Out of curiosity, is anyone excited about any of these projected bowl matchups?
I mean, not that Rutgers vs. Ball State in Toronto won’t be awesome… not that a UCLA-BYU rematch in the Las Vegas Bowl wouldn’t be thrilling… but it does sort of seem like the craziest college-football season in the history of mankind has left us with, at least on paper, a somewhat lackluster postseason. Of course, what’s "on paper" means nothing this year, right? But still.
Personally, if all of Mandel’s bowl predictions were to prove correct, here are the Top 5 games I’d be most interested in watching:
1. USC vs. Ohio State (Rose Bowl) - Well, duh. Though I wish it could have happened some other year — like, say, last year (ahem, cough cough, dammit UCLA) — when they weren’t going to be playing each other again a mere eight months later in the Trojans’ 2008 home opener.
2. LSU vs. Hawaii (Sugar Bowl) - I may be alone in being excited about this one, but I’d really curious to see what Colt Brennan & co. can do against the Fightin’ Hillary Clintons.
3. Missouri vs. West Virginia (BCS Title Game) - Just because it’s the championship game, so it gets some props by default. And, uh, spread option offenses and stuff, or whatever. Still, this one doesn’t exactly jump off the page and scream "record-breaking ratings," does it?
4. Oklahoma vs. Arkansas (Cotton Bowl) - This would be a 10-3 Sooners team, having lost two of its last three, playing a disappointing 8-4 Razorbacks team, so you know the bowl matchups are pretty weak tea when this is #4 on my list. Nevertheless, this seems like a fun matchup, if only because it involves a) Darren McFadden, and b) a decent opponent.
5. Kansas vs. Arizona State (Fiesta Bowl) - This would be a matchup between two teams that ended their seasons disappointingly, losing their final big games (Kansas to Missouri, ASU to USC), and both teams are kinda suspected of being fraudulent, so again, it’s sad that it’s ranked this high, but what game are you gonna rank above it? Illinois vs. Florida? Sorry, I really don’t care about hyped coaching matchups (Ron Zook vs. Urban Meyer, blah blah freakin’ blah). Texas Tech-Virginia? Oregon-South Florida? Wake Forest-UConn? Utah-Navy? At least the fan bases in the Fiesta Bowl would be thrilled to be in a BCS game (and in the Sun Devils’ case, a virtual home game).
What do y’all think? Am I missing some hidden gem in that list of potential bowls? Should I be jumping for joy over the potential opportunity to watch Clemson play Auburn? Will the epic Troy-Memphis showdown be Must-See-TV for some reason I haven’t contemplated? You tell me.
Of course, it might be just as well that the likely bowl matchups don’t look too exciting. Considering Becky and I are having a baby during bowl season, it might be good if there aren’t too many games that I really want to watch. That way, there’ll be less disappointment when I miss them all. :)