There are two times in the year when you can spend literally every waking hour for more than 2 days watching the same sport. The first, and most exciting, is March Madness. The second is Bowl Season. While the good ole days when multiple TVs were required on New Years to catch all of the televised games are long gone, Bowl Season still stretches through the greatest three week period of the year (Christmas and New Years beat the crap out of anything that happens in March). However, many of us are unable to sit down to watch all 34 games. With that understanding I have listed what I feel are ten of the best matchups this year. I have done no research on this subject, just providing the ten non-BCS matchups that I am most excited to watch. Feel free to respond with your own. All times listed are Eastern (I suppose they may also be wrong, but I don’t think so).
10) Independence Bowl – La Tech v. Northern Illinois
December 28, 8PM; Shreveport, LA
As a Shreveport native I am going to be going to this game, which is the only reason that it actually makes this list. This game should not be all that great to watch, in fact, the only reason it is on my list is because I will be there in person. If you have nothing else to do on December 28, it might be an interesting matchup. It has been an awful long time since La Tech ended up on the radar even in Shreveport (and it is just over an hour away), and I have heard nothing of Northern Illinois’s football program. Saying that, I am pretty sure that Tech sold their allotment of tickets this year, which I suppose is exciting. Maybe enough LSU fans show up to make this a bourbon soaked game if nothing else.
9) Hawaii Bowl- Hawaii v. Notre Dame
December 24, 8pm
Again, I don’t expect this to be all that great of a game, but I have to admit that I have enjoyed watching Notre Dame implode over the last few years. For some reason it just seems satisfying to watch this team be so unimpressive, considering how conceited they are about their schedule, refusing to join a conference and calling every game a “rivalry.”
8) Sun Bowl- Oregon State v. Pitt
December 31, 2pm
I just want another chance to watch Jaquizz Rodgers. Plus, I plan to open my first New Years Even beer at 3:30, right about half-time.
7) Music City Bowl- Vandy v. BC
December 31, 3:30
Like above, perfect time to open the first New Years Even beer. I want to go back and forth between 7 and 8 if only because Vandy hasn’t sniffed bowl season in my lifetime. I hope Vandy comes out ready to play before a home crowd after a rough second half to the season.
6) GMAC- Tulsa v. Ball St.
January 6, 8pm
Ball St. has been that special team that made a strong run and everyone liked to provide as evidence of the BCS being crap. They were of course, wrong, because we all know that Ball St. eventually lost their conference championship, but they supposedly have a good quarterback and I have not seen this team play much this year. I want to see how good they really are.
5) Poinsettia Bowl- TCU v. Boise St.
December 23, 8PM
TCU has a supposedly monster defense, and Boise State has been the golden child of every BCS hater for the last 3 years. This should be a really strong matchup between two teams that have supposedly second tier D1 talent running strong schemes and playing as a team. Plus, it’s a matchup between two teams that we don’t really get to see around here.
4) Chicken Bowl (Peach Bowl/ Chik fil-a Bowl) LSU v. Ga. Tech
December 31, 7:30
This is my big game, as I am a big time tiger fan, but I am somewhat hesitant about this game. LSU’s defense has given me nothing to be happy about this year, and the last two weeks have been filled with speculation over coaching changes. It looks like there will be a complete coaching shakeup, and there is very little talk coming from the Lesticles related to this. I suppose the real question whether or not Mallory and Peveto will have time in between their preparations to be named Head Coaches, and interviewing for new jobs, to really prepare their team for a Georgia Tech offense that is different from anything else LSU has seen this year. Those two certainly have not proven themselves to be capable earlier this year, but we will see what they can do. That being said, LSU is loaded with defensive talent, and hopefully is painfully embarrassed by their performance. LSU has not really let anyone run over them this year, most often getting beat when teams light up the secondary. Georgia Tech by all accounts does not throw the ball very much, and when they do I don’t think it is supposed to be all that effective.
I think this game will be closer than a lot of people think, and I think LSU might pull the upset.
3) Cotton Bowl- Ole Miss v. Texas Tech
January 2nd, 2pm
I think will be an interesting game. If Jevan Snead has a really good game, Ole Miss loses by 10; if he has a bad game its 17. I just don’t think that Ole Miss is going to be able to stop Texas Tech. All the same, I think it is going to be very physical, very well played game. I just don’t think that Ole Miss has enough to play with this Texas Tech team, especially with both the quarterback and the ace receiver feel like they were slighted by the Heisman voters.
2) Holiday Bowl- Okie State v. Oregon
December 30, 8pm
So, everyone on TV and the radio thinks this game could top 100 points, I think they might. If we get lucky, both teams score over 50 in regulation and the winner puts one in the corner of the end zone as the clock runs out to win the game. I don’t expect to see any defense in this one.
1) Capital One Bowl- Georgia v. Michigan State
January 1, 1pm
This should be a really good New Years bowl. I like the SEC Big Ten matchup because the SEC always seems to win it. Georgia has been a big disappointment this year (I expected them to win the SEC and be where Florida is, so much for that). All the same, I would like to see them come out pumped up about playing on New Years and ready to show their stuff like they did last year in the Sugar Bowl.