College Football: 25 Bowl Games to Keep, 10 to Chuck
The 2011 postseason was another success thanks to all the exhilarating games in the Bowl Championship Series.
However, if you had to keep 25 and were forced to toss 10 bowls, which ones would you choose?
The New Year's Day bowls are keepers and several of the opening games could be thrown out the door (if we have to choose 10).
In the order of when they were played this past postseason, here are your 25 bowls to keep and 10 to chuck.
Chuck: Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Wait, there really is a bowl game in New Mexico?
I watch every single play of every bowl game and enjoy doing so, but the first bowl game of the season quietly gets hid under the carpet because nobody even watches.
The tie-ins are the Mountain West against the Pac-12, but (USC ineligible hurt) since the conference could not get enough bowl eligible teams, they had to throw in the Temple Owls from the MAC.
Nothing screams college football more than the MAC against the Mountain West. For that reason alone, this bowl would be the first one gone if need be.
Chuck: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
If the WAC and the MAC conferences are playing each other, then there is a great chance that nobody is going to watch outside of the two fan bases.
Ohio and Utah State actually gave us a thriller down to the final seconds last year, but watching two below-average teams the majority of the time play on the blue carpet is probably not healthy for you. Well, unless, of course, you love eating a bunch of potatoes, it won't seem as bad.
Chuck: R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
This is the annual showcase for a team from the Sun Belt to prove to the nation (or whoever is watching) that they can compete with any non-automatic qualifying conference.
They have proven that they do have some talent, but I am not sure the bowl game in itself is good enough for me to keep if I have to get rid of 10 bowls.
Chuck: Beef O’Brady’s Bowl
Arguably the cheesiest and oddest bowl name would be the one played at Tropicana Field every December.
Maybe it's just from memorizing the last two Beef O’Brady’s like the back of my hand, but they have both been abysmal to watch.
Usually, the offenses have stunk up the joint, and the fan support is not much worse than what you will see from a solid Tampa Bay Rays squad.
Love me college football for life, and I would never take any bowl games away if I were the commish, but if I was asked to take 10 away, this would to be on the list.
Keep: San Diego County Credit Poinsettia Bowl
I wouldn’t mind seeing the best from the WAC against arguably the best from the Mountain West nearly every season.
Plus, the game is in beautiful San Diego, home of the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Having great grass surface is one thing, but the teams are almost always Top 25 talent wise.
Keep: Maaco Las Vegas Bowl
How can you go wrong in Las Vegas? Having been there before, it really does live up to everything and then some, despite the weather at times only being in the 50s during December.
Still, when Boise State gets jobbed by the BCS, this is where they land. It is amusing to see them drop the hammer on some poor BCS team from the Pac-12 (Utah was technically not in two years ago).
Plus, I do want to see the best from the Mountain West against an average Pac-12 team to see how the conference looks after the likes of USC, Oregon and Stanford. Things may change in the future with TCU already gone and with Boise State leaving in two seasons.
Keep: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Football on Christmas Eve night needs to happen for the rest of our lives. It wouldn’t be the same unless you really want to watch Christmas Story for 24 straight hours and-or have a few beverages with your family for 48 straight hours.
Maybe the weather close to you is nowhere nearly as comfortable as it is in Hawaii, but something about watching sports (preferably college football) every night just makes my life better.
Chuck: Advocare V 100 Independence Bowl
Shreveport, La, is where the bowl game is, and it also is the birthplace of former Hurricanes quarterback Brock Berlin (random, eh). Besides going 3-0 against my beloved Florida State Seminoles or 2-0 against the Florida Gators, I think about nothing else while watching this bowl game every season.
Missouri smoked North Carolina this past season, and it seemed like not a single person cared. If the Independence Bowl was no longer in existence, would you notice?
Chuck: Little Caesers Bowl
The Big Ten is forced to have their fan bases drive out to Detroit to play against a MAC team that is likely pumped about getting the opportunity.
That still isn't enough to truly get excited over (though I still watch) with pizza commercials every 10 minutes either.
Keep: Belk Bowl
A clash between the Big East and the ACC is enjoyable, since most average fans do not respect these two conferences.
How is that fun?
Well, besides college football being the most entertaining sport to watch in my eyes, these two conferences legitimately look to be on the rise (ACC for sure).
We shall see if that goes true with North Carolina State and Louisville in 2012, but I like my chances with those two teams.
