Possibly the best one-paragraph preview of the Car Care Bowl to date:
A criminal defense attorney of my longstanding acquaintance has what he calls his "Joyce Kilmer defense" whenever a client of his is charged with manufacture of a controlled substance with respect to marijuana. His argument is that, while a guy running a meth lab is engaged in the manufacture of an illegal drug, a guy who's growing pot plants isn't "manufacturing" anything, because "only God can make a tree." Anyone who appreciates the distinction between a Hamiltonian affinity for manufacturing and a Jeffersonian devotion to agrarianism (as exemplified in the prose of the Vanderbilt Fugitives, the poetry of Wendell Berry, and the film "The Dukes of Hazzard") recognizes that he is right, which brings me to the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate bowl games. Bowls named after plants (Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton) or after animals that are raised on a farm (Chick-fil-A) are good bowl games. (Admittedly, the aforementioned Poinsettia Bowl undermines this argument.) The Meineke Car Care Bowl generally is a clear example of the fact that bowls named after factory-produced goods or the retailers who sell them tend to be crummy contests. That said, a showdown between Pitt and UNC should make for a better game than most, and I have learned my lesson. Siding with Dave Wannstedt in a meaningful game is like getting involved in a land war in Asia; it's one of the classic blunders. Accordingly, I'm picking the Tar Heels. After all, we are dealing with tobacco-growing Southern agrarians doing battle with steel-welding Eastern industrialists.
I'd quibble with the argument that the waffle fries at Chick-fil-A are any less a factory-produced good than the oil filters Meineke sells, or any tastier, for that matter, but call it by it's true name the Peach and it holds. I've now seen UNC play in three different automobile related bowls – the Carquest, the Continental Tire and now the Meineke – and I've never been particularly enraptured.
Also, putting the proud tradition of the North Carolina Tar Heels on the same side as the man who created his own Johnny-come-lately university up the way in Charlottesville are fighting words where I come from.