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Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the No. 1 team in the land.
It would be logical to assume that the teams with the best records play in the best bowl games at the end of the bowl game schedule. To some degree, that’s true.
But not completely.
A possible sort for selecting games to view would be to combine the number of victories between the two teams in any particular bowl game.
Keepers. At the high end, very few teams have 10 or more wins. Thus, it would be natural to assume that bowl games where the combined number of wins is 20 or more would be the most selective. That’s pretty much true.
Here’s a breakdown of combined wins for those games:
Wins Bowl Teams
24 BCS Championship Notre Dame (12-0) vs Alabama (12-1)
23 Orange No. Illinois (12-1) vs Fla. St. (11-2)
22 Fiesta Kansas St. (11-1) vs Oregon (11-1)
21 Capital One Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3)
Sugar Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)
20 Chick-fil-A LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)
Cotton Texas A&M (10-2) vs Oklahoma (10-2)
GoDaddy.com Kent St. (11-2) vs. Arkansas St. (9-3)
Sleepers (could be missed). All but one of the games listed above are played in January. The only exception is the Chick-fil-A bowl on Dec. 31.
At the other end of the scale, many teams had six to eight wins each. Therefore, it would be logical to assume that teams with combined wins of 16 or less would be uninteresting. In fact, if you were to eliminate from your viewing plans all of those bowl games, you’d knock out 19 of the 35 games.
You would logically assume that most of those would be December games. While mostly true, you would be wrong about the following two January games:
Heart of Dallas Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma St. (7-5)
BBVA Heart of Compass Pitt (6-6) vs. Ole Miss (6-6)
Tweeners. That leaves nine bowl games in the middle with teams that have a combined number of wins between 17 and 19. Of those, six are played in December, and three on Jan. 1. One New Year’s Day game is a BCS Bowl game that should probably be on the keeper list:
Rose Bowl Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)