This year’s must-see college bowl games
While many around the country are excited for the upcoming holiday season, college football fans are no doubt stoked for the bowl games that come with it. The nation’s top teams have been hand picked and clash against each other in a laundry list of potentially exciting football games.
Unless a fan has a lot of time on their hands, they do not stand a chance of catching all 35 games. To make it easy, here is a rundown of the bowl games fans simply should not miss.
BCS National Championship
Alabama vs. Notre Dame (Jan. 7)
The BCS National Championship is always the crown jewel of bowl games, anointing the top team in college football. This year’s match-up is especially appealing, pitting two tradition-rich programs against each other. Alabama, which has a subtle edge in this year’s contest, is going for its third national championship in the last four years. Notre Dame last appeared in a title game back in 1988. The Fighting Irish have a good shot at containing Alabama’s explosive offense as Notre Dame has limited teams to a combined 10 touchdowns this season.
Capital One Bowl
Nebraska vs. Georgia (Jan. 1)
Granted, this is not a BCS bowl, but it might as well be. Both teams fought very closely for their respective conference titles this season. Georgia was narrowly edged out by Alabama in the SEC title game while Nebraska laid an egg in the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin. These teams defected at the worst time this year, but are capable of playing a high caliber of football, making it a great match-up.
Oregon vs. Kansas State (Jan. 3)
Fans are not going to want to leave the room for a snack during this one. Expect fast-paced football with a lot of action and scoring. Both teams are capable of putting up a lot of points. In fact, Oregon averaged 50.8 points per game this year while Kansas State averaged 40.7. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein will show why he was a Heisman Trophy Finalist this season by leading K-State’s offense.
LSU vs. Clemson (Dec. 31)
Does defense really win championships? Fans will find out in this non-BCS bowl match-up. Clemson features an explosive offense while the SEC’s LSU flexes one of the strongest defenses in the land. As far as strength of schedule, LSU has been tested harder this year, falling just short of toppling Alabama to reach the SEC Championship. Clemson hails from the ACC, which presented far less of a challenge.
Stanford vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 1)
Fans should not be fooled by Wisconsin’s 8-5 record. The Badgers are making their third-straight appearance in the Rose Bowl, coming off a pair of losses. Their powerful rushing attack helped them hammer Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship. The Pac-10’s Stanford has hummed along behind quarterback Kevin Hogan. Still, defense will be the focal point to this game and it will likely be a low-scoring affair.
Florida State vs. Northern Illinois (Jan. 1)
Many fans of BCS programs griped about the fact that the MAC’s Northern Illinois made it into a BCS bowl game. It’s the first time a MAC team has ever done so. While many think the Huskies do not have what it takes to even hang with Florida State, their 40.9 points per game and versatile quarterback in Jordan Lynch says differently.
South Carolina vs. Michigan (Jan. 1)
Both teams were surely capable of scoring a better bowl game this year, but didn’t. While the stage might not be as big, it’s still a great match-up.