When there are 5 BCS Bowls and only 2 of them are any good, you know it’s a down year for Bowl games. Could it be the worst Bowl lineup ever? Some will say that it is, but that could just be a reflection of the parity that exists in college football (now more than ever?). Regardless, there are still a few games worth watching. I’ll rank ‘em according to my interest level (not whether I think they’ll be good games or whatever).
[Side note before I get started: Check out the horrible array of announcers
for the BCS games on Fox.]5 games I won’t miss:
1 – Rose Bowl
January 1, 2007, ABC, 5:00 p.m.
Michigan vs. USC
Tops the list for obvious reasons. As each day passes, this game becomes more and more important, in my opinion. Lose, and we finish a third consecutive season with losses to OSU and
in the Bowl. People will be saying “the BCS got it right,” no matter what happens in the Championship Game. Win, and we conclude a great season (Lloyd’s second-best) on a high note, gaining some “media momentum” for next year. And I say bring it on. I want us to finally live up to the hype. I want us to start out at #1 and stay there the entire year. I’m sick of the “we’re better when we’re the underdogs” mentality. Let’s just line up and beat fools. We were able to do it this year, to some extent, and I hope it continues in 2007 (starting on January 1st).
2 – BCS Championship Game
January 8, 2007, Fox, 8:00 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Florida
Not much to say here. The BCS left a bad taste in my mouth, so I won’t be doing much analysis of this game in the coming weeks. I don’t want to read the articles. I don’t care about Tebow, or Laurinaitis, or the other media golden boys. And that’s really a shame, because this could end up being a decent game. Florida has the Defense to keep the score manageable, considering Ohio State had to show some different looks against Michigan. And considering that Percy Harvin is one juke away from a TD every time he gets the ball, the game could be fun to watch. There won’t be a shortage of NFL talent, that’s for sure.
3 – Capital One Bowl
January 1, 2007, ABC, 1:00 p.m.
Arkansas vs. Wisconsin
Is Wisconsin really any good? Can Arkansas complete a forward pass thrown by an actual, real-life Quarterback? A second-straight year matching up strong rushing attacks from the Big Ten and SEC. Last year, Wisconsin pounded Auburn in an upset. I think they can do the same here.
4 – Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, LA
January 3, 2007, Fox, 8:00 p.m.
Notre Dame vs. LSUSchadenfreude
– “Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.” Notre Dame hasn’t won a Bowl game since the conclusion of the 1993 season (24-21 over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl). They’ve played in eight Bowls since then, including a 27-9 loss to LSU in the 1997 Independence Bowl. Here’s to making it nine in a row.
5 – Outback Bowl
January 1, 2007, ESPN, 11:00 a.m.
Penn State vs. Tennessee
Higher on my list than it probably should be, primarily because I am hoping to see a Big Ten victory over the SEC. I don’t think it’s going to happen here. When Tennessee is healthy (which they finally will be), they are a Top 10 team. So I lied. Here are more games I won’t miss, but that’s just because I’m a freak:
6 - Las Vegas Bowl
Las Vegas, NV
December 21, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Oregon vs. BYU
Let the scouting for 2007 begin! Oregon is on next year’s schedule (at Michigan, September 8, 2007), so the die-hards might as well check them out. Plus, they have Ryan Leaf’s brother, so we could get a shot of Leaf on the sideline or something (I expect him to have a full beard and 40 extra pounds). Meanwhile, BYU is 10-2, took Boston College to Overtime, and almost won at Arizona. Dudes are 5 points away from an undefeated season, so I’ll watch. [Game only ranked this high because Oregon plays Michigan next season – Otherwise I’d have it in the low 20s.]
7 – Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, TX
December 30, 2006, ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
Texas vs. Iowa
Many fans are expecting a Texas blowout, so it’s probably good (for ESPN) that this isn’t the prime-time game on Saturday the 30th. This might be a decent barometer for Ferentz’s coaching skillzzz – Can he keep it close, or has he lost the team?
8 – Chick-fil-A Bowl
December 30, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
In any of the past 5 seasons or so, this would have been a much more intriguing match-up. Virginia Tech is probably better than it gets credit for, especially in terms of talent on Defense. But this is the worst Georgia team in recent memory. Wins over Auburn and Georgia Tech can’t erase a home loss to Vanderbilt, a road loss to Kentucky, and a near-loss to Colorado. I put this up at #8, then, simply because I want to see some SEC blood.
9 – Gator Bowl
January 1, 2007, CBS, 1:00 p.m.
Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia
Let’s call this the “You Will Hear Our Names When Lloyd Carr Retires” Bowl: Georgia Tech Defensive Coordinator Jon Tenuta tries to slow down Rich Rodriguez’s prolific rushing game. A more interesting match-up might be WVU’s 3-3-5 Defense against a Georgia Tech Offense that has struggled to get All-America WR Calvin Johnson the ball. I’m hoping GT QB Reggie Ball comes to play, because I can’t deal with the WVU hype train for another off-season.
