At 10 p.m. Eastern, Missouri and Iowa face off in the Insight Bowl. Need to decide on a team to root for? Spencer Hall is here to help.
IT'S LIKE THE POCKET FIESTA BOWL. How important is the Insight Bowl? It doesn't even have its own website, instead residing in its own page on the Fiesta Bowl's mainsite. It is the little brother living in the basement, and is just fine there because there's like no rent, and the cable's free, and mom lets it ride the chillwaves down here without too much hassle.
DO YOU LIKE TO PARTY? There is no more dangerous question in the course of adult life than, when in the course of a night out, a relative stranger approaches you and asks "Hey, do you like to party?" There is no frame on the definition of "party." It could mean anything from a casual shot purchased at the bar to a long, terrifying evening with this stranger that ends up with burning cars, sobbing, and being stranded in the Nevada desert wearing nothing but a showgirl's g-string and an invisible but very real veil of shame. Beware the phrase "Do you like to party?" Naught but ruin lies here.
If you do like to party, though, you should totally pull for Iowa here, the team wracked by a massive drug testing fiasco, the arrest of wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a slew of drug charges, and Tuesday's breaking news, the arrest of running back Adam Robinson for marijuana charges. Clearly this is a team that not only accepts your challenge to "party," but is more than willing to explore the limits of that term. They're also a hot mess without a functional run game, as even their fullbacks are out with possible heart conditions.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PARTYING: It leads to you losing the final game of the season to Minnesota. This should be the most persuasive anti-drug message you ever read. Sobriety achieved! You're welcome.
WE'LL JUST BE OVER HERE BEING PRODUCTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL. Ho-hum, the successful Gary Pinkel season in its most ideal form: one loss to a superior opponent in Nebraska, and one inexplicable loss to a team they should have painted the walls with at Texas Tech. (Tommy Tuberville just does that, Missouri fans. There is literally nothing you can do about it, as it is a kind of superpower of his.) They're otherwise a perfectly pleasant team with a diversified spread attack, a shiny blond quarterback in Blaine Gabbert, and a defense more than capable of providing one, possibly two stops at a time in a shootout (which, truthfully, is the kind of game MIssouri is born to play being a Big 12 South team stuck in the Big 12 North.)
SO YOU'RE SAYING PARTYING SHOULD DECIDE THIS? For the uninterested observer, be honest and answer these questions truthfully: am I a responsible person? Do I pay my bills on time? Am I sober for all the really important events in my life, and do I complete all paperwork promptly and with the correct documentation? If so, you need to root for Missouri, the bowl team streaking toward the finish line of the season with non-pharmaceutical pep in its step and a gleam in its eye.
LEAN: That aforementioned go-getter ain't me. Iowa it is, since I too like to party.