Chuck: Military Bowl
I have nothing against watching Air Force or Navy (normally one of them will play), but the opponent has not been a sexy team to look forward to.
It turned out that Toledo-Air Force was a great finish, though defense was optional for the entire game. Still, one of the worst teams from the ACC probably does not deserve a bowl game, and most would agree that this game is usually among the last they think about.
Keep: Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl
The Holiday Bowl may have lost some of its swagger, but that has been because the Big 12 and Pac-12 seemingly get two teams in the BCS every single season.
So, we have seen mediocre teams from both of these conferences at times, but this bowl has still been one of the better non-New Year's Day matchups.
Keep: Champs Sports Bowl
Notre Dame and Florida State gave us one hell of a bowl last season with an electric atmosphere.
Having two of the best (at least better) programs in terms of history will help, but this bowl game will always have a solid ACC team in it against a contending Big East squad (or Notre Dame) that just missed out on a conference title.
Keep: Valero Alamo Bowl
A tussle between the Big 12 and the Pac-12 can give us an explosion of the scoreboard similar to last year. Washington and Baylor combined for 123 points and over 1,300 yards!
Sure, defense wasn’t even a though but fans thought it was arguably the most entertaining non-BCS bowl game. That could continue since people love to throw out, “Remember the Alamo.”
Chuck: Armed Forces Bowl
This game is always bright and early in the morning if you are watching from the West coast and hurts a bit. Most forget there is an Armed Forces Bowl. For that reason alone, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it had to go.
Keep: Pinstripe Bowl
Maybe the competition isn’t the best, but a game at Yankee Stadium is a treat to watch whether you are there or just watching at home.
Only a few bowl games are played in a baseball stadium, but this is easily the best one. Yankee Stadium (understandably it isn’t the old one) is one of the bucket list stadiums to go, regardless of the sport you love.
Keep: Music City Bowl
I wouldn’t completely disagree with you if you decided to toss this bowl game, but SEC football deserves a bowl game for a team that likely lost to three of the best teams in America.
Mississippi State had to get throttled by Alabama, LSU and Arkansas, so going 7-6 wasn’t as easy it sounded.
Though their offense struggled passing the ball, they ran the rock and played solid defense. That is what you should get for years to come in this postseason matchup.
Keep: Insight Bowl
Tempe, Ariz., is a solid place to visit and during the postseason would not be a bad choice.
The Iowa Hawkeyes might play in the Insight Bowl game every season (so it seems) and the Big Ten will usually go up against a legit top-20-caliber Big 12 team that most likely underachieved during the regular season.
It is going to be a game that doesn’t end until past midnight on the east coast, so the viewers will be watching.
Keep: Meineke Car Care Bowl
Any bowl game in Houston cannot be considered too bad, and playing in Reliant Stadium is a treat.
The Texas A&M Aggies and Northwestern Wildcats gave us a solid game, and the hope is that the consistency of this bowl game will remain. Big Ten and Big 12 battles are worth watching, and there just happen to be 10 other bowls I would rather chuck.
Keep: Sun Bowl
Based on tradition, you cannot get rid of the Sun Bowl. It is the only bowl game televised on CBS (if that really matters), and the ACC is now a part of this bowl game as opposed to the Big Ten always having a tie-in back in the day.
The Pac-12 probably deserves more publicity and the finish between the Yellow Jackets and Utes last season was a good one.
Keep: Autozone Liberty Bowl
The Liberty Bowl is usually the perfect time to see where one of the top non-AQ schools stack up against the big boys.
Two seasons ago, we were able to see Central Florida knock off a Georgia Bulldogs squad that was struggling miserably. Maybe it doesn’t say much when a 6-6 SEC squad loses to a top-five non-BCS team, but the game has given us its shining moments.
Chuck: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Having watched this bowl since it moved to AT&T Park, it has been abysmal from the aspect of the fan bases showing up for their schools.
Plus, they have to even share the sidelines with each other. It doesn’t get much more annoying than that. Whenever you have two squads that are a combined 12-14, you scratch your head.
Seriously, should it be even tolerated to have such abysmal teams playing in the postseason?
Keep: Chick-Fil-a Bowl
This is always considered the best non-BCS matchup, save the Capital One, Outback or perhaps Cotton Bowl.
