Auburn’s Nick Marshall.
Here is your complete guide to the College Football Bowl match-ups, color coded for your viewing pleasure!!!
I’ve made a simple guide for you to understand each game’s value for viewing, it’s match up and thoughts on how it all should have played out instead…
There are 35 bowl games to digest, I’m thinking you’ll want to vomit on most.
by Mike Zimmer, Buckeye
No surprise, FSU will play Auburn in Pasadena for the whole shebangy-bang in college football. H0-hum, I really could care less who wins. When it’s all said and done, did we really solve the National Champ so simply? Good riddance BCS, you helped pretty much nothing during your time.
So, in the last year of the current system before the next bad system that comes in it’s wake with the “Plus One” next year, here is your complete bowl line-up for 2013-2014. I’ve color coded each from Green or Vomit Inducing Awful game to Red which is Must See TV. In between I’ve made an argument or explanation about each game’s value to the viewer, college football and the grand scheme of things. Obviously I’ve not been overly kind. I’ve even made a few suggestions of how they could have gotten it right by better match-ups etc.
So, without further delay, I offer you what will have to pass for college football for the end of the year. Enjoy!!!
Of Negative or no redeeming value whatsoever to college football or the viewer:
Green = Vomit inducing awful (-4)
Brown = Shitty (-3)
Purple = Yuck (0 to -2)
Grey = This is a bowl game? (0 to -1)
Blue =No interest (0)
Some Redeeming Value:
Black = Meh (1 to 2)
Orange = I could watch this (3 to 4)
Red = Must Watch (5+)
Gildan New Mexico
Washington State (6-6) vs. Colorado State (7-6)
The mere fact that there is a New Mexico Bowl sponsored by a T-shirt company should tell you everything you need to know. Sure, sure, Washington State making it back to a bowl for the first time in forever against a Colorado State team also lost in the hinterlands of college football has value for…well…no one but friends and family of the players at hand.
Royal Purple Las Vegas
Fresno State (11-1) vs. USC (9-4)
The only reason this one has some interest to me is that it’s a chance to see what Fresno State can do up against a traditional power conference team. It’s too bad it’s a headless USC team that will probably be rather disinterested in being in another second tier city/stadium yet again this year. I do love watching USC lose though.
Famous Idaho Potato
Buffalo (8-4) vs. San Diego State (7-5)
Tens of people in the Boise area will come out for this one and I hear there are some very dedicated couples, friends and family of players that might want to turn on their TV sets to watch this match up of a MAC team that was blasted by Ohio State and Baylor by a combined 147-to whatever and a San Diego State team that lost to a Division I-AA team in week one of the season.
R+L Carriers New Orleans
Tulane (7-5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)
This regional game is fine in my book. While I’d like to see teams like this get a chance to play bigger teams ala Fresno State being “awarded” USC to play, I’m fine with this being a game between like-teams in a fitting setting. It’s amazing that Tulane still has a program and it’s good to see them back being not just being competitive but in a bowl. UL-Lafayette won the Sun Belt, good for them.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg
East Carolina (9-3) vs. Ohio (7-5)
Again, awarding teams from lesser conferences with a chance to play like-conference foes to see who is better is fine, even if not a traditional regional rivalry. It’s too bad that East Carolina won 9-games and this is all they get, but I digress.
Boise State (8-4) vs. Oregon State (6-6)
A not-so-impressive Boise State team against a disappointing Oregon State team in a game that wouldn’t even be a marquee early season non-conference game has absolutely no redeeming value in a bowl game.
Little Caesars Pizza
Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (10-3)
How is it fair to Bowling Green that they won their conference and get sentenced to having to return to Detroit to take on an absolutely pathetic Pitt team from a crap ACC conference is embarrassing to college football. This is where I beg the NCAA to take some kind of control in scheduling and the post-season in giving the people something to actually watch. BGSU vs. Boise State is a better match-up here and let Pitt play Oregon State…or just not have them play.
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia
Utah State (8-5) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)
So Northern Illinois went from the possibility of crashing the BCS again to the out-house because they ran into a buzz saw in their conference title game? How does the #16-ranked team in the country go from a possible tilt at the Fiesta Bowl against Baylor to playing the #2 team from the Mountain West in a down year for that conference in a bowl game that absolutely no one wants to watch or will care about. Sure, I get it, NIU lost, but give them their due, they’re ranked and deserve at least a chance to play a major conference team in a better bowl. After all, they did have more Big Ten wins than Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue with 2.
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman
Marshall (9-4) vs. Maryland (7-5)
Another conference champion gets…an mediocre team from a mediocre conference in a location that is considered regionally convenient. Here, is a chance where Marshall, winning Conference USA should get a major conference team to play or play a like conference champion, perhaps the MAC Champion? The smaller conferences really should start to get in cahoots because if they don’t they’re eventually going to just get shit on and left out anyways.
