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.