Bowl season at a glance

The Bowl season is right around the corner. Today, Ramzy checks in with his yearly, one-of-a-kind look at the bowl lineup and what to watch for...

Bowl Season – One Fan's Preview

The holidays are a season for giving and sharing with one another. It is in that vein that I, again, share with you my thoughts on the upcoming bowl season. It is with utter selflessness and unbridled charity that I bestow these thoughts and predictions upon you, the bored Internet surfer. And all for free, no less – I may be a cheapskate, but it's the thought that counts.


The New Orleans Bowl

Dec 16 7:00 PM

Memphis (8-4) vs. North Texas (9-3)

Alternate Name: The Annual Televised North Texas Football Game

Watch this because: Lots of offense. Memphis passes and runs the ball like Ohio State wishes they could (granted, Memphis also plays teams like Tennessee Tech, Arkansas State, and Best Buy Breakroom). North Texas shocked America this year when they scored against Oklahoma – by far the most famous field goal in North Texas history.

Buckeye Envy: Both of these teams got to the New Orleans superdome for their bowl. Had Ohio State done that, they would be playing to defend their national title.

Prediction: Memphis 34, North Texas 17



Dec 18 7:30 PM

Miami (OH) (12-1) vs. Louisville (9-3)

Alternate Name: The Giant Media Crush on Ben Roethlisberger Bonanza

Watch this because: Ben Roethlisberger. If you don't love him already, watch out, ESPN is committed to making sure you do. He's practically unbelievable. He's totally spectacular. He's almost unpronounceable.

Buckeye Envy: Ben Roethlisberger: "I'm a really good Ohio high school quarterback." Ohio State: "That's nice, Ben, why don't you come to Ohio State and play tight end?" Ben Roethlisberger: "That's pretty funny. No, I think I'll go to Miami of Ohio, be really good, and then have the media publicly ask every time they fawn over me how Ohio State could have let me slip to a MAC team."

Prediction: Ben Roethlisberger 45, Louisville 21 (Louisville's kicker will miss at least three field goals)


Mazda Tangerine Bowl

Dec 22 5:30 PM

North Carolina St (7-5) vs. Kansas (6-6)

Alternate Name: Phillip Rivers Guaranteed Five Touchdown Passes Bowl

Watch this because: Kansas plays no defense. I'm serious. They don't even send a defense out onto the field – they just let the other team score and then send their offense out. Meanwhile, NC State, one of the most disappointing teams of the year, actually had their high point when they barely lost to Ohio State. What, you think barely beating Clemson and Duke was better?

Buckeye Envy: Eleven losses between these teams this year. Ohio State has eleven losses in the past four years combined, two of which were at the tail end of the worst run of Buckeye football in over 50 years. No envy.

Prediction: NC State 59, Kansas 21


PlainsCapital F W Bowl

Dec 23 7:30 PM

Texas Christian (11-1) vs. Boise State (12-1)

Alternate Name: The Horned Frog Bowl (this is a home game for TCU)

Watch this because: Boise State usually plays in the Humanitarian Bowl (the Blue Field Bowl) which is a home game for them. So their first other bowl game in years other than that is on another team's home turf! This is why we love college football – the irony! Okay, that's not why we love college football.

Buckeye Envy: Ohio State could run the Boise State offense if they wanted to, and score a jillion points. Seriously, a jillion – per game. But alas, it's not good enough for Ohio State. The stadium renovation cost too much – not enough money in the kitty to add a third digit to the scoreboard. So it's back to showcasing The Punt for the Bucks.

Prediction: Boise State 31, TCU 28


Las Vegas Bowl

Dec 24 7:30 PM

Oregon State (7-5) vs. New Mexico (8-4)

Alternate Name: Christmas Eve in Sin City

Watch this because: What else are you going to do? Spend time with family? Go to church? Celebrate the spirit of giving? Yes, all of that. Tivo this game and watch it the following day after everyone is sick of each other.

Buckeye Envy: The Buckeyes will never be bad enough to play in Las Vegas, which is both a good and bad thing.

