College Football Bowls 2012-13: Power Ranking Every Bowl by Swag Gifts

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2012

College Football Bowls 2012-13: Power Ranking Every Bowl by Swag Gifts

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    While it is true that college football players are not paid with money for their play, many do get compensated to do what they do on Saturdays in the form of tuition. If players are lucky enough to be on one of the 70 bowl teams, they pick up an additional boost of revenue from bowl gifts.

    Some swag is better than others, but it is all worth the trip. With 35 bowls attempting to outdo one another, putting the gifts into a power ranking seemed like a fun thing to do.

    These players step into a handful of gifts ranging from iPads to gift cards, with an NCAA-mandated max value of $550. It is always a fun trip for the players, and a lot of times they are given much-deserved rewards.

    David Broughton at SportsBusiness Journal gave us a look at the gift sets being handed out to players this season, and this ranking relied heavily on that reporting. 

    Here is the power ranking breakdown of each bowl's gift package for the 2012-13 bowl season.

The Unknowns

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    The New Era Pinstripe Bowl and AT&T Cotton Bowl are the two bowls that either failed to submit information about their gifts or denied to disclose information about the gifts. Each did give some information, though: The Pinstripe Bowl will live up to its sponsorship by giving away a New Era cap, and the Cotton Bowl indicated a Fossil watch would be on the menu. 

    SportsBusiness Journal did have gifts on record from last year's Cotton Bowl and Pinstripe Bowl, though, so we can look back and get an idea of what could be. The Cotton Bowl players received iPad 2s and Fossil watches. The Pinstripe Bowl provided each of its players with a video camera, Armitron watch and a handful of clothing items.

    While the past gifts are no perfect indication of future packages, it is safe to assume they will be of equal or better value this year. That being said, the Cotton Bowl rules the unknowns. Who knows what they will pass out this season?

No. 32 Maaco Las Vegas Bowl

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    The Maaco Las Vegas Bowl is bringing up the rear in the gifts department, offering only a "gift suite" to the players that are attending the game. 

    There is no indication as to what the gift suite contains—it could be anything from soap to candy—so with this being the only listed gift, the bowl starts off the power rankings tied at No. 32. 

    Gift: Gift suite

No. 32 Heart of Dallas Bowl

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    The Heart of Dallas bowl was the TicketCity Bowl last season, and a Timely watch was awarded. This year the bowl is in the same boat as the Las Vegas Bowl, as the only information given to Broughton was that athletes will receive a "gift suite."

    Gift: Gift suite

No. 31 Belk Bowl

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    While a shopping trip to Belk seems like fun, it is one of the worst bowl gifts of the season. I am sure that these guys would love to pick up some new khaki pants, but as far as bowl gifts go, it is a bit lackluster. 

    A Fossil watch is also tossed into the mix, but this is still a disappointing reward for guys looking for big bowl gifts. 

    Gift: Belk shopping spree, Fossil watch

No. 30 Little Caesars Bowl

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    The Little Caesars Bowl put together a three-piece gift set that is led by a Timely watch. Watches are a very popular gift. 

    A leather travel sports bag is also listed among the gifts, as is a football—likely to be emblazoned with the bowl date and emblem for commemorative purposes. 

    Gift: Timely watch, leather travel sports bag, football

No. 29 Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl

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    Unfortunately for the players in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, the game does not gift away a lifetime supply of buffalo wings or cheese sticks. It tries to make up for it with the Oakley Dispatch II sunglasses and Jawbone Jambox. 

    Both are nice gifts, but I would take the lifetime supply of wings any day. The cheese sticks would put the icing on the cake. 

    Gift: Jawbone Jambox, Oakley Dispatch II sunglasses, Oakley backpack, Schutt mini helmet

No. 28 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

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    Often times more is better, but as far as gift packages go, the Hawaii Bowl swung and missed on substance. 

    A Fossil watch and Oakley backpack are cool, but a beach towel? A performance T-shirt? Maybe the calendar is better than expected, but the rest of this gift bag is a big disappointment. 

    At least the players get to see Hawaii. 

    Gift: Fossil watch, Oakley backpack, Tori Richard aloha shirts, custom beach towel, Pro Athletics shorts, T-shirt, performance T-shirt, hat/visor, calendar

No. 27 BBVA Compass Bowl

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    A Fossil watch is among standard issue for most bowl games, so the Compass Bowl brought nothing special with its lead gift. A portable wireless speaker is a cool grab though, and something that will get a lot of use. 

    The backpack and football are not that impressive, but they are space fillers. Who doesn’t need another commemorative football?

    Gift: Fossil watch, Oakley Dispatch II sunglasses, wireless portable speaker, backpack, football

No. 26 GoDaddy.com Bowl

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    The GoDaddy.com Bowl is breaking in its bowl visitors with headphones, a Fossil watch and an awesome leather garment bag. I am willing to bet that the bag has a nasty GoDaddy.com label on it somewhere.

    The players are also landing a Wilson football. Talk about never-ending fun. Maybe the guys will get a trip to the Mardi Gras Museum on Government Street as well. 

