Well, bowl me over!

Published 1:01 am Saturday, January 2, 2016

It’s the start of the new year, and that means bowl season. And there are four specific games that I’m especially interested in this year.

The first, of course, is the Fiesta Bowl that pits my alma mater Notre Dame against perennial powerhouse Ohio State. I am writing this column on Thursday afternoon, so by the time it’s in print the outcome of that game will already be decided. I’m expecting the Irish to lose, so I’d love to be wrong.

Next, is the national semifinal between Alabama and Michigan State. My younger sister went to graduate school in Tuscaloosa, and I have many other friends who also attended college there. Although part of me is getting sick of the Crimson Tide winning seemingly every year, I still have a soft spot in my heart for them.

I’ll also be glued to the Rose Bowl between Stanford and Iowa. Both my parents grew up in Iowa, and my extended family is full of Hawkeyes fans. My dad also attended graduate school in Iowa City, and we have been to several games at Kinnick Stadium together. It was fun to watch the Hawks in 2015, as they nearly shocked the world by making it to the college football playoffs. A Rose Bowl trip is a nice consolation prize.

The last game I’ll be watching is still a few days away. It’s on Saturday, Jan. 9, when Jacksonville State will try to upset four-time defending champion North Dakota State in the FCS national championship. Growing up in Gadsden, Ala., I am very familiar with “Jax State,” as it was less than a 30-minute drive from my house. Both my mom and brother earned degrees there.

So, in summary, at the time I was writing this column, the four Schuver alma maters had a combined record of 47-5. Not too shabby. Here’s hoping they all started the new year on a high note!