Bowl Games 2012: Under-the-Radar Teams Fans Must Watch in Postseason

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 08:  Colby Cameron #10 of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs looks to pass against the Houston Cougars at Robertson Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

College football's bowl season is unlike anything in sports. Some may decry the seemingly ridiculous amount of bowl games played every year, but it's a great opportunity for fans to catch some of the country's more overlooked programs that they may not usually watch.

While casual fans usually gravitate towards the upper echelon of the Top 25, there's plenty of exciting football that goes on in college football's middle class and those teams deserve a little lovin' too. 

These teams may not have made too many headlines this year, but they've earned the right to be appointment television come bowl time.


Louisiana Tech

Like offense? 

No one racks up yardage like the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech. Literally, they are No. 1 in the nation in yards per game with a whopping 577 yards. 

Head coach Sonny Dykes loves to crank up the tempo on offense and his scheme has worked wonders. The offense has gone over 600 total yards in six of their 12 games—including a 615-yard performance against Texas A&M in a 59-57 loss to Johnny Football's squad.

For those who may want to label the Tech offense a gimmick, they have balance. The Bulldogs may have over 4,000 yards passing, but they counter that with over 2,000 yards on the ground too. 

Regardless of matchup, the Dykes is sure to have his offense in full swing, and that is something that fans simply don't want to miss. 


Northern Illinois 

Okay, so Northern Illinois hasn't been that under the radar. They're in Top 25 right now, but the Huskies have been the epitome of MACtion this season.

Quarterback Jordan Lynch alone is a good enough reason to make sure that you tune into see the Huskies play. The signal-caller is the nation's leading rusher at 1,771 rushing yards and has added 2,962 passing yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions for good measure.

Those are just ridiculous numbers, even for a MAC quarterback. 

Head coach Dave Doeren is headed off to NC State (h/t Sporting News), but as long as Lynch remains the Huskies will be worth watching. 


Arkansas State

The Sun Belt doesn't get much attention unless it's playing tackling dummy to an SEC team, but the Arkansas State Red Wolves are worth the time for college football fans looking to be entertained.

The architect behind the offense that led Auburn to its national championship in 2010, Gus Malzahn, is now the head coach at Arkansas State and he has picked up right where Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze left off. 

Ryan Aplin isn't exactly Cam Newton, but he's run Malzahn's spread offense with efficiency and precision with 20 touchdowns to four interceptions on the season. Tennessee transfer David Oku has been a battering ram with 14 touchdowns.

Malzahn's offensive mastery is sure to keep fans entertained when the Red Wolves take the field to end their season.