Everyone and their grandma has been ranking the bowls......Except for me. So I figured that I should jump in on all the fun, and talk about the 2nd season of College Football: "Bowl Season".
Now, I am in the camp of those who think there are just way too many bowl games. I'm not going to lie. It takes quite a bit to get me hyped up for a bowl game. To be honest, almost every year I set out to try and watch every bowl game, and every year I end up watching a handful of bowls, but mostly college basketball.
This year, I'm not making any promises like that, especially when it's quite possible I'll be going down to Tempe for the bowl game. At the same time, I will make the effort of watching a handful of games, and I figured I would share my process of elimination with you, by doing a countdown of bowl games that I am looking forward to most.
In Part 1 of this three part series, I'm going to countdown the 14 bowls that I find the least exciting. I'd characterize this group by saying that I could watch some of these games, but I'm certainly not rearranging my life to watch them. I can safely say that if I somehow did not watch a single game from this group, I wouldn't be too disappointed.
#34: New Orleans Bowl (Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee State), 12/20/2009, 7:30pm CST, ESPN
I have absolutley no reason to get excited about this game at all. I thought Southern Miss would be a better team than they were, but they ended up being just another 7-5 midmajor. If you're hardcore, on paper these teams look pretty even in regards to scoring. It could be a close game. Accuscore has Southern Miss as a 54% favorite. Whatifsports.com has Southern Miss, just edging the victory as well. Fortunatley for me, the Vikings play the Panthers on that Sunday night, so I will be watching that as well.
#33: New Mexico Bowl (Fresno State vs. Wyoming), 12/19/2009, 3:30pm CST, ESPN
There have been years in the past, when I've flicked on the game, because it's the 1st one in the season, and it's been a bit of a novelty. Usually, I can't watch past the 1st quarter. This year, I will probably try and attempt the same thing, but will end up doing something else. Not a knock on Fresno State which is a decent team, but moreso on Wyoming. On paper, this has the makings of a blowout. With Fresno State, you have one of the best offenses in the nation, averaging 436 yards/game and about 34 points scored. With Wyoming, you have one of the worst offenses, averaging 298 yards/game, and about 17 points scored.
#32: Little Caesar's Bowl (Marshall vs. Ohio), 12/26/2009, Noon CST, ESPN
What ranks this game here as opposed to last, is probably the fact that Marshall has a new head coach from the regular season now. Since there is a "craziness" possibility to this game, I may watch the first few series.
#31: Hawaii Bowl (Nevada vs. SMU), 12/24/2009, 7pm CST, ESPN
The biggest thing this game has going for it, is that there is no College Basketball at all that night, no other College Football that night, and no NBA either. There is a Chargers vs. Titans game on the NFL Network, but that's it as far as sports go. People wanting their sports fix might be tuning into this one. Or maybe they will do something with their families on Christmas Eve (for those that celebrate it).
#30: GMAC Bowl (Central Michigan vs. Troy), 1/6/2010, 6pm CST, ESPN
This actually is a decent matchup among mid-majors. It really is. The biggest problem with this bowl is that it's sandwiched right between the Orange Bowl and the BCS Championship Game. I might watch some of it, as I wait for the Iowa State vs. Duke game, but that's about it.
#29: St. Petersburg Bowl (UCF vs. Rutgers), 12/19/2009, 7pm CST, ESPN
I know Rutgers is 8-4, but they went 3-4 in the Big East. Also, this is practically a homegame for UCF. Just not a lot about this game to sell me on.
#28: EagleBank Bowl (UCLA vs. Temple), 12/29/2009, 3:30pm CST, ESPN
Can't say much about this one, other than I'm probably not going to watch it.
#27: International Bowl (South Florida vs. Northern Illinois), 1/2/2010, 11am CST, ESPN2
I don't think I've ever watched the International Bowl and this matchup isn't really changing the chances of that happening for me.
#26: Armed Forces Bowl (Houston vs. Air Force), 12/31/2009, 11am CST, ESPN
The thick of the CUSA schedule exposed Houston as a paper tiger, it could be a close game. It is an interesting matchup in Houston has the best pass offense in the nation, while Air Force has the best pass defense in the nation. There's not enough there for me to take an interest, especially if I'm in Tempe getting ready for the Insight Bowl.
#25: Alamo Bowl (Michigan State vs. Texas Tech), 1/2/2010, 8pm CST, ESPN
Michigan State is a disappointment this year. I think many thought they had an outside shot to compete for the Big 10, and instead they finish 6-6. To add insult to injury, they also suspended 8 guys and kicked 2 off the team for some off the field drama. There's no reason why Texas Tech shouldn't roll this team by 21.
#24: Meineke Car Care Bowl (Pitt vs. UNC), 12/26/2009, 3:30pm CST, ESPN
On paper, Pitt should roll UNC. I just wonder how they will play coming off that disappointing loss to Cincy. It seems like when a team gets snubbed or loses a tough championship game like that, they don't come in ready to play.
UNC is just manic with their play. Some weeks they look great and beat Virginia Tech, while others they are losing to NC-State. Overall, I see the makings of a potentially sloppy game
#23: Humanitarian Bowl (Bowling Green vs. Idaho), 12/30/2009, 3:30pm CST, ESPN
Watch the weather forecast for this one. If it's a clear, calm day, it's going to be a shootout with my man Freddie Barnes tearing it up, and I'm going to want to watch it! If it's blizzard conditions, or just a day condusive to running the ball a lot, this bowl belongs in the #34-30 range.
#22: Music City Bowl (Kentucky vs. Clemson), 12/27/2009, 7:30pm CST, ESPN
C.J. Spiller is the reason to watch this game. If you haven't seen him play before this would be a good spot to see him as I have a feeling he'll have a big game in this one. Kentucky has a bad rush defense. That said, I see this as a Clemson romp, so I'm not exactly expecting a good game from this one.
#21: Papajohns.com Bowl (South Carolina vs. UConn), 1/2/2010, 1pm CST, ESPN
South Carolina really perplexes me. Spurrier is supposed to be this offensive genius, but South Carolina seems to have had sucky offenses since he took over. I'm rooting for UConn in this one. With everything they've gone through this season, how nice would it be to see the Huskies get a bowl victory?
In Part 2 of this series, I will count down the next tier of bowl games in terms of what I'm looking forward to. Look for that on Tuesday. In the meantime, feel free to join in on the conversation.