Bowl Games 2012: Best Non-BCS Games to Catch This Bowl Season

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Bowl Games 2012: Best Non-BCS Games to Catch This Bowl Season
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Everyone's excited for this season's BCS games, but there are several quality bowls to feast upon before the main courses arrive.

Whether you love offensive shootouts or gritty defensive battles, there's something on this year's bowl schedule for you. The following three games look to be the best non-BCS matchups.

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl: No. 8 LSU vs. No. 14 Clemson

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In a salivating matchup between two great southern programs, Tajh Boyd and the high-scoring Clemson Tigers will take on LSU and their notoriously stingy defense.

Clemson's explosive offense averaged 42.3 points per game this season, good for sixth in the nation. They are led by Boyd, who threw for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns. The junior signal-caller also did some damage on the ground, rushing for 492 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns.

Boyd's favorite target is DeAndre Hopkins, who finished second in the country with 16 receiving touchdowns this season. Hopkins was also 10th in the nation with 1,214 yards.

Of course, Clemson's offense will have its hands full with the LSU defense. LSU always has NFL-caliber players on D, and this year is no exception. The Tigers allowed just 16.9 points per game this season (11th in nation).

Both teams have 10-2 records, and their only losses came against teams ranked in the top 12. Simply put, this should be an excellent game.

 

Hyundai Sun Bowl: USC vs. Georgia Tech

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USC had an incredibly disappointing season, but the preseason title favorites are still loaded with elite talent.

From quarterback Matt Barkley to wide receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, to defensive players Dion Bailey and T.J. McDonald, there will be future NFL stars all over the field in this game.

Of course, Georgia Tech isn't half bad, either. Senior Tevin Washington is one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, and he will likely wreak havoc on USC's occasionally porous defense. This season, Washington threw for 1,173 yards, ran for 638 more and scored 26 total touchdowns.

 

Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 23 Texas vs. No. 13 Oregon State

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This one should be an offense lover's dream, as both teams averaged well over 30 points per game this season.

The Beavers are led by sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion, who put up 2,446 yards and 15 touchdowns in just nine games. Junior Cody Vaz could also get some playing time at quarterback. Vaz filled in for Mannion throughout the year, totaling 1,286 yards and 11 touchdowns.

On the other side, the Longhorns will start David Ash at quarterback. Ash threw for 2,458 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, but he was also replaced several times by junior Case McCoy.

Regardless of who is under center, both of these teams are capable of lighting up a scoreboard. Make sure you tune in for the battle on Saturday, Dec. 19.

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