The Top 10 Most Interesting Bowls Of The Year
There are some great bowl match-ups this 2009-10 Football season. To say the least, we're pretty excited about Oregon vs Auburn, but also Notre Dame vs Miami and that small Florida vs Penn State match-up. So here are the Top 10 games you darned well should be watching, TiVoing, or attending.
Plus, there's the added bonus that these will be the ONLY games that you'll be watching until September 2011, so you might as well enjoy them, however crappy the match-up.
No. 10: Maaco Bowl: Utah Vs Boise State (Dec 22)
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This COULD have been THE BCS National Championship Game, if TCU, Oregon and Auburn completely fallen away and these two remained unbeaten.
However, Utah were smashed at home by TCU and then again by Notre Dame, and Boise's kicker choked in the loss to Nevada. Having said that, these two still have solid lineups, with two fantastic players on display in Boise quaterback Kellen Moore and wide receiver Titus Young.
This one is going to be fun.
No.9: Insight Bowl: Missouri Vs Iowa (Dec 28th)
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Iowa, who beat both Michigan and Penn State, must be mightily annoyed that they are in a pre-Jan 1 Bowl game behind both teams.
The killer loss wasn't the loss at home to Wisconsin, or Arizona, or Ohio State. It was the horror losses against Northwestern and, er, Minnesota. Plus, Iowa doesn't travel as well as Penn State and Michigan, although there are admittedly a fair amount of snowbirds who would LOVE to travel down to Florida for a Jan. 1 game.
Anyway people, Iowa was struck recently by the fact that their best wide receiver, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, has been charged by "keeping a drug house" (and in possession of quite a lot of them), which means that the No.12 Tigers will have to deal with a guy called Marvin McNutt and a strong running game.
The Tigers have had a good resume, beating Oklahoma at home in a great advertisement for college football before being blown away by Nebraska and losing to the world's most unpredictable team in Texas Tech.
This one, played in Arizona, will be a lot of fun.
No.8: Capital One Bowl: Alabama Vs Michigan State (Jan 1)
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Alabama was widely-thought to be the country's No.1 season preseason, but after losses to South Carolina, LSU and Auburn, results put paid to that little idea.
We're not going to lie though: Alabama's still a great football team and everyone should be scared to get in this team's way (I think I've got a sense of deja-vu here).
Michigan State should fear Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, and well as Julio Jones.
Having said that, it's not as though Michigan State has been boring this year. The Spartans won on an amazing trick field goal against Notre Dame, beat Michigan in the Big House and beat Wisconsin but was splattered by Iowa at home, ruining their own National Title chances.
Make no mistake, Alabama fans: this is a good Michigan State team and this is going to be a fantastic Floridian fight.
No.7 Sun Bowl: Notre Dame Vs Miami (Dec 31)
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Yaaaay! The 2010 match-up we've ALLLLL been waiting for: The Catholics vs Convicts match-up. Miami vs Notre Dame was a lot of fun back then, and bearing in mind both teams can't really play defense, it's going to be a lot of fun now.
Brian Kelly will be safely in charge of Notre Dame but Miami's looking for a new head coach - Randy Shannon was given his pink slip after (yet another) disappointing regular season.
Jacory Harris, Miami's QB, will be the player to watch during this game (if he's not injured or screws up), but the biggest thought might well be on the future...
No.6: Sugar Bowl: Arkansas Vs Ohio State (Jan 4)
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This game's not only about two great sets of fans, it's also about two of the best quarterbacks in college football battling it out to see who's going go as a high NFL pick (Ryan Mallett in 2011, Terrelle Pryor in 2012).
What makes this game so fun is that Arkansas score highly, and Ohio State give you chances. On the other hand, a screw-up from the Razorbacks and Pryor will make mincemeat of you, and the last time they played a good running QB, they were terrorized (Cameron Newton, anyone?).
This game, which will be played in a dome (so we'll some pretty hammered sets of fans out there), may well be decided on the kicking game. It's a good job that both kickers are good, aren't they?
