The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Bowling for Dollars a.k.a "College Bowl Games"
For those of you who regularly follow the Dozen, this column is a little bit different. Instead of listing teams, I'm going to try and go through the 12 Best and 5 Worst Bowl games of the ungodly bloated 40 Game College Football Bowl Game season.
Is it a true list of the Best and Worst games? Maybe, like the traditional Dozen and Barrel, it's my opinion on said games. Your view and perspective may vary. I've not really made my thoughts about Bowl games a secret. I still believe it to be a totally antiquated and bloated thing with largely irrelevant games played in random towns in front of 1/2 filled stadiums.
Yes, there are a few fanbases who still get excited by Bowl Games, but the list grows shorter and shorter every year.
But hey, listen, as negative as this has been, I do want to emphasize that during a holiday season where there is little to anything worth watching on Television, a Bowl Game isn't a bad way to pass 3 or 4 hours of time. So without going into all 41 games--which would take far more time than I currently have, I give you my list of the Best and Worst Games: (ed. note--scroll to the bottom to find out who I think wins the National Title)
THE DIRTY DOZEN
1. Fiesta Bowl: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Yup, this is arguably the best game on the board and it's the College Football Playoff semi-final. I mean, if you don't watch any other game this Bowl Season, seriously, this is going to be "Must-See TV". Without breaking down the absolutely fascinating matchup--here's a score prediction: Ohio St. 47, Clemson 43
2. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Appalachian State vs. UAB
That's right, I'm ranking this as the 2nd best game on the board. Do some homework and put some thought into it. Two highly underrated and talented teams playing in a game that I'd be willing to be will be very, very close.
Score Prediction: App State 34, UAB 23
3. Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo vs. Charlotte
What can be bad about a game in December played in Nassau? And they got some excellent teams you likely haven't paid much attention to in the game. It's the kickoff to the Bowl season and one that if I get a chance--will watch. Look out for Charlotte under friend of the OSG Will Healy
Score Prediction: Charlotte 37, Buffalo 33
4. Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl: Boise St. vs. Washington
Irony or not, you could easily call this Chris Peterson's past vs. his present to launch him into the future as it is his last game helming the Huskies. That alone makes this worth tuning into as there will be tons of nostalgia and emotion poured out in a good matchup.
Score Prediction: Washington 41, Boise 37
5. Academy Sports Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
A callback to the old Southwestern Conference featuring two intriguing teams that may have underachieved a smidge this season. It should be a track meet which will make it fun to watch.
Score Prediction: Texas A&M 51, Oklahoma State 45
6. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Penn State vs. Memphis
I've not been a big on Penn State for a reason. This is the most likely Group of 5 upset of the entire season as it is a Memphis team that loves to throw against a Penn State team that doesn't pass cover well.
Score Prediction: Memphis 34, Penn State 31
7. VRBO Citrus Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan
Two legacy brands playing in a game the fanbases might be a little apathetic over. Which makes it potentially interesting. The Bama fanbase is likely confused but will show up for this because "Disney World".
Score Prediction: Alabama 35, Michigan 21
8. Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma
On paper this should be a mismatch. But if you do a deeper dive, these teams are almost a mirror image of each other. Which should make for a fun game--but I suspect will be a blowout. I could though be wrong.
Score Prediction: LSU 53, Oklahoma 47
9. Outback Bowl: Auburn vs. Minnesota
This could be a very close game. Very close. Minnesota was a great story this season and look vaguely like an SEC team. Auburn showed flashes of being really good and if the D-Line takes over here, they'll win easy. Also---best Pregame Press Meal game of all of them.
Score Prediction: Auburn 27, Minnesota 17
10. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor
I don't know if the whiny Georgia faithful will show up here though it is really hard to top New Orleans on New Years Eve from a party perspective. These teams also are quite similar, I'm curious to see if the guys not playing impact the Bulldogs
Score Prediction: UGA 23, Baylor 10
11. Tax Slayer Gator Bowl: Indiana vs. Tennessee
Raise your hand if you thought the Vowels would be in a Bowl Game after the way they started this season. Kudos to Jeremy Pruitt for getting their act together. Indiana is a great story, another Big 10 team who had their best season in a long, long time.
Score Prediction: Tennessee 31, Indiana 21
12. AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Navy vs. Kansas State
This is because Navy is always fun to watch--especially when they are better than the Power 5 team they play. The Midshipmen survive on execution and "Doing their Job/Assignment" efficiently. This won't be high scoring, but that's ok.
Score Prediction: Navy 27, K-State 21
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
If you tune into these games, well, you have a lot of free time on your hands and I congratulate you for your patience and lack of entertainment options.
5. NOVA Loans Arizona Bowl: Wyoming vs. Georgia State
Why? These are two decent "Group of 5" teams that didn't come close to winning their respective conferences. Is there a legitimate reason to watch this other than boredom?? Score Prediction: Wyoming 27, Ga. State 17
4. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: FSU vs. Arizona State
Okay, I have to admit the logo for this game makes me laugh. The game however....not so much. Somehow Florida State slipped into a game and the same for the Wildcats. Not much more you can say about either team. Yawn.......
Score Prediction: Arizona State 17, FSU 13
3. San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Iowa
Really? Two of College Football's dullest teams playing in late December game on a Friday night. Oh, joy!
Score Prediction: USC 28, Iowa 21
2. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Ohio vs. Nevada
Proof positive you can hold a Bowl Game anywhere if you have enough sponsorship money. Does anything scream excitement more than these two teams playing January 3rd in Boise, Idaho? Yeah, thought so.....
Score Prediction: Nevada 21, Ohio 10
1. Walk-On's Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami
Congratulations to all involved. This is the single worst, least-interesting Bowl Game of 2019-2020. Seriously. Does anyone care about watching Louisiana Tech play football on National TV? Or a Miami team that lost to Florida International? If you do, you might need to re-evaluate some life priorities. Just sayin'...
Score Prediction: La. Tech 34, Miami 21
Enjoy your holiday's and the official end of the College Football Season
And in case you are interested---I have Ohio State beating LSU in the National Championship game 45-34......