It’s that time of the year. Time to go bowling in college football. I will agree with Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports columnist, who says that college football has the best regular season and the worst postseason in all of sports. Bowl season is really just a bunch of exhibition games that mean really little. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice match ups but really only the national championship game means anything (and without a playoff system there can usually be an argument as to who should be playing in that game).
There are 35 bowl games that span nearly a month. Some are worth watching, others not so much. Here’s a couple that I’ll be keeping an eye on during this bowl season:
Early Bowl Games:
MAACO Bowl (Las Vegas, NV; December 22nd): Boise State vs. Washington. This should be an intruging match up between the Broncos & Huskies. Washington had an up and down season (beating Stanford & Oregon St, losing to Washington State) but have an up and coming lineup. Boise State is down from their last couple of season but still won 10 games and are ranked 19th going into this game. Interesting side note, these two teams will play in the 2013 season opener in Seattle. It’s rare that you have two teams play in a bowl game then play against each other again their very next game.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, ID; December 15th): Toledo vs. Utah State. This is a “flying under the radar” kind of game. Two mid-major schools that are really good and who’s combined record is 19-5. This one should be a shootout and worth tuning in to see.
Later Bowl Games (Christmas Eve-New Year’s Eve)
Valero Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, TX; December 29th): Texas vs. Oregon State. The Longhorns were in contention for a while for the Big 12 Title but some embarrassing losses to Kansas State & Oklahoma derailed those plans. When they were on, they were good but when they weren’t they were bad. The Beavers had a huge turnaround from last season and are looking to get a bowl win to bring their total wins to 10 for the season, best since 2006. It won’t be as high scoring a contest as last year’s match up between Baylor and Washington but should still be worth watching.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, GA; December 31st): LSU vs. Clemson. Really tough defense (LSU) vs. high powered offense (Clemson). Strength vs. Strength in the Georgia Dome. Should make for an entertaining night. The key will be LSU’s offense vs. Clemson’s defense. That will decide who wins this contest.
New Year’s Day Games:
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, FL; January 1st): Georgia vs. Nebraska. The losers of the SEC and Big Ten conference championship games square off in this matchup. Georgia, coming off a tough loss to Alabama, will look to rebound and finish strong. Nebraska, which got shellacked by Wisconsin, will look to do the same. Out of the New Years’ Day matchups, this one is worth watching.
BCS Game to watch (not involving the National Championship Game)
Fiesta Bowl (Tempe, AZ; January 3rd): Kansas State vs. Oregon. Two teams that prior to getting one loss were right in the national championship mix. If there was a playoff, this would be the semifinal matchup for sure. In my mind probably the best game of the bowl season not involving the National Championship. K-State is a tough, physical team and Oregon likes to run people out of the stadium. Should be a good game to watch.
Don’t forget to check out our group on College Bowl Mania on ESPN.com. Check out our facebook page for the link to our group and details on how to join. See how you can do against us in picking the bowl games.