Der bowls, der bowls

While it’s a grave disappointment to the root-for-chaos John Feinsteins of the world, this year’s BCS title game is pretty close to a no-brainer (sorry, TCU, but there’s no comparison when you factor in strength of schedule).  And it should be a good one, somewhat reminiscent of the titanic struggle between Southern Cal and Texas.

And looking at the rest of the bowl schedule, the pleasant surprise is that most of the BCS games look compelling.  TCU, third in rushing defense, gets to strut its stuff in the Rose Bowl against a Big Ten opponent that runs the ball well.  Stanford-Virginia Tech is the best matchup the Orange Bowl has had in a while.  Ryan Mallett gets a chance to avenge Michigan’s honor vicariously, as well as set Arkansas up for a big start next year, with a Sugar Bowl shot against Ohio State.  And even the worst looking of the games, the Fiesta Bowl, has the Big Game Bob factor working for it.

As for the rest of what we get, well, it’s college football, so I’m not going to knock any of it, but here are a few of the better games:

  • Las Vegas Bowl. Not too long ago, Utah vs. Boise State in a bowl game would have been really big.  Even so, this should be interesting to watch, as the Broncos tangle with a semi-BCS conference team.  Both are ranked in the top 20.
  • Poinsettia Bowl. Maybe I’m weird, but I always like contrasting style games.  San Diego State throws the hell out of the ball and Navy is Navy.
  • Independence Bowl. Shreveport.  Georgia Tech.  Heh.
  • Insight Bowl. If both Iowa and Missouri show up, this will be a good one.
  • Pinstripe Bowl. Worth watching just to find out if we get our first bowl game with snow in ages.
  • Sun Bowl. Hey, they’re getting the bands back together!  Not really, but what the hey.
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl. It’ll be worth seeing if the OBC can rally the troops after they got plowed under in the SECCG.  At the same stadium, too.
  • Capital One Bowl. Jim Delany’s honor is on the line in this one.  Can Michigan State hold the line against SEC speed and oversigning?
  • Gator Bowl. Dan Mullen gets an opponent that can’t play defense and breathes a sigh of relief.
  • Cotton Bowl. TAMU has had its share of crazy games this year, so Les Miles should fit right in.

The clunker of the bunch easily has to be the Holiday Bowl, which has paired up two teams that put together a 35-point blowout earlier this year at the loser’s stadium.

And, no, I couldn’t put the Liberty Bowl on that list, although I do think it will be compelling for those of us who have a stake in the game.  One thing I feel pretty certain about is that Richt doesn’t want to finish the season with the first losing record of his tenure.

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56 Comments

Filed under College Football

56 responses to “Der bowls, der bowls

  1. The Original Cynical in Athens

    I hope that in all of the inevitable George O’Leary versus UGA articles that will be coming out in the next few weeks, the writers remember to make mention of the fact that O’Leary’s “3-game winning streak” against UGA was a total sham and involved a massive academic scandal that Gtu somehow managed to keep relatively quiet.

    Had the same scandal happened at an SEC institution, particularly one in Athens, the Jackets would no doubt have been calling for the death penalty.

    Here is a snippet for any who may have forgotten:

    Marsh said the committee concluded the “institutional failure” to train the employees on NCAA rules “constitutes a non-debatable lack of institutional control.”

    Marsh said the committee was influenced by the fact some of the 11 football players, who were not named, were stars.

    “Many of these student-athletes were prominent members of the team, including multiple-year starters who had received conference and national recognition for their athletic performances,” Marsh said.

    “It is impossible to say what part it played, but it did play a part,” Marsh said.

    Marsh said the committee found six student-athletes were allowed to count grades of D for satisfactory progress even though their majors required grades of C or better. Four were allowed to continue in athletics despite lacking the necessary percentage of degree requirements.