Syracuse (6-6) vs. Minnesota (8-4)
This is what happens when there are too many teams in big conferences and have too many slots to fill in bowl obligations/affiliations. Puke. Absolutely vomit inducing mediocre football that no one cares about. Minnesota had a great season and at the very least should get a decent foe.
BYU (8-4) vs. Washington (8-4)
I have no interest in this game but have no problem with it’s existence if someone wants to see them play.
New Era Pinstripe
Rutgers (6-6) vs. Notre Dame (8-4)
I had to find a different shade of green to show how vomit inducing this game is. Rutgers had to win their last game (barely) against a bad USF team in the snow to get eligible to play a vanilla as they come Notre Shame team in what is strictly a money grab by them. No one should talk to Notre Dame unless they join a conference or are mandated to go play a better team like, say Northern Illinois in a game that has some intrinsic value.
Cincinnati (9-3) vs. North Carolina (6-6)
Both of these teams score a lot of points and are at times entertaining. They are both from mediocre conferences and while it has no real value, for an exhibition, you can do a lot worse.
Miami (9-3) vs. Louisville (11-1)
You might call this the disappointment bowl but at the same time, I have no problem with a couple of teams from mediocre conferences that were successful playing in a pissing match game of who’s not as disappointing as the next. I’ll watch Teddy Bridgewater any day and look forward to seeing him in the NFL next year. Again, this is a chance though where perhaps the highly ranked Cards should be playing a better team, even from a lesser conference (Fresno State perhaps?).
Buffalo Wild Wings
Michigan (7-5) vs. Kansas State (7-5)
There isn’t enough brown to state how shitty this game is. At the very least both teams are evenly matched?
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Middle Tennessee (8-4) vs. Navy (7-4)
I am fine with Navy and the military academy programs having automatic entry bowls to play games against the best of what they can attract. It doesn’t mean I want to watch it. Next week’s Army/Navy game means more to the kids playing, the fans that follow them or anything this game could possibly have for them. Go Navy, Beat Army!
Franklin American Mortgage Music City
Ole Miss (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)
Conference overload on affiliation strikes again! You could do worse than these two teams but in the end, what does it matter and what value is there in this one? Regionally I’m OK with it I guess. Whatever.
Oregon (10-2) vs. Texas (8-4)
Two nationally ranked teams from respectable conferences who were good if not a little disappointing playing in conference affiliated bowl match-up. You could do a whole lot worse. Texas will have a defacto home game and they’ll need that edge against an Oregon team that could run them out of the stadium if the Longhorns aren’t careful. If you’re going to have bowl games for teams that otherwise won’t make the BCS/play-offs and they’re not league champs/co-champs, this is the type of venue you want. Though, I admit, I think Oregon deserves better.
National University Holiday
Arizona State (10-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
Conversely, as opposed to the Texas/Oregon match-up you have this kind of crap. Arizona State was in the Pac-12 Championship game and they get…a team that lost their last 5-games? Really? This is where a ranked, 10-win team like Arizona State deserves a better match-up or perhaps should be forced to play one of the smaller conference teams. The better match-up here is ASU vs. Northern Illinois or Rice.
Arizona (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Another gathering of friends and family only.
Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. UCLA (9-3)
The Sun Bowl is typically an odd mix bowl game and I have no problem with it’s existence with formerly ranked and ranked teams making the trip to El Paso to play. Will I watch? Probably not the whole thing.
Rice (10-3) vs. Mississippi State (6-6)
So little guy Rice, a conference champion, a great story with 10-wins is rewarded by playing far away from home in a game against an SEC team that had to win it’s final game to get bowl eligible? Rice has everything to prove and has everything to proud about and they get rewarded with a mediocre SEC team that probably doesn’t want to be there and doesn’t respect the team they’ll play nor the venue they’ll play in. Absolutely wrong and absolutely meaningless in my opinion. The better option would be Rice vs. Texas or Oklahoma State in a more regional and higher profile match-up.
Duke (10-3) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)
Conference affiliations make this one a pre-destined match-up I can’t deny exist for regional reasons. It’s a bad match up though.
Nebraska (8-4) vs. Georgia (8-4)
Why? Why? Give me one reason? As abysmal a match-up in the bowl schedule strictly on the match-up. Both teams ended their years tripping over themselves with Bo Pelini and the Nebraska Corn Huskers losing a bitter game against Iowa while Georgia will be without QB Aaron Murray looked hopelessly mediocre even before the injury. This game has become the Medicore Bowl of late: think Florida vs. Ohio State a few years ago. I’d rather see East Carolina, a 9-win team get a shot at an SEC team here.
