When it comes to his year’s bowl lineup, it might not have been the year of the Dogs, but it’s certainly a dog year once you get past the BCS title match between Alabama and Texas.
I was looking down the list of this year’s bowl matchups to see which ones I might want to circle on the calendar as must-sees. It’s definitely an underwhelming lineup.
Forget the early minor bowls, which boast the likes of Fresno State vs. Wyoming, and Central Florida against Rutgers. OK, BYU against Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl might occupy the attention for a quarter or two. Ditto USC and Boston College in the Emerald.
But the Music City puts its perennial SEC team, Kentucky, against Clemson, who got jobbed by the Gator Bowl. Unless Clemson goes into a post-ACC championship funk, that should be a blowout.
Miami and Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl doesn’t excite me much as a viewer. Neither does Arizona-Nebraska in the Holiday.
Actually, one of the more interesting bowls this year should be the venerable but oft-overlooked Sun, which pits Stanford, with Heisman candidate Toby Gerhart, against a down but still dangerous Oklahoma team.
Missouri and Navy in the Texas Bowl? Bleh. Ditto two 6-6 teams, Iowa State and Minnesota, in the Insight Bowl.
The Chick-fil-A opted to go with Virginia Tech instead of Clemson in its ACC-SEC pairing and decided Tennessee would be better for business than Georgia. I’ll probably check it out, but I’m thinking Hokies all the way.
Then we come to the maverick bowl that initiated the chain of events that pushed the Dogs all the way down to Shreveport: the Outback. They let themselves get talked into taking an inconsistent Auburn team by the Tigers’ campaigning athletics director and matched them with … Northwestern. Yawn-inducing. Really, just about any of the 7-5 SEC teams would be favored in that game.
LSU and Penn State in the Capitol One might hold my interest for a while, but does anyone except Bobby Bowden loylists care about FSU and West Virginia in the Gator? The Rose is your usual boring Big 10-PAC 10 pairing, this time Ohio State and Oregon. And even if the Gators cry all the way to New Orleans and take the field as dehydrated as their coach, I can’t see them having much trouble with Cincinnati. Okie State and Ole Miss in the Cotton? The Cowboys don’t have Dez Bryant any more, so the Rebels shouldn’t have too much trouble there. Tech and Iowa? Yeah, that’ll draw blockbuster ratings for the Orange.
Putting TCU up against Boise State in the Fiesta is pretty much a waste. It would have been fun to see the Horned Frogs take on the Gators in the Sugar. Or even the Jackets in the Orange. But leave it to the BCS to avoid anything really interesting once you get past the national championship game. Maybe they feared the Frogs would show up a BCS conference team and give the Mountain West more ammo in its battle to get a guaranteed spot in the proceedings.
Actually, compared with a lot of these matchups, Georgia and Texas A&M looks pretty entertaining.