  2. Ben

    You’ve got to be kidding. The BCS bowls look compelling?? Wow, must not take much to fulfill the entertainment value I guess. These games look awful and will show as much in the ratings. TCU in the Rose Bowl is a laughable and Wisconsin never fares well as far as football viewing is concerned. And UCONN… Most people tuning into that game will be under the impression they’re about to watch Maya Moore. Stanford and Va Tech, there’s a fun one… for your grandparents maybe. Stadium may be half full at best. Ohio St may get their first ever win against an SEC team. I’m sure we’ll never hear the end of that from the WWL.
    Auburn wins by 18 and shouldn’t even be that close. Their DL will dominate Oregon’s front and disrupt their rhythm all too often. Aub gets a gift opponent for their first title in Lord knows how long. And then they’ll be well on their way to 6-6 next year with every game on the road for a change and losing 26 players. I do not foresee any kind of foundation being built at Aub whatsoever. Superman dropped by for a year and coupled with the most amazing home game slate I’ve seen from a team in years they worked some magic. Congrats on their nat’l title I guess is merited (unless the feds discover a smoking gun). Chizik will be brought back down to earth next year.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      ….I hope you cheer up before Christmas…lol.

    • I take it you’re planning on watching the NFL for the next month. Good times.

      • Ben

        I guess my post came off as a kind of “Old Man and the Sea” and angry. I’m not a morning person but still it astounded me that these BcS games may be thought of as intriguing. I will admit I detest the current system as they are all meaningless exhibition games short one every year. Not a big NFL fan either, may watch a couple playoff games at some point perhaps. A radio host recently stated that college football is the only sport that doesn’t culminate in an exciting post-season of intriguing and meaningful match-ups. I would think several of these games would be viewed differently if the winner were to move-on to play somebody else rather than shake hands and probably never see eachother again for 60 years (Wisc/ TCU). In other words, the season is over now except for the hippies in Ore and Univ of Ala at Auburn fans. If I flip through a Mia/ ND game while a family member is reminiscing about when we were all “this tall” 20 years ago, does that mean I enjoy the current format? It should be changed but I guess that topic is a never-ending one.
        On another note, do you think 8-4 next year sends CMR packing? I would think that is the most likely outcome next year and although it reflects “improvement” it should still be considered a disappointment especially considering our schedule weakens a bit.

    • That’s Cammy Cam Juice level haterade there.

    • Will (the other one)

      I’d say the true mismatch is Oregon’s DL, which averages 260 lbs soaking wet, against Auburn’s OL.

  3. Liberty Bowl – Coldest Place on Earth.

    Stay home, watch on TV.

    • I don’t think it’s gonna be colder than the Pinstripe Bowl.

    • Brad

      You just want us to stay at home so that when we are both 8-4 next year your school can argue that your fans travel better than ours and you can get the Outback Bowl while we fight UT or Kentucky to get in the Music City Bowl.

      • POULANWEEDEATERYARDMAINTENANCEPRODUCTDUJOUR BOWL BAYBEEEEEE!!!!

        • Brad

          At least I know what Autozone is, I had no idea what Advocare V100 was until we got to the game last year and they were giving out samples. Our group guessed it was insurance or online autoparts. This led to a discussion of what bowl would be the best if you got what the actual sponsor was selling as a gift, then we discussed what the best bowls would be if you actually got what the name of the bowl was. It’s a long drive to Shreveport, lots of bowl discussions.

  4. jermaine's dye

    Um, yeah…actually, I will take a slate of NFL games with a few duds and a larger percentage of games with actual consequences instead of an onslaught of meaningless exhibition corporate promotional games in half-empty stadiums.

    That said, I hear this year’s floats at the Tournament of Roses Parade (presented by HONDA) are going to be…dazzling.

  5. Go Dawgs!

    I’m definitely biased against the little schools out there, as anyone who has ever discussed Boise State with me can tell you. However, I will say this about TCU: we really will never know. To say that it’s a no-brainer that Oregon and Auburn are “more deserving” is definitely true, they took a much tougher test and passed with flying colors. That, of course, is not TCU’s fault. I don’t think one can say that it’s a no-brainer that Auburn and Oregon are “better” than TCU, though, because we’ll never know. I don’t really have a solid stand on either side of the BCS/Playoff debate, but the truth is that TCU’s one of the only teams I’ve seen from the little conferences that I thought had a legit beef with not getting a shot. I’ve never been a Boise believer, mostly because I know what a fraud OU is in a big game, and I don’t think Boise has a championship defense (and yes, Boise, I know you beat Oregon two years in a row, when they were still getting organized under Chip Kelly… wait ’til you see what Auburn does to them). TCU has a championship defense. Do they have the offense? Probably not. But, we’ll never know. That kinda sucks.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Also, I seem to remember the Nerds making fun of us for being in the Independence Bowl last year. They wouldn’t even acknowledge the fact that we beat them on their home field. My, how times have changed. Bundle up, Nerds, those benches at Independence Stadium get mighty cold this time of year. It’s one of the perks of being in a conference that takes the SEC’s bowl scraps.

