Oh, how time flies by. It’s already December.
That means we’re getting our Christmas shopping done, making plans to travel home and trying to amends with Santa Claus so we’re on the nice list.
It also means bowl season has arrived. College football’s month-long slate of games begins Dec. 15 with Nevada and Arizona squaring off in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. I know you’ll be on the edge of your set for that one.
Other than the players receiving some really awesome gifts (the Chick-fil-A bowl is giving participants an iPad mini among other things), these games don’t mean much. Sure, there are some great match ups and some of the lesser hyped games will turn out to be great.
So, to help you decipher which of the 35 bowls are worth your time, I’ve devised a brilliant (I make myself laugh) system of categorizing the games. They’re broken up into four different categories: Have to watch live, record it on the DVR, catch the highlights and use it for naptime or background noise.
See. It’s brilliant. (Because it’s the holiday season, I’ve included a brief paragraph as to why I feel a game should be where it is.)
GAMES TO WATCH LIVE
Discover BCS National Championship - No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 1 Notre Dame
This one is self explanatory.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Oregon vs. Kansas State
You should tune in to this one just to see what Oregon’s uniforms look like and to watch what maybe Chip Kelly’s last game as the Ducks’ head coach. Also, it’s a bit of old school vs. new school and those are always interesting.
AT&T Cotton Bowl – Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
We won’t get this match up that often any more and any game that features a player that is considered the favorite to win the Heisman is must-see.
Chick-fil-A Bowl – LSU vs. Clemson
If not for an ill-timed blitz call, LSU might be sitting where Alabama is right now. Yet, here we are. I’ll watch this one for all of the big playmakers on both sides of the field. Should be entertaining.
Allstate Sugar Bowl – Louisville vs. Florida
If there is one BCS bowl selection I don’t agree with, it’s Florida right here. Georgia gets knocked back to the Capital One bowl for losing to Alabama in the SEC title game. Georgia beat Florida, too. However, it is a good match up. It’ll be worth your time.
Capital One Bowl – Georgia vs. Nebraska
Ah, a match up of championship game losers. Georgia should’ve won the SEC title and will be looking to take out some built up anger. However, Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez is very talented and capable of making big plays. Watch out for him.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – TCU vs. Michigan State
This one isn’t on this list because of the match up, although Spartans’ freshman running back Le’Veon Bell is pretty fun. No, the reason this is here because of bowl’s sponsor. Beer and wings baby. Beer and wings.
Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Stanford
I had this one under the “wait for the highlights” category until I heard who was coaching Wisconsin. Former coach Barry Alvarez will lead the Badgers. That alone is must-see TV.
CATCH IT ON THE DVR
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl – Baylor vs. UCLA
This one has the potential to be a great game, but has just as potential to be a lousy game. So, to be safe you don’t waste four hours of your life, record it and use the fast-forward function if needed.
Valero Alamo Bowl – Texas vs. Oregon State
I’m not excited about this one, but I don’t want to hear the backlash for putting it any lower. You never know, though.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Toledo vs. Utah State
Last year, Utah State opened with Auburn and nearly won the game. A freshman named Chuckie Keeton caught my eye that day and reminded me of a similar experience I had when I saw some guy named Robert Griffin III play for the first time.
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas – Washington vs. Boise State
Boise State, the team that likes to gamble on unique and special trick plays, is playing in Las Vegas? That should put Chris Petterson in a gambling mood.
WAIT FOR THE HIGHLIGHTS
GoDaddy Bowl – Kent State vs. Arkansas State
These are actually two very good teams. Arkansas State just lost its coach to Auburn, though and Kent State doesn’t always know which end zone they’re supposed to run to.
Discover Orange Bowl – N. Illinois vs. Florida State
I’m not in a disagreement with Northern Illinois playing in the BCS. They met the requirements. It’s just not a good match up. Florida State is just way too talented. Of course, I’m sure I said that about Boise State and Oklahoma.
Heart of Dallas Bowl – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State’s offense is still somewhat exciting and Purdue, if they’re healthy isn’t that bad of a team.
Hyundai Sun Bowl – USC vs. Georgia Tech
Marquis Lee. Marquis Lee. Marquis Lee.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City – NC State vs. Vanderbilt
Let’s see how much resemblance Vanderbilt starting quarterback Jordan Rodgers has with his older brother, Aaron Rodgers.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl – West Virginia vs. Syracuse
You Geno Smith and West Virginia have the ability to put up points in bunches. So does Syracuse. This could end being this year’s version of the 2011 Alamo Bowl.
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl – Ohio vs. UL-Monroe
Remember way back when Ohio was supposed to be undefeated and playing in a BCS game. The Independence Bowl is just a little bit below that on the scale of bowl prestige. Kolton Browning (ULM) and Tyler Tettleton (Ohio) are both exciting quarterbacks, so there might be a play or two to catch.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State vs. SMU
Let’s see how many interceptions Jim Thorpe award finalist Phillip Thomas can get from Garrett Gilbert.
TURN IT ON IF YOU NEED A NAP
Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Nevada vs. Arizona
This game doesn’t have many big-name playmakers or interesting storylines. There is this fun fact, though: Rich Rodriguez made a bowl game in his first season at Arizona, something he failed to do at Michigan.
BBVA Compass Bowl – Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss
The only reason to watch any part of this game is to see if Pittsburgh has the same coach. The outcome should make the Mannings happy.
Outback Bowl – South Carolina vs. Michigan
Both teams were playing for much, much more this season. Both disappointed their fan base. South Carolina should win this without much trouble (where have we heard that said before).
AutoZone Liberty Bowl – Iowa State vs. Tulsa
I played high school football with one of the players for Tulsa. So, I should put this higher, but I’m not. They’re playing Iowa State. There are plenty other games that should catch your attention.
Russell Athletic Bowl – Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech
Talk about a disappointment, Virginia Tech just flat out fell on its face this season. Rutgers actually had a shot at the Big East championship. But that’s not saying much either.
Gator Bowl – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern
Both teams are good, solid ones. There just isn’t anything enticing about it, though.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Rice vs. Air Force
A pair of 6-6 teams squaring off at 10:45 a.m. Dec. 29 isn’t exactly what I’d call must-see TV.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Navy vs. Arizona State
This is the game that follows the Armed Forces Bowl. Yeah, it’ll be one of those days.
Belk Bowl – Cincinnati vs. Duke
If this was a basketball game, it’d be a pretty good match up. But this is football. And it’s not a good game.
Military Bowl – San Jose State vs. Bowling Green
Sports editor John Hornberg is an alumnus of San Jose State and even he agrees with this placement. Enough said.
Little Caesars Bowl – Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan
It’s nice to see Western Kentucky in a bowl game after all those years at the back of those preseason magazines. Still, it’s a match up 7-5 and 6-6 teams.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl – Central Florida vs. Ball State
Name one player that will play in this game. Go ahead; I’ll wait for you to look it up in that other window. Exactly.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – BYU vs. SDSU
Lets rename this one the Case of Identity Confusion Bowl. BYU an independent? Sand Diego State in the Big East? These two schools must be confused.