8 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN
Before we get to this bowl, let's just go ahead and get the record out of the way. I'm 3-3 straight up, picking the wrong team in the last three consecutive games. I'm 1-5 against the score. (I don't do against the spread, for a variety of reasons I could go into if it's that interesting to people. But "against the score" means selecting the right team and coming within seven points of each team's final point total.) Now, onto the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
, a.k.a. this year's Notre Dame FAILfest.
What it is: A way to make sure Hawaii makes a bowl if it has a .500 or better record.
The Teams: Hawaii, Notre Dame (Yes, Notre Dame is the "home team" for this game, as absurd as that sounds. After all, the game is only being played in Hawaii's stadium.)
How Hawaii got here: By playing in the WAC. I mean ... by defeating the bad teams and some of the mediocre teams on their schedule (Weber State, Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, Idaho, Washington State) and losing to the good teams and some of the mediocre teams on their schedule (Florida, Oregon State, San Jose State, Boise State, Utah State(!), Cincinnati). On the year, the Warriors were actually outscored by 31 points. Three cheers for the parochial bowl system!
How Notre Dame got here: By being Notre Dame. I mean ... pretty much the same way as Hawaii, actually. They won against bad and mediocre teams (San Diego State, Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, Washington, Navy) and lost to good and mediocre teams (Michigan State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Syracuse(! -- I mean, really, Syracuse?!?), Southern Cal). They did outscore their opponents -- by five points -- but were unimpressive in almost every major offensive statistical category.
College football fans care because: Notre Dame: RETURN TO GLORY, Part 22.
SEC fans care because: Each Notre Dame RETURN TO GLORY ends in even more humorous fashion than the last.
Watch this game if ... : You enjoy laughing at Notre Dame.
The result: Hawaii 22, Notre Dame 21