Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

No-Nonsense Guide to Bowls

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

No-Nonsense Guide to Bowls

Article excerpt

The 35-game bowl season that begins with four games Saturday is a buffet for zealous college football fans.

A little bit from column A. Some more from column B. And so on.

But all bowl games are not created equal. To keep your holiday indigestion under control, here's a guide to the games worth watching -- and those not worth it.

Must-see TV

The BCS championship game on Jan. 6 heads the list. Florida State hardly generated a sweat in the regular season and Auburn is everybody's darling after its miracle wins over Georgia and Alabama. When was the last time an SEC team was an underdog in this game?

The Tigers have more than a puncher's chance, thanks to a spread offense that has caused a lot of sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.

Auburn is on such a roll its backers feel the Tigers are destined for a national title.

Florida State fans feel the same way -- with good reason. This may be the most talented Seminoles team -- and that's saying a lot considering the program's past glories.

Should be interesting to see how Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who'll turn 20 that day, handles the extra spotlight.

New Year's Day

The New Year's Day slate is a bit below average standards. The Stanford-Michigan State matchup in the Rose Bowl will be football's version of a tug-of-war: Stanford's running game against Michigan State's stout defense. Wisconsin-South Carolina in the Capital One bowl is worth a look because you never know what Steve Spurrier will do, and it should be Jadeveon Clowney's last game before he heads for the NFL. Baylor-Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl at night should provide a lot of offense.

Wait and see

Let's see how the teams who've seen their head coaches either leave for better jobs or were let go since their last games react to interim coaches: USC, Boise State, Washington.

Let's see how Notre Dame, which played in the national title game last season, reacts to playing 6-6 Rutgers in the Dec. 28 Pinstripe Bowl. At least the game is in New York.

Let's see how Alabama reacts to not being in the national championship game for the first time in three years. …

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