The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 3, 2013

Go Herd

The Register-Herald

— After the bustle surrounding Thanksgiving Day, what with shopping and holiday travel, and with Christmas celebration plans already in the works, the end of November always brings with it a little sense of loss.

Not any weight loss, sad to say. But it’s because the end of the month marks the last of college football’s regular season. And many of us will have to figure out how to spend our Saturdays from here on out.

Granted, some college football fans in West Virginia may not share our wistfulness over this past season. Many, we assume, decided weeks ago to pursue other activities on their Saturdays.

And some people will rightly point out that there are several hundred or so bowl games yet to be played, and of course they’re all televised.

In the sweet ol’ used to be, it was the Cotton, Gator, Sugar, Rose and Orange bowls that were once the dependable staples of New Year’s Day.

Things, as they say, have changed.

Even we, as keen college football fans, are having a hard time keeping up with the names of the football bowl games today. Where did they come from?

There’s the Military Bowl presented by aircraft-maker Northrop Grumman, and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (will running plays be allowed?)

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (with free checking!)

The Little Caesars Bowl (free pizza!)

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (you do get fries with that).

Oh, and we almost forgot, there are some conference championship games left to play.

Including one for Marshall University this Saturday at Rice University in Houston.

Marshall has a five-game winning streak that took the team from a record of 4-3 earlier this season to a shiningly respectable 9-3 today.

And for the first time since 2003, Marshall’s football team is getting some national recognition from poll voters.

But through a complicated system designed by a committee of cheerfully dysfunctional mathematicians, Rice has a BCS (Bowl Championship Series) formula of 0.2093 to Marshall’s 0.1874.

Alas, it means Marshall goes on the road in an attempt to win the Conference USA championship game at noon Eastern.

“We’re certainly disappointed that we will not be able to host Saturday’s championship game in front of our wonderful fans,” said Marshall AD Mike Hamrick.

True enough, but we’ll be watching.

Go Herd.