Oregon State (6-6) vs. Boise State (8-4)

The Beavers haven’t won since Oct. 19. Oregon State beat two bowl-teams-to-be in San Diego State (7-5) and Washington State (6-6) but OSU’s other four victories came against teams that went a combined 11-37.

San Francisco Bowl
Washington (8-4) vs. BYU (8-4)

Seven-Win Sark hit eight and immediately skipped town. This is one of four Pac-12 bowls involving a team that will have a new head coach next year.

Alamo Bowl
Oregon (10-2) vs. Texas (8-4)

The Ducks are disappointed to be in this bowl while the Longhorns are allegedly chasing the guy who got Oregon to better bowls while playing in the final bowl to host the Ducks’ former coach’s current quarterback. Whoa.

Holiday Bowl
Arizona State (10-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)

I’m not going to waste any energy talking up Whoever’s Playing ASU. Unless Stanford misses its freeway exit and keeps driving south, the Devils will roll in this one. Texas Tech has lost five straight games and would be better served playing Oregon State in the Somebody Has to Win Bowl.

Independence Bowl
ARIZONA (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)

If the Pac-12 wants more exposure maybe they should sneak out of Pac-12 bowls more often. An ESPN day game on a later date than almost all of the conference’s bowls isn’t a bad deal at all.

Sun Bowl
UCLA (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (8-4)

After losing the de facto Pac-12 South championship game to ASU the Bruins spanked USC to take a lot of the pressure off this game. Virginia Tech is completing its second straight season with fewer than 10 wins after hitting double digits eight consecutive years and 13 times in 17 seasons from 1995-2011.

Rose Bowl
Stanford (11-2) vs. Michigan State (12-1)

This is the fifth straight Rose Bowl without either USC or Michigan, the two Rose Bowlingest teams of all time. The last Trojan- and/or Wolverine-free stretch longer than this was seven years from the 1955-1961 seasons (during which Oregon State, pre-Nike Oregon and Cal played in the game in consecutive years).

* * *

The Wildcats are playing in a bowl game east of Tucson for just the fifth time in school history, the previous times being three Sun Bowls and an Alamo Bowl. Arizona is 0-3-1 in those postseason treks toward the rising sun.

Independence Stadium is 1,134 miles east of Arizona Stadium via Interstates 10 and 20. I made the drive to San Antonio three years ago but will be flying this time. Lest you think I’ve abandoned my Cheap Seats ways I have a not-so-efficient connection in Atlanta. Frugality lives.

So who will be joining me in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area? I was hoping Bossier was pronounced “Bossy A” but, alas, it rhymes with “foreclosure.” Here’s to the Cats not going bankrupt on the Red River.

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