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Home | Lifestyle | Random |

College Football Bowl Preview 2013-14: Cream of the Crop

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Cred: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Tis the season of bowls and no, I will not merely rank the bowls. Anyone can do that. I’m going to rank the bowls on actual destination, and if fans of the respective teams should spend the money on going. As a side note this is meant to be fun. Any sarcasm and snark isn’t meant to insult the hard-working teams, but rather deride the sheer stupidity of having a whopping 35 bowl games.

Amazing Bowl, Good City

Citrus Bowl (Capital One): Orlando, Florida

Good weather, Disney World, Universal Studios and a pretty solid football game. Who wouldn’t want to see Wisconsin’s vaunted rushing attack go against the Jadeveon Clowney-led South Carolina defense?

Odds of me going (if I were a UW/USC fan) – 80%

Full disclosure, I’m a Wisconsin alumni but cannot make this game

…So Why Watch on TV?

In addition to Xs and Os, these are really talented teams. South Carolina was one game away from the SEC title game, and who knows what else. Wisconsin was also a few possessions away from a BCS game. Instead, theses two will duke it out in one of the loftiest non-BCS games.

Odds of me watching: 100%

Outback: Tampa, Florida

Good weather, beaches and, according to sources, one of the highest per capita rate of strip clubs in the nation (if you are into that type of thing). The fact that the last bowl game between LSU and Iowa ended like this also makes this a must see.

Odds of me going (if I were a LSU fan) – 35%

I think we all know me and Iowa football.

…So Why Watch on TV?

It is intriguing that Iowa’s experienced front seven will break in a new LSU quarterback due to Zach Mettenberger’s injury.  At the end of the day these are two well-coached teams. While the Tigers have a talent advantage, I’m not sure the gap is as wide as most would believe.

Odds of me watching: hmmm – Need I answer?  1,000,000%

Fiesta: Glendale, Arizona

Much like the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Phoenix is a fun (and big) city with a lot going on. There are also many smaller communities and nice wilderness surrounding. It’s a great location, but an even better game. UCF is a very well-coached, defensive-minded team. You don’t just stumble into an 11-1 record. As for Baylor, well, wow can they score. UCF will need to have its best game of the season to win this one.

Odds of me going (if I were a UCF/BU fan) – 100% (first BCS game for both teams)

…So Why Watch on TV?

We all know about Baylor’s No. 1 ranked offense and UCF’s 13th ranked defense, but there is also an interesting matchup on the other side. UCF is led by a very good quarterback, Blake Bortles. Baylor’s defense is much better than people realize, as well. It boils down to this: UCF can play the defensive game of its life but still come up short in the upset bid unless it finds a way move the ball against the Bears.

Odds of me watching: 100%

Cotton: Arlington, Texas

Another Dallas bowl means another Walker, Texas Ranger shoutout. Did you know that Walker’s partner, Jimmy, was a Dallas Cowboys receiver before an injury left him fit enough to become a cop? Anyway if you can set down your BBQ long enough, the Cotton Bowl is a real dandy this year with Oklahoma State and Missouri.

Odds of me going (if I was I was a OSU/Missouri Fan) – 80%

…So Why Watch on TV?

It would be easy to dismiss this as the heartbreak game, but these clubs are so well-coached that they will get over their respective Week 15 heartbreaks and be ready to roll. The fact that they are former conference foes also adds to the game’s appeal.

It may not seem like it since Mizzou gave up so many points to Auburn, and Oklahoma State is known for its offense, but these clubs are extremely balanced. The Cowboys are 14th in both scoring offense and defense. Mizzou is right there with them at 15th and 29th, respectively. This could be the best bowl when it is all said and done.

Odds of me watching: 100%

Sugar: New Orleans, Louisiana

I love New Orleans. The city is full of French and Spanish colonial history; a wealth of American history; it has the jazz legacy; and you can’t talk about New Orleans without mentioning the amazing cuisine. Culturally, it is second to none. Throw in the other trappings of good tourism like aquariums, museums and shopping, and you may forget to actually go to the game. That would be a mistake this year. What a game the 2014 Sugar Bowl appears to have with blue chip programs Alabama and Oklahoma squaring off.

Odds of me going (if I were a OU/Bama fan) – 90%

…So Why Watch on TV?

Nick Saban and Bob Stoops doing battle is one dimension, and the NFL talent up and down the rosters is another, but there is another factor I’m curious about. Alabama looked human at times this year, most notably dropping that Iron Bowl thanks to so-so defense and a questionable coaching call. Can a team with the talent level of Oklahoma and the long layoff finally find a way to solve the Nick Saban riddle?

Odds of me watching: 100%

BCS National Title Game: Pasadena, California

I’ve been to the Rose Bowl and to UCLA games, and I have to be honest: the hassle is worth it. Getting there from LA isn’t exactly a picnic, but go early and enjoy tailgating on the golf course. On one very underrated plus side, the Rose Bowl Stadium’s one-level bowl design means there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

As for visiting the metro area overall, well it is LA folks. Here’s an insider’s tip: it will be chilly for this game and the Granddaddy, so pack accordingly.

Odds of me going (if I were a fan of AU/FSU) – 100% (Mortgage the house, dear!)

…So Why Watch on TV

Other than the national title game?  Other than the Heisman winner?  Hmm, well you have Florida State’s triumphant return to national (not just ACC) prominence for the first time post-Bowden. You have Auburn’s fantastic worst-to-first storyline after going 0-8 in the SEC last year. I mean what more do you want?

Odds of me watching: 200%

The Rose Bowl: Pasadena, California

The 100th installment of this great game has a fantastic old-school feel, with two bruisers doing battle. Stanford flexes its muscles with the 10th best scoring defense; Michigan State counters that with the 4th best. Sparty’s rush defense is flat-out scary, whereas Stanford likes to ground and pound opponents. The collisions in this one will be phenomenal.

Odds of me going (if I was a MSU fan) – 200%

Odds of me going (if I was a Stanford fan) – 90 % (they were there last year)

…So Why Watch on TV

Because it is the freaking ROSE BOWL!  It’s called the Granddaddy of them all for a reason. Throw in the league champions from two of the country’s most historic conferences, and you have automatic drama. Seeing two decent, but rapidly improving, quarterbacks try and solve the defense across the line adds some specific flavor to this year’s line up. The fact that it is the 100th installment adds yet another layer to the game.

Odds of me watching: 500%

Odds of me driving up despite no ties to either team … rapidly increasing

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