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What? You didn’t think that a college football season utterly upended by the pandemic would be enough to keep me from undertaking this annual bit of nonsense, did you? That’s right – for the umpteenth year in a row, I am embarking on my lunatic quest to pick the winners of each and every college bowl game.

Now, 2020 being 2020, this is going to be a significantly different feature than it has been in the past. First of all, we’re starting later than we have in past years because the bowl selection process took place later in the year. This means that a few bowl games will have already taken place before this story sees print – we’ll be looking at games starting on December 23 and going forward. This means that you won’t see predictions for the Myrtle Beach Bowl, the Boca Raton Bowl and annual favorite the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Secondly, a number of the usual games have already been cancelled due to the pandemic. Those bowls are as follows:

Birmingham Bowl; Frisco Bowl; Guaranteed Rate Bowl; Bahamas Bowl; Celebration Bowl; Fenway Bowl; Hawaii Bowl; Independence Bowl; Las Vegas Bowl; Los Angeles Bowl; Military Bowl; Pinstripe Bowl; Quick Lane Bowl; Redbox Bowl; and Sun Bowl.

In addition, a number of programs have already opted out of bowl season participation. These schools include:

Arizona State; Boise State; Boston College; Florida State; Georgia Tech; Kansas State; Louisville; Maryland; Michigan State; Penn State; Pitt; San Diego State; SMU; Stanford; UCLA; USC; Utah; Virginia; Virginia Tech; Washington; and Washington State.

(Note: There exists a very real possibility that more games will be canceled and more schools will opt out. The preceding information is accurate as of press time.)

On top of all of that, the NCAA has done away with restrictions on bowl participants with regard to win-loss records. Basically, this means that every single FBS program is bowl-eligible this year, though again, many programs have and/or will opt out.

So what does this mean for Going Bowling?

Well, it means that I have fewer games about which to have unfounded opinions. And it means that I know even less about what is going on than usual. How much less, you ask? Well, would you believe that I have yet to watch any college football at all this season?

That’s right, friends. I am going to attempt to predict the outcome of each of these bowl matchups despite not having watched a single snap by any of the teams involved. Some of my predictions will be informed by research, but some will be simple wild guesses based on zero information. It’s up to you to determine which is which. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t place any bets based on these picks. You wouldn’t think I would be able to make this exercise even more absurd after all these years, but here we are.

Let’s go bowling.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:01

Going Bowling 2017

It's that time of year again - that time when I use every bit of knowledge I have accumulated in another season of college football semi-fandom in a Quixotic attempt to predict the winners of every bowl game.

I've had some success in the past, but make no mistake - I have no idea what I'm doing.

It's a chance to see some college football teams that you know nothing about. You never know if you might stumble upon a game where something unprecedented takes place – in fact, I (along with my good friend Jason Preble) have a long history of stumbling onto the wildest, most unexpectedly entertaining bowl matchups of each season. I expect more of the same this year.

And with that - let's go bowling.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 13:32

The Sports Edge – King Football

From somewhere around the time Shawn Walsh led the Maine Black Bear hockey team to their first Frozen Four in Lake Placid, New York in the late 1980s, the ice hockey program has been the crown jewel of University of Maine athletics. 

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 11:52

The Sports Edge The most wonderful time

The recent cool, damp weekend was a friendly reminder that the dog days of summer will soon be making way for fall and everything that goes with that in Maine. Some tend to view the autumn as a harbinger of what follows; I prefer to take a deep breath of that chilly morning air and celebrate what I think of as the best our state has to offer.

Published in The Sports Edge

SOUTH BEND, Ind. In the last two years, a northern Indiana high school sold the naming rights to its football field to a bank for $400,000, its baseball field to an auto dealership, its softball field to a law firm, its tennis court to a philanthropic couple and its concession stands to a tire and auto care company and a restaurant.

Published in Sports

STORRS, Conn. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto, facing pressure from school presidents upset by his handling of the departure of several high-profile programs, resigned Monday after less three years on the job.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse made plans to leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference in September, and West Virginia bolted for the Big 12 the following month. The Big East regrouped by adding Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple for all sports and Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football only.

Marinatto told The Associated Press Monday that trying to guide the conference through realignment took a physical and mental toll on him.

Published in Sports

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