Prediction: New Mexico 30, Oregon State 21


Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Dec 25 8:00 PM

Houston (7-5) vs. Hawaii (8-5)

Alternate Name: Our Crappiest City Visits Paradise

Watch this because: Over 100 points will be scored in this game. Merry Christmas!

Buckeye Envy: Houston scored 45 points twice, and 55 points once this year – and lost all three games. That is sadomasochistic Buckeye fan heaven like I've never seen.

Prediction: Hawaii 84, Houston 63


Motor City Bowl

Dec 26 5:00 PM

Northwestern (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (10-3)

Alternate Name: Detroit gets a bowl game, Columbus gets Ameriflora

Watch this because: Bowling Green can become the first team ever to beat two Big Ten teams in the same season. Man, they didn't even win the MAC!

Buckeye Envy: Northwestern was able to beat Wisconsin, which Ohio State didn't do, and Bowling Green scored multiple touchdowns against Purdue – on offense, no less.

Prediction: BGSU 42, Northwestern 34



Dec 26 8:30 PM

California (7-6) vs. Virginia Tech (8-4)

Alternate Name: The Team That Beat USC vs. The Team That Scheduled James Madison

Watch this because: Adimchinobe Echemandu will outshine Kevin Jones and you will be able to tell everyone where you were when you witnessed it, live.

Buckeye Envy: Every running back that sees the field in this game would start for Ohio State.

Prediction: California 35, Virginia Tech 24


Continental Tire Bowl

Dec 27 11:00 AM

Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Virginia (7-5)

Alternate Name: The Larry Fitzgerald Hype Machine Comes to a Merciful End – for this year

Watch this because: For every touchdown Larry Fitzgerald scores (22 this year), Pittsburgh allows 100 yards rushing by their opposition (2209 this season).

Buckeye Envy: Remember when Walt Harris ran the Ohio State offense?

Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, Virginia 31


Mastercard Alamo Bowl

Dec 29 9:00 PM

Michigan State (8-4) vs. Nebraska (9-3)

Alternate Name: The Other Big Ten vs. Big XII Matchup

Watch this because: Michigan State can't run. Nebraska can't pass.

Buckeye Envy: Ohio State would love to have either one of these one-dimensional offenses, which would give them one more dimension than they currently have.

Prediction: Nebraska 35, Michigan State 24 Houston Bowl

Dec 30 4:30 PM

Navy (8-4) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)

Alternate Name: 1200 Yards of Offense and a Cloud of Dust

Watch this because: Navy will get the ball on their 20. Triple-option play for 80 yards – touchdown. Texas Tech gets the ball on their 20. Bubble-screen for 80 yards – touchdown. Repeat until game ends.

Buckeye Envy: Yeah, offense again.

Prediction: Texas Tech 49, Navy 28


Pacific Life Holiday Bowl

Dec 30 8:00 PM

Washington St (9-3) vs. Texas (10-2)

Alternate Name: Blue Chip Recruits Choose Texas Because of its Holiday Bowl Tradition

Watch this because: Third Holiday Bowl in four years for the Longhorns. It's becoming an American institution. In 50 years, you'll watch It's a Wonderful Life before Christmas, and you'll watch Texas in the Holiday Bowl on New Year's Eve Eve.

Buckeye Envy: Just goes to show that recruiting is a science, just like meteorology and fortune telling.

Prediction: Texas 24, Washington State 20


Silicon Valley Classic

Dec 30 10:30 PM

UCLA (6-6) vs. Fresno State (8-5)

Alternate Name: Blatant Misuse of the Word "Classic"

Watch this because: It's events like this that prove California shouldn't be allowed to spend money without supervision.

Buckeye Envy: None. Ever.

Prediction: Fresno State 27, UCLA 10


Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl

Dec 31 12:00 PM

Wisconsin (7-5) vs. Auburn (7-5)

Alternate Name: Another Big Ten/SEC Game in the Southeast

Watch this because: Wisconsin is 8-3 in its last 11 bowl games. The three losses came against the three SEC teams it faced, the eight wins against everyone else. Interesting fact – the best bowl game Auburn has been to in the last fifteen years: Last year's Capital One Bowl.

