2012 Bowl Games: Breaking Down This Year's Best Swag Gifts

Randy ChambersAnalyst IDecember 4, 2012

2012 Bowl Games: Breaking Down This Year's Best Swag Gifts

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    Each college football bowl game rewards its participating teams and players with a special gift. These goodie bags can include anything from gift cards and televisions sets to hats and watches.

    Some swag is worth the trip, while some is more like Christmas presents from the grandparents.

    Many of these gifts really aren't worth mentioning, but there are a few giveaways that any player would gladly accept. These are the packages that you don't want to leave behind in the hotel room or airplane on the trip back home.

    If you're wondering if these gifts are breaking NCAA rules, there is no need to worry. As long as the total amount does not exceed the NCAA limit of $550, everybody is good to go.

    With that said, here are the top five swag gift items of the 2012 college football bowl season.

    For the complete list of gifts for each bowl game, click here.

Honorable Mentions

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    Chick-fil-A Bowl

    Includes: $300 gift card, Fossil watch, Russell Athletic Chick-fil-A Bowl hat, Russell Athletic travel bag, Chick-fil-A gift card

    Military presented by Northrop Grumman

    Includes: Apple iPad Mini, Timely watch, beanie

    Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

    Includes:  Fossil watch, Nike FuelBand, FoxL wireless portable speaker system, Nike backpack, cap

5. Capital One Bowl

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    Includes: $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy, Fossil watch

    Teams That Benefit: Georgia and Nebraska

    In today's generation, electronics really do rule the world—especially for someone as young as a college football player.

    Receiving a gift card to Best Buy for more than $400 is incredible. It really doesn't get any better than receiving free money to stock up on video games, movies and music for a long offseason.

    Maybe losing a conference championship isn't so bad after all.

4. Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl

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    Includes: Fossil watch, 32-inch flat-screen TV, belt buckle, T-shirt, lapel pin, backpack

    Teams That Benefit: Minnesota and Texas Tech

    How could a player not be thrilled to receive a flat-screen television?

    This will now give each player a chance to break down film in the dorm room instead of spending class time studying the opponent. You know, like Michigan's Jordan Kovacs admitted to doing before his Wolverines went up against Alabama. 

    I'm not too confident anyone is going to find the belt buckle handy, but a free T-shirt is always a great gift for a struggling college student.

    Overall, this gift bag is all about the television set, and you can never go wrong with a flat-screen.

3. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

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    Includes: Beats by Dre headphones, Fossil watch, Oakley backpack

    Teams That Benefit: East Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette

    While Fossil watches are pretty neat, you know that every player is most looking forward to receiving those Beats by Dre headphones.

    If you have been shopping around lately, there is a good chance you already know these aren't your typical two-dollar earbuds you receive with your iPhone.

    Instead, these are headphones that run in the price range of $200.

    Beats by Dre come in handy when trying to tune out the head coach's constant nagging, and are the perfect gift for the long plane ride back home.

2. Valero Alamo Bowl

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    Includes: Apple iPad Mini, Fossil watch, $100 Best Buy gift card, panoramic team photo, Schutt mini-helmet

    Teams That Benefit: Texas and Oregon State

    Everybody gets an iPad Mini, which is cool enough for most college kids. But being able to pick up a couple video games at a local Best Buy and a brand new watch? That just makes this gift bag even sweeter.

    The Schutt helmet is also an interesting collector's item, as it is exactly what players wear on the field, just much smaller.

    Overall, this is one of the better gift bags of the 2012 bowl season and makes falling short of a BCS bowl game almost worth it.

1. Outback Bowl

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    Includes: $150 Best Buy gift card, Fossil watch, ring, cap, Outback Steakhouse gift card

    Teams That Benefit: South Carolina and Michigan

    The greatest things to take out of this goodie bag are the Best Buy and Outback Steakhouse gift cards. Both give each player a chance to make everyone happy.

    Just think about it: They can use one gift card pick up some of the latest electronics (and school supplies, of course) and the other to take out a lucky lady for a steak dinner now that the season is over.

    With a little more free time on their hands, the players now have the chance to treat their significant others as well as themselves. 

    It's a win-win.


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