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NC State shouldn’t play in a bowl game

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North Carolina State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Boston College and Pitt both announced this week that they won’t be accepting any bowl invitations—in a normal year, both would be helping fulfill the ACC’s bowl obligations, but as we’re cutting right to the plain of it this year, neither Boston College (6-5) nor Pittsburgh (6-5) has any interest in filling out what’s left of the lower rungs of the ACC’s bowl affiliations, and can you blame them?

The nature of this season is so off that we’re somehow still in the regular season in the middle of December, and probably everyone is tired, if not entirely demoralized, and who needs to go to the Northrop Grumman Military-Industrial-Murder-Complex Bowl when they can instead go home?

Going home sounds like a much better way to spend the holidays to me. Those Best Buy gift cards aren’t that important. Plus Pittsburgh already has like $4000 dollars of store credit at the region’s Belk locations.

Bowl games are comically frivolous events, but that’s especially true this year, for a wide variety of reasons, the most urgent being that anywhere you do not bring people to any sort of congregation—even if that’s just the teams and their coaches—you reduce the potential spread of this virus. However! But! ... I still like bowl games and football and also enjoy NC State football in bowl games.

Welcome to my internal conflict for the last three months. And I like bowl speculation season as the capper; I like that there is a bowl game selection show, even if everyone knows the matchups beforehand; NC State ain’t ever going to the playoffs, but that day when it learns its bowl opponent still feels a little like Selection Sunday in March.

I don’t know how you untangle all that, don’t know frankly that you can, but it exists there anyway, this selfish desire for the continuation of NC State football and for those brief periods of normalcy as simultaneously a saner, more disconnected version of myself shouts “no, you idiot, have you looked around?”

When I set all of the selfish stuff aside, it’s not like there’s any real question: nobody should be playing bowl games this year, NC State included.