The 2011 Belk Bowl is just a day away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an Xs and Os breakdown, check out Bill Trocchi’s game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? The awkwardly monikered Meineke Car Care Bowl is no more. Meineke now sponsors the Texas Bowl, which is styled the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, as though there may someday be as many Meineke Bowls as there are states. This is the department store’s first year of title sponsorship.
• Where will this game be played? Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, home to the Carolina Panthers and the ACC Championship Game.
• When is it on television? Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 27. The game will be televised on ESPN.
• Whom does it feature? The ACC and Big East provide squads from somewhere in the middle of their conference standings.
• What about this year? Got a real barn-burner in the offing here, with the 7-5 stylings of NC State and Louisville.
• What sorts of football things do I have to look forward to from these teams? The Cardinals and Wolfpack boast, respectively, the 104th and 93rd-ranked offenses in the nation, with defenses that are statistically above average.
• That sounds mildly unappetizing, and this new game has an unpleasant mouthfeel. Belk. Belch. Bellicose. Beltway. We see what you mean.
• Who will call the game? A Griese in the house! Of the Brian variety, joined by Bob Wischusen and Shannon Spake.
• Enough about the football. What about the loot? Now here is one of the greatest bowl rackets we have ever run across. The Belk Bowl is giving participating players a shopping spree … TO BELK. Good hustle, new kid on the bowl block. And boy, do they know their corralled customers: “Belk will have special displays of electronics set up in the men’s department, along with an expansive Big & Tall section specially set up with the players in mind.”
• What wacky activities/mild indignities will bowl participants be subjected to over the course of the week? Wacky Belk Bowl week might be, but undignified it ain’t: In a move sure to make teams in the adjacent Little Caesars and Military Bowls salivate with envy, players are getting a three-lap ride-along at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2011 Belk Bowl. Louisville’s official team bar for the event is something called “Whisky River,” and please don’t correct our assumption that it consists of a lazy river like one sees at water parks, only filled with brown liquor. RELATED: The Belk Bowl just shot up our watchability rankings list.
Stay tuned for more postseason FAQ sheets, and stay on top of a hectic postseason slate with our complete 2011-2012 College Football Bowl Schedule.