Here is a photo of Ohio coach Frank Solich smiling. We have never seen its equal. (AP)
The 2012 Independence 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 Mallory Rubin's game preview.)
• What's all this, then? You have to go to Shreveport to go to this game, and we're not about to do that. The last time we set foot in Shreveport, the elevator to the Independence Stadium press box broke and we were trapped inside with eight assistant coaches wearing track suits constructed of non-breathable fabrics. BUT: The town is known for its drive-thru daiquiri joints, if that sways you. It very nearly sways us. Anyway. This is the Independence Bowl. It is no longer sponsored by a brand of weed killer.
• When is this game on television? Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN, featuring the voices of Dave Lamont, Kelly Stouffer and Cara Capuano. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Currently, SEC versus ACC.
• What about this year? A treat! Two of our favorite Profiterole programs, the Ohio Bobcats and Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, will dance in Shreveport this night.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? Technically, yes, although as of Thursday night it had sent out precisely four tweets in the space of a week leading up to the game. That's just its INDEPENDENT spirit. Don't box in the Independence Bowl. Nobody likes a smartass, dear reader.
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? A game show for the visiting teams, cunningly named "The Big Game Show."
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel calls this one for the Warhawks: "The Warhawks and Bobcats are mid-major darlings whose coaches (ULM's Todd Berry and Ohio's Frank Solich) are still coaching them in a bowl. Warhawks quarterback Kolton Browning (34 total touchdowns, seven interceptions) should have time to throw, while an injury-riddled offensive line may struggle to protect Bobcats counterpart Tyler Tettleton (20 total touchdowns, three interceptions)."
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Independence Bowl. This is Louisiana-Monroe's first bowl appearance, and boy howdy are they already making the best of it: