College Football: Bowl Predictions and Rankings From Worst To Best
College Bowl Games were designed as a clever source of advertising the comforts and delights of selected areas of the nation during the dreary days of winter.
Used as a reward for a local team, as in the case of the California based Rose Bowl, the extending of the invitation to the challenger demanded a more methodical process in determining what opponent fit the needs of the sponsors and local hospitality industry.
The decade of the 1930s saw the U.S. economy dulled by the Great Depression, and the stunning arrival of several bowl games who are still with us nearly 80 years later.
Chief among these the Sun Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl.
Today we find 35 postseason events, commonly known as "The Bowls", and their homes range from Hawaii to New York City.
Here we provide a review of each bowl game for the 2010 season, complete with a ranking of the overall attractiveness based upon this year's participants, the location of the game, and the historical respect of that specific bowl community toward their guests.
All readers are invited to an open competition of chance by competing against the writer and the readers in predicting the winners and losers of all 35 bowl games.
Details concerning the how and why will be found in the following pages.
Laying Down The Law
Let us first dispense with two items:
No. 1: It does not matter if the team you follow lands in the worst or the best list. This is a ranking of overall matchups for that particular event. One could find a team moved from" the worst to the best" list if the school had attended another postseason event or confronted a different opponent.
No. 2: The temporary advertising sponsor name on a bowl game is dismissed out of hand. The great bowl games of history should not be discussed by any other name.
Next, the guidelines of our friendly competition:
We have divided the bowl season into four parts. Three sections contain 10 teams each, placed according to the quality of those matchups. The fourth section contains the five best bowl games of this season.
The method is simple. Write a comment concerning who you believe will win the bowl games. Please feel free to expand on your reasons why you believe the teams you choose will emerge victorious.
All predictions must be posted here by midnight on December 17. The final records of each participant and winners will be announced following the BCS Championship Game.
The winners and losers according to this writer are detailed on the final page.
We expect the competition to bring out the best of the Bleacher Report Community. Don't let this opportunity to share and demonstrate your knowledge of college football pass you by.
The 10 Worst College Bowl Games Of The 2010 Season
Simple people often appear mesmerized by flashing lights and loud noises.
Fans who are captivated by such boredom on the gridiron will have their hands full with the choices provided this postseason. No fewer than 10 games will strike the fancy of those who demand little more for their entertainment dollar than a rousing rendition of the school fight song and provocatively dressed cheerleaders.
Among the dry as dirt matchups we find one of the BCS Bowls (Fiesta) along with basically the same annual cast of characters. In particular the contests in Charlotte and Detroit, where teams and fans alike can be driven (no pun intended) into a state of somnambulism year after year.
No. 1: The Little Caesar's Bowl—Florida International vs. Toledo
No. 2: The New Orleans Bowl—Troy vs. Ohio
No. 3: The Go Daddy Bowl—Miami (O.) vs. Middle Tennessee State
No. 4: The Meineke Bowl—Clemson vs. South Florida
No. 5: The New Mexico Bowl—BYU vs. UTEP
No. 6: The Music City Bowl—UNC vs. Tennessee
No. 7: The Texas Bowl—Illinois vs. Baylor
No. 8: The Ticket City Bowl—Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
No. 9: The Holiday Bowl—Nebraska vs. Washington
No. 10: The Fiesta Bowl—Oklahoma vs. Connecticut
The 10 Bowl Games To Watch Because They Are Bowl Games
No. 1: The Hawaii Bowl—Tulsa vs. Hawaii
No. 2: The Chick-Fil-A Bowl—South Carolina vs. Florida State
No. 3: The Gator Bowl—Mississippi State vs. Michigan
No. 4: The BBVA Compass Bowl—Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky
No. 5: The Beef O'Brady Bowl—Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville
No. 6: The Alamo Bowl—Arizona vs. Oklahoma State
No. 7: The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl—Nevada vs. Boston College
No. 8: The Armed Forces Bowl—Army vs. Southern Methodist University
No. 9: The Military Bowl—Maryland vs. East Carolina
No. 10: The Humanitarian Bowl—Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State
The 10 Most Interesting College Bowl Games Of The 2010 Season
No. 1: The Sugar Bowl—Ohio State vs. Arkansas
No. 2: The MAACO Bowl—Boise State vs. Utah
No. 3: The Pinstripe Bowl—Syracuse vs. Kansas State
No. 4: The Outback Bowl—Florida vs. Penn State
No. 5: The Capital One Bowl—Michigan State vs. Alabama
No. 6: The Champs Sports Bowl—West Virginia vs. N.C. State
No. 7: The Insight Bowl—Iowa vs. Missouri
No. 8: The Independence Bowl—Georgia Tech vs. Air Force
No. 9: The Poinsettia Bowl—Navy vs. San Diego State
No. 10: The Liberty Bowl—Central Florida vs.Georgia
The Five Best Bowl Games Of The 2010 Season
No. 1: The Rose Bowl—Wisconsin vs. TCU
No. 2: The BCS Championship Game—Auburn vs. Oregon
No. 3: The Cotton Bowl—LSU vs. Texas A&M
No. 4: The Sun Bowl—Notre Dame vs. Miami
No. 5: The Orange Bowl—Virginia Tech vs. Stanford
Who Do You Love ?
