Holiday Watch List: Bowls take backseat to intrigue of Texas search

Welcome to bowl season, or -- as it has become known -- college football C-Span during the prime-time coaching search at Texas.

That's where the real action is this holiday season, isn't it? We have entered an era when the actual bowls are mere complementary programming for a daily game show involving Longhorns AD Steve Patterson:

Where's Jimbo?

If the bowls are this season's Ed McMahon, the ultimate sidekick, then wheerreee's Johnny? That would be Texas president Bill Powers, suddenly infused with new powers.

Welcome back, Bill. Just don't screw it up.

Mack Brown is gone and the search for his replacement has somehow supplanted the build-up for the Beef O'Brady's Bowl. Wait, that actually makes total sense.

Moving on ... Texas, with the biggest, richest athletic budget this side of Manchester United needs a search committee -- a freakin' search committee! -- to find its next coach?

That seals it. Words never uttered in Austin when it comes to evaluating the next Texas football coach: Great minds think alike.

Compelling reality TV awaits: When Regents Attack.

Speaking of compelling ... Can't wait until the Longhorn Network televises the contract negotiations of the new coach haggling over how much time he has to spend with ... the Longhorn Network.

Meanwhile, we can hold our breath during this bowl season. It starts Saturday with the reminder that frostbite bites. That is a reference to the University of Buffalo traveling to Boise to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Predicted winner: Starch. Lots and lots of starch.

Might as well avert your eyes from the cathode ray machine in your living room. Everything this holiday season, it seems, can be measured by the impact of Texas' coaching search on, well, everything ...

Sun spots.

Monsoon patterns in Southeast Asia.

Gas prices.

When the new Buicks are coming out.

Let's just say the Farmer's Almanac isn't the traditional prediction tool it used to be.

Look out for Super Storm DeLoss!!

Yes, the search is dominating our lives and there's nothing we can do about it. The formula is fairly easy to figure out: The closer we get to the New Year/BCS championship game/national signing day, the more likely Texas is likely to fill with Jim Mora/Jimbo Fisher/Gus Malzahn/Jim Harbaugh.

Get it? Nothing happens until bowl games/playoffs/meetings with Jimmy Sexton coming up are concluded.

Unless the vacancy is about to be filled by a high school coach we're not aware of, it's time to hurry up and wait through this bowl season.

Call it a multimillion dollar sundial overseen by those eight persons on the search committee. By the way, that's not a search, it's an NBA bench. As long as you're going there Texas, Is Eight Enough? You never know when Jon Gruden will have the urge to recruit college athletes again, something he hasn't done, by the way, in 24 years.

That would be at Pacific, a school that no longer sponsors football.

While we wait for the puff of burnt orange smoke emanating from The Main Building, random thoughts on some of the 35 bowls.

(Just remember, it gets better/worse next year when there will be 38 bowls. Hopefully, Texas will have a coach by then.)

Let's go bowling

Mike Leach and the New Mexico Bowl were made for each other. The coach hasn't been to a bowl in five years. The bowl has been a bowl for only seven.

If Fresno State's Derek Carr is going to get over his Heisman snub, there are better places to drown your sorrows. Hello, Las Vegas Bowl.

In other news, Royal Purple High Performance Lubricants sponsors that bowl. Las Vegas? Royal Purple? Excuse me if I feel like I need a shower.

It's a home game for Tulane in the New Orleans Bowl on a neutral field where the game in the Superdome against Louisiana-Lafayette opened as a pick 'em. I'm confused.

Nothing says Tampa Bay Rays offseason like Ohio and East Carolina at Tropicana Field in the Beef O'Brady's.

There's an All-America receiver (Oregon State's Brandin Cooks) from Stockton, Calif., playing on Christmas Eve in Hawaii. Wait, is this dinner theater?

"Hey everyone, we're going back to Detroit." What you didn't hear from any coach at Bowling Green after winning the MAC title at Ford Field to clinch the Little Caesars Bowl.

Well, at least not out loud.

It will take the average sportswriter until the third quarter to spell check the word "Poinsettia" in San Diego County Credit Union's holiday classic -- Utah State vs. Northern Illinois.

Texas Bowl: Syracuse didn't allow an opposing runner to gain 100 yards. Minnesota's Jerry Kill didn't allow seizures to slow him down. I'm more impressed by the latter.

Kraft has dropped out of sponsoring the Fight Hunger Bowl (BYU vs. Washington). Make your own moral judgments.

Question: Kansas State and Michigan are going to Tempe but why couldn't the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl invite ... Buffalo? Beer, Wings, Bison!

Saw the words "National University Holiday" on the bowl calendar and thought Arizona State had started spring break.

Please avoid all "last stand" references in regards to Mack Brown in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon.

If there is such a thing as love at first sight, fate drew Arizona and Boston College together in a fleeting chance encounter in a Shreveport coffee shop. What we used to know as the Independence Bowl (AdvoCare V100) features the Nation's leading rusher Andre Williams vs. No. 5 rusher Ka'Deem Carey.

Feel sorry for Duke. Its final two games will be against the last two Heisman Trophy winners (Jameis Winston in ACC title game and Johnny Manziel in Chick-fil-A.)

Wonder why Nebraska is having trouble selling tickets in the Gator Bowl? How not to market your bowl game.

Tournament of Roses could decide to rename bowl "Coaches Who Won't Be Going To Texas". That is, assuming David Shaw and Mark Dantonio stay put.

Among final choices for Fiesta Bowl media day -- two-car garage in Mesa. Paradise Valley is more than big enough to accommodate throngs from Baylor and Central Florida.

Nick Saban lobbying for a 59-minute, 59-second game clock vs. Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

Guest analyst for the Orange Bowl -- Charlie Bauman!

Odds that either Gus Malzahn and/or Jimbo Fisher will take their names out of Texas search before BCS title game

Check with the search committee.

C-Span, out.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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