Bowl Season Preview

College Football Bowl season is among us.  The regular season proved to be another entertaining one in the NCAA, and especially in the Big Ten and PAC 12.  The Big Ten and PAC 12 had their first championship games, Michigan State fell in a heart-breaker to Wisconsin, and Oregon defeated UCLA.  The bowl season will prove to be one of the most entertaining yet, as there are many favorable match-ups that should prove to be very entertaining.

The first bowl that will take place pits Temple who against Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.  It will take place this Saturday, December 17 at 2:00pm on ESPN.  Ohio University will head out to Boise, Idaho to take on Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, also this Saturday at 5:30pm on ESPN.  San Diego State will travel to New Orleans to take on Louisiana Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, broadcast on ESPN at 9:00pm to finish off the first bowl Saturday of the season.

Florida International won’t have to go very far for their bowl game as they will face Marshall in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida on Tuesday, December 20 at 8:00pm on ESPN.  Texas Christian University, who turned out a 10-2 record and ranked 18 won’t get a BCS Bowl game as they take on Louisiana Tech in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday, December 21, at 8:00pm on ESPN.

Many figured Boise State would earn a BCS Bowl bid, but they lost to TCU late in the season.  Because they are in the Mountain West Conference, they don’t automatically earn a bid to a BCS game; they have to go undefeated to earn it.  So, even though they are seventh in the BCS, their bowl game will be against Arizona State in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday, December 22 at 8:00pm on ESPN.

This year in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl we have Nevada up against number 21 Southern Mississippi, on Christmas Eve at 8:00pm on ESPN.  There are no bowl games on Christmas Day, but on December 26 we have Missouri and North Carolina in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana at 5:00pm on ESPN2.

Right here in the Motor City, we have a pretty good match-up for you.  Ford Field will host Western Michigan from the MAC and Purdue, in the Little Caesar’s Bowl on Tuesday, December 27 at 4:30pm on ESPN.  Also on December 27, North Carolina State won’t have to travel very far as they face Louisville in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina at 8:00pm on ESPN.

Air Force will almost have a home game as they take on the Toledo Rockets in the Military Bowl, Presented by Northrop Gunman in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, December 28 at 4:30pm on ESPN.  That Wednesday will feature a big match-up between number 24 Texas and California in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, in San Diego at 8:00pm on ESPN.

Florida State and Notre Dame will face off as two storied programs take the field in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando on Thursday, December 29 at 5:30pm on ESPN.  Washington will be challenged as they take on Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and number 12 Baylor in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio at 9:00pm on ESPN that same day.

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl features Brigham Young and Tulsa on Friday, December 30 at 12:00pm on ESPN in Dallas.  In the New Era Pinstripe Bowl held at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Rutgers will take on Iowa State at 3:20pm on ESPN that same day.  Out in Nashville, Mississippi State will face Wake Forest in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at 6:40pm on ESPN.  To end the day, the Insight Bowl features Iowa and number 14 Oklahoma in Tempe, Arizona at 10:00pm on ESPN.

The final day of the year, December 31, features five football games.  The first game of the day pits Texas A&M against Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston at 12:00pm on ESPN.  Georgia Tech and Utah will face off in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso at 2:00pm on CBS.  Cincinnati will face Vanderbilt in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee at 3:30pm on ABC.  In the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Illinois and UCLA will face each other with interim head coaches at 3:30pm on ESPN in San Francisco.  Finally, to end the year, Auburn, last year’s national champion, slid far down the ladder to number 25 and will play Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on ESPN at 7:30pm.

A troubled Penn State program ranked 22 will start off the new year against number 19 ranked Houston in the Ticket City Bowl in Dallas on January 2 at 12:00pm on ESPN.  Michigan State, ranked at 17, who lost the Big Ten Championship game to Wisconsin, will travel to Tampa Bay to face number 16 Georgia in the Outback Bowl that same day, on ABC at 1:00pm.  Newcomer to the Big Ten, Nebraska, ranked at 20, will take on 9th ranked South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando at 1:00pm on ESPN, also on the second of January.

Another troubled program, Ohio State, earned a bowl bid to the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville and will face Florida at 1:00pm on ESPN2 on the second.  Wisconsin, ranked at 10, the Big Ten Champion will take on PAC 12 Champion and number 5 ranked Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio in Pasadena at 5:00pm on ESPN.  Finishing off parts of the BCS Bowl games, number 4 Stanford and number three Oklahoma State will go to the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on January 2.  Game time is 8:30pm and will be on ESPN.  Many believe that Oklahoma State should’ve been in the National Championship game after a blowout of rival Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game.

Michigan, ranked 13 will take on Virginia Tech, ranked at 11, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on the third of January at 8:30pm on ESPN, for all you Wolverines out there!  The Discover Orange Bowl features number 23 West Virginia and number 15 Clemson down in Miami on January 4 at 8:30pm on ESPN.  A couple of non-BCS games are featured in between the Orange Bowl and the National Championship.

Number eight ranked Kansas State and number six ranked Arkansas will face each other in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas on the sixth of January at 8:00pm on FOX.  Southern Methodist University, a troubled program back in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, is finally stumbling back to its feet as it takes on Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama on January 7 at 1:00pm on ESPN.  Finally, on January 8, Arkansas State will face Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Alabama at 9:00pm on ESPN2.

And now, for  the big one of them all: the National Championship. This game pits arch-rivals against each other: Louisiana State University against the University of Alabama.  LSU is ranked number 1 in the country while Alabama is number 2.  The Allstate BCS National Championship Game will be held in New Orleans at the Louisiana Superdome on Monday, January 9, at 8:30pm on ESPN.

This bowl season features some match-ups that will be very entertaining.  As Michigan goes to its first BCS game since 2006, be sure catch up on all the other bowl games to get in the mood.  As always, Go Blue!

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