boomtho: What's the opposite of excited? That's whatever I am.
I mean, congrats to our players and staff - bowling is a good outcome this year, given the difficult schedule we faced and the dumpster fire in which we've made our home the last 2 years.
However, given that we're going bowling (again, hooray!), this is about as bad as it gets. Tuesday 11AM (!) on ESPN against a non-P5 team is just not exciting. We're playing a "gimmick" offense that requires tons of defensive discipline to counter, and I just wonder whether the players are excited enough to be here, after publicly lobbying for Vegas, to execute that.
KWBears: Definitely not excited at all. Not at all. Like a 0 out of 10.
Making a bowl was big time for our guys, so much congrats to them. But, playing in a non-factor bowl against a military school that is irrelevant compared to its Army & Navy brothers? In Texas? That is the opposite of must-watch TV. Dykes probably agreed to this bowl so he could spend time at home for the holidays (and maybe keep fishing for another job in his home state).
Ruey Yen: I am fairly bummed that we are not playing a higher profile team in a bigger bowl, particularly one that would generate more revenue - Armed Forces Bowl's pay out has been $675000 for the past two seasons. Cactus Bowl, for some reason, is the 4th highest non-Major bowl payout.
I mean I am obviously happy for our guys to be able to experience a bowl game. I might also be willing to make the trip out, if there is some insanely cheap roundtrip flight to Dallas/Fort Worth - to see Jared Goff and our talented group of receivers (likely) perform one last time in the Cal uniform. But I would have love to see us match up with a bigger name opponent than Air Force. Something tells me the neutral crowd at the Armed Forces Bowl will be rooting against us.
Leland Wong: Getting to a bowl is a huge step in our rebuilding process--for the morale boost and extra practices--and is an objective indicator of progress in the right direction. So for all that it means for the players, coaches, and program, I'm okay with the bowl choice at this point in terms of its profile and opponent.
However, I gotta side with boomtho and say that selfishly, I'm unhappy with the pick because of the time and date. Why would you ever air a college football game in the middle of the afternoon during a workday? I can't wait to be at work and shutting off social media from 11 until whenever my recording finishes after work. Get ready for some automated gamethreads!
Nik Jam: It's kinda cool that Cal will be playing in the same bowl game from 2007, with the same opponent. Hopefully it will go like the 2007 game! I am however disappointed that Cal was not good enough for an actual Pac-12 bowl (I know we were qualified for the Cactus, but still). Expectations were higher for this team. I'm glad for the seniors that will be going to their first bowl game and hopefully they'll play their butts off. Air Force should be a good matchup and are a solid enough team (just barely lost to another Cal opponent, San Diego State, in the MWC championship game) that justifies hype and intrigue.
Now for the "Make this about me" part of the answer.
Although with Cal's trip to Sydney that I will probably unsuccessfully try to attend, I have to make cuts somewhere, which means I'll pass on the Dallas/Ft. Worth trip. As cool as completing the Texas trifecta - going to Houston and Austin back in September for obvious reasons... Cal does go to TCU in a few years, so I can wait. Warriors are also in Dallas the same timeframe so it's a huge missed opportunity but hey, it'll be worth it if I make it to Sydney!