The 2013 BBVA Compass 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? The BBVA Compass Bowl is an annual postseason college football contest against which we hold a very small grudge because it is no longer named after a nasty pizza chain's website.
• Where will this game be played? Birmingham's Legion Field, home to the UAB Blazers and former home of the Birmingham Barracudas, a short-lived CFL expansion team. What is it with Birmingham-based teams and outstanding mascot choices? Perhaps it is the universe's way of making up for them having to play at Legion Field.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, with streaming on WatchESPN. Eamon McAnaney, David Diaz-Infante and Paul Carcaterra will call the game.
• Whom does it feature? The Big East and SEC are the bowl's current conference tie-ins.
• What about this year? It's a battle of middle-of-the-packness, as the 6-6 Pitt Panthers travel to meet the 6-6 Ole Miss Fightin' Ackbars.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? Quite a helpful one, when it's up and running:
Don't want to drive while you're in town? Take a complimentary shuttle everywhere you go. For shuttle information ow.ly/gguL5
— BBVA Compass Bowl (@BBVACompassBowl) December 20, 2012
Will this shuttle drop me off at Highlands for a grits fix? Somebody try this and report back to us?
• What wacky activities will the teams be subjected to this week? Whatever you're doing as you slog back to work on that post-holiday grind, it likely doesn't involve customized bowling pin trophies, and you are poorer for it:
Who will win the pins? #OleMiss or #Pitt? Bowling and BBQ is tonight! twitter.com/BBVACompassBow…
— BBVA Compass Bowl (@BBVACompassBowl) January 3, 2013
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel: "The Birmingham bowl is no small deal to Ole Miss fans, who have bought more than 20,000 tickets through the school in less than two weeks. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is making its third straight trip to Legion Field. It may bring 20 fans."
• Please impart any additional knowledge you may have concerning the 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl. Most of our preseason predictions are in wretched flames by Week 3 in any given year, so let us enjoy this one bit of prescience:
The Pitt Panthers will, with teeth clenched at season's end, accept a third consecutive bid to the BBVA Compass Bowl -- which they will play under the same permanent head coach they entered the season with! Clutch those pearls!