A Girlfriend's Guide to Bowl Season

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We feel for you, ladies. Since September, you've been fighting to survive a cutthroat world of college football -- being dragged from weekend festivities by your boyfriend to attend games, feigning interest during long and excited recitations of quarterback statistics, struggling to remember which team you're supposed to support -- and all without actually learning anything about the game. After a grueling regular season, it's tempting to believe your work is done. But if there's anything this topsy-turvy season has taught people who aren't you, it's that it's never safe to settle. As we head into bowl season, here are a few tips to make sure you're at the top of your complete lack of game:

If you want to see your boyfriend anytime during the next month, you'd better get ready to watch a whole lot of television. Prepare by starting a daily regimen of sports shows, slowly increasing the volume each day until you're able to tolerate the inexplicably jovial hosts and randomly inserted advertisements for Dancing With The Stars. Be careful not to try too much too fast -- this much exposure can be dangerous even for seasoned sports fans.

You're in this bowl season for one reason and one reason only: to look interested in what your boyfriend likes while completely avoiding actually learning anything about it. Don't let yourself be distracted by his zombie-like ogling of the cheerleaders -- if you watch carefully, he's probably giving the same look of slavish devotion to Brent Musburger.

It's easy to appear to be a football fan without actually knowing or caring about the game: simply pepper your comments with random bits of popular knowledge, or ask questions that allow others to go off on tangents. But be careful: a misstep here can reveal that you haven't been paying attention all year. Always acceptable: "The Big Ten is so overrated." Less acceptable: "Where is Notre Dame playing this year?"

Hard work, dedication, and a basic knowledge of team colors got you through this regular season. There's no reason to change that formula now. Perfectly execute all the parts of your usual game plan -- hair, makeup, miniskirt, heels, babydoll jersey -- and chances are good no one will make a big deal out of the fact that the jersey you've chosen is, in fact, that of the San Antonio Spurs.

While it's good to know how to take a game head-on, it's even better to avoid it altogether. The Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and BCS Title Bowls are usually the hardest to avoid, but with the mess the BCS has made of this year's matchups, it's now surprisingly easy: simply say "Oh, come on. Like the ____ Bowl is worth anything this year." As for the rest of the bowls, the standby line is, as always, "Seriously? You care about the ____ Bowl?" It's not a perfect system--you'll still end up watching a lot of games--but it's better than it could be. Imagine if they had a playoff.

Katherine Hayes is a sophomore at Miami University and refuses to add (OH).