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College Football Bowl Season: Ranking the 5 Best Bowl Games

Austin KempAnalyst IDecember 3, 2012

College Football Bowl Season: Ranking the 5 Best Bowl Games

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    Bowl season is here and it brings us some of the best match ups of the season.  Of course, headlining the bowl games is the BCS National Championship which will put Alabama against Notre Dame.  It’s not often you see the classic gold helmets clash with the numbered helmets of Alabama.  However, that’s only one of the fantastic match ups of this bowl season.  Here are the 5 best bowl games of the year.  

#1 BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Notre Dame

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    Wake up the Echoes, Notre Dame is back.  The Irish finished the regular season undefeated with a BCS #1 ranking and will be heading to South Florida to take on the Crimson Tide on January 7th. 

    In a season filled with nail biting moments, Notre Dame prevailed over and over again.  How could anyone forget the Pittsburgh game on November 3rd?  Pitt had a chance for the win, but missed a field goal in the second overtime and gave Notre Dame another chance.  The Irish capitalized their next possession with a one yard Everett Golson TD run for the win. 

    Don’t forget the three point victories over Purdue and BYU, or the overtime win against Stanford.  This team has proved its #1 ranking and will be looking to finish what they started when they face the Crimson Tide.

    ...However, this isn’t Nick Saban’s first rodeo ladies and gentlemen.  For the third time in the last four years, Alabama will be playing for the BCS National Championship.  Led by a strong running game and offensive line, the Tide will look to dominate in the trenches and impose their force when they line up against the Irish. 

    The last six national champions have come from the SEC and the Crimson Tide will look to make it seven.  With a win, Alabama will have become one of the best college football dynasties of our generation.  Nick Saban has built an empire at Alabama, and will be expecting to hoist the crystal ball once again.  

#2 Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon

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    In one of the more interesting match ups of bowl season, the speed of the Ducks will go up against the power of Kansas State.  In the past, Oregon has had trouble stopping teams with a powerful running game who is physical at the line of scrimmage.  Kansas State is just that.

    Collin Klein has been monumental in the turnaround of this Wildcat’s program and will be looking to win the first bowl game of his career.  On the other side, Chip Kelly’s team received an at-large bid after failing to reach the PAC-12 championship game. 

    We know they have speed, but will the Ducks be able to match the physicality that the Wildcats will bring to the desert?  Arkansas exposed Kansas State’s lack of speed in the Cotton Bowl last year, I think Oregon can do the same thing.  Either way, this one should be a shootout all the way to the end.  

#3 AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

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    These two teams used to match up as Big 12 rivals, now this pair of top 12 teams will match up in the Cotton Bowl.  Oklahoma spent years and years pounding on Texas A&M when they were in the same conference, but now, with A&M a year removed from the Big 12, things have changed. 

    The Aggies are being led by the Heisman Trophy favorite, a new coach, and have a new conference to play for: the SEC.  Landry Jones will be making his final start as a Sooner after a career full of ups and downs. 

    A win for Oklahoma would be huge after failing to live up to preseason expectations for the second year in a row.  In order for the Sooners to beat the Aggies, Jones will need to have one heck of a night.  

#4 Chick-Fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson

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    Well, for LSU fans, a trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl isn’t what they envisioned this preseason.  However, they better not come into this game feeling sluggish because Clemson has one of the best offenses in college football and will be looking to make a statement against an SEC foe. 

    In a battle of a prolific offense verses a dominating defense, this is one of the more intriguing match ups of bowl season.  LSU comes into this game with the #8 total defense in the country while Clemson ranks #10 in total offense. 

    Look for LSU to win in the trenches with Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo anchoring a nasty defensive line.  If Clemson wants any shot to win this game, quarterback Tajh Boyd will have to make accurate throws under pressure because Les Miles’ Tigers will be after Boyd all night.  

#5 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: UCLA vs. Baylor

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    Let me break this down for you.  We have the #1 total offense in America (Baylor), going up against the 73rd overall defense in America.  Now when we flip it around, we have the #11 overall offense (UCLA), facing the #119th overall defense in the country. 

    For all of you offensive gurus who love fireworks and scoring, this is your kind of game.  Baylor has now reached a bowl game for a school-record three straight seasons after punching their ticket with a  41-34 victory over Oklahoma State last weekend. 

    Meanwhile, a resurgence has occurred in Pasadena this season as the Bruins finished 9-4 and were one win away from the Rose Bowl.  When December 27th comes around, turn off your phone, lock your doors, and be prepared to witness what could be the highest scoring game of the bowl season.  

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