Bowl Schedule 2012-13: Intriguing Pre-Christmas Matchups to Watch

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 5, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Kasen Williams #2 of the Washington Huskies rushes against Usua Amanam #15 of the Stanford Cardinal on September 27, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Let's face it. No one—except for those with ties to the schools involved—really cares about the bowl games that take place before December 25.

That needs to change. 

Part of the reason is because having 35 bowls is fairly ridiculous, and we need something to complain about. Part of the reason is because the bowls have fairly ridiculous names (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl? Alright), and we need to make fun of them. Part of the reason is because the teams just aren't all that good.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of matchups before Christmas that you won't want to miss.

Note: For a complete look at the entire bowl schedule, check out


Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Nevada vs. Arizona

It's the first bowl of the season, and if you love scoring, things are only going to go downhill for you after this one. 

Nevada enters the game averaging 37.0 points per game, which is 20th-most in the country. Arizona, meanwhile, is averaging 37.3, which is good enough for 17th. 

What's even better is that neither team really stops anyone, either. The Wolf Pack are giving up 32.1 points per game while the Wildcats' weak defense allows 34.3, both of which are near the bottom of the nation. 

While the points will be coming from every direction possible, you should look no further than the running backs because the story to watch for in New Mexico is how two of the nation's best perform in this battle. Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey is second in the nation with 1,757 rushing yards and Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson is fourth with 1,703. 

Add it all together and you've got a game that has a chance to hit 80 and probably draw a lot of attention on Twitter.

So there's that.  


MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Washington vs. Boise State

These are quietly two very solid teams. 

The Broncos entered the season ranked 24th, but they dropped from the top 25 after a loss to Michigan State. They once again climbed back to No. 19 before losing to San Diego State, giving them an unprecedented two losses on the season.

Still, they've once again worked their way back into the rankings, and in a season in which Chris Peterson's squad was supposed to be rebuilding, a No. 20 ranking in December speaks to how good this team really is. 

Washington's season has been defined by inconsistency.

The Huskies knocked off Stanford and Oregon State in two extremely impressive wins but fell to Washington State in the Apple Cup in embarrassing fashion to really put a damper on the season.

Nonetheless, Steve Sarkisian's squad still has plenty of talent on both sides of the football.

This will be a hard-fought, back-and-forth contest between two underrated teams. 


Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF vs. Ball State

Much like Nevada and Arizona, this one is going to be scoring, scoring and possibly a little bit more scoring.

And fans of excitement will be loving every minute of it. 

UCF, led by Blake Bortles at quarterback and Latavius Murray at running back, have scored 35.2 points per game.

Ball State, which boasts 1,300-yard rusher Jahwan Edwards and 1,000-yard receiver Willie Snead, isn't far behind at 35.0 points per contest. 

The defenses in this one have been a little better than those of Nevada and Arizona, but that shouldn't be enough to slow down two versatile, talented offensive units.