The 2011 R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl is just days away. We're sure you have so many questions. We're here to help. (For an Xs and Os breakdown, check out Ben Glicksman's bowl preview.)
• Where can I watch it? The Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans.
• When is it on television? Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 17. The game will be televised on ESPN, and serves as the final contest of the postseason-opening tripleheader.
• Who does it feature? Conference USA and the Sun Belt are the current tie-in leagues.
• What about this year? Homefield advantage, stand up! Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns (8-4) have earned their first postseason berth since 1970, and will make the two-hour trek from Lafayette, accompanied by a horde of gleefully squalling tailgaters, to face the San Diego State Aztecs (8-4).
• Who sponsors it? "Global Transportation Provider" R + L Carriers has served as title sponsor since 2006.
• Back up the pony. Is even a city so fervently devoted to exhibition and joyous mayhem prepared for the arrival of 18,000 roaring Cajuns intent on making a spectacle of themselves? They'll have more than that. According to the Lafayette Advertiser, fans of the team are blowing through their ticket allotment, with more than 42,000 tickets distributed. We could be looking at a record-setting crowd for this bowl game. But both the city and the Ragin' Cajuns themselves were made for this kind of party, I think.
• Who will call the game? Carter Blackburn, Brock Huard and Shelley Smith will bring the action to viewers at home.
• Enough about the football. What about the loot? New Orleans Bowl participants come out with a clear and unassailable edge in the gifts department, with each player taking home a Samsung Galaxy tablet.
• What wacky activities/mild indignities will bowl participants be subjected to over the course of the week? For at least the second year in a row, which is as long as I've been covering this game, a gymnastics meet will be part of the bowl week festivities. The players themselves do not appear to be active participants in this.
• Can you please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2011 New Orleans Bowl? Glad you asked! Though this is the Ragin' Cajuns' first trip to the New Orleans Bowl, in 2005 the game came to them: Damage to the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina resulted in the relocation of the contest to the Cajuns' home field, where Southern Miss beat Arkansas State 31-19.
• How will I thoroughly enjoy the Cajuns' first bowl appearance under the modern system without knowing whether or not their players suck the heads of crawfish while consuming them? Again, the Advertiser has you covered with a series of player interviews, most recently with noseguard Derreck Dean (who responded in the affirmative regarding the sucking of the crawfish).
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.