Bowl executives and television heads hope that every game turns out to be an instant classic. Unfortunately, that does not always happen.
This year's bowl season features a number of matchups that will be promoted as elite. The problem is that two good teams do not always create a great game.
These top bowl games look good on paper, but they will end up being blowouts by the time the clock hits zero.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson
Ordinarily, a matchup between two Top 15 teams in the BCS standings would be one to watch. Unfortunately, this will not be as good as advertised.
Clemson had one of the best offenses in the nation this year. Quarterback Tajh Boyd torched opponents with the help of playmakers Andre Ellington, Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins.
The problem is that the Tigers were exposed when they faced an elite defense. South Carolina forced the normally accurate Boyd into two interceptions, and he completed only 11 of his 24 passes.
LSU has as good or better defense as South Carolina. In addition, the Bayou Bengals have more balance comparatively on offense since Marcus Lattimore went down with a knee injury.
Although Clemson has played well all year, the team is overmatched in this one.
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois should be proud of reaching this point, but the Huskies could be in for a long day against Florida State.
Although the team has won 12 straight games and has a top-10 scoring offense, it has not faced anyone close to as talented as its Orange Bowl opponent.
The Huskies only played two teams from BCS conferences this year. They beat one-win Kansas by seven points and lost to Iowa, who only finished with a 4-8 record.
Facing Florida State will be a rude awakening. The Seminoles have the No. 7 defense and No. 14 offense in the country, and they simply have superior athletes compared to most of the MAC.
In addition, Northern Illinois will not have head coach Dave Doeren to make adjustments after he left to coach at North Carolina State.
Even with the talented Jordan Lynch running the show, the Huskies will lose big.
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State
Everyone knows about Oregon's incredible offense. The team averaged over 50 points per game and scored at least 40 in all but one contest.
However, the defense has been a huge improvement compared to past years.
In fact, the Ducks only allowed 22 points per game this year, which is only 0.9 points more than Kansas State.
Additionally, Oregon is much better against the run, which is Kansas State's strength. The Wildcats' one-dimensional attack will not have too much success in the game.
On the other side of the football, Kansas State should be yet another team that cannot keep up with Oregon's speed. The Wildcats shut down a number of top passing offenses, but struggled mightily against Baylor's offense because it had balance.
This is what the Ducks provide. Running backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas, plus quarterback Marcus Mariota create a dominant rushing attack, while Mariota has the skill to beat teams with his arm as well.
Kansas State is still one of the best teams in the nation, but it does not match up well in this game.
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||Lousiana-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||NC 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||Oklahoma State||Purdue||Cotton Bowl: Dallas, TX||1/1: Noon||ESPNU|
|Outback||Michigan||South Carolina||Raymond James Stadium: Tampa, FL||1/1: 1:00||ESPN|
|Nebraska||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|
|GoDaddy.com||Kent State||Arkansas State||Ladd-Peebles Stadium: Mobile, AL||1/6: 9:00||ESPN|
|BCS National Championship||Notre Dame||Alabama||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/7: 8:30||ESPN|
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