10 – Cotton Bowl
January 1, 2007, Fox, 11:30 a.m.
Nebraska vs. Auburn
Can both teams lose? That would be the pareto optimum
for the college football world, I feel. The Outback Bowl (Penn State vs. Tennessee), is on at the same time, so just avoid this one (until Tennessee goes up 24-3, that is). Insert Sun Belt Referees joke here.
11 – Holiday Bowl
San Diego, CA
December 28, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
California vs. Texas A&M
I always love how announcers claim, every year, that the Holiday Bowl will be a great game because “it’s always been high-scoring and wild in past.” They’re independent events, people! That being said, this is gonna be a great game!!! Or not.
12 – Fiesta Bowl
January 1, 2007, Fox, 8:00 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. Boise State
Don’t feel too bad for Oklahoma – They’re going to finish in the Top 10 (maybe even the Top 5, if things fall right). Just don’t try to console Sooner fans, because they were
robbed at Oregon, and they gave away the Texas game. A frustrating year ends with a frustrating Bowl opponent. It’s a no-win situation for the Sooners (who should win by a comfortable margin), but they can take solace in the fact that they have a great Head Coach. They’re going to finish with only 2 losses with the equivalent of me at QB.
13 – Orange Bowl
January 2, 2007, Fox, 8:00 p.m.
Wake Forest vs. Louisville
Should be fun to watch, with lots of big plays and some unconventional Offenses (watch Wake’s RB draws and their weird mis-direction “counter” type of plays). I’m ashamed of myself for having this ranked so low, because these teams are actually good, but come on – it’s Wake Forest and Louisville!
14 – Emerald Bowl
San Francisco, CA
December 27, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
UCLA vs. Florida State
Two programs heading in opposite directions? Retire Coach Bowden
thinks so, at least regarding the FSU stinks part.
15 – Texas Bowl
December 28, 2006, NFL Network, 8:00 p.m.
Kansas State vs. Rutgers
You have your greatest season of all time, and you get relegated to a TV station that many people don’t have
(NFL Network). Isn’t it a little ironic that James Gandolfini stars in what some have called the greatest TV show of all time (The Sopranos
), on a TV station that many people don’t have (HBO), and he graduated from
… Rutgers! I smell a conspiracy.College Football fans might enjoy these games. Most other people won’t:
16 – Champs Sports Bowl
December 29, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Purdue vs. Maryland
Is Maryland the Purdue of the ACC? I see some similarities. Discuss amongst yourselves.
17 – Hawaii Bowl
December 24, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Arizona State vs. Hawaii
18 – Sun Bowl
El Paso, TX
December 29, 2006, CBS, 2:00 p.m.
Missouri vs. Oregon State
19 – Independence Bowl
December 27, 2006, ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
Oklahoma State vs. Alabama
20 – Insight Bowl
December 29, 2006, NFL Network, 8:00 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
21 – Meineke Car Care Bowl
December 30, 2006, ESPN2, 1:00 p.m.
Boston College vs. Navy
22 – Music City Bowl
December 29, 2006, ESPN, 1:00 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Clemson
23 – Liberty Bowl
December 29, 2006, ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
Houston vs. South CarolinaI’m only gonna watch if there’s nothing else on:
24 – San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego, CA
December 19, 2006, ESPN2, 8:00 p.m.
TCU vs. Northern Illinois
TCU’s coach, Gary Patterson, could end up in Ann Arbor one day (unlikely, but possible). Might as well tune in to see the deal.
25 – MPC Computers Bowl
December 30, 2006, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Nevada vs. Miami
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. And we thought the Alamo Bowl was bad. The “experts” are thinking that Nevada could pull the upset (would it even be an upset this year?) due to its high-powered, quirky Offense. 8 completely unwatchable Bowls. Not sure why I’m even listing the broadcast info. Please avoid:
26 – Motor City Bowl
December 26, 2006, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Central Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee
Sorry, CMU. You had a good year, but nobody wants to watch a game involving Middle Tennessee, ever.
27 – Papajohns.com Bowl
December 23, 2006, ESPN2, 1:00 p.m.
East Carolina vs. South Florida
28 – New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans, LA
December 22, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Troy vs. Rice
Rice made a Bowl (sounds funny, on a few levels)! Avoided the lowest possible ranking because both teams are one-syllable
schools. How nuts is that?!
29 – International Bowl
January 6, 2007, ESPN, 12:00 p.m.
Western Michigan vs. Cincinnati
30 – Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, TX
December 23, 2006, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Utah vs. Tulsa
31 – GMAC Bowl
January 7, 2007, ESPN, 8:00 p.m.
Southern Miss vs. Ohio
32 – New Mexico Bowl
December 23, 2006, ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
New Mexico vs. San Jose State
* All times are Eastern