Buckeye Envy: Not even choking Jim Sorgi gave the Buckeyes a win over Wisconsin. Auburn knows this, and they're probably going to try to win without choking Jim Sorgi.

Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Auburn 6


Wells Fargo Sun Bowl

Dec 31 2:00 PM

Minnesota (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)

Alternate Name: Big Ten vs. PAC-10 Neutral Site Game

Watch this because: The only two teams that were able to score at will against Michigan go up against each other.

Buckeye Envy: There is no reason any self-respecting team should ever lose to Oregon, or any other PAC-10 team that pretends to have a rushing defense.

Prediction: Minnesota 42, Oregon 14


AXA Liberty Bowl

Dec 31 3:30 PM

So. Mississippi (9-3) vs. Utah (9-2)

Alternate Name: The Unsexiest Good Bowl Game Ever

Watch this because: Here are the people who will watch this game: 1) Southern Mississippi fans, 2) Utah fans, 3) People who really like good college football. You know those independent films that get great reviews that just seem weird to you? This is that film, only if you like football, you'll get it.

Buckeye Envy: In a perfect world, Urban Meyer would be an Ohio State coordinator for life

Prediction: Utah 17, So. Miss 13


MainStay Independence Bowl

Dec 31 7:30 PM

Arkansas (8-4) vs. Missouri (8-4)

Alternate Name: Clinton vs. Ashcroft

Watch this because: New Years Eve bowl games: They don't even need announcers for these things. Just televise the game in silence - it's not like anyone listens to these games anyway.

Buckeye Envy: Yup. Running game.

Prediction: Arkansas 27, Missouri 14


Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl

Dec 31 10:30 PM

Colorado State (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)

Alternate Name: Not in the Top 100 Things to do in San Francisco on New Year's Eve

Watch this because: If even the dog wants nothing to do with you as the apple drops, you can rest assured knowing that Colorado State and Boston College will be there for you.

Buckeye Envy: Running game.

Prediction: Boston College 37, Colorado State 17


Outback Bowl

Jan 1 11:00 AM

Iowa (9-3) vs. Florida (8-4)

Alternate Name: Hey! Neither Ohio State nor South Carolina, Again!!

Watch this because: You've got a pounding headache yet you cannot miss watching another Big Ten team beat Florida, in Florida, in a bowl game, for third straight time.

Buckeye Envy: Only the Peach Bowl has two teams who can compile more good-looking women than these two

Prediction: Iowa 28, Florida 20


Toyota Gator Bowl

Jan 1 12:30 PM

West Virginia (8-4) vs. Maryland (9-3)

Alternate Name: REMATCH!!

Watch this because: 1) When there are commercials on during the Outback Bowl. 2) When there are commercials on during the Capital One Bowl. Nonetheless, in September Maryland beat the tar out of West Virginia, but that was before West Virginia became the team that became Toyota Gator Bowl-good.

Buckeye Envy: Plenty of offense.

Prediction: West Virginia 28, Maryland 23


Capitol One Bowl

Jan 1 1:00 PM

Purdue (9-3) vs. Georgia (10-3)

Alternate Name: Citrus in our Hearts, Capitol One on our Televisions

Watch this because: Georgia recruits good players and keeps them good; Purdue recruits average players and makes them good. The teams are statistically equal. This is the hinge game that could decide the "best conference" argument for this year.

Buckeye Envy: After the 1990s, there is no envy of playing in Florida on New Year's Day

Prediction: Georgia 24, Purdue 23

Rose Bowl Presented by Citi

Jan 1 4:30 PM

USC (11-1) vs. Michigan (10-2)

Alternate Name: Non-BCS National Championship Game

Watch this because: The hottest team in college football (Michigan) against the consensus number one team in college football (USC). Funny how neither is playing in the Sugar Bowl.

Buckeye Envy: Duh. This is Ohio State's destination, had they beaten Michigan.

