Just in case anyone thought it was a joke when announced in June, the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl is a reality and will be played Dec. 18 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
For a mid-December Saturday night game (7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT on ABC) at the beginning of college football bowl season, the inaugural LA Bowl (Kimmel Bowl?) should be an entertaining matchup. Utah State (10-3), the Mountain West champions, and Oregon State (7-5) might lack big-brand recognition, but teams both have high-powered offenses that should provide a lot of scoring and be worth checking out.
With the game approximately a week away, Kimmel appeared on Yahoo Sports’ College Football Enquirer podcast to promote the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. Host Dan Wetzel began by asking the late-night talk show host why he wanted his name on a college football bowl game.
Jimmy Kimmel on Yahoo Sports’ College Football Enquirer, explaining why he wanted his name on a college football bowl game: pic.twitter.com/JkkXoCo5qD
— The IC Workstation (@ClippelBoardy) December 13, 2021
“This is something that is a very stupid idea,” said Kimmel. “I’ve always been interested in the titles of these bowl games. I remember the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, I think that was one of the first sponsored bowl games and there are certain things that feel weird in front of the title of a bowl game. I felt like Tostitos was one of those things.
“But then we got to the point where it was perfectly normal to have a snack food as the sponsor of a bowl game. So one of the guys on our show thought it would be funny if I had a game named after me and I agreed. And then it was interesting to see people angry about that. There’s no sanctity when it comes to sponsoring a college football bowl game.”
Kimmel later claimed that he couldn’t remember who was playing in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, but Wetzel pointed out that Utah State and Oregon State is a good matchup.
If you missed it last week, Kimmel also unveiled the mascot for the bowl game, which he designed with consultant Dave Raymond. We’ll find out whether or not the mascot will actually appear at SoFi Stadium on Dec. 18, or perhaps in the days leading up to the game. But “Jimmy Kamel” looks promising. Well, unless he actually vomits…
Both coaches are excited to play in the bowl game, hoping Kimmel features the two teams on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Yet as you might expect, neither coach watches the late-night show very much during the season.
“I heard guys talking on the plane coming back last night,” said Utah State head coach Blake Anderson (via 247 Sports). “‘Ah, we’re going to get a chance to see him, get a chance to meet him, see the show.’ I think there’s a lot of anticipation as to what this bowl is going to bring and the opportunities that it’s going to present.”
“I don’t watch a ton, but I’ve seen enough to know on social media how funny he is,” added Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith. “He’s done well for a long time, so it’s definitely an exciting part of this bowl game.”
Kimmel’s full conversation with Wetzel is worth a listen, including guessing real and fake bowl game sponsors and a funny story about legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. (Kimmel was a big fan of the Runnin’ Rebels and received a honorary doctorate from UNLV in 2013.)
And the regularly scheduled podcast is always informative and entertaining, with Wetzel, Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discussing Oregon hiring Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as its new head football coach.
The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will be on ABC Saturday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.