To help prime you for the New Year's Day glut of bowl games, we've compiled this handy list of fun factoids concerning the 2011 Capital One Bowl.
Proper name: Capital One Bowl, tragically no longer referred to as the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl, but still somehow being billed as "The Little Bowl With The Big Heart," because somebody who makes more money than you gets paid to think that's a nice idea.
Setting: The Citrus Bowl in sparkling Orlando, Florida, home to four or five postseason football games a year and very little else.
Traditional conference pairing: Big Ten versus SEC
2010 matchup: The No. 9 Michigan State Spartans (11-1) versus the No. 16 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-3).
Announcers: Smooth excellence abounds: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe will be on hand in Orlando.
Weather: Current forecasts call for balmy temperatures and partly cloudy skies.
Neatest fact: The new turf in the Citrus Bowl, installed this past offseason, is called AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D. No, seriously. No word on whether it requires special glasses to view properly.
Closest finish: There have been four ties in the history of the Capital One Bowl, the last one a 17-17 Georgia-Florida State finish in 1984.
Most lopsided finish: The 1953 iteration was a 33-0 shutout of Tennessee Tech by East Texas State.
Tidbits of interest: Known throughout history as the Tangerine Bowl (but not the Tangerine Bowl that became the Champs Sports Bowl, because that's totally different) and the Citrus Bowl, the Capital One Bowl is the oldest mid-tier postseason college football contest. Previous MVPs include Cris Collinsworth, Plaxico Burress, and Matt Stafford. Nick Saban and Mark Dantonio were on the same staff for a time in East Lansing, and have a longstanding treaty never to engage in a glower-off, for fear of wreaking civic destruction with their disapproving brows.