View Full Version : CFB Bowl Overview

12-08-2008, 10:48 AM
- December 20, 2008 -
Navy vs Wake Forest ESPN
11:00 AM ET
Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk wanted to avoid a rematch, but it wasn't possible, and for the first time in 63 years, Wake Forest will play the same team twice in one season. This time, though, the Demon Deacons would like to win. Wake's offense has struggled all season, and nobody has scored on the Midshipmen since Notre Dame on Nov. 15. -- Heather Dinich

Fresno State vs Colorado State ESPN
2:30 PM ET
This game will match veteran and newbie coaches in Fresno State's Pat Hill and Colorado State's Steve Fairchild. Fairchild is CSU's first first-year coach to take the Rams to a bowl and the first to win six games. Hill had yet another winning season, but it wasn't the type of season many expected out of the Bulldogs. The showcase matchup in this game will be at tight end where both CSU's Kory Sperry and FSU's Bear Pascoe are NFL prospects. -- Graham Watson

South Florida vs Memphis ESPN2
4:30 PM ET
One team will have a decided home advantage in the inaugural game at Tropicana Field, as South Florida is located just a short drive away on I-275. The Bulls, who lost five of their last seven after reaching No. 10 in the polls, will face a Memphis team making its fifth bowl in the last six years. The game shouldn't lack for excitement on the indoor turf, as both teams like to spread out their offenses and score loads of points. -- Brian Bennett

No. 16 Brigham Young at Arizona ESPN
8:00 PM ET
BYU is going for its fourth consecutive Las Vegas Bowl victory, while Arizona is playing in its first bowl game since 1998. The Wildcats' defense has struggled to slow down big, powerful runners this season. That suggests 239-pound Harvey Unga could have a big day. But BYU's defense doesn't look overwhelming either. It's given up 32 or more points in four of its last six games. -- Ted Miller

- December 21, 2008 -
Troy vs Southern Miss ESPN
8:15 PM ET
Southern Miss had to win four consecutive games to get into a bowl and it wonʼt have it easy against a Troy team that has defeated all but one of the non-automatic qualifying schools it's faced. Both of these teams put up gaudy numbers on offense and have been stingy on defense lately. Southern Miss receiver DeAndre Brown averages more yards per game (92.33) than any other freshman receiver in the country. -- Graham Watson

- December 23, 2008 -
No. 9 Boise State at No. 11 TCU ESPN
8:00 PM ET
Boise State was one of two undefeated teams in the country, but the only one to be left out of the BCS. The Poinsettia isn't the Fiesta Bowl, but competition-wise this might be the next-best thing. The game will pit the No. 9 Broncos against the No. 11 Horned Frogs in a game that matches a top 13 offense against the nation's second-best defense. And it should finally settle all chatter between the fanbases about which conference is better. -- Graham Watson

- December 24, 2008 -
Notre Dame vs Hawaii ESPN
8:00 PM ET
Will this be a nice, beach vacation for the Fighting Irish and embattled coach Charlie Weis, or will it be another embarrassment, one that leaves them with another losing season? The Warriors gave Cincinnati all it could handle the final weekend of the season, and they will be hungry to beat a marquee program like Notre Dame. One huge question for Hawaii: Its offensive line -- which can't run block or pass block. -- Ted Miller

- December 26, 2008 -
Central Michigan vs Florida Atlantic ESPN
8:00 PM ET
Two preseason conference favorites meet in a matchup that should feature plenty of points and passing yards. QBs Dan LeFevour (CMU) and Rusty Smith (FAU) each have led their teams to bowl victories, and LeFevour attempts to win his second Motor City Bowl in three seasons. FAU captured five of its final six games and Smith led the Sun Belt in passing for the second straight season. -- Adam Rittenberg

- December 27, 2008 -
North Carolina vs West Virginia ESPN
1:00 PM ET
This is just North Carolina's second bowl since 2001 and first since 2004. Meanwhile, West Virginia is coming off five straight New Year's Day bowls, including two BCS wins in the past four seasons. This year, though, the Tar Heels have blown out two Big East bowl-bound teams (Connecticut and Rutgers) and look to spoil WVU quarterback Pat White's final college game on their home-state turf in Charlotte. -- Brian Bennett

