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B1G Bowlapalooza 2021: What’s the WORST Big Ten bowl game?

Good afternoon, sir. Can I interest you in 15 punts under the hot Florida sun?

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Championship-Iowa vs Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week we looked at the potential high-flyingest, points-scoringest, bat-shittiest Big Ten bowl games and—surprise, surprise—the people want points.

But, thanks to my own inability to handle finals grading in an emotionally and physically healthy fashion, you’ve likely spent all week clamoring for the worst Big Ten bowl games.

What follows are takes so face-meltingly hot they’ll cook your sad breakfast bean burrito through the screen, you sad office drone:

II. Worst B1G Game?

BRT: I just really can’t care about Penn State and Arkansas. It would probably wound the southern psyche to have two losses to PSU in a year, and that’s nice, but I’m still not very interested.

I also don’t think the Pinstripe Bowl will be very entertaining, but I’m kind of pulling for the Terps. They’re a nice underdog story out of the Big Ten East, and I admire their commitment to getting the annoying winning done early and then coasting the rest of the season. Smart.

Kind of...: Iowa/Kentucky could be deadly, but sometimes Ferentz pulls out a wrinkle or two for the bowl game.

Honestly, I’m probably going to watch them all. At least one will stink, but there’s an argument for each NOT being that game. The NY6 ones all seem plausibly compelling. Maryland ought to be excited to be in a bowl. Fleck will have Minnesota over their disappointment. Purdue/Tennessee should be a firefight. Pittman should have Arkansas hyped up. Maybe I’m getting soft, but I’m fully in the “each bowl is wonderful in its own way” camp. Most of these are simply exhibitions so moderate you expectations accordingly, and it should be mostly fun.

Green Akers: I can’t imagine either team being especially pumped about the Pinstripe, although this being Maryland’s first game in a while should help draw their crowd. Unless they installed heating coils under the field at Yankee Stadium, though, this game will be what it always is: a dangerous skating rink where the team with the better ground game goes wild.

That’s Virginia Tech in this one, and it just has the feeling of one that gets out of hand.

misdreavus79: Peach Bowl. Watching Pitt and Green Pitt score points almost at will will surely entertain someone, but, well, watching Pitt and Green Pitt is the stuff of nightmares for me.

Stew: Pinstripe Bowl doesn’t count, because ew. So worst actual B1G game is probably either PSU/Hogs or Iowa/KY.

These aren’t fun teams, and they’re playing other not fun teams.

WSR: We’ve got a few clunkers. I’d have to be drugged to feign interest in the Pinstripe Bowl, the Citrus Bowl could end with negative points if Kentucky doesn’t decide to play offense, and the Vegas Bowl may be a blight on the sport featuring two teams with pretty good defenses and only one with a halfway decent offense.

MNW: I mean, Kind of... has the idea here—they’re all beautiful bowl game snowflakes, special in their own individual way. Picking a bad one likely means falling back on the tried and true “lol Iowa’s boring” or “boy, Maryland’s bad” tropes, and while those are fun, it’s more fun to watch those two baby walruses slapfight their way to a 10-9 bowl while the whole world watches and tweets about the Cheez-It Bowl.

Instead, I think we’re missing one game in particular.

What makes bowl season great is precisely those random-ass stakes of each game—of course I can’t wait to watch Houston play Auburn for the Biff Tannen Birmingham Bowl Sponsored by Randy’s Cheese Emporium and Rollerskating Rink. Hell, I even love the pageantry of the Rose Bowl and the sight of Ohio State having to play a team “beneath” them in Utah.

What I don’t want to watch is cautious, corporate schlock.

It’s Michigan-Georgia in the Orange Bowl/College Football Playoff/Bleached Asshole Bonanza with a bullet—preferably to my head—and it’s not close.


Worst Big Ten bowl game?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    (135 votes)
  • 10%
    Minnesota-West Virginia
    (48 votes)
  • 4%
    (21 votes)
  • 8%
    wisconsin-Arizona State
    (42 votes)
  • 8%
    Penn State-Arkansas
    (39 votes)
  • 18%
    (90 votes)
  • 7%
    Pitt-Green Pitt
    (36 votes)
  • 3%
    Ohio State-Utah
    (15 votes)
  • 10%
    (48 votes)
474 votes total Vote Now

Anywho, have a great day—I’m off to see how many looks my “My Governor Can Beat Up Your Governor” shirt can get in Texas.

It was from 1999 in Minnesota, but who needs nuance. I prefer the cringe.

But you already know that—you read OTE.