Bowl Games 2010: The 7 Sorriest Bowls of the Season
As college football bowl season begins, fans can get excited for intriguing matchups featuring undefeated teams such as Oregon and Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game, or at least good games such as Michigan State versus Alabama in the Capital One Bowl.
Unfortunately, exciting games are not always what the fans get. Whether it is because one team is severely overmatched or there are just two boring teams, some of the bowl games in the 2010 season will just be plain stinkers.
Here are seven bowl games to avoid in the upcoming 2010 bowl season.
The Maaco Bowl features the Boise State Broncos and the Utah Utes. One would think that a matchup between two Top 25 teams could be one of the more interesting bowl games of the season; however, this is just not the case.
Utah finished the season ranked No. 19 in the BCS, but they are one of the most overrated teams in the country. Utah, who went 10-2 on the season, went 2-2 in their last four games, losing to both TCU and Notre Dame in blowouts of 25 points or more and beating San Diego State and Brigham Young by slim margins.
Boise State, on the other hand, was just two blown field goals away from a BCS bowl game this season. The Broncos are a much better team than their No. 11 ranking would suggest. Boise State is ranked second in points scored per game and has allowed the fourth best points per game average in college football this season.
This one is likely to be a blowout and a disappointment even to Boise State, who could have easily found themselves in the Rose Bowl if it were not for a blown field goal.
Valero Alamo Bowl
The Valero Alamo Bowl features one of the more lopsided matchups in the bowl season this year. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, No. 14 in the BCS rankings, will take on the Arizona Wildcats in a matchup between the Big 12 and the Pac-10.
One month ago, this might have been considered a terrific game. Both teams had just one loss and were in consideration for a BCS bowl bid. Oklahoma State lost just one game to Oklahoma in a tough game that they lost by six points.
Arizona, on the other hand, has completely fallen apart. On a four-game losing streak, the Wildcats have lost four consecutive games to Pac-10 opponents Stanford, USC, Oregon and Arizona State.
The Arizona defense will likely be unable to handle the dynamic Oklahoma State offense. The Cowboys are one of the most fun teams to watch in college football. It's unfortunate that they weren't matched up against a better team.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Just one decade ago, this might have been one of the best bowl games of the season. In fact, the two teams in this game wouldn't be caught dead in the Hyundai Sun Bowl (no offense to the Sun Bowl).
This bowl game pits the Miami Hurricanes against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Both teams went 7-5 and were essentially irrelevant in the consideration of BCS bowl bids midway through the season.
Notre Dame had some nice wins this season, beating USC, Utah, Pittsburgh and Boston College. Additionally,a three-point overtime loss at Michigan State proves that this Notre Dame team is not as bad as it has been in recent years.
Miami just couldn't live up to the redemption hype this season. Despite being ranked as high as No. 12, Miami fell apart eventually, losing their last two games of the season, which led to the sacking of head coach Randy Shannon.
The game could actually prove to be interesting, but the fact that these two once-dominant programs are playing for their eighth win of the season in the Hyundai Sun Bowl is just embarrassing for these proud football programs.
In yet another matchup of teams that have had abnormally bad seasons, the Outback Bowl features the Florida Gators and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Both teams went 7-5 in the regular season and finished the season by losing two of their last three games.
The Florida Gators have sorely missed Tim Tebow this season. John Brantley, a former 5-star quarterback recruit, has been a circular peg in the square hole that is Urban Meyer's spread offense. Brantley has really struggled, passing for just nine touchdowns while also throwing nine interceptions.
Jeff Demps could not be relied upon as the featured running back, and a suspension to Chris Rainey really disrupted the Florida offense.
Defensively, the Gators really struggled in the secondary in the second half of the season with Jeremy Brown and Janoris Jenkins getting burned badly. Florida is just 31st in the NCAA in points allowed this season and has had the worst defense of the Meyer era.
The Penn State Nittany Lions simply could not beat a ranked team. Penn State was 0-4 versus teams within the Top 25. Four of their five losses came by a margin of 20 points or more. The Nittany Lions have one of the worst offenses of bowl-eligible teams and are ranked 80th in points per game this season.
The game features two of the least exciting offenses in college football and will likely be one of the most boring games of the new year.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
The name of the bowl game is a mouthful, but the Music City Bowl is one of the least exciting games of the bowl season. The game features the Tennessee Volunteers and the North Carolina Tar Heels, who finished at 6-6 and 7-5, respectively.
The Volunteers are one of the worst teams in the country to make it into a bowl game. At 6-6, Tennessee needed four straight wins to finish the season in order to be bowl-eligible. The Volunteers beat up on Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, hardly a scary or impressive schedule.
Tennessee was 0-5 against ranked teams this season and lost its six games this season by an average of more than 20 points per game.
The Tennessee running game is not even ranked within the top 100 in the nation, and the defense gave up 38 points or more four times this season.
North Carolina started the season ranked but could not overcome the controversies and suspensions that plagued the Tar Heels throughout the year. The Tar Heels actually have a talented roster, and T.J. Yates is one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC this year. The Tar Heels will win this game easily, but then again, beating the Volunteers hasn't meant much this season.
Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl
The Holiday Bowl features yet another lopsided matchup in this bowl season. The Nebraska Cornhuskers will play the Washington Huskies in a game that will likely be decided before the first half is over.
Washington finished fourth this season in a top-heavy Pac-10 division that did not have many strong teams behind Oregon and Stanford. The Huskies stumbled to the six wins they needed to make them bowl-eligible.
Washington already hosted Nebraska earlier this season. The result of that game was a 56-21 thrashing by the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska went 10-3 this season and is just far more talented than Washington. The Cornhuskers lost their three games by a total of 13 points this season. Nebraska will easily steamroll the Huskies in what will be probably the most lopsided score of the bowl season.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
The only BCS bowl game to be included on this list, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be one of the worst games to watch this bowl season.
The game features the Oklahoma Sooners and the Connecticut Huskies, who despite going 8-4 find themselves in a BCS bowl game because they won the Big East. In fact, the only reason Connecticut even won the Big East was because of a tiebreaker decided by the Huskies defeating West Virginia in an overtime game in October.
Connecticut is not a bad team, but it is not even in the same league as the Oklahoma Sooners. The Huskies' passing game is amongst the worst in college football this season. Despite not playing one ranked team this season, the Huskies offense was ranked just 62nd in the NCAA and was absolutely decimated by the Michigan Wolverines, a team that made little noise in the Big Ten this season.
Oklahoma should play a much better team. At 11-2, the Sooners have been good this season and deserve to be tested in a BCS game. Defeating two ranked teams during the last two weeks of the regular season, Oklahoma has already faced its biggest tests of the season. Winning a Fiesta Bowl has a lot less meaning when it comes against a team like the UConn Huskies.