The 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X’s and O’s breakdown, click through to Andy Staples’ game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? This is where we tend to lose it every bowl season, every year without fail, so just try and stay with us here: This is the Russell Athletic Bowl, which last year was the Champs Sports Bowl, which is played in the Citrus Bowl but is not the Citrus Bowl because the Capital One Bowl is the Citrus Bowl, and before that the Tangerine Bowl, although the Russell Athletic Bowl was also the Tangerine Bowl, three times. I need to lie down. Us too.
• If this game is in the Citrus Bowl, where are they playing the Citrus Bowl? The Capital One Bowl is also held in the Citrus Bowl. I would like a hot towel for my face, please. Us too.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, with streaming available on WatchESPN. Internet favorite Joe Tessitore will man the booth, with Matt Millen serving as designated albatross and Maria Taylor down on the sidelines.
• Whom does it feature? ACC versus Big East.
• What about this year? 6-6 Virginia Tech scrapes into the postseason to stare down 9-3 Rutgers.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? In our considered opinion, the best of all bowl Twitter feeds is the Russell, run by the fine folks at Florida Citrus Sports (whom we profiled last season). Observe:
We’re starting a tradition where we misidentify a player during pre-bowl activities. Only one, and only at a moment of peak engagement.
— RussellAthleticBowl (@RussellAthBowl) December 27, 2012
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? We question the humanity of folks not interested in riding the Men in Black attraction at Universal Studios, but if you’re not into the typical tourist trappings of Orlando, try going on a Block R scavenger hunt!
— Tim Pernetti (@Tim_Pernetti) December 26, 2012
• What’s the pick? Stewart Mandel: “Frank Beamer’s worst team in 20 years was at least decent on defense, especially on third down (29.8 percent conversion rate). But the Hokies gave up too many big plays (49 of 20-plus yards). Fortunately, they’re facing an opponent that produced fewer 20-plus yard plays (40) than all but 13 teams nationally.”
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl. As a public service, we will now repeat from last year’s preview an abridged list of citrus fruits that have to the best of our knowledge never been used to name a bowl game: key lime, kaffir lime, satsuma, blood orange (really missing out there), grapefruit and kumquat.