Florida State vs Wisconsin ESPN
4:30 PM ET
Both Florida State and Wisconsin have depended on their running games this season, with the Badgers leaning on P.J. Hill and John Clay, and FSU relying on Antone Smith and Jermaine Thomas. Seminoles' quarterback Christian Ponder is looking to redeem himself from a poor performance against Florida in which he was benched in favor of Drew Weatherford. The Badgers have been more effective since Dustin Sherer replaced Allan Evridge at quarterback. -- Heather Dinich

California vs Miami (FL) ESPN
8:00 PM ET
The fact that Miami is even playing in a bowl game this year is a sign of progress in Randy Shannon's second season, but the Hurricanes are looking to rebound from back-to-back losses. In order to do that, they'll have to improve their rushing defense against Cal standout running back Jahvid Best. Cal's injury-laden offensive line might struggle against Miami's young but talented defensive front. -- Heather Dinich

- December 28, 2008 -
Louisiana Tech vs Northern Illinois ESPN
8:15 PM ET
Northern Illinois (6-6) completed one of the best turnarounds in college football this season under first-year coach Jerry Kill after winning just two games a year ago. The Huskies will take on Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28. The Bulldogs (7-5) played their way into their first bowl game since 2001 by winning five of their last seven games. -- Chris Low

- December 29, 2008 -
Rutgers vs North Carolina State ESPN
3:00 PM ET
Who'd have thunk these two teams would meet, or even play, in the postseason? Rutgers was 1-5 after six games and N.C. State was 2-6 after eight weeks. Yet these two hard-charging teams will battle in Birmingham in another fight for ACC/Big East bragging rights. The Scarlet Knights averaged 46 points and won by an average margin of 29 points in its last five games, while the Wolf Pack averaged 31.8 points and beat two ranked teams in its final four contests. -- Brian Bennett

No. 21 Missouri at No. 23 Northwestern ESPN
8:00 PM ET
A season that began with national championship dreams for Missouri and Heisman hopes for quarterback Chase Daniel ends in San Antonio against Northwestern, one of the Big Ten's surprise teams. Daniel and standout wideout Jeremy Maclin face a much-improved Northwestern defense led by end Corey Wootton. Missouri makes its first appearance in the Alamo Bowl, while Northwestern heads back for the first time since 2000. -- Adam Rittenberg

- December 30, 2008 -
Nevada vs Maryland ESPN
4:30 PM ET
For those who haven't seen Colin Kaepernick play, the Humanitarian Bowl will be a treat. Kaepernick, the WAC Player of the Year, is a dual threat that is half of the nation's second-best rushing attack (with running back Vai Taua) that is averaging 291.4 yards per game. Maryland has been the most schizophrenic team this season, so there's no telling which Terrapins might show up. -- Graham Watson

No. 13 Oklahoma State at No. 17 Oregon ESPN
8:00 PM ET
Both teams rank in the nation's top-10 in scoring with more than 41 points a game, and neither is particularly stout on defense, so expect the scoreboard to be busy. The difference may be Oklahoma State's balance with quarterback Zack Robinson hooking up with Dez Bryant. Of course, the Ducks passing offense did pick up late in the season, with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli throwing for 572 yards and five touchdowns in the final two games. -- Ted Miller

Western Michigan vs Rice NFL Network
8:00 PM ET
Rice will stay at home with hopes of winning its first bowl game since 1954. James Casey and Jarrett Dillard were the only pair of receivers in the nation to average 100 receiving yards per game. They will be facing a Broncos defense that ranked 96th nationally in pass defense, but allowed only five touchdown passes over the final six games of the season. -- Tim Griffin

- December 31, 2008 -
Air Force vs Houston ESPN
12:00 PM ET
Two of the most underrated young coaches will square off when Air Force's Troy Calhoun will match coaching wits with Houston's Kevin Sumlin. It should be a classic matchup of Air Force's potent rushing game against Houston's offensive attack that led the nation in total offense. -- Tim Griffin