Maybe Auburn-Virginia was not quite there, but through the years, it has lived up to the high expectations. Florida, Miami (Fla.) and Florida State will always get the place rocking, especially when they play Georgia or South Carolina (Gators excluded from list).
Keep: Ticket City Bowl
The Houston Cougars blasted the Penn State Nittany Lions, though clearly they were hurt by all of the offseason issues, as well as losing their starting quarterback.
Still, this is another typical David against Goliath matchup more times than not.
Keep: Gator Bowl
It isn't in the best atmosphere since we are talking about Jacksonville, but I cannot give enough of SEC-Big Ten action.
A game between teams from arguably the two most well-known conferences in the game (SEC hands down, relax everybody) is worthy of watching (plus the tradition and history). It doesn’t hurt that this bowl usually features teams on the rise.
Keep: Outback Bowl
The Outback Bowl is always a highly contested game between the Big Ten and the SEC. Getting rid of this game would not be a smart thing to do.
Nebraska was taken to the woodshed a bit by South Carolina, but some (including Vegas) thought this was going to be a tight game. Either way, the atmosphere is great, and the weather is even better.
Keep: Capital One Bowl
The Capital One Bowl has been perceived as the best bowl games outside of the five BCS contests.
The speed of the game is electric, and the SEC has ruled the day as of late, albeit Georgia was knocked off by Michigan State.
The fight from the Big Ten needs to continue since they are still losing a ton when they go up against the SEC.
Keep: Rose Bowl Pres. by Vizio
If you seriously thought about getting rid of the Rose Bowl, you would be almost better off getting rid of the Super Bowl.
Seriously, New Year’s Day (or Jan. 2 like last year) is always a national holiday, not just because we are celebrating a fortunate new year, but also because the best prime time matchups are upon us.
The tradition and history of the Rose Bowl is so prestigious that the matchup shouldn’t matter. People will always watch.
Keep: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Stanford and Oklahoma State gave us a classic overtime thriller, and the Big 12 tie-in isn’t the only reason we watch.
The Fiesta Bowl was the first selection of the BCS process last season. Whether it is Boise State giving us once in a lifetime moments or not, the Fiesta Bowl is considered elite nearly every season.
Keep: AllState Sugar Bowl
Michigan and Virginia Tech both forgot how to move the ball on offense, so that hurt the bowl. However, the atmosphere in New Orleans is festive, and the game never lacks the electricity.
Keep: Discover Orange Bowl
I would never randomly get rid of a BCS bowl since the talent level is normally perfect.
West Virginia and Clemson was expected to be the least entertaining of the bunch, but it ended up with a boatload of records.
Throw in the fact that the game is played in gorgeous Florida, and those tough ticket sales will only get better in time.
Keep: AT&T Cotton Bowl
SEC against the Big 12 is tradition and the days of watching Texas-Arkansas, among many other matchups, is worth your while.
Plus, the game is in Jerry’s Land, which, in my humble opinion, has to be considered the best sports venue in the world right now. It truly is ridiculous to witness a 60-yard wide video board.
The atmosphere in Arlington, Texas, is one of the most enjoyable things that a college football fan must eventually experience.
Chuck: BBVA Compass Bowl
It isn't so much getting rid of the SEC and Big East, but that caliber of teams that we are seeing is tough to watch. SMU had to replace an SEC school, but Pittsburgh forgot how to play football in their bowl after they lost their head coach.
Keep: GoDaddy.com Bowl
The commercials aren’t bad to watch, but the bowl formerly known as the GMAC needs to live on forever.
Mobile, Ala., always throws a decent bowl, and I actually look forward to seeing one of the best from the MAC against the Sun Belt.
Northern Illinois stunned the nation a tad with their ability to torch Arkansas State. Will next year give us more offensive fireworks?
Keep: BCS National Championship Game
It might be a smart idea to keep the one game that everybody is always watching. Arguably, the greatest championship out there due to the guarantee of the top teams playing each other, this event is always a must-see.
Maybe some were upset that both teams playing for it all were from the SEC this past season, but the top two teams I saw all year were Alabama and LSU. What is not to love about a system (subjective) that gives you the best?
The Super Bowl does not give you the best teams necessarily, rather the hotter teams. Don't even start me on the NCAA Tournament (Did Butler-UConn second half start yet?).
The BCS National Championship always will be the most electric sporting event of the year in my book. When the game ends, it is the official start of the offseason.