Contrary to popular belief, SpotBowl is about a lot more than just Super Bowl ads. Truth be told, SpotBowl has evolved quite a bit over the past year to include all sorts of info about food, sports and the wonderful intersection of both.

With that in mind, I’ll be posting a series of entries here on the SpotBlog over the next three or four weeks that focus on the college bowl games. Facts, figures, recipes and links. I’ll cover it all each Friday for each game coming up in the following week, starting today. Enjoy!

NEW MEXICO BOWL (BYU vs. UTEP) (December 18)

  • 98 percent of students at Brigham Young University (BYU) are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, they must abide by the school’s strict honor code, which includes abstaining from alcohol, tea and coffee.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is the largest university in the U.S. with a majority Mexican-American student population (about 75%).
  • The New Mexico Bowl is sponsored by Albuquerque’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino which, despite the name, contains no actual Hard Rock Café restaurants.

UDROVE HUMANITARIAN BOWL (Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State) (December 18)

  • The uDrove Humanitarian Bowl takes place in Boise, Idaho. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, the best way to open a baked potato is to “pierce the potato with a fork, once lengthwise and crosswise. Press the potato at both ends and it will ‘blossom.’”
  • The Idaho Potato Commission website includes a recipe for Idaho Potato Lasagna that includes goat cheese and white truffle oil.

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL (Ohio vs. Troy) (December 18)

  • The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl is hosted in Louisiana, a state that leads the nation in crawfish production with 90 percent of the crawfish eaten worldwide.
  • Also known as crayfish or crawdads, crawfish are typically boiled with heavy seasoning (salt, cayenne pepper, lemon, garlic, bay leaves, etc.) and other items such as potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, garlic, mushrooms and sausage.

BEEF O’BRADY’S BOWL ST. PETERSBURG (Louisville vs. Southern Miss) (December 21)

  • Sponsor Beef O’Brady’s is a chain of more than 240 restaurant pubs throughout the southern and Midwestern United States.
  • Food Network star and Iron Chef Cat Cora is a Southern Miss graduate. “Cheeseburger in Paradise” singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett is also an alum.

MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS (Utah vs. Boise State) (December 22)

  • Las Vegas casinos are home to some of the most legendary buffets in America. Some tips for getting the most grub for your buck can be found here, including the good advice to stay away from side dishes and “go for the seafood, prime rib, and steak.”

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