Ted Joy has led an interesting and reclusive life. Refusing to have his picture taken, even for the state driver's license, he puts his faith in playing cards, dominoes and lady luck.
"I don't march to the beat of the same drummer as everyone else, I have my own things I want to do."
When asked if he would share his feelings concerning the best options of the bowl season matchups he offered this simple bromide, "don't let your personal feelings get in the way of your wallet."
With that nugget of wisdom in mind, let us relay Ted's five glimmers of hope for fans of the wheel of fortune.
No. 1: Texas A&M will beat LSU by four to five points."Can't count on LSU, sometimes they don't want to play." "Give them six weeks off like this and they'll be thinking of doing something else by game time."
No. 2: SMU will beat Army by seven points. "The Army has rules about doing everything right so they'll give the Ponies a good game."
No. 3: TCU will beat Wisconsin by three points. "TCU should be playing for the (BCS) championship."
No. 4: "Oklahoma will win by at least two touchdowns against that team (Connecticut)."
No. 5: "(Texas) Tech will beat Northwestern but it will be a lot closer than people around here think."
The lone wolf sighs, "it's all about who do you love" and makes his way out to his gold Cadillac car.
Fattening Frogs For Snakes
When it comes to calling winners in sports, few can compare to Ben Culp, "The Whistler."
The Whistler comes from a multi-talented family. Ben and his late brother Leon were as at home on a stage as commencing to play odd man on the street. That's flipping a coin for all the uninitiated.
Whistler and his brother were friends who introduced the world of house parties and backstage living to a certain young man when he was, oh, 12 or 13, and also taught him the advantages of speculation exploitation.
Whistler's philosophy is simple. Place the advantage with the team the majority is most likely to "fall in love with" and run up the money bet for them to cover. When the appropriate amount of exploitation of the unknowing has taken place, put nearly all the total take against "the favorite" and sit back.
The public provides the financing for their own demise.
He calls it "fattening frogs for snakes."
In a recent meeting with the legend of Longbone Hollow, North Carolina the Whistler provided his view on the "Big Seven" bowl games tracked all season long in our weekly Bleacher Report Bowl Projection Series.
The Whistler reveals his perception of these confrontations.
Rose Bowl: "Wisconsin wins or loses by one or two points, Wisconsin is the play."
Orange Bowl: "Stanford wins by a touchdown if the coach (Jim Harbaugh) is still there, he leaves and all bets are off."
Sugar Bowl: "Arkansas gets ahead early and then fades like they did against Alabama, but they lose close." "Arkansas is the play in the Sugar Bowl."
Cotton Bowl: " LSU (is) gonna turn Texas A&M inside out, LSU (is) mad at the world."
Fiesta Bowl: "Oklahoma turns it on in the second half and makes everyone some money, 35-14."
Capital One Bowl: "Alabama wins by 10 points, Michigan State doesn't want to play in that game."
BCS Championship: "If Oregon gets ahead and stays ahead they'll have it made. Oregon can't win a close ball game with Auburn because Oregon doesn't play close games and Auburn does."
And so it goes.
The Biggest Trees Take The Longest Time To Chop Down
Doug Ott is a man of the outdoors. He has worked in and around the timber industry in northern California for the past four decades.
Along the way Doug developed a reputation for keeping a sports journal. The kind where fans of horse racing and the sweet science of self defense can find pertinent information concerning who is likely to succeed in the coming competition.
Over the past week Doug has graciously communicated back and forth with this writer, sometimes about the old days when his Dad and my Pop were busy stringing together a run of good luck that propelled the two into a life ripe for adventure.
The sub-plot is simple and the challenge obvious, Doug Ott is requested to provide five sure winners of the Bowl season.
The following is a breakdown of his analysis and predictions.
No. 1: Texas Tech will beat Northwestern in the Ticket City Bowl by 4 points. "The Red Raiders have shown glimmers of what could be a Big 12 Champion next season."
