The Most Compelling Non-BCS Bowl Games
As football fans, when everything gets right down to it – it all boils down to actually watching football games. They can call the game The Victoria’s Secret Hot Teddy Bowl but if you have a match-up between top five teams, most college football fans will tune in. If there is a Victoria’s Secret Hot Teddy Halftime show that does not feature marching bands…. everyone would watch it. The point is that sometimes it does not matter if the players are sporting a patch or a rose or a g-string on their shoulder, football is football. What follows are going to be the best games of the bowl season. They just don’t have the letters BCS in them.
- AT&T Cotton Bowl
Texas A&M versus Oklahoma
The basic difference between a BCS Bowl and a regular Bowl (once you get past the National Title Game) is the amount the schools get paid. We are sure that everyone at the school appreciates so many people looking out for the athletic department's bottom line, but the game itself is intact. That being said, the AT&T Cotton Bowl should be the best game of the entire Bowl season. All of the elements are there. There are people that believe both Texas A&M as well as Oklahoma should have been BCS teams over the likes of Northern Illinois and Louisville.
The sheer and wonderful drama of this being a Big 12 matchup up until this year in a Big 12 city (Dallas) only adds to the excitement. You also have the added attraction of Johnny Manziel (the first ever freshman winner of the Heisman Trophy) holding serve in Texas. This is the same stadium that hosted so many memorable Texas/Oklahoma Red River Rivalry games. Yes, these two teams are playing for pride. They might also be playing for next year's preseason number one ranking. This game is your best preview of 2013 in football.
- Chick-Fil-A Bowl
Clemson vs LSU
First of all, sitting down to watch Clemson play LSU on television in no way says anything about any stance you may have on gay marriage. Second, you have another matchup between teams who could have easily been playing in BCS games and will figure prominently in the landscape for 2013. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has brought the Tigers all the way back from obscurity into a level of national prominence not seen since the 1980s. The Georgia Dome in Atlanta is a great location for the fanbases from Louisiana and South Carolina to meet. This game will have the feeling, fervor, football and ambience of a BCS game... without BCS implications.
- Capital One Bowl
Georgia versus Nebraska
Other than the non-BCS status, Georgia and Nebraska share a common perception. They are both seen as big name schoosl that seem to fail against big name teams in big name games. Georgia coach Mark Richt just about came unglued when being asked that very question at a post-SEC Championship game press conference. Fans in Nebraska are grateful to Bo Pelini for bringing the Cornhuskers back into prominence. However, the feeling is starting to creep into Omaha that it would be nice to start winning championships again. Georgia and Nebraska have a lot of frustration and a lot pride. When two teams with chips on their shoulders end up with a lot of pride and a lot of good football. As such, the Capital One Bowl has the best possibility of all the Bowls to turn into a big physical fight. Personally, we can't wait for the biggest throwdown that Bobby Flay has not personally hosted.