    Gift: Sol Republic headphones, Fossil watch, leather garment bag, Wilson football

No. 25 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

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    The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl is slaying hopes with this year’s gift bag. Luggage, a Fossil watch and Dome hat are among the gifts received. 

    The players will also get a Jostens ring and a commemorative football. What better prize than a huge ring from the Gator Bowl?

    Gift: Fossil watch, Dome hat, Mercury garment bag and carry-on bag, Jostens ring, football

No. 24 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

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    The infamous gift suite returns with the Music City Bowl. Who knows whether this means that there is novelty soaps and shampoos or a picnic basket full of fruit.

    The players will also receive a Fossil watch from their trip to Nashville. A bowl trip is good enough, but topping it off with a gift suite is almost too much. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Fossil watch

No. 23 Hyundai Sun Bowl

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    The Hyundai Sun Bowl has taken the gifting world by storm, offering a Majestic fleece and Top of the World cap as a part of its gift basket to players. 

    The bowl also tosses in a Timely watch, but the prize that takes the cake as the oddest of the bowl year is the Helen of Troy hair dryer that finds its way into players hands. You have to love that sponsorship. 

    Gift: Timely watch, Majestic fleece, Top of the World cap, coin, Helen of Troy hair dryer

No. 22 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

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    A ride in some type of military craft would be an awesome benefit to landing in this game, but unfortunately the coolest thing that will get handed out is a Sony gift suite—again with the gift suite. 

    A backpack is also in the cards for the players, as is a Big Game football. Oh yeah, and a Fossil watch. 

    Gift: Sony gift suite, Fossil watch, Dakine backpack, Big Game football

No. 21 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

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    The Holiday Bowl picks up the steam a bit in the bowl gift battle as it adds a Best Buy gift card to the fold. The bowl also passes off a gift certificate for Maui Jim sunglasses. 

    A Tourneau watch finishes off the package, but the undisclosed amount on the gift card for both the store run and glasses keep this bowl gift box low on the list. 

    Gift: Best Buy gift card, Tourneau watch, Maui Jim sunglasses gift certificate, cap

No. 20 San Diego Co. Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

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    The Poinsettia Bowl and Holiday Bowl share the same venue and bowl package.

    The teams will receive the same gift card and watch, as well as the gift certificate to Maui Jim and cap. Maybe it takes them to the Mission Valley Mall down the road to dump the money at Best Buy. 

    Ikea would be the next best thing. 

    Gift: Best Buy gift card, Tourneau watch, Maui Jim sunglasses gift certificate, cap

No. 19 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

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    The Idaho Potato Bowl brings back the infamous gift suite as many do, but the bowl also dumps a nice North End black winter coat and Kombi winter gloves on the participants. 

    They will need the layers when the take the field in Boise in December. A Tiger Woods Beanie is also included.

    Gift:  Gift suite, North End black winter coat, Kombi winter gloves, white Tiger Woods Victory Nike beanie, Ogio Bullion backpack, Big Game football

No. 18 Gildan New Mexico Bowl

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    The New Mexico Bowl fills up the gift basket with a number of quality gifts. A Deuce Brand watch catches the eyes, but the mystery of the gift suite peels away a lot of initial attention. 

    The coolest piece of the set is no doubt the quill pen—a truly rare find. The quill pen is the most unique gift of the bowl season. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Deuce Brand watch, Oakley Holbrook sunglasses, Oakley fine knit beanie cap, Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack, Gildan stadium blanket, quill pen

No. 17 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

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    Beats by Dre headphones and a Fossil watch headline this gift package, but the Oakley backpack will obviously come in more handy down the road. 

    All those rumors about where hated rivals get their headphones end with bowl trips. The Beats by Dre are no small item, and are a hot commodity on college campuses as these young adults find more creative ways to tune out professors. 

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

No. 16 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

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    The Independence Bowl loads up the players with the gift suite, but it also offers a Timely watch and New Era cap.

    A football is also gifted to the athletes. With only three major listings, the assumption is that the gift suite carries more than a few razors and shaving cream. 

    If nothing else, the Timely watch will be a great haul. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Timely watch, New Era cap, football

No. 15 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

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    The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is taking over the Insight.com Bowl slot, continuing the 24-year bowl tradition this year. Again, why these food sponsors are not dumping free wings is beyond me. 

    Instead the bowl will gift a gift suite presented by PAC Sports Divison, a Fossil watch and a high-end backpack. Talk about disappointing. At least gift some free fries—those things are like three bucks. 

    Gift: Gift suite presented by PAC Sports Division, Fossil watch, Ogio Mercur backpack

No. 14 Outback Bowl

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    The Outback Bowl finally got the memo that football players get hungry and offer a gift card to Outback restaurants. It also passes on a ring and Fossil watch. 

    One of the first big players in the bowl gifting game, the Outback Bowl also dumps a $150 Best Buy gift card on its players. These guys will be full and have plenty of DVDs for the ride home. 

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

No. 13 AutoZone Liberty Bowl

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    The AutoZone Liberty Bowl passes off a full basket of gifts to the players, leading with Sol Republic headphones and a Bulova watch. Nike is also heavily involved in the package, dumping shoes, sandals, sunglasses and a backpack in the gift pack.