No. 20 Pittsburgh vs Oregon State CBS
2:00 PM ET
These two started slowly, got on a roll, then suffered a late-season disappointment as both were in the running for BCS bowls. The running backs may be the key in this one. The Beavers defense needs to get off the carpet and slow down LeSean McCoy, while the Panthers will need to concern themselves with Jacquizz Rodgers. -- Ted Miller

No. 24 Boston College at Vanderbilt ESPN
3:30 PM ET
One drought is down for Vanderbilt, and the Commodores have another one in their sight. They're making their first bowl appearance in 26 years against Boston College on Dec. 31. If the Commodores can win, it would be their first bowl victory since 1955 when they defeated Auburn in the Gator Bowl. -- Chris Low

Minnesota vs Kansas NFL Network
5:30 PM ET
Both teams struggled down the stretch after early-season success. The Jayhawks limped home with four losses in their last six games, although a pulsating victory over Missouri in the regular-season finale should provide them with momentum. Minnesota hopes to rebound after a disappointing four-game losing streak to finish the season, capped by a humiliating 55-0 loss to Iowa in their regular-season finale. -- Tim Griffin

No. 14 Georgia Tech vs LSU ESPN
7:30 PM ET
Georgia Tech was one of the hottest teams in the ACC at the end of the regular season, as the Jackets beat rival Georgia to cap off an outstanding first season under Paul Johnson. LSU has looked nothing like the defending national champs had hoped. The Tigers' defense, which has struggled this season, will have its hands full against the triple option. -- Heather Dinich

- January 1, 2009 -
Iowa vs South Carolina ESPN
11:00 AM ET
Neither team has more than eight wins or a national ranking, but there should be some intrigue in Tampa with Shonn Greene, a hot Iowa squad and the Head Ball Coach. Iowa won five of its final six games, including an upset of Penn State, to reach its fifth January bowl game since 2002. South Carolina ranks 11th nationally in total defense, one spot ahead of Iowa. -- Adam Rittenberg

No. 15 Georgia at No. 18 Michigan State ABC
1:00 PM ET
It might be the year of the quarterback in college football, but two of the nation's finest running backs square off in Orlando. Doak Walker Award finalists Javon Ringer of Michigan State and Knowshon Moreno of Georgia rank third and 16th nationally in rushing average. An MSU team that admittedly has overachieved faces the preseason No. 1 Bulldogs, who didn't expect to be here. -- Adam Rittenberg

Nebraska vs Clemson CBS
1:00 PM ET
Clemson won three straight under recently hired coach Dabo Swinney, who has begun to piece together his staff. The Tigers' offense has been much more productive behind a healthy offensive line. The Huskers won five of their last six games in large part because of quarterback Joe Ganz, whose play was overshadowed by the Big 12's Heisman hopefuls.

No. 5 USC vs No. 8 Penn State ABC
4:30 PM ET
Featuring two one-loss teams that probably think they've been underestimated, the Rose Bowl is an intriguing matchup of the nation's marquee new school and old school coaches. The Trojans have won eight straight against the Big Ten by an average of 25 points, and they and their fans likely expect another easy win. That sounds like a trap because this Big Ten team has productive talent on both sides of the ball. -- Ted Miller

No. 12 Cincinnati at No. 19 Virginia Tech FOX
8:30 PM ET
It's old school Big East vs. new school Big East, as Virginia Tech was one of three teams that left the league for the ACC before the 2005 season. While there may be some bad blood between the conferences, Cincinnati is grateful that the Hokies' departure opened up a Big East spot and allowed the school to clinch its first BCS bid. Neither team got to Miami the easy way. Cincinnati had to use five quarterbacks this year because of injuries, while Virginia Tech was 6-4 at one point. -- Brian Bennett

