It's a bowl game. That automatically gives it a 10 on the 1-10 how pumped are you scale. Because it's a bowl, and bowls are the crazy, meaningless, awesome thing that college football is randomly about. When you're on a 61-year bowl winless streak, this is what your life is like. On the vague matrix of pumpedness, I am completely pumped, because this is a bowl and any bowl leads to pumped completion.
However, once you get to that 10 out of 10 ranking, I like to imagine there is then another scale - a scale within that 10 - that describes how pumped I am for that specific bowl. Using a measurement device not unlike the sadly idle Fitz intense-o-meter (I could lie to you and say that I haven't updated the intense-o-meter because I've been lazy and didn't do many links posts this year, but the truth is the intense-o-meter has been picking up a lot of interference and has been unable to record Fitz's actual intensity - I believe this interference has been caused by man/myth/demigod Evan Watkins's intensity), I plan on ranking how pumped for this specific bowl I am based on a variety of categories.
Arbitrarily out of 90:
Bowl prestige: 10 points
Opponent coolness: 15 points
Winnability: 25 points
Location: 15 points
Timing: 5 points
Overall vague feel: 20 points
Bowl prestige: 2 of 10.
It's the TicketCity Bowl. It's new, nobody cares, nobody's heard of it, there's no name cachet. The TicketCity Bowl sounds made up, not only because nobody has ever heard of the TicketCity Bowl, but also because I've never heard of TicketCity. If not for repeated visits to their website over the past two days, I still would not be convinced that they are an actual company that sells tickets to people. Apparently, they're like Ticketmaster, but way less successful. But that's besides the point. his could be a 1 - that's the Little Caesar's Bowl in Detroit. Playing in a bowl invented last year is slightly better than Detroit.
Opponent coolness: 10 of 15.
I feel like Texas Tech doesn't get enough props - they've been bowl eligible pretty every year since the Big 12 started existing, and have been to bowls every year for the last decade, which shocks me, because I've been under a serious misconception of Texas Tech as a little sister of the Big 12 who rose to prominence under Mike Leach - who, by the way, is one of the bigger badasses of all time. I get a very Michigan State-y vibe from them - people think of that other big school in their state, but they're secretly as if not more kickass a surprising amount of the time. That said, Texas Tech gets a pretty high rating from me under opponent coolness - not as high as Auburn last year would have, but a high rating nonetheless. The pirates thing adds two points.
Winnability: 17 of 25.
NU doesn't have a good chance of winning this game - mainly because without Dan Persa, NU doesn't have much of a chance of beating anybody. But it's a chance. No offense to Texas Tech, but, they're just about the least bowl qualified team NU could have hoped to play. Again, no offense to Texas Tech, especially considering they will probably crush NU, but they were the best option on the table if "winning" was your main concern. Hence the relatively high number.
Location: 4 of 10.
Dallas isn't absurdly lush and warm, it's sort of expensive to get to, and it's far away from me. It's also likely to have thousands of millions of billions of trillions more Texas Tech fans than Northwestern fans. The Cotton Bowl is cool and all - that said, I'm not thrilled with Dallas. Your TV show was probably crappy and was on before I was born, your rappers are sub-par to nonexistent, I hate Dirk Nowitzki, and Debbie Doing you is relatively tame by modern day standards.
Timing: 5 of 5
Yeah, it's the day before you have to get to college for classes, and you already booked your flight. BS. It's New Year's Day. Back before time, when Jesus, the characters of "The Land Before Time" (except for the oddly effeminate pterodactyl, screw that tool), and proto-Pat Fitzgerald, and a crapload of amoebae organized the calendar, they put new year's on January 1st for a reason: because January 1st was meant for football, and everybody needs the day off to watch it, so shut up and stop complaining. Thanks, Jesus and Pat! And screw you, effeminate pterodactyl. What was his name? Terry? Something dumb. Hate you.
Overall vague feel: 7 of 20.
My vague sensation is numb. I'm not sure why. Bowls have become customary to NU, this being the third straight year - all three years of me as a student, both of me as a blogger - NU has appeared in one. Something about having watched two really, really good NU teams - Tyrell Sutton and CJ Bacher's '08 team, Mike Kafka's resurgent-down-the-stretch '09 team - play great games against great teams and come up short, almost cheapens this bowl appearance. If this team wins, without Persa, is it better than those two? Does the fact that those were in well-established, highly-watched bowls, while this will be hidden on ESPNU while the rest of the nation watches the Outback Bowl - you know, the one we played in last year - mean anything? It shouldn't. It's still a bowl game. But somewhere in my head, I have to dock excitement points. I was willing to hop on a plane and scurry down to Tampa last winter. This year, I'm decidedly lukewarm, and I can't fully articulate why - hence the 20 points assigned to "vague feel".
Overall: 45 of 90. Aka 5 of 10. I didn't plan out for it to be exactly half.
Meaning: my overall pumpedness level for the upcoming bowl game should be displayed as such: 10 of 10 (45/90, Sippin' on Purple Bowl Pumpedness Matrix).
Tell me your bowl pumpedness matrices, but they're surely not as good, accurate, or sweet as mine.