    • Gen. Stoopnagle

      So, how do you reconcile last year’s Fiesta Bowl with all of that?

      • Go Dawgs!

        Well, for one thing, I try to never compare one year to the next. You certainly couldn’t judge the 2008 Alabama Crimson Tide on the merits of what the 2007 team did. For that matter, I don’t think you could judge the 2009 National Champs from Alabama based on what the ’08 group did in the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl. Players graduate, new ones come in, the ones who are there get better or worse. And really, that’s one of the problems for the little guys. They get so few games against serious football teams that they end up having to hold up a game from two or three years ago as a reason they deserve respect when everyone knows that what happened two or three years ago doesn’t really matter this year.

  6. GreenDawg

    Gtu in the Independence Bowl? I think that is called poetic justice.

  7. jermaine's dye

    Sure Senator. After watching games like Ravens/Steelers & Tampa/Atlanta, you could put me in a skirt or a kilt, parachute pants, pleated khakis, or 9.99 faded glory Wal Mart blue jeans and I’d be happy.

    Meaningful football games do that to me.

    (With no respect intended to the Meineke Car Care Bowls or the Little Caesars Bowls of the world.)

    • Um… they’re only meaningful if you care about the NFL in the first place. ;)

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Which is like watching GM play Ford. Lotsa good riveters and stuff, but its all about sales.

    • Dawgfan Will

      Dang, why the hate? There are years when such games in the NFL mean about as much as a third-rate bowl does. Atlanta’s doing fantastic this year, but two years ago, their December games didn’t count for much.

      • jermaine's dye

        Fair enough, Senator. For those of us who love both, there’s no worse/better time of the year than this.

        And Will, it’s not that my team has to be good for the games to be meaningful. It’s that there is a transparent championship format.

        Granted the NFL post-season format isn’t perfect (see NFC West), but it beats what CFB and the BCS are about to give us for the next five weeks.

        • Dawgfan Will

          I see what you mean. Although I am looking forward to several of the bowl matchups this year, I wouldn’t mind seeing what a conference champs-type playoff would look like either. It’s the one reason I’m not rolling my eyes at talk of 14 or 16 team superconferences.

  8. Macallanlover

    1. Certainly a hard decision on who to pull for in the Independence Bowl, the Americans, or…..
    2. Better matchup in the Rose than usual.
    3. Arky and OSU should be an excellent game.
    4. UCONN in any bowl is uninteresting.
    5. With three weeks to spread these game out, we end up with three SEC teams on at the same time on New Year’s Day. Seems someone could figure out a way to alleviate the annual gridlock.
    6. SC will be declared the 2010 SEC Champs so I hope they win.

    • Bulldog Joe

      I am pulling for the Americans to win the shortest bowl game in history (with two option teams and no one watching, this one could be done in just over two hours).

      What’s for dinner at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl? You guessed it…the Chickens.

      Ryan Mallett will be the only Michigan football player to beat Ohio State in a decade.

      Wow. ..what happened to Texas A&M? They were awful last year.

  9. D.N. nation

    And even the worst looking of the games, the Fiesta Bowl, has the Stoops-chokes-in-big-games factor working for it.

    Fixed.

  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    TRIVIA QUESTION: This year will be the third time the Dawgs will have played in the Liberty Bowl. The first time was in 1967. Who was the starting QB for UGA’s OPPONENT in that game?

    • Ausdawg85

      Jim f*ing Donnan….

      Great quote/tweet from Zach at Lost Angeles: “Serious question. Is there even one interesting BCS matchup? At this point I am rooting for a cool ingredient on Iron Chef that week” Might be a little bitterness there, but still….

    • The Realist

      Wow. Jim Donnan? Who knew… well, besides you.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Donnan was also the MVP of the game. His team, N.C. State beat the Dawgs in that game.

  11. Wolfman

    I’ll watch the Rose Bowl. I think will be one hell of a game. Wisconsin runs the ball the way I want us to.

  12. fetch

    WOW! No one else has asked, so I will. Per your link, does Jeff Sagarin really have Villanova and App State ranked ABOVE Ga Tech!! Hehehehe. That’s epic! The bees better watch out or they are going to start losing recuits to Ga Southern, who BTW are ranked just 8 spots bellow them!