- January 2, 2009 -
No. 7 Texas Tech vs No. 25 Mississippi FOX
2:00 PM ET
Graham Harrell should be recovered from surgery and will be throwing to Michael Crabtree for the last time in his Tech career as the Red Raiders hope to cap off the winningest season in school history. They will try to end the Rebels' five-game winning streak and spoil the Texas return of Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead, a one-time backup behind Colt McCoy at Texas. -- Tim Griffin

East Carolina vs Kentucky ESPN
5:00 PM ET
The time off should be especially beneficial for Kentucky, which looked like it might be running out of gas toward the end of the season. The Wildcats (6-6) lost four of their last five games and go up against an East Carolina team in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Jan. 2 that recovered from a three-game losing streak during the middle of the season. The Pirates (9-4) beat Tulsa 27-24 last Saturday to win the Conference USA Championship Game. -- Chris Low

No. 4 Alabama vs No. 6 Utah FOX
8:00 PM ET
Alabama (12-1) had hoped to spend its offseason in Miami at the BCS National Championship Game, but the Allstate Sugar Bowl isn't a shabby consolation prize. The Crimson Tide have fond memories of the Big Easy, too. Their last national championship in 1992 came after knocking off Miami in the Sugar Bowl. Nothing about Utah will be easy. The Utes (12-0) are looking to earn some more respect after mowing through their Mountain West Conference schedule this season. -- Chris Low

- January 3, 2009 -
Connecticut vs Buffalo ESPN2
12:00 PM ET
O, Canada, are you ready for two bowl newbies located not too far from your border? You'll be the first bowl ever to play host to Buffalo. And UConn has achieved its first back-to-back bowl seasons since moving up to Division I-A in 2002. MAC champion Buffalo has scored at least 30 points seven times and features both a 3,000-yard passer (Drew Willy) and a 1,300-yard rusher (James Starks). The Huskies, meanwhile, have the nation's leading rusher in Donald Brown (1,822 yards, 17 touchdowns) and a very solid defense. -- Brian Bennett

- January 5, 2009 -
No. 3 Texas vs No. 10 Ohio State FOX
8:00 PM ET
The Longhorns aren't happy to be in Miami but will have a solid matchup against their old friends of Columbus -- the first games between them since a memorable two-game series in 2005-06. Terrelle Pryor will give them a taste of what other defenses experience when they were trying to contain Vince Young over the years. -- Tim Griffin

- January 6, 2009 -
No. 22 Ball State vs Tulsa ESPN
8:00 PM ET
The Motor City Bowl released Ball State to set up a better bowl matchup with Tulsa, and the clash in Mobile should not disappoint. The game features two of the nation's top 15 offenses and standout quarterbacks in Ball State's Nate Davis and Tulsa's David Johnson. Ball State aims for its first bowl win, while Tulsa tries to win its second straight GMAC Bowl. -- Adam Rittenberg

- January 8, 2009 -
No. 1 Oklahoma vs No. 2 Florida FOX
8:00 PM ET
Loosen up the old necks, because the BCS National Championship Game between Florida and Oklahoma might look more like a NASCAR race than a football game. The Gators (12-1) have averaged 49.4 points during their nine-game winning streak, and nobody has come within single digits of them since their 31-30 loss to Ole Miss on Sept. 27. The Sooners (12-1) have scored 61 or more points in their last five games, and their closest call during their seven-game winning streak was 14 points. -- Chris Low

12-08-2008, 12:58 PM
Thanks for posting Wayne. Some really intriguing matchups. Love the Boise/TCU matchup and the Oregon/Okie State matchup has the potential to be a good one too.

12-17-2008, 10:48 PM

Three Jack
12-17-2008, 10:55 PM
Thanks Wayne...really good stuff!

12-17-2008, 11:00 PM
nice write-up....much appreciated.....

12-17-2008, 11:03 PM
Nice. Thanks buddy

12-17-2008, 11:11 PM
nice write-up....much appreciated.....

It's not my write up buddy. The Author for each game is listed at the bottom. :)

12-17-2008, 11:12 PM
thanks for the great write up....appreciate it Dude!!!

12-17-2008, 11:33 PM
Nice post nonetheless...providing us with the essentials....