Alabama and Notre Dame Are Headliners, Cotton and Fiesta Bowls Will Shine Too

Tom Scurlock@tas1372Correspondent IIIDecember 3, 2012

Will Saban earn his fourth crown?
Will Saban earn his fourth crown?Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Bowl season has finally arrived, and the four week trek toward the national championship is filled with meaningless games pitting some of the least deserving teams—but it is still college football.  We’ll watch. 

Even though most of the games will be duds, some will be terrific. Here are the three best bowl games.

BCS Championship:  Alabama vs. Notre Dame

The hype leading up to this game will be unbelievable. 

Notre Dame is seeking its first national title since 1988, and Alabama is gunning for its third title in four years.

This game embodies the best of what college football has to offer.  Both teams have incredible defenses, they run the ball extraordinarily well, and they make very few mistakes.

 It will be a physical, smash mouth matchup.  This is football in its purest form, and it will be a gem.

The edge definitely goes to the Crimson Tide. Beyond coach Nick Saban’s experience, his attention to detail and tremendous discipline are legendary in moments like this.  These are the reasons why his teams win almost every big game. 

Coupled with four weeks to prepare, it easy to understand why few outside of South Bend are giving the Fighting Irish a chance to win. 

Despite the glaring advantages, I see an upset.  Fighting Irish win a close game, 21-17, and end the SEC’s run at six victories in a row.

Fiesta Bowl:  Oregon versus Kansas State

Just a few weeks ago, this was going to be the BCS title matchup.  Things did not fall into place for the Ducks and Wildcats, but this will still be a dandy.

The BCS championship is about defense, but the Fiesta Bowl will be about offense.

The fireworks handler better get ready because he is going to be busy.  This will be a shootout. 

Oregon averages 550 yards and 50 points per game, and Kansas State averages 410 yards and 40 points per game. Fifty points might not be enough to win this one.

It is a cliché to say a game will come down to the last possession, but it seems to apply to this one.  Neither team is likely to put up a fight defensively, so the team with the ball last probably wins. 

It is not in Oregon’s blood to sustain a drive to kill the clock, so Kansas State will probably have the ball last. 

If Collin Klein has the opportunity to pull out the win, he’ll get it done.

Kansas State wins 52-48.

Cotton Bowl:  Oklahoma versus Texas A&M

The Aggies rarely touched the Sooners while they were in the Big 12.  Can they beat them now that they learned how to play big-boy football in the mighty SEC this year?

Texas A&M should be up for the challenge.  They lost close games to both Florida and LSU and pulled off one of the season’s biggest upsets defeating Alabama 29-24 in Tuscaloosa, catapulting freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel to the top of the Heisman race.

On the other hand, Oklahoma was its usual self again this year, winning a lot of high-scoring games and stubbing its toe a couple of times. 

Losing to the No.1 and No. 5 ranked teams is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Sooners still had a disappointing season. 

Unlike the BCS Championship and Fiesta Bowl, this game pits two teams that are polar opposites.

Oklahoma loves to pass the ball, and the Aggies can’t stop the pass.  Texas A&M loves to run the ball, and the Sooners can’t stop the run.  This should make for an interesting battle.

The key might be turnovers, as neither of them protects the ball very well.  The team that can minimize the costly mistakes should win.  

The Aggies are more balanced on offense and slightly better on defense.  They will beat the Sooners 45-42.  Will they chant SEC after the game?


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