Heart of Dallas
UNLV (7-5) vs. North Texas (8-4)
Who’s heart is in watching this one? At the very least it’s a lesser conference affiliation match-up but man, North Texas and UNLV for your match-up is digging the bottom of the barrel even from the mid-majors.
Wisconsin (9-3) vs. South Carolina (10-2)
OK, now you’re into the better teams from respective conferences. I can tolerate AND enjoy these because these teams had been relevant during the season by being ranked, from big conferences at the forefront of college football and have a traditional responsibility to meet due to conference affiliation. These are good “pissing match” games as the SEC and Big Ten fight for bowl game pride. The new years day games typically deliver.
Iowa (8-4) vs. LSU (9-3)
This one has less interest to me but I’ll accept it on the same merit as I mentioned above.
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
Stanford (11-2) vs. Michigan State (12-1)
The Rose Bowl is must watch no matter the match-up for a Big Ten boy and college football fans across the country. You absolutely must watch the Grand Daddy of them all. It just so happens to be a great match-up again this year with Stanford and Michigan State sporting some serious defense in this traditional match-up.
UCF (11-1) vs. Baylor (11-1)
So this is the little bastard of the BCS bowl. Well, that’s what it should be called. Every year we get one stinker of a BCS game and this is this year’s match-up. I will say this: both teams deserve to be there. Also, I think both are happy to be there in a marquee event match-up. The problem is, it’s the game that no one wants to really see, fans of the teams or fans of college football in general. Baylor absolutely deserved to get a shot at either Ohio State or Alabama. Hands down, that’s a much better Sugar, Orange or Fiesta Bowl. The only reason that they aren’t getting that chance and getting that venue is about money and nothing more. Oklahoma has been to the Fiesta Bowl so many times in the recent past as champions of the Big XII. The fans and the team are tired of going there. End of story. Sure, sure, they’ll sell you the bull that well, Baylor won the Big XII, the tie-in is the Fiesta but let’s be honest, there isn’t a ton of tradition in this game in that regard like there is with the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl. The Orange and the Fiesta are the red-headed step children of the bowls with very loose affiliation. UCF should be headed to the Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl against either Ohio State or Alabama.
Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Alabama (11-1)
And this is what is wrong with big time college football. This is nothing but a money grab. Oklahoma travels well. It’s all about butts in seats and people booking hotel rooms in New Orleans vs. the out-skirts of Miami or Phoenix. I get it but it’s also what is absolutely wrong for the fans and the game itself. The Sugar Bowl affiliation should remain the SEC but the better game here and the better match-up for the fans at home is Bama vs. Baylor or giving a team like UCF a shot at a big boy. Not to pair off a money grab. This is also a miserable mis-match on the field.
Clemson (10-2) vs. Ohio State (12-1)
I’m biased but this one will also work, though I’m disappointed in the match-up. Despite the fact that either Baylor, UCF or Bama should be playing a 1-loss Ohio State team that was until this past Saturday #2 in the country, I can’t complain as a Buckeyes fan that they get a BCS game. Honestly though, what does this game matter? This is basically the #3 ACC team vs. the #2 Big Ten team…wouldn’t you rather have have the #2 SEC team vs. the #2 Big Ten or the one-loss Baylor team vs. the one-loss Ohio State team? It proves little and makes for a regrettable match-up. Even if the BCS goes away and the top 4-teams are projected out to not include Ohio State, the next logical match-up is between 1-loss teams. Clemson and their Orange Bowl affiliation be damned.
Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Missouri (11-2)
Could be worse. The fact that both of these teams used to be conference foes makes no sense to match them up though. The Cotton Bowl remains rather irrelevant though no matter it’s move to Jerry World.
Vanderbilt (8-4) vs. Houston (8-4)
Simply put, there is no rhyme or reason for this bowl to exist. Vandy deserves better for their efforts in the SEC, but them’s the breaks.
Arkansas State (7-5) vs. Ball State (10-2)
I’ve not yet understood why this game is played so late into the bowl season. It’s a decent match-up of good mid-major conference teams and should be a great high scoring game. Don’t put it after most people don’t care when all they want is for the Championship game to arrive.
VIZIO BCS National Championship
Florida State (13-0) vs. Auburn (12-1)
And so it is. This is what we get left with. A team with a rapist QB and another that cannot throw the ball to save his life. Call it sour grapes, I don’t care. For a championship game you could do a lot worse. The conversation I want to have is this: What if this scenario we have this season played out next year. The 4-team play-off would have a great debate on their hands and some committee is set to make a decision on it.
Again, you could do worse. If you boil it down to it’s essence it’s who’s left standing and who lost conveniently or not at all despite a weak conference (Yes, the ACC sucks and the argument would be made about Ohio State and the Big Ten just the same). It’s not the full story of college football nor will next year’s “Final Four” or “And One” as they’re going to call the College Football Play-Off.