2010-2011 Bowl Schedule: One Big Question for Every Bowl Game

Ryan FallerAnalyst IDecember 6, 2010

Much to absolutely no one's surprise, Oregon will face Auburn for the BCS Championship on Jan. 10.
Much to absolutely no one's surprise, Oregon will face Auburn for the BCS Championship on Jan. 10.Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The 2010-2011 bowl schedule, with enough games to accommodate more than half of the 120 FBS teams, is surely convoluted.

So much so that keeping track of all the action can be a chore.

Below is a list of all 35 bowls, along with the main underlying question associated with each, so you won’t be confused for much of December and early January.

New Mexico Bowl


Dec. 18, 2 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Which BYU team will we see: The one that was slapped around by an average of 18 points during a four-game losing streak in September, or the one that steamrolled its way to four consecutive wins by an average of 31 points in late October and early November?


uDrove Humanitarian

Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State

Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Does Fresno’s motto of “Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere” pertain to a matchup with a top-tier MAC foe, on blue turf and in the midst of a sub-zero Boise winter?

R+L Carriers New Orleans

Ohio vs. Troy

Dec. 18, 9 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Since USC is forced to sit at home this bowl season, can we officially refer to Larry Blakeney’s Trojans as the Real Men of Troy?

Beef O’Brady’s St. Petersburg

Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville

Dec. 21, 8 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Once upon a time, Larry Fedora and Charlie Strong served together on the same staff at Florida, but is that a saucy enough storyline to justify naming a bowl after a chain of family-friendly restaurants whose signature appetizer is cleverly named Nachos “O” Brady?


MAACO Las Vegas

Utah vs. Boise State

Dec. 22, 8 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

You see what happens when you lose one or two games as a powerhouse non-automatic qualifier?


San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia

Navy vs. San Diego State

Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Anybody else think it’s a tad unfair to ask that Navy travel some 3,000 miles just to face the Aztecs in their home stadium?


Sheraton Hawaii

Hawaii vs. Tulsa

Dec. 24, 8 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Anybody else think it’s a tad unfair to ask that Tulsa traverse 10 time zones just to face the Rainbow Warriors in their home stadium?


Little Caesars

Florida International vs. Toledo

Dec. 26, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Wouldn’t it be wise for Little Caesars, in an effort to raise awareness for this otherwise lifeless matchup between the Sun Belt and MAC, to promise a lifetime supply of Hot n’ Ready pizzas to every third fan that walks through the gate?


AdvoCare V100 Independence

Air Force vs. Georgia Tech

Dec. 27, 5 p.m., ESPN2

Big Question:

Will time warp backward when these two triple-option offense combine for 850 rushing yards and two passes, neither of which will be completed?


Champs Sports

West Virginia vs. North Carolina State

Dec. 28, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

A lost tiebreaker to UConn cost the Mountaineers another BCS appearance, but why does it seem like Bill Stewart will have his team plenty ready to play against an NC State team that was a point and an overtime touchdown away from finishing the regular season 10-2?



Missouri vs. Iowa

Dec. 28, 10 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Iowa fell flat on its face after a hot start, and Mizzou’s dream season was lost with a two-game losing streak.

But don't all the wouldas, shouldas and couldas just disappear with a long-awaited border battle?


Military Bowl Presented By Northrop

East Carolina vs. Maryland

Dec. 29, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

What excuse will Obama have when he opts not to attend this barnburner in our nation’s capitol?



Illinois vs. Baylor

Dec. 29, 6 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase is a dual-threat quarterback in his own right, but how will his defense prepare for Robert Griffin III, who stands heads and shoulders above his true freshman counterpart as both a runner and a passer?


Valero Alamo

Oklahoma State vs. Arizona

Dec. 29, 9:15 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

How will Mike Stoops’ team respond when he tells them that on top of a crippling season-ending four-game losing streak, they now have to worry about the nation’s top-rated offense and arguably the Big 12’s best quarterback, running back and wide receiver?


Bell Helicopter Armed Forces

Army vs. SMU

Dec. 30, Noon, ESPN

Big Question:

Why will this game be interesting?

A run-oriented team, Army threw for 857 yards this season, or less than 200 yards more than what SMU was flagged for on 72 penalties. Enough said.


New Era Pinstripe

Kansas State vs. Syracuse

Dec. 30, 3:20 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Doesn’t it seem somewhat sacrilegious to place two 7-5 teams in Yankee Stadium, a structure synonymous with championship-caliber performances and legendary players?


Franklin American Mortgage Music City

North Carolina vs. Tennessee

Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

NCAA officials were a fixture on the UNC campus prior to the season, but to what extent did the infractions really doom the Tar Heels, who lost three games by a combined 16 points?