No. 2: San Diego State will beat Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl. "Aztecs by a field goal, it won't be easy."
No. 3: BYU will beat UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl. "The Cougars are 10 points better than the Miners."
No. 4: Boise State will beat Utah in the MAACO Bowl. "The Broncos and Utes are two of the best football programs in the country, but Boise State will win by one touchdown over Utah."
No. 5: Oregon will beat Auburn for the BCS Championship. "The biggest trees take the longest time to chop down but by the fourth quarter the Ducks should be safely ahead of favored Auburn."
We thank our western guru for "going out on a limb" and giving us his colorful breakdown for those five bowl games.
Heed The Call
The following is this writer's prediction of winners and losers in the 2010 postseason bowl games.
No.1: The Little Caesar's Bowl- Florida International 28 Toledo 24, upset special.
No.2: The New Orleans Bowl- Troy 33 Ohio U. 31, Coach Frank Solich staggers close.
No.3: The Go Daddy Bowl- Miami (O.) 29 Middle Tennessee State 28, survival of the fittest.
No.4: The Meineke Bowl- Clemson 17 South Florida 14, Tigers squeak out a late win.
No.5: The New Mexico Bowl- BYU 31 vs. UTEP 22, Miners give the MWC Cougars a high desert battle.
No.6: The Music City Bowl- Tennessee 13 UNC 10, Volunteers are on the way back.
No.7: The Texas Bowl- Illinois 21 Baylor 16, coaching hurts Illini but size matters in line play.
No.8: The Ticket City Bowl- Texas Tech 20 Northwestern 17, Red Raiders improved all season.
No.9: The Holiday Bowl- Nebraska 31 Washington 21, no reason to play this game again.
No.10: The Fiesta Bowl- Oklahoma 35 Connecticut 17, Sooners have too much of everything for UConn.
No.11: The Humanitarian Bowl- Fresno State 26 Northern Illinois 14, Huskies will be overwhelmed.
No.12: The Military Bowl- Maryland 14 East Carolina 10, Terrapins slow down Pirate offense.
No.13: The Armed Forces Bowl- Army 20 Southern Methodist University 17, upset special No.2.
No.14: The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl- Nevada 19 Boston College 13, Eagles are a tough out anytime.
No.15: The Alamo Bowl- Oklahoma State 38 Arizona 22, injured 'Cats only a shell of what once was.
No.16: The Beef O'Brady Bowl- Southern Mississippi 21 Louisville 14, upset special No.3.
No.17: The BBVA Compass Bowl- Pittsburgh 10 Kentucky 8, turnaround game for Panthers.
No.18: The Gator Bowl- Mississippi State 17 Michigan 13, Wolverine coaching is a liability.
No.19: The Chick-Fil-A Bowl- South Carolina 14 Florida State 13, Lattimore saves the day.
No.20: The Hawaii Bowl- Hawaii 22 Tulsa 21, Golden Hurricane is capable of winning in the islands.
No.21: The Liberty Bowl- Georgia 15 Central Florida 14, C-USA champ Knights take a close loss.
No.22: The Poinsettia Bowl- San Diego State 25 Navy 21, should be a great game.
No.23: The Independence Bowl- Georgia Tech 34 Air Force 30, a class on how to run the football.
No.24: The Insight Bowl- Iowa 28 Missouri 24, Hawkeyes in a turnaround game.
No.25: The Champs Sports Bowl- West Virginia 28 N.C. State 27, last team to score wins.
No.26: The Capital One Bowl- Alabama 17 Michigan State 9, an overlooked bowl game.
No.27: The Outback Bowl- Penn State 10 Florida 3, Gators take a knockout punch from Paterno.
No.28: The Pinstripe Bowl- Syracuse 22 Kansas State 15, in Yankee Stadium the Orange survive.
No.29: The MAACO Bowl- Boise State 28 Utah 21, could have been for the BCS Title.
No.30: The Sugar Bowl- Ohio State 27 Arkansas 17, Razorbacks can't handle the power of Buckeyes.
No.31: The Orange Bowl- Virginia Tech 20 Stanford 14, Hokies have everything it takes to win.
No.32: The Sun Bowl- Notre Dame 23 Miami 20, great to see these two going at it again.
No.33: The Cotton Bowl- LSU 10 Texas A&M 7, low scoring affair goes to the best defense.
No.34: The BCS Championship Game- Auburn 49 Oregon 35, high scoring affair goes to best player.
No.35: The Rose Bowl- Wisconsin 14 Texas Christian University 13, best game of the bowl season.