No.5 Orange Bowl: Stanford Vs Virginia Tech (Jan 3)
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Let's face it: Andrew Luck is a bad-ass quarterback, and we can't see him running the huddle of a crappy NFL team (like the Buffalo Bills).
Tyrod Taylor and the James Madisons aren't a half-bad team either, playing incredibly since their woeful defeat by the aforementioned non-BCSers. Taylor has been incredible throughout Virginia Tech's successful ACC season, winning games with ease (like the title game against Florida State) or winning games in the dying seconds (like the 'title' game against NC State).
Oh, and there's always another great site: Jim Harbaugh yelling at all and sundry on the sidelines. We can't wait for the referees to get an earful.
No.4: Rose Bowl: TCU Vs Wisconsin (Jan 3)
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A lot has been talked about TCU, while less has been talked about Wisconsin. That's because TCU went through the season unbeaten, while Wisconsin lost at Michigan State, and then scored about 900 points at the end of the season trying to prove a point (as well as beating Ohio State, we might add).
The great thing about Wisconsin and TCU fans is that they'll travel, so expect Los Angeles to be a sea of purple and red.
We would like to advise you, during this game, to keep an eye on one player: Wisconsin running back John Clay, who is one of the best running backs in the nation. If TCU can stop Clay and get Dalton into action, then it might be a long day for the Badgers in their first Rose Bowl in years.
But however it goes, the third quarter should be a lot of fun. We're reliably told that "Jump Around" will be brought to the Field of Rose!!
No.3: Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State Vs Arizona (Dec 29)
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Oklahoma State will hope to be getting the whooping stick (pictured above) out on the Arizona Wildcats. The 'Cats, who have lost four straight and four in their last five, but let's face the facts: Oklahoma State's defense may be enough to let Nick Foles & Co have some fun.
And let's be honest: if the Wildcats had a bit of luck, they would have probably have had a stronger record (and bowl game) than a trip to San Antonio.
As for the Pokes? They played well right until they lost at home to Nebraska in a shoot-out. They came back strongly to play to Oklahoma, and lose in a heartbreake, for the Big XII South title.
This is going to be a great game. Watch out!
No.2: Outback Bowl: Penn State Vs Florida
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Urban Meyer's last game as coach of the Florida Gators will be one that a lot of the country will be watching. We can't wait for the eulogies. In fact, we can't wait for the eulogies when Joe Paterno retires - if he ever does!
But great coaches is not where the parallels run out between these two teams. Both teams have had pretty terrible 2010s, with their teams unable to beat anyone we'd think of as being good. Both teams have struggled to find a quarterback they want to identify with, and both teams, despite having solid running backs, have absolutely sucked on the ground. The defenses haven't been too pretty, either.
So why in the heck are we picking this game as No.2 in all the College Football Bowls out there? Well, if you've ever read the VFA's thoughts on Florida, you'd know that we regularly rejoice in a Gators' loss. And if you'd ever read the VFA's thoughts on Penn State, you'd know that we regularly rejoice in a Penn State win. Not only that, but the place is going to be absolutely jumping with expectant fans from PA and Florida (Hey Urban! Wanna be a head coach in State College in 2015?), and this is going to be a great game.
No.1: National Championship Game: Oregon Vs Auburn (Jan 10)
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First of all, we'd like to get this out of the way.
The Duck's cooler than the Tiger and the Eagle.
The Oregon Cheerleaders are hotter than the Auburn Cheerleaders.
The Auburn co-eds are far better looking than the Oregon co-eds.
Cameron Newton's better than Darron Thomas.
LaMichael James is just great.
Nick Fairley's better than his Ducks' counterparts.
Oregon's special teams are better than Auburn's.
Oregon won the Pac-10 and Auburn won the SEC.
Oregon is indisputably No.2, while Auburn is indisputably No.1.
This is going to be an amazing game.
If you're in the USA, make you stay in and watch it. If you're watching around the world, stay the hell up.