Many people (notably: me) have assumed for weeks that the Kraft Fight Hunger With Easy Mac Bowl was out of the question for SDSU. It supposedly had all these backup tie-ins — including the MAC, which has a big pile of terrible six- and seven-win rubble for the game to sift through to its heart’s content.
But after the UNLV game, the U-T dazzled us with this:
That means one (MWC) team could be left uninvited unless it can find a landing spot somewhere else, possibly the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.
And then earlier this week, this:
There might only be a few such (at-large) spots, and there could be plenty of competition to land them. Possibilities include the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco …
So what’s the deal here? Does the U-T know that the game is not bound to choose from its backup tie-ins or is he just throwing out a guess? Was he assuming UCLA would not be eligible after the Ducks defecate on the Bruins this weekend?
Tell us what you know dagnabbit!!
Well, we’ll find out this weekend how this mess shakes out, but if the Kraft game is a possibility, we clearly have a new frontrunner for most desirable bowl game.
First a little disclosure: I grew up in the Bay Area, I’m a lifelong Giants fan, and I do love the city that we snobbishly refer to as The City and the rest of the country uses as an unflattering adjective. So, admittedly, that puts my objectivity in question — recuse me from this debate if you must.
But there’s still this: Of all the out-of-town bowl games that SDSU fans would travel well to, I think it goes in this order:
- Las Vegas
- Kraft Fight Hunger
- There is no No. 5
I think a healthy number of Aztecs fans (10-15,000 is not a wild guess) would show to this game. Especially when you consider:
- It’s an 8-hour drive to a destination city that’s a fun place to be on New Year’s Eve.
- The game is played at a unique, iconic venue.
- A lot of our alumni either live up there or have family or friends who will let them crash on their couch so long as they bring up a case of Arrogant Bastard.
- A substantial portion of our students are from there and will be in the area already for the holidays.
- The opponent will probably be UCLA.
As much as many of our lazy, So-Cal based fans would rather stay home, the Poinsettia Bowl (which will surely take TCU if Houston doesn’t gag away its BCS dream) is not as good an option as this — not with Louisiana Tech as the opponent and a half-empty stadium all but guaranteed.
Plus, the Bulldogs are actually pretty not awful and could very well win that game. How well do you think getting shown up in your home stadium by a team most locals have never heard of would go over around here?
As for the other possibilities? The New Mexico bowl would draw no SDSU fans and might pit us against a MAC team with a direction in its name. And last I checked, the Independence Bowl of Shreveport, Louisiana, is played in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Hawaii Bowl, which will probably be looking for an at large, is another possibility. The opponent (probably Nevada) ain’t sexy, but you can do a lot worse than spending Christmas eve in paradise. I rank this game is my second choice, actually.
So there it is: San Francisco or Hawaii. I’d be as happy as a BYU fan at a trampoline factory with either one.
You know, it’s funny … if everything falls right, the once-feared at-large possibility could be the Aztecs’ best friend. Or they could get still royally boned by it as 6-6 Ball State marches into the postseason. One or the other.
On that note, I think the at-large picture is looking a little more manageable for the Aztecs. There are
71 72 teams now eligible for 70 slots, though five of those are at-large-seeking MAC and Sun Belt junk. Here are the remaining six five bubble teams to root against* if you’re feeling particularly spiteful:
Connecticut (5-6) at Cincinnati
Hawaii (6-6) vs. BYU
Pittsburgh (5-6) vs. Syracuse
South Florida (5-6) vs. West Virginia
Syracuse (5-6) at Pittsburgh
UCLA** (6-6) at Oregon
If four of these teams are eliminated, I like our chances a lot. Go BYU***!
* Yes, I realize you can’t root against both Pittsburgh and Syracuse at the same time so don’t bother pointing that out, smartass.
** The Bruins would need a special waiver to make a bowl if they lose the Pac-12 title game. If they win they go to the … let’s see here … Rose Bowl. Rose Bowl?? No, that can’t be right. Holy shit it is. My God, college football is stupid.
*** I just vomited a little into my mouth.