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SMQ Bowl Blitz: The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia

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Lulling viewers to sleep at competitive rates since 2005

Location Inquisitor: This is the one located in:

  a) San Francisco
  b) San Diego
  c) El Paso
  d) Boise
  e) None of the Above

If you said b) San Diego, you know your bowl games and you can read! These will get harder. California's second-largest city, where blue skies keep watch on 70 miles of beach and a gentle Mediterranean climate begs for a day of everything and nothing, plays host to the first of its two postseason experiences - until, that is, the professional playoffs, featuring without a doubt the best team in the NFL, the San Diego Chargers, an important distinction which in the superior world of college football would have resulted in the LTs being voted indisputable heirs to the very official ADT Trophy a month ago.

The Venue: Historic Jack Murphy Qualcomm Stadiumm, which is more than just a football stadium, though mainly it's just a football stadium.


Though with very symmetrical entrance ramps...

Formerly Known As: NA. In its second season, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl boasts a rich tradition of sponsor and site stability.

The Network Pitch: Mighty mite Garrett Wolfe, one of the top running backs in the nation, needs 100 yards to crack the impossible 2,000-yard barrier in just his 13th game of the season, a mark no player or even entire team has reached in any game against the fourth-ranked run defense of TCU. Irresistible force...meets unmovable object...Next!

Primal compulsion assures your id will actually watch for... Football! Woof! Woof! Woof!, etc.

Also: Two-thousand yards, in the era of conference championships, twelfth games and all-inclusive bowl stats, remains moderately compelling. Wolfe dramatically faded through most of October after flirting early in the year with a 3,000-yard pace, but has just as dramatically rebounded his last two games, one a three-score drubbing of eventual MAC champ Central Michigan. Except TCU actually has held all twelve opponents, even strictly ground-bound Air Force and Army, under 100 net rushing yards in the midst of winning seven straight and creeping back into many year-end polls. Aaron Brown, Lonta Hobbs and quarterback Jeff Ballard collectively come up just shy of Wolfe's per game rushing average.

Socially-conscious superego will involuntarily resist...
Any event involving a pair of also-rans from the MAC and MWC, respectively, acronyms discredited Freudian constructions know better than to even mull looking up for fear of communal recrimination. Especially when one of the teams allowed 300-yard passing games to Ohio University of Ohio, Ball State, Miami of Ohio and Temple.

Instead...

...why not sit down with a fine Vieux Marc de Bourgogne while mulling the final decision between a Jori style, ivory mohair sweater by Theory ("Sweaters this expensive exist only in Theory") cut for long bishop sleeves with extended cuffs, a Novachek slim tote featuring black leather trim and piping and gold-tone hardware, or 3 ¾" stacked leather heel Nanette Lepore black calfskin tall boots with a tonal suede laced front for that special someone, followed perhaps by catching up on that Křesadlo translation?

What Else is On
You have no life. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy these actual non-gridiron alternatives:

8 p.m. - AMC - Prancer   
Plucky nine-year-old Jessica Riggs (Rebecca Harrell) resolutely believes in Santa Claus even though her schoolmates think she's a baby. When she finds Prancer, one of Saint Nick's famous reindeer, injured in nearby forest, Jessica secretly nurses the reindeer back to health, aided by an elderly veterinarian (Abe Vigoda). However, her attempts to help Prancer are complicated when she confides in a shopping-mall Santa (Michael Constantine), who spills the beans to the press, and by her father (Sam Elliott), who sells the reindeer to a merchant for use as part of a promotional stunt.

8 p.m. - The History Channel - Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That WayLSD, Ecstasy and the Raves: LSD and the "rave" drugs ecstasy, GHB and Ketamine are examined. Included: early beliefs that LSD could be used to treat schizophrenia. Host: Roger Mudd.

8:30 p.m. - HGTV - Save My Bath
Quirky and Quacked Out: A bathroom with duck wallpaper is redone

9 p.m. - The CW - Victoria's Secret Fashion Show   
Supermodels Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova, Alessandra Ambrosio, Selita Ebanks and Izabel Goulart take to the runway in Hollywood to showcase the company's latest lingerie. Justin Timberlake performs. Heidi Klum also appears. The evening has a holiday theme and includes profiles of the models. Taped at the Kodak Theatre.


Viewers anxiously anticipate their favorite new holiday tradition

Introducing the Subjective Pop-Culture Watchability Rating
SMQ will rate each bowl on a watchability scale from 1 set to 5, as follows:


Christmas shopping done? Yes? Think of more people. Phone book suggested if necessary.


CAUTION: For obsessed, inoculated fans only.


Worth an afternoon or evening, if there's nothing better to do, until it gets out of hand.


Worthy of note, preparation and attention


Block out a few hours - possibly the sun, if there's a glare - for can't-miss classic.

For TCU-Northern Illinois, SMQ gives the Pinsettia Bowl a rating of:


CAUTION: For obsessed, inoculated fans only.

In modern TV parlance, that's roughly equal to:


"Heroes": It's there, you're curious, something might happen, it seems kind of interesting. But really, once you get into it, when the plot begins to unfurl a bit, no, no it's not.

The Pick: TCU is gangbusters against the run, which appears to be Northern Illinois' one trick.
TCU 30, Northern Illinois 17