The 2012 Armed Forces 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 R.J. Rico's game preview.)
• What's all this, then? Not to be confused with the Military Bowl. This is the one sponsored by helicopters.
• Where will this game be played? After a two-year hiatus in SMU's stadium, necessitated by renovations projects, the Armed Forces Bowl returns to Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, home of the TCU Horned Frogs.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at the unfortunate hour of 11:45 a.m., making for a 10:45 local kickoff. The game will be televised on ESPN, featuring the vocal stylings of Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Lewis Johnson, and streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? A rotating cast of tie-ins, including Conference USA, the Mountain West, Army and Navy.
• What about this year? At least one Armed Force! The Air Force Falcons (6-6) will face Rice's 6-6 Owls. This will be the Falcons' fourth appearance in the Armed Forces Bowl. Does Air Force enjoy a natural advantage in a bowl sponsored by giant flying machines? Not so: The Falcons are 1-2 in this game.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? It does, and they #really #like #hashtags:
We wish you all a very #MerryChristmas! We hope you are able to #enjoy the holiday!
— Armed Forces Bowl (@ArmedForcesBowl) December 25, 2012
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? As of this writing, it is 36 degrees with overcast skies in Fort Worth, but at least nobody has to go to a comedy club today.
• What shiny baubles will be showered on the players? Not helicopters. We asked.
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel thinks Air Force will run away with this one, with a cautionary note: "There's no sugarcoating the fact that these are two bad teams. Rice checks in at 89th in the F/+ rankings; Air Force ranks 99th."
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl. Air Force's uniforms for Saturday are "inspired by the Air Force’s B-2 Spirit and F-22 Raptor aircrafts." Not about to be out-Americaned without a fight, here are Rice's helmets: