Bowl Predictions 2012: Overhyped Contests That Will Fall Flat

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies (C) celebrates a third quarter touchdown with teammates during their game against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on November 24, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Bowl season is never without controversy. Everyone expected Notre Dame and Alabama to face off in the BCS National Championship. But Northern Illinois in a BCS bowl game—that must be a joke.

A few matchups are going to be incredibly hyped as they approach. The national championship game is obvious, but it's not the only one rabid college football fans will be drooling over.

But don't get too excited. Disappointment will set in when a handful of games don't look as good on the field as they did on paper. Despite the hype, these games will fall flat.

Let's take a look.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Stanford

Wisconsin beat Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship, but this is still the team that dropped three of its final four games. Stanford, on the other hand, closed the year with two wins over UCLA, a win over Oregon State and a shocking victory over Oregon.

This game isn't going to be as close as people hope. Wisconsin's one-dimensional offense will be shut down by a vicious, blue-collar Stanford defense, leaving the Badgers with nowhere to turn.

The Cardinal have been very good this season. Even their losses to Notre Dame and Washington were nail-biters. Wisconsin has been OK, but mostly inconsistent.

Most of the time, Montee Ball gives the Badgers an advantage on the ground, but not this time around. Stepfan Taylor has nearly 1,500 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, and he has a better passing attack to support him.

The Rose Bowl has a ton of tradition that goes with it, so it's always going to be anticipated, but these two blue-collar teams don't match up well. The Cardinal are battle-tested and ready to pound the Badgers here.

Cotton Bowl: No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Oklahoma

Oklahoma closed the season on a five-game win streak, but the Sooners haven't seen anyone like Johnny Manziel this season.

However, Manziel has seen plenty of teams that are, at least, as good as the Sooners.

Heading into Cowboys Stadium would be difficult for most teams, but do you think Manziel cares after walking into Tuscaloosa and upending the Crimson Tide? I really doubt it.

Oklahoma is used to going bowling, but it's also used to coming up short. Landry Jones is a talented signal-caller, but he's not a trusted big-game performer. He has a few years on Manziel in terms of experience, but Johnny Football has more moxie.

This game should be high-scoring, but Oklahoma will fade in the second half. The Aggies defense is extremely underrated, and everyone will know Damontre Moore's name by the time this one is over.

Maybe I'm overhyping Manziel, but how couldn't you at this point? He's the most exciting player in college football, and he will earn a win here.

Orange Bowl: No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State

This game is being hyped—even if it's for all the wrong reasons. Everyone wants to see if the Huskies have the chops to compete with the big boys.

Despite winning the MAC Championship over Kent State, Northern Illinois isn't getting a whole lot of respect in BCS circles, and that's understandable.

When you realize how many quality teams are on the outside looking in right now, it's tough to picture the Huskies facing Florida State here. I know I'd rather see Georgia, Oklahoma or any other top-ranked SEC school, but that's just me.

Don't expect this one to be close. Yes, we've seen teams like Boise State and Utah walk into BCS bowls and shock the world, but that's not going to happen this time around.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't watch. Any time that Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch is on the field, it's must-see television, but Lynch will struggle more than usual here. He has 4,000-plus total yards and 43 total touchdowns this year, but he hasn't seen a defense like this yet.

The only thing that ever gets in Florida State's way is itself. Northern Illinois' only hope is to steal momentum early. Otherwise, it'll be swallowed up.

I expect the latter to happen and the team's detractors to be vindicated with a blowout loss.

Bowl Schedule

Note: All times are ET and p.m. unless noted otherwise. All games (except for the Sun Bowl and Cotton Bowl) can be streamed live at WatchESPN

Bowl Team 1 Team 2 Stadium: Location Date: Time TV
New Mexico Nevada Arizona University Stadium: Albuquerque, NM 12/15: 1:00  ESPN
Famous Idaho Potato Toledo Utah State Bronco Stadium: Boise, ID 12/15: 4:30 ESPN
Poinsettia BYU San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA 12/20: 8:00 ESPN
Beef 'O' Brady's Ball State
UCF Tropicana Field: St. Petersburg, FL 12/21: 7:30 ESPN
New Orleans East Carolina Louisiana-Lafayette Superdome: New Orleans, LA 12/22: Noon ESPN
Las Vegas Boise State Washington Sam Boyd Stadium: Las Vegas, NV 12/22: 3:30 ESPN
Hawaii SMU Fresno State Aloha Stadium: Honolulu, HI 12/24: 8:00 ESPN
Little Caesars Central Michigan
Western Kentucky
Ford Field: Detroit, MI 12/26: 7:30     ESPN
Military Bowling Green
San Jose State RFK Stadium: Washington, DC 12/27: 3:00 ESPN
Belk Duke Cincinnati
Bank of America Stadium: Charlotte, NC 12/27: 6:30 ESPN
Holiday Baylor UCLA Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA 12/27: 9:45 ESPN
Independence Louisiana-Monroe Ohio Independence Stadium: Shreveport, LA 12/28: 2:00 ESPN
Russell Athletic Virginia Tech Rutgers
Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL 12/28: 5:30 ESPN
Meineke Car Care Minnesota
Texas Tech
Reliant Stadium: Houston, TX 12/28: 9:00 ESPN
Armed Forces Rice Air Force Amon G. Carter Stadium: Fort Worth, TX 12/29: 11:45 a.m. ESPN
Pinstripe Syracuse
West Virginia
Yankee Stadium: Bronx, NY 12/29: 3:15 ESPN
Kraft Navy Arizona State AT&T Park: San Francisco, CA 12/29: 4:00 ESPN2
Alamo Texas
Oregon State Alamodome: San Antonio, TX 12/29: 6:45 ESPN
Buffalo Wild Wings TCU
Michigan State
Sun Devil Stadium: Tempe, AZ 12/29: 10:15 ESPN
Music City N.C. State
Vanderbilt LP Field: Nashville, TN 12/31: Noon ESPN
Sun Georgia Tech USC Sun Bowl: El Paso, TX 12/31: 2:00 CBS
Liberty Tulsa Iowa State Liberty Bowl: Memphis, TN 12/31: 3:30 ESPN
Chick-fil-A Clemson LSU Georgia Dome: Atlanta, GA 12/31: 7:30 ESPN
Gator Northwestern
Mississippi State Everbank Field: Jacksonville, FL 1/1: Noon ESPN2
Heart of Dallas Purdue
Oklahoma State
Cotton Bowl: Dallas, TX 1/1: Noon ESPNU
Outback Michigan
South Carolina Raymond James Stadium: Tampa, FL 1/1: 1:00 ESPN

Capital One

Georgia Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL 1/1: 1:00 ABC
Rose Stanford Wisconsin Rose Bowl: Pasadena, CA 1/1: 5:00 ESPN
Orange Northern Illinois
Florida State Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL 1/1: 8:30 ESPN
Sugar Florida Louisville Superdome: New Orleans, LA 1/2: 8:30 ESPN
Fiesta Oregon Kansas State U. of Phoenix Stadium: Glendale, AZ 1/3: 8:30 ESPN
Cotton Oklahoma
Texas A&M Cowboys Stadium: Arlington, TX 1/4: 8:00 FOX
Compass Pittsburgh
Ole Miss Legion Field: Birmingham, AL 1/5: 1:00 ESPN Kent State
Arkansas State Ladd-Peebles Stadium: Mobile, AL 1/6: 9:00 ESPN
National Championship Notre Dame
Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL 1/7: 8:30 ESPN


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