    A commemorative football is also a part of the gift package. The Bulova watch is a big win for these players. Team Fossil takes a hit, but it’s a great tradeoff. 

    Gift: Sol Republic Tracks HD Anthem headphones, Bulova watch, Nike athletic shoes and sandals, Nike sunglasses, Nike backpack, football

No. 12 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

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    Leave it to the San Francisco Bowl to pass out a Nike FuelBand as a gift. Let’s be real, the thing is expensive and cool, but it is a waste of gift space in my opinion.

    It’s a very hipster choice. It still takes a lead over a number of other prizes. 

    The FoxL wireless portable speaker is a winner, as is the Nike backpack and Fossil watch. 

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

No. 11 Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl

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    A 32-inch television is included in this gift bag. That is all that needs to be said to gauge the awesomeness of this prize. 

    A Fossil watch, lapel pin and belt buckle are also included, but the television takes the cake as one of the best gifts that could land in these players hands. 

    The belt buckle I could do without, but the TV is a winner. 

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

No. 10 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman

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    As cool as it would be to land their own mini-drones, the players in the Military Bowl will have to settle for an Apple iPad Mini, a Timely watch and beanie. 

    The iPad is not a new gift to the bowl game world, but it pushes this bowl into the Top 10 as it is one of the most sought after items of the Christmas and bowl-gifting season. 

    Gift: Applie iPad Mini, Timely watch, beanie

No. 9 Valero Alamo Bowl

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    The Alamo Bowl put together an impressive package with a panoramic photo of the team, Apple iPad Mini and $100 Best Buy gift card.

    The Schutt mini helmet is a cool addition, but a Davey Crockett hat would have been much better. Who isn’t in the market for a good coon skin hat, am I right?

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

No. 8 Russell Athletic Sports Bowl

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    For a lower-tiered bowl game, the Russell Athletic Sports Bowl stepped into the big boy ring with its gift. The bowl game is passing off a Timely watch, but the $420 shopping spree to Best Buy is huge. 

    The shopping spree has to be completed during a local shopping trip to Best Buy during bowl week and any remaining balance will be forfeited. This is a great way to get the players something of their choice, and dump money back into the local economy. 

    Great move all around. 

    Gift: $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy, Timely watch

No. 7 Capital One Bowl

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    The Capital One Bowl shares its hosting site and most sponsors with the Russell Athletic Sports Bowl. The players will land a huge gift when they get a $420 shopping spree to a local Best Buy. 

    A Timely watch is always a great gift, but the shopping spree is one of the best gifts of the bowl year. Just like the Russell Athletics Sports Bowl, the full balance must be used in the team visit to the local Best Buy store.

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

No. 6 Chick-fil-A Bowl

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    The Chick-fil-A Bowl has become one of the premium New Year’s Eve bowls in college football. It takes that position with pride, giving one of the best gift bags of the bowl year. 

    The players will walk away with free food from Chick-fil-A, a watch and a $300 gift card to spend at their discretion. The players will also get a commemorative bowl hat. 

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

No. 5 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

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    The BCS bowls all list gift suites with their gift packages, but they are known to carry great gifts in the biggest games of the year. 

    The Fiesta Bowl lists its gift suite as coming from PAC Sports Division, and also adds a Fossil watch and backpack to the listing. 

    Gift: Gift suite presented by PAC Sports Division, Fossil watch, Ogio Mercur backpack

No. 4 Rose Bowl presented by Vizio

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    The Rose Bowl brings a lot of unique experiences—like the Tournament of the Roses Parade—but the gift suite and New Era Thirty9 Thirty Cap will be hits. 

    There is also a Fossil watch and Oakley backpack that lands in the gift listings for the players. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Fossil watch, Oakley backpack, New Era Thirty9 Thirty cap

No. 3 Allstate Sugar Bowl

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    The Allstate Sugar Bowl has always been a big hit with fans and players alike as the setting of New Orleans brings both fun and mystery to bowl weekend. 

    The gifts for players include a solid gift suite, Fossil watch and a Boxer and Stone Hoodie. 

    A trip to one of Emeril’s local restaurants—NOLA would be my choice—or Galatoire’s would be a major score if they land in the gift suite. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Fossil watch, New Era cap, Boxer & Stone hoodie

No. 2 Discover Orange Bowl

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    The BCS title site is always reserved for the highest awards and best gift grabs. Add in a trip to Miami and these players are living the high life. 

    A gift suite and Tourneau watch is among the items that will be included in this package. Hopefully these guys can find the time to make it to Baires Grill for a meal—the black pepper sauce is worth a cross-country drive. 

    That one meal would steal the show for this bowl trip. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Tourneau watch

No. 1 Discover BCS National Championship Game

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    A gift suite and Tourneau watch await the players in this game, as do winning championship rings and the Coaches’ Trophy for the winning team. 

    The never-ending supply of oranges is always a plus, but nothing will compare to a winning outing for the either team. 

    If there is a consolation, the Tourneau watch will help ease the pain of a loss. 

    Gift: Gift suite, Tourneau watch