Thirty-five bowl games over 17 days and many of them in the who-da-heck-dat category.
Serious bowl watchers have until Saturday to get stocked up on eyewash, liniment and antacid pills.
No true fan would dare miss the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. It’s in Albuquerque with a noon kickoff time for Arizona and Nevada, a pair of 7-5 powerhouses.
Then we have the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday with Toledo (9-3) and Utah State (10-2).
Thursday, December 20: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at 7 p.m. in San Diego, California, between Brigham Young (7-5) and San Diego State (9-3).
Friday, December 21, is another single-game day with the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl at 6:30 in St. Pete, Florida, with Ball State (9-3) and Central Florida (9-4).
Two games are on tap for Saturday, December 22. East Carolina (8-4) takes on Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) at 11 a.m. in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Boise State (10-2) and Washington (7-5) will square off at 2:30 p.m. in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu features Fresno State (9-3) and Southern Methodist (6-6) in a 7 p.m. start on Monday, December 24.
Bowl watchers will get a break on Christmas Day.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 26, with Central Michigan (6-6) and Western Kentucky (7-5) in Detroit.
Three games are set for Thursday, December 27. The Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman has Bowling Green (8-4) and San Jose State (10-2) at 2 p.m. in Washington, D.C. The Belk Bowl with Cincinnati (9-3) and Duke (6-6) kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in Charlotte, N.C.
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl closes out the Thursday action with Baylor (7-5) and UCLA (9-4) starting at 8:45 p.m. in San Diego.
Friday will add three games for your viewing pleasure. The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl has Ohio University (8-4) and Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) at 1 p.m. in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Russell Athletic Bowl kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Friday with Rutgers (9-3) and Virginia Tech (6-6) in Orlando, Florida. Texas Tech (7-5) and Minnesota (6-6) meet in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at 8 p.m. in Houston.
Five games, likely sponsored by eye doctors everywhere, are scheduled for Saturday, December 29. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature Air Force (6-6) and Rice (6-6) at 10:45 a.m. in Fort Worth, Texas and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will have Syracuse (7-5) and West Virginia (7-5) kicking off at 2:15 p.m. in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.
To this point, your remote-finger has been completely unnecessary since every game has been on ESPN.
We’re still on Saturday games, but the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl features Arizona State (7-5) and Navy (7-4) at 3 p.m. in San Francisco and the action moves to ESPN2.
Switching channels back to ESPN, the Valero Alamo Bowl has Oregon State (9-3) and Texas (8-4) at 5:45 p.m. in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl starts at 9:15 p.m. Saturday with Michigan State (6-6) and Texas Christian (7-5) in Tempe, Arizona.
Monday, December 31, will have four games with North Carolina State (7-5) and Vanderbilt (8-4) kicking off at 11 a.m. in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Hyundai Sun Bowl (CBS) has Georgia Tech (6-7) and Southern California (7-5) at 1 p.m. in El Paso, Texas. Iowa State (6-6) and Tulsa (10-3) play at 2:30 p.m. in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.
Clemson (10-2) and Louisiana State (10-2) close out the Monday slate at 6:30 p.m. in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia.
Oklahoma State (7-5) and Purdue (6-6) open the New Year’s Day competition at 11 a.m. in the Heart of Dallas Bowl played in the original Cotton Bowl at the State Fairgrounds in Dallas with the game carried on ESPNU.
Other January 1 (2013) games will have the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl (ESPN2) with Mississippi State (8-4) and Northwestern (9-3) at noon in Jacksonville, Florida. The Capital One Bowl (ABC) has Georgia (11-2) and Nebraska (10-3) in Orlando, Florida.
The next five games are on ESPN. The Outback Bowl will have Michigan ((8-4) and South Carolina (10-2) at noon in Tampa, Florida. The Rose Bowl game with Stanford (11-2) and Wisconsin (8-5) will kick off at 4 p.m. in Pasadena, California.
The Discover Orange Bowl is set for 7:30 p.m. in Miami Gardens, Florida, between Northern Illinois (12-1) and Florida State (11-2).
Wednesday, January 2, will have the Allstate Sugar Bowl with Florida (11-1) and Louisville (10-2) at 7:30 p.m. in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Thursday, January 3, will have the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with Kansas State (11-1) and Oregon (11-1) at 7:30 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona.
Oklahoma University (10-2) and Texas A&M (10-2) meet at 7 p.m. Friday, January 4, in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on FOX.
The last three games are on ESPN. The BBVA Compass Bowl has Ole Miss (6-6) and Pittsburgh (6-6) at noon in Birmingham, Alabama.
The GoDaddy.com Bowl will have Arkansas State (9-3) and Kent State (11-2) at 8 p.m. in Mobile, Alabama.
For any survivors, the Discover BCS National Championship game will feature Alabama (12-1) and Notre Dame (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 7, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
ESPN (29), ESPN2 (2), ESPNU (1) is the unquestioned BowlMaster with 32 of the 35 games.
To spread the wealth, ABC, CBS and Fox will carry one game each.
EVERYBODY WHO has participated in athletics realizes the importance of timing.
Since we’re in football bowl season, ask any football coach how he would like to have a month off between games.
Ask how sharp his players might be with that kind of layoff and how much production would likely increase.
Oklahoma State’s Cowboys will go four weeks plus three days without a game before the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Oklahoma’s Sooners will go four weeks plus six days without a game before the Cotton Bowl.
In the Papa Bowl that pays each team maybe $18 million bucks, the competition should be much better.
Alabama, the SEC champion, will go five weeks plus one day without a game.
Notre Dame, the independent, will go six weeks plus two days without a game.
Alabama and Notre Dame will then display those somewhat rusty skills to the nation in a game for the BS national championship.
Thank you, NCAA, for your attention to detail in offering tremendous entertainment to the loyal fans who pay absolutely insane money to watch these teams all season, then usually get stiffed in the big show.