She's no Paul the Psychic Octopus (RIP), but we can't fault the Phoenix
Zoo's Sumatran tiger, Hadiah, in predicting the winner of the first Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. (AP)
The 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings 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 Zac Ellis' game preview.)
• What's all this, then? You may remember this game as the Copper Bowl, which is how it operated for its first eight years of existence before selling naming rights to Insight.com in 1996. Buffalo Wild Wings is in its first year as title sponsor. So is there a button that -- STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. WE ARE ALREADY OVER THIS.
• Where will this game be played? Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., the home stadium for the Arizona State Sun Devils (and former home of the Fiesta Bowl).
• When is it on television? A fashionably late 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. The top-tier team of Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge share announcing duties, with Tom Rinaldi on the sidelines, presumably trailed by his trusty twinkly piano.
• Whom does it feature? Big Ten versus Big 12.
• What about this year? In their first year in a new conference, the 7-5 TCU Horned Frogs will rep the Big 12, while the 6-6 Michigan State Spartans will represent the Big Ten.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? The Twitter account at @BWWBowl is not afraid to confront Mark Dantonio head-on (from behind a table barrier):
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? Heartburn, by way of wing-eating contest:
• What shiny baubles will be showered on the players? A backpack is included among the gifts, presumably lined with aluminum foil to facilitate the transportation of even more wings.
• What's the pick? In a contest between teams with superb defenses and offenses that frequently couldn't get out of their own way in 2012, Stewart Mandel predicts the Spartans' ability to force TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin into turnovers will make the difference.
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Do NOT make the mistake of confusing the 6-6 Spartans with an 8-4 team. They REALLY do not like it.