Here we go! Part 3 of the series. Pushing it out a day earlier than originally planned, with plenty of time to spare before bowl season!
Below is the list of the 9 Bowl Games that I am going to try and do everything in my power to watch. With these 9 games, if I were able to watch all of these, I would be perfectly content with bowl season.
As I've said before, there's a lot of people out there that think there are way too many bowl games. That they are all meaningless for the most part. If you're one of those fans, I'm totally with you, 100%. The main reason why there are so many, is because people are able to make money off of it, and I have no problem with people getting paid money. All I will do as a consumer, is watch the games I care about, and not watch the others. If everyone did that, then you probably wouldn't be as bothered by the Bowl System.
For me, I just pick and choose the matchups that look the most appealing. In some years, it may be just a few bowl games. In others, it might be 10-15. It all depends on how the season goes, and what the match ups look like. These people that try to make a Top 10 list every year are silly. Some years, the number of good games in a given year aren't constant, which is why for 2009-2010, I've got 9 games, as opposed to some round number like 5 or 10.
With that said, click the jump to see how I have my Top 9 bowl games ranked!
#9: Gator Bowl (West Virginia vs. Florida State), 1/1/2010, Noon CST, CBS
A historic game, as Bobby Bowden says goodbye to Florida State and coaching altogether. I'm interested in seeing the kind of pregame CBS will air. I'm sure the Florida State players are going to do everything in their power to come out prepared, and working as hard as they can to get their coach one more win.
#8: Las Vegas Bowl (Oregon State vs. BYU), 12/22/2009, 7:00pm CST, ESPN
I am really looking forward to this matchup. I've had the chance to watch quite a few Oregon State games this year. I will say that although they do not tackle well, they have a good offense, and are a tough opponent. BYU has had some head-scratching performances, like a blowout loss to Florida State at home, but I think a lot of those issues are taken care of, and they are a physical team. I look at BYU trying to pass all over the place, while Oregon State tries to run over BYU. I also think it will likely come down to the final possession or so to win it.
#7: Sun Bowl (Oklahoma vs. Stanford), 12/31/2009, 1pm CST, CBS
This game starts about 4 hours before the Insight Bowl. I'm hoping someone tailgating has a TV setup where we could watch this one as it should be a good one. I'm a big fan of OU's defense, and an even bigger fan of Toby Gerhart. The Sun Bowl did well with this matchup in my opinion this year.
#6: Rose Bowl (Ohio State vs. Oregon), 1/1/2010, 3:30pm CST, ABC
Uber-conservative Ohio State, against a more free Oregon offense. Typically when Tressell has a while to gameplan, he is able to keep the Buckeyes in the game. I also think that he often plays "not to lose" instead of playing to win. If he does that, I think the Ducks make him pay. Either way, I think it's a lopsided game, and Oregon wins by 2 TDs. I just love the way Oregon runs that option-attack, and this is one of the more traditional bowls that I do like to check out.
#5: Orange Bowl (Iowa vs. Georgia Tech), 1/5/2010, 7pm CST, Fox
I know Hawk fans are disappointed in not making the Rose Bowl this year, but it isn't all bad. They are in a BCS game, yet again, and get to face an opponent they actually have a chance at beating. I honestly think that Iowa would have gotten spanked against Oregon this year. If I'm a Hawk fan, I'm happier to see my team have a chance to win on the big stage. Both teams like to run it, and both play decent defense. The Hawks have played close games all year, and I don't think this one is any exception
#4: Sugar Bowl (Florida vs. Cincy), 1/1/2010, 7:30pm CST, Fox
Even though Brian Kelly bolted Cincy, I think these guys play hard in the biggest game in Cincy's history. It's also Tebow's last college game, and I'm interested in seeing how he goes out, after having a bad game in the SEC Championship.
#3: BCS Championship (Texas vs. Alabama), 1/7/2010, 7pm CST, Fox
Usually I find these games disappointing and not living up to the hype. Part of me thinks it will be a good game, while the other part thinks that Alabama is just going to throttle the Longhorns. The fact that Texas nearly lost to Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game suprised me, and I think they are vulnearable. If 'Bama brings that physical play they brought to the SEC Championship game, it's over.
#2: Fiesta Bowl (TCU vs. Boise State), 1/4/2010, 7pm CST, Fox
I feel bad for both of these programs. From everything I've seen, I have no doubt in my mind that both of these teams could compete with anyone in the BCS. I would've like to see Iowa get in the Fiesta Bowl, playing one of these teams, with Georgia Tech playing the other. Regardless, the BCS is going to discount both of these programs, plus they can pat themselves on the back for taking Boise State as an At-Large as opposed to a Virginia Tech.
With that said, I think it's going to be a hell of a game. TCU with their explosive defense, and Boise State with their explosive offense. If I had the ability to stay in the Phoenix area for longer, I would try to get to this game as well, but it's not happening. It should be just as epic on TV!
#1 Insight bowl (Minnesota vs. ISU), 12/31/2009, 5pm CST, NFL Network
If you are not an ISU or Minnesota fan, this game probably ranks the lowest amongst Bowls with teams from 2 BCS Conferences. I get that, so don't rip if you aren't a fan. I am an Iowa State fan, pumped that they made it to a game in a fun location, and looking forward to a great trip down to Tempe! Having a chance to play a team in which I have friends and family that follow that program, make it that much more fun for me.
If you are an ISU fan, and aren't excited about this game, I don't know what to do for you. Realistically, this is closer to the ceiling in terms of Bowl Games for ISU; at least in the near term. If you're a student or on the fence about going to this one because you're "going to wait for the bigger one next year", don't fall in that trap! That is exactly what I did when I was in school! The team went to 3 Bowl Games, and I went to neither, because I was waiting until they made the Cotton, Holiday, or Alamo Bowl. I thought I'd be heading to Big 12 Championship games in the future, and we know how it has turned out. This year the team is bowling. Other than mode of transportation, tickets and hotels are very reasonable. The New Year's Eve Block Party in Tempe is one of the better New Years Celebrations in the US. Don't miss out on this, waiting 4 years for the next time this happens.
That concludes the series. I'd love to hear which games you're most forward to watching this bowl season!