The 2012 college football bowl schedule features one of the most underwhelming lineups in years. Luckily, there are a few matchups we can square our focus on and block out the disappointment.
Led by the BCS National Championship Game, the best bowls games involve SEC teams playing teams outside their conference. It’s time to see how good the almighty conference really is.
Let’s check out some of the bowl season’s best and pick winners.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson
A clash of styles will take place in Atlanta between LSU’s tough smash-mouth approach and Clemson’s yearning for a shootout. It’s also a clash of Tigers as well.
While Clemson has no regard for defense, LSU has much more balance on both sides of the ball. They played a better team in a similar mold in Texas A&M earlier in the season, prevailing 24-19.
With Zach Mettenberger coming into form, I see a bit higher result.
LSU 30 Clemson 24
AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
Doesn’t this game feel like a BCS bowl already? They’ll have to settle for a January bowl in Jerry Jones’ house.
This former Big 12 matchup has the potential for points galore, on the virtue of top quarterback play. Heisman winner Johnny Manziel could be out to validate the award, going up against Landry Jones in Jones's final collegiate start.
I’ll take the hottest player in the country and the SEC over the Big 12 any day.
Texas A&M 48 Oklahoma 45
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State
When I wrote about "points galore," I may have gotten confused.
Oregon boasts an offensive attack that might as well be called "One Minute or Less." Chip Kelly may be having an NFL audition in Arizona, so the Ducks will certainly be in position to put up a high total.
Don’t count out the Wildcats, though. They have found a way to slow down the top offenses in the Big 12 (West Virginia, Oklahoma) and they’ve done it on the road.
Kansas State will change the pace, while Collin Klein and Co. should run it down the Ducks’ front seven.
Kansas State 40 Oregon 38
Discover BCS National Championship: Notre Dame vs. Alabama
First things first, this is not last year’s Alabama team. All of their games against Top-25 teams have come down to the wire this season, and Notre Dame may be the best team of they’ll face.
The Irish have been battle tested in the trenches, where they’ll need to be against the Crimson Tide.
Though Alabama may boast the best line play in the country, the Irish have had pretty good experience against Stanford, Oklahoma and USC.
In the end, though, it will come down to quarterback play as the Irish can’t hide Everett Golson.
While I’ve been impressed with the Irish's sophomore QB, his cache for the deep ball will hurt more than help.
Alabama 20 Notre Dame 16
Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. Argue with his college football picks or follow his college football musings @TheRealShiek.