Prediction: USC 45, Michigan 22


FedEx Orange Bowl

Jan 1 8:30 PM

Miami (FL) (10-2) vs. Florida State (10-2)

Alternate Name: Coming Soon to a Prison Near You

Watch this because: It's the best rivalry in the country that gets the worst national television ratings in the country. You don't want to miss Kellen Winslow II (a.k.a The Chosen One, G.I. Joe, The Second Coming, The Man Who Struck the Heisman Pose vs. Louisiana Tech) attempt to score his record-setting, uh, second touchdown of the season.

Buckeye Envy: More like Miami envy. Someday, maybe in 50 years or so, they'll get over the fact that they lost the national championship to a team they were thoroughly convinced they'd beat by five touchdowns.

Prediction: Florida State 31, Miami 18


SBC Cotton Bowl

Jan 2 2:00 PM

Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Mississippi (9-3)

Alternate Name: Bowl Game, Sponsored by the Worst Phone Company in History

Watch this because: As an added bonus, with the days of the week falling the way they do in 2004, we get two January firsts this year. You don't even have to wake up early.

Buckeye Envy: Would have been nice to have Barry Sanders or Deuce McCallister.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 27, Mississippi 20


Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl

Jan 2 4:30 PM

Clemson (8-4) vs. Tennessee (10-2)

Alternate Name: More Ugly Orange on One Field Than You'd Ever Want to See

Watch this because: Last year Tennessee got annihilated in this game by an inferior team, Maryland. Their fat, cheating, annoying coach will not let that happen again this year.

Buckeye Envy: The South should share the beauty of Chik-fil-A with the North.

Prediction: Tennessee 38, Clemson 14


Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Jan 2 8:00 PM

Kansas State (11-3) vs. Ohio State (10-2)

Alternate Name: The Defense Rests

Watch this because: You probably scrolled down to this bowl, just to see what the prediction would be. There are a few things that can happen with this game – a win just solidifies the glory of the Fiesta Bowl in Buckeye history, putting it second only to the Rose Bowl. A win also solidifies this season as a success. A loss, and the beauty of last year's Fiesta victory gets some tarnish. A loss also solidifies the season as a John Cooper-like failure – losses to both Michigan and to the bowl opponent. Kansas State was beaten at home earlier this year by a team (Marshall) that was beaten by two other Ohio teams (Toledo, Miami). Don't let the eleven wins fool you – five of them came against Troy State, McNeese State, Massachusetts, Baylor and Iowa State. It would have been even worse, but Rite Aid and Taco Bell fell off the schedule until next year. That said, they also throttled Nebraska and Oklahoma, both late in the season. KSU was 5-2 against bowl teams (the Buckeyes were 6-2) and, with Michigan and USC, is one of the hottest teams in college football right now. It's amazing what a month off can do to a hot streak.

Buckeye Envy: Nope.

Prediction: Ohio State 20, Kansas State 14


Humanitarian Bowl

Jan 3 12:00 PM

Georgia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulsa (8-4)

Alternate Name: Don't Adjust the TV – the Field is Blue

Watch this because: Humanitarian Bowls past were filled nearly to capacity because the hometown team, Boise State, was playing. Humanitarian Bowls present will be half-full because the hometown team, Boise State, isn't playing. Humanitarian Bowls future will be sure to feature the hometown team, Boise State.

Buckeye Envy: Tulsa and Ohio State have a common head coach in their histories. He went 2-10-1 against Michigan.

Prediction: Tulsa 31, Georgia Tech 13


Nokia Sugar Bowl

Jan 4 8:00 PM

Oklahoma (12-1) vs. LSU (12-1)

Alternate Name: The Failure of the BCS, Televised

Watch this because: It is the swan song of the college football season, featuring two of the top four teams in the country (the other two played in the Rose Bowl). Perhaps the BCS could bring back the defunct Bluebonnet Bowl or even the Copper Bowl, and have the winners of these two games play each other in a championship the following week? Or would that make way too much sense? It is nice for LSU and USC that they get to play veritable home games.

Buckeye Envy: A year after taking it all, it hurts even more to not be in the show.

Prediction: LSU 27, Oklahoma 16

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