Yellers and Yawners

Dec 7, 2010 7:07 AM

You are among the first to receive invitations to a new annual event, at least annual if I live long enough to make it to a second annual.

No standing in line, no tickets to buy, no purchases needed or necessary, no money down, no cash or checks or Pay Pal or any of that stuff now or later, so no refunds.

It's my inaugural edition of Yellers and Yawners, the outcome of all those complex calculations that have now produced the Bowl Games of the New Year.

Nothing happened over the weekend to change my mind that Wisconsin is the No. 1 team in the country, so it is no surprise that I will pass up the National Championship of the undefeated monarchs, Auburn and Oregon, on Jan. 10, and rate the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day as the biggest Yeller of them all.

There should be plenty to yell about in this matchup of Wisconsin's power and Texas Christian's typical southwest stew of pass'em dizzy. You already know my pick, but you might be surprised at my second Yeller best, Virginia Tech and Stanford in the Orange Bowl.

I admit favoritism here for the West Coast intellectuals and their cool and calculating quarterback Andrew Luck against the rough and tough hill boys of VT.

As for the National Championship in Glendale, Arizona, it certainly is a Yeller with Auburn at 13-0 and Oregon at l2-0, but the principal yelling here, and nationally, will be for the doings of the already sainted Cam Newton.

As he goes, so goes the national title. I think he'll go, and Auburn will wear down the Ducks in a super matchup. My heart, however, is with Oregon. I like spicy underdogs.

Then for a real, honest Yawner, the first mismatch of the New Year. Oklahoma beats up on the Big East champion Connecticut in the Fiesta bowl, warming that venue up for the Big One 10 days later.

As careful readers know, I am neither fond of nor a fan of the "Brothers Cry," Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and his brother Mike at Arizona. They are the moaning and groaning daily double, who weep and wail at officials on almost every call.

Come to think of it, this game should be a Yeller, but not necessarily for fans. I wonder what these screaming siblings were like as kids, but I can guess.

That leaves the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans Jan. 4, with Arkansas and Ohio State. Unless you're a Razorback or a Buckeye, both rabid, who really cares about this one? Give it a two-star Yawner-Yelling rating.
There are, of course, literally dozens of other bowls, mostly all Yawners unless you're a booster, some almost comic in why the team or teams should be in a bowl game with four or five or six losses.

For a few yells, try the Fight Hunger bowl on Jan. 9 in San Francisco, with Nevada set to beat up Boston College.

Or the Alamo on Dec. 29 in San Antonio, with aforementioned Arizona and its crybaby coach Mike facing Oklahoma State. This matches the Pac 10's No. 2 team against the Big 12's No. 3, and gets an even rating on the Yawners and Yellers list. Regardless of how good the game might be, and it could be mildly interesting, you can watch Big Mike rant and rave. That's worth a few beers before the tube.

The Sun Bowl in El Paso Dec. 31 has Miami meeting Notre Dame -- two teams with 7-5 records! Well, of course, the Irish are in -- not by the quality of its season but by the magic of name and myth of history. Let's win one for the Gipper, boys.

There are a few more also-rans worth watching.

The Capital One bowl in Orlando on New Year's Day pits Michigan State against Alabama. I'll take the Spartans in what should be one of the best bowl games of the season.

You don't have to wait that long to see another dandy. You can see another top matchup, and a real Yeller, right at home in Vegas, and not have to wait long. It's coming up on the 22nd with Boise State 11-1 against Utah 10-2, in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl. It should be a great football game, better by far than one of those titillating topless shows, and more wholesome, with the fresh air and all.

I might not have said that 25 or 30 years ago, but the big bowl clock is ticking away. I can remember far too many of them, which is why I'm not promising a second annual Yeller or Yawner. Enjoy this one and check back.