Bridgepoint Education Holiday

Nebraska vs. Washington

Dec. 30, 10 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Anyone think Washington will at least play dead this time, as opposed to not showing up, like they did against the Huskers in Seattle in Week 3?


Meineke Car Care

South Florida vs. Clemson

Dec. 31, Noon, ESPN

Big Question:

How different would things potentially be now if Clemson kicker Chandler Catanzaro hadn’t crumbled under the pressure of having to make the same 27-yarder twice against Auburn on Sept. 18?


Hyundai Sun

Notre Dame vs. Miami (FL)

Dec. 31, 2 p.m., CBS

Big Question:

The days of the Catholics and convicts are long gone, but the way these two programs have fared lately, who exactly has noticed?


AutoZone Liberty

Georgia vs. Central Florida

Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

George O’Leary’s Golden Knights entered the BCS rankings this week after winning the Conference USA title, but how long will it take Georgia’s SEC pedigree to remind Central Florida that its stay in the polls will be short-lived?



South Carolina vs. Florida State

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

I bet Gamecock fans are thrilled to return to the scene of their team’s death-by-Cam Newton, but what about the ‘Noles, who now get to deal with a pissed-off Marcus Lattimore?



Northwestern vs. Texas Tech

Jan. 1, Noon, ESPNU

Big Question:

Who in the hell from either one of these schools ticked off the Worldwide Leader so badly that this is the only bowl out of 35 that won’t be televised on basic cable?



Florida vs. Penn State

Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ABC

Big Question:

What are the odds, within the next 50 years, we see the Gators and Nittany Lions play each other in a January bowl game after finishing the season with five losses?


Capital One

Alabama vs. Michigan State

Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

From top to bottom, Alabama looks to be as talented as anybody, but will hypotheticals be enough against a Michigan State team that will carry an enormous BCS chip on its shoulder into this battle of Saban’s former and current employers?



Mississippi State vs. Michigan

Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m., ESPN2

Big Question:

If the Wolverines give up a couple early scores to the Bulldogs’ run-heavy attack, would Rich Rodriguez be better off firing Greg Robinson and hiring a rotting corpse to run his defense for the second half?


Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO

TCU vs. Wisconsin

Jan. 1, 5 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Do the Horned Frogs thrive or wither in what could be their final BCS dress rehearsal as a non-automatic qualifier?


Tostitos Fiesta

Oklahoma vs. Connecticut

Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN3D

Big Question:

The Sooners, fresh off a Big 12 title, take on a Big East underdog in the Fiesta. Where have we seen this before?


Discover Orange

Virginia Tech vs. Stanford

Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

What gives: Virginia Tech’s winning streak or Stanford’s surreal versatility, which has the Cardinal ranked eighth in scoring offense and 11th in scoring defense?


Allstate Sugar

Ohio State vs. Arkansas

Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Will Tressel and Buckeyes continue their embarrassing futility against the vaunted SEC for the world to see?



Middle Tennessee vs. Miami (Ohio)

Jan. 6, 8 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

Can the Redhawks put an exclamation point on a dream season for head coach Mike Haywood, who with a win will have engineered the most dramatic one-season improvement in FBS history?


AT&T Cotton

Texas A&M vs. LSU

Jan. 7, 8 p.m., FOX

Big Question:

The Aggies are rolling, having won six in a row to end the season, but how will Mike Sherman’s offense, led by midseason replacement Ryan Tannehill, deal with an LSU defense that is equipped with as much speed and talent as it will have seen all year?


BBVA Compass

Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky

Jan. 8, Noon, ESPN

Big Question:

Not to be a buzzkill for Panther and Wildcat fans, but can someone explain to me why a game like this is saved for after four of the five BCS bowls?


Kraft Fight Hunger

Nevada vs. Boston College

Jan. 9, 9 p.m., ESPN

Big Question:

How’s this for a punch in the gut: “Nevada, you just beat No. 4 Boise State to assure yourself a share of the WAC title and a top 15 finish in the regular season polls.

"Now, go take your 11-1 record and play a middle-rung team from the ACC in San Francisco, where the wind chill at the baseball-only AT&T Park will be about 15 degrees.

"Oh, and by the way, because you decided to beat Boise, you cost yourself a few million in BCS payout money."


Tostitos BCS National Championship

Auburn vs. Oregon

Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN3D

Big Question:

What precautions will the University of Phoenix Stadium scoreboard operator take to ward off the onslaught of brain aneurisms that could accompany trying to keep up with the Oregon and Auburn offenses, ranked first and sixth nationally, respectively?