Finally, college football bowls have arrived. As usual, there was controversy, upheaval, and more debate about how the BCS failed again. But that is the system we have so no point in fretting over it – yet – so we will go through each bowl game. All we have done here is list the games that are represented by west coast teams and given a quick analysis. Leading up to the first contest on December 17 we will post a full breakdown of each with predictions. So for now, enjoy.
Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Oregon
January 2, 2012
Analysis – The Granddaddy of Them All features speed vs. power, as it usually does when pairing the Pac-12 and B1G. Chip Kelly will try to get over the hump by finally winning a BCS game after dropping the past two. The Ducks should be much healthier heading into the game but they will have to outplay Russell Wilson and Montee Ball.
Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
January 2, 2012
Analysis – These teams could easily combine for 1,000 yards of offense and 90 points, making it one of the most exciting matchups of the year. This is Andrew Luck’s last game – do you really think he’ll came back for his RS-senior year? – and he will have the chance to bring Stanford its second straight BCS bowl victory. The only thing stopping them? The ridiculously fast-paced Oklahoma State offense featuring Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – UCLA vs. Illinois
San Francisco, Calif.
December 31, 2011
Analysis – This is the saddest bowl matchup of the year and is being played in the worst venue of all the postseason games. There will be much more about this affair later.
Sun Bowl – Georgia Tech vs. Utah
El Paso, Texas
December 31, 2011
Analysis – Utah’s offense has been non-existent so far this year, but the team was able to win four of its last five games with a strong defense and good individual play from running back John White. The Utes faceoff against a Georgia Tech team that is 0-3 in bowl games under head coach Paul Johnson.
Armed Forces Bowl – BYU vs. Tulsa
December 30, 2011
Analysis – This is BYU’s first bowl game as an independent and the first time it has played in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars will look to shut down Tulsa’s high-octane offense and reach the double-digit win mark for the fifth time in the past six years. The key will be finding consistent quarterback play and learning how to win in the state of Texas – the Cougars are 0-2 this year with losses to Texas and TCU.
Alamo Bowl – Baylor vs. Washington
San Antonio, Texas
December 29, 2011
Analysis – Can the Washington defense stop RGIII? They have one of the worst pass defenses in the nation and struggle with mobile quarterbacks, but Steve Sarkisian knows was in the same position last year and completely shut down Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska offense. This marks the first time the Huskies have played in the Alamo Bowl while the Bears return for the first time since losing to Washington State in 1994.
Holiday Bowl – California vs. Texas
San Diego, Calif.
December 28, 2011
Analysis – Two teams that have struggled to stay consistent and have underachieved this year will face off in San Diego. The last time the Golden Bears played in this game – 2006 – they crushed Texas A&M 45-10. One year later the Longhorns beat Arizona State 52-34.
Hawaii Bowl – Nevada vs. Southern Miss
December 24, 2011
Analysis – Nevada is playing in its 7th-straight bowl game and faces off against a Southern Miss team that is coming off an emotion win over then-unbeaten Houston in the Conference-USA Title Game. The Wolf Pack head to Hawaii for the second time in three years but hope to have a better performance than 2009 when they lost to SMU 45-10.
Maaco Bowl – Boise State vs. Arizona State
Las Vegas, Nev.
December 22, 2011
Analysis – Because of rules set by the BCS, Boise State was ousted from a big game despite being the 7th-ranked team in the latest standings. Arizona State heads into the bowl without a head coach and riding a four-game losing streak. Do the Broncos check out mentally after being snubbed or do they roll the struggling Sun Devils?
New Orleans Bowl – La.-Lafayette vs. San Diego State
New Orleans, La.
December 17, 2011
Analysis – For the first time in school history, San Diego State heads to its second consecutive bowl game to face off against a La.-Lafayette team that is playing in its first ever postseason matchup. The Aztecs have a long way to travel but the power run game from Ronnie Hillman could overmatch the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Ohio vs. Utah State
December 17, 2011
Analysis – Hands down the best bowl name this year. Utah State gets to its first postseason game since losing to Cincinnati in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl. The Aggies have had some bad luck this year but finished off the regular season with five straight wins. Freshman Chuckie Keeton will lead the sixth-rated rushing offense onto the Blue Turf looking to beat the Bobcats.