Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ranking the Bowls


It is the most wonderful time of the year, College Football Bowl Season. 28 bowls will be on tap from December 20-January 4. It all starts with the New Orleans Bowl and ends with the Granddady of them all, the Rose Bowl.

Not even the most die-hard college football fan can say everyone of this year's bowl games are worth watching. I have separated the bowl games into three categories, Buffet, In-Law, and Dog Bowls.

The Buffet bowls are the can't miss games. These are the bowl games where you break out the buffet of football food and sit back and enjoy.

The In-Law bowls are the so-so games. There are just an excuse to get out of visiting with the in-laws.

The Dog Bowls are just that, dogs. Don't feel bad if you miss these games.

THE BUFFET BOWLS

1. Rose Bowl- USC vs Texas
Last year's USC-Oklahoma national championship game was supposed to be the all everything, but this year's national championship will not disappoint.

2. Fiesta Bowl- Notre Dame vs Ohio State
At the expense of leaving out a deserving Oregon team from the BCS, the Fiesta has set up the best matchup outside of Pasadena.

3. Peach Bowl- Miami vs LSU
The defenses might dominate this one, but this is a better matchup than the one scheduled just three days later in Atlanta.

4. MPC Computers Bowl- Boston College vs Boise State
The Broncos embarrassed themselves on the road against Georgia in September. It will be interesting to see how well they fare at home against a very good BC team.

5. Cotton Bowl- Alabama vs Texas Tech
The Bama defense versus the pass happy Tech attack.

6. Holiday Bowl- Oregon vs Oklahoma
Annually there is usually not a more exciting game than this one in San Diego. Both schools have something to prove.

7. Sun Bowl- UCLA vs Northwestern
Should be a high scoring affair, and could be Karl Dorrell's last game as head coach of the Bruins, if they do not come out on top.

8. Sugar Bowl- West Virginia vs Georgia
The Mountaineers have never had to prove so much in one game. The Big Least could once again become the Big East.

THE IN-LAW BOWLS

9. Orange Bowl- Florida State vs Penn State
Bowden vs Paterno is classic, but Seminoles vs Nittany Lions is not.

10. Gator Bowl- Virginia Tech vs Louisville
Would have been a Buffet if Brian Brohm was not injured. The Cards will be over-matched against the Hokies.

11. Alamo Bowl- Michigan vs Nebraska
Eight years ago this game would have been a great national title matchup.

12. Capital One Bowl- Wisconsin vs Auburn
Barry Alvarez's last game as coach of Badgers is a tough one.

13. Liberty Bowl- Fresno State vs Tulsa
A big Bulldog win will signal that losses to Nevada and LA Tech as flukes, but a loss would be a certain sign of trouble in one of the nation's best non-BCS programs.

14. Outback Bowl- Florida vs Iowa
Urban Meyer will try to top Ron Zook's bowl record. This is the Gators' third trip to Tampa in the last four years.

15. Houston Bowl- TCU vs Iowa State
It would have been nice to have seen TCU play a better opponent, but the Cyclones are more than capable of beating the Frogs handily.

16. GMAC Bowl- UTEP vs Toledo
Both of these schools underachieved this year, but it still should be a high-scoring shootout.

17. Independence Bowl- South Carolina vs Missouri
Spurrier gets the Gamecocks back to a bowl in his first year. Brad Smith will try to win his first bowl game, ever, in four years.

18. Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs Virginia
Only one reason to watch and that is Laurence Maroney.

THE DOG BOWLS

19. Champs Sports Bowl- Clemson vs Colorado
Will Colorado even show up to play?

20. Insight Bowl- Arizona State vs Rutgers
Rutgers first bowl game in over 25 years, but too bad it's a dog.

21. Las Vegas Bowl- BYU vs Cal
The bowl will get the sell-out they desired but the game isn't worth the price of admission.

22. Emerald Bowl- Utah vs Georgia Tech
Well, the Utes finally get a legit opponent but it's a year too late.

23. Motor City Bowl- Akron vs Memphis
The Zips were the only bowl eligible team did not get a chance to go bowling last year, but this year they make their first ever bowl appearance as conference champs.

24. Hawaii Bowl- Nevada vs Central Florida
UCF's rags to riches story can not help this uninteresting matchup.

25. Ft. Worth Bowl- Houston vs Kansas
Decent offensive team versus decent defensive team, but does anyone care which is which?

26. New Orleans Bowl- Southern Miss vs Arkansas State
The Indians are playing in their first bowl game and actually have a chance at a win.

27. Meineke Car Care Bowl-North Carolina State vs South Florida
An ugly bowl name, but an even uglier bowl matchup. The on and off again Wolfpack could get smoked in USF's first bowl.

28. Poinsettia Bowl- Colorado State vs Navy
This is exactly why 6-5 teams do not deserve to be in bowl games.

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