Dulany: 10 bowls no one should have to miss
Josh Dulany | Monday, December 8, 2014
The holiday season is here. The sun has conducted its yearly disappearing act; the turkeys have come and gone; the impending doom of finals is in the air, and it’s beginning to look and sound like Christmas.
However, I will be spending my Christmas far away from this winter wonderland. In fact, I will be in the sunny and 75-degree weather that Ethiopia offers throughout the calendar. Yet, while Ethiopia has no snow, it also has no cable TV. So, although I will have family and food, football will be sorely lacking — especially college football bowl games.
Yes, you may have heard, there is a college football playoff this year. The committee has laid out its picks, and everyone outside of Texas is pretty content with them. Furthermore, beyond the selection committee’s pride and joy that is the New Year’s Six, there are 32 more bowl games that will take place from Dec. 20 to Jan. 4. I will be able to watch exactly zero of these games. Unless I tune into the Army-Navy game this weekend, I will not see another snap of college football action until the National Championship game on Jan. 12.
That’s 38 bowl games I’m missing out on. That’s tough to stomach for me being as big a college football fan as I am. I mean, not all 38 games are going to be great. I am less than heartbroken to miss out on the GoDaddy Bowl showdown between Toledo and Arkansas State.
There are still a lot of great matchups though that I am disappointed to not catch a glimpse of. So, I thought I’d at least write about them for a bit. Below are the top 10 bowl games I wish I were able to watch.
10. Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Arkansas
Is anyone going to score in this game? Both teams are brutal in the trenches, and both teams are brutal to watch do anything on offense. Arkansas will probably be able to run enough to get by the Longhorns, but I would be watching to see these old Southwestern Conference rivals just hammer it out.
9. Liberty Bowl: Texas A&M vs. West Virginia
This game would be the polar opposite of the one above, as it’s possible no one will even bother to play defense. This should be a fun track-meet of a contest where both teams chase 50 points.
8. Outback Bowl: Auburn vs. Wisconsin
Two great rushing attacks here. Melvin Gordon should be a Heisman finalist, and the Auburn high-tempo running game has been the foundation of the Tigers’ recent resurgence under Gus Malzahn. It would be fun to watch these masterful ground games go at it.
7. Fiesta Bowl: Arizona vs. Boise State
The Broncos return to where their heartwarming romp through the hearts of everyone outside of Norman, Oklahoma, began. Arizona has overachieved all year, and it would be fun to watch the upstart Wildcats square off with everyone’s favorite underdog. Watch out for the hook and ladder.
6. Alamo Bowl: Kansas State vs. UCLA
Bill Snyder’s determined, hardworking bunch against Jim Mora’s UCLA team that look like world-beaters one week and then forget how to play football the next. Brett Hundley is always fun to watch, and Jake Waters has been under the radar all year, just like his Wildcats.
5. Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Ohio State
I am less excited about this game than some because I don’t like either team and really just never find it fun to watch both of them play. Still, Saban and Meyer are two of the best ever, and it will be fun to watch the chess match play out between them. However, Saban has a few more NFL-bound pieces and isn’t using his third-string quarterback. Advantage goes to the Tide.
4. Orange Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech
Two teams that have exceeded expectations and have thrilling dual-threat quarterbacks. Can Tech knock off another SEC powerhouse or will Dak Prescott put a final exclamation point on a fantastic season for the Bulldogs?
3. Peach Bowl: TCU vs. Ole Miss
The Horned Frogs will be disappointed to have not made the top four, and Ole Miss knows it was literally an inch — and a Laquon Treadwell injury — from a very different season. These are twobig ten
talented teams, and it should be an electrifying affair.
2. Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs. Michigan State
Baylor may feel even more snubbed than TCU, and Michigan State will be ruing the two big opportunities, Oregon and Ohio State, that it let get away this season. The Bears have a chance to send a message about the Big 12’s supremacy over the Big Ten, and Michigan State is looking for a second straight big bowl victory.
1. Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida State
The last two Heisman winners. The team that’s looked the most dominant versus the team that has just refused to lose. Oregon trying to finally break through against the defending national champions who have won 29 (!) straight games. I can’t believe I’m going to miss it.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.