The 2012 Little Caesars Pizza 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 Ben Glicksman's game preview.)
• What's all this, then? Since the demise of the PapaJohns.com Bowl in 2010, the Little Caesars Bowl has served as college football's only pizza-sponsored postseason football contest. That's ^)&*^ing stupid. We could not agree more. All bowl games should be sponsored by pizza chains. This is the logical apex of the American dream, with new pizza-related disasters lurking 'round every corner to tantalize viewers, whether it's the time the Papa John's game ran out of Papa John's pizza or the times visitors to the Little Caesars Bowl had to content themselves with Hungry Howie's. Move aside, Meineke Car Care. You add nothing to the postseason apart from a fetching belt buckle-themed logo (that you cribbed from the Texas Bowl anyway) and are standing in the way of progress. Get all that out of your system? Probably not!
• Where will this game be played? Detroit's Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions and site of the MAC championship game.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, with Mark Neely, Ray Bentley and Jemele Hill bringing the action into your living rooms. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Typically, Big Ten versus MAC with an option for a Sun Belt team.
• What about this year? Central Michigan (6-6) versus Western Kentucky (7-5).
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? Yes, and you can't fault its audacity:
All #Michigan teams have been selected to "food bowls." Vote #LCPB in the @freep poll for best food during a big game! on.freep.com/TEZlir
— Little Caesars Bowl (@LCPizzaBowl) December 3, 2012
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? The Chippewas and Hilltoppers spent a festive Sunday evening bowling at Thunderbowl Lanes, billed by bowl organizers as the "second largest bowling facility in the U.S." Also, the press release for this event specifies "casual attire" for attendees. We are not making this up, as we sadly stow away our best bowling spats.
• What shiny baubles will be showered on the players? Participating teams were gifted with commemorative footballs, which we love as a bowl gift. "Hey, remember that time you played football here? Here is a football, to remind you of it. Football."
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel gives the edge to WKU and its horrifying mascot.
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl. With a 274-yard performance tonight, Western Kentucky's Antonio Andrews could eclipse Barry Sanders' single-season record for all-purpose yardage. Between CMU's defense allowing close to 200 yards rushing per game during the 2012 regular season and Andrews' additional opportunities to gain on Sanders as a punt and kick returner, this isn't actually all that improbable a feat. • Why is it not called the Little Caesars Pizza Pizza Bowl? This has never been answered to our satisfaction.