The Best of Bowl Season

John MossSenior Analyst IDecember 3, 2007

Icon Sports MediaNow that the BCS has been unveiled, the time has come to quit complaining about which team should be here and which team should be there. 

Sure, there are a few glaring deficiencies in the BCS selections—Kansas over Missouri?—but there are also great games heading our way. 

Here are the Top 10 Games of the upcoming Bowl Season:

 

10. Gator Bowl, Jan. 1, 2008: Virginia vs. Texas Tech

Texas Tech features the nation's leading passer (Graham Harrell), receiver (Michael Crabtree), and overall passing offense.  Virginia's pass defense has almost as many interceptions (11) as passing touchdowns allowed (15).  Cavs defensive end Chris Long, son of Hall-of-Famer Howie Long, will be gunning for Harrell all game long.

 

9. Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31, 2007: Florida State vs. Kentucky

The Wildcats head back to Nashville for the second-straight year...but waiting for Andre Woodson and company will be a fast and nasty Seminole defense.  If Florida State can get their offense going, this should be an entertaining game.

 

8. Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, Dec. 27, 2007: #11 Arizona State vs. #19 Texas

Icon Sports MediaLonghorn quarterback Colt McCoy has endured a sophomore slump—to put it politely. 

After McCoy threw a conference-high 18 interceptions, Texas has turned to All-Big-12 running back Jamaal Charles to lead the way. 

Meanwhile, ASU QB Rudy Carpenter will be giddy watching film of the porous Longhorn passing defense, which allowed over 275 yards a game.

 

7. Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1, 2008: #12 Florida vs. Michigan

Michigan has been less than spectacular against teams with mobile quarterbacks this season (see Appalachian State and Oregon).  But they have yet to see anything like Tim Tebow. 

Coming off a likely Heisman coronation, Tebow will have the Gator offense flying high.  With that said, Mike Hart and the Wolverine seniors would like to win at least one bowl game during their tenure in Ann Arbor.

 

6. The Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi, Jan. 1, 2008: #7 USC vs. #13 Illinois

USC, one of the hottest teams in the country, goes up against the Fighting Illini, runners-up in the Big Ten.  Illinois will rely on the legs of running back Rashard Mendenhall and quarterback Juice Williams to open up the passing game. 

The Trojan defense is quick and tough against the run.  But if Williams can get the ball to uber-talented freshman wide receiver Arrelious Benn with any consistency, this could be closer than the experts think.

 

5. Fedex Orange Bowl, Jan. 3, 2008: #3 Virginia Tech vs. #8 Kansas

Oh, what could have been for the Hokies.  If they had kept the LSU score somewhat respectable, they would be heading to New Orleans to play for the National Championship. 

Icon Sports MediaVaTech QB Sean Glennon has been on a roll lately, and he will need to keep it up to match this high powered Jayhawk offense, which led the Big 12 in scoring (44.3 points per game). 

Oh, and do you think Kansas will be ready to prove everyone wrong who says Missouri should be here?

 

4. Cotton Bowl, Jan. 1, 2008: #6 Missouri vs. Arkansas

Yes, the sixth-ranked team in the country is in the Cotton Bowl, and the eighth-ranked team is in the Orange Bowl.  Yes, the sixth-ranked team beat the eighth-ranked team on a neutral field.  And yes, that sixth-ranked team was first one week ago.  No, I don't understand it, either. 

If Missouri is motivated for this game, they will have too much firepower on offense for Arkansas to match.  Darren McFadden is the best player in college football, but without coach Houston Nutt on the sideline, the Hogs might be in over their head.  Don't miss Missouri's WR/RB/KR/PR Jeremy Maclin and Arkansas' KR/PR/RB Felix Jones running back kicks.  These two men, my friends, are speed personified.

 

3. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2, 2008: #4 Oklahoma vs. #9 West Virginia

This game has the potential to be the game of the year—if the West Virginia team we've become accustomed to seeing takes the field.  If not, it will be a long night for the Mountaineers yet again. 

Weapons galore for both teams on both sides of the ball make this game one you will not want to miss.

 

2. Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 2008: #5 Georgia vs. #10 Hawaii

IIcon Sports Media was tempted to put this game at number one.  I really was.  Some have said this is the "real" championship game...I don't buy that, but it will be a great game regardless. 

Hawaii is a running machine on offense, and will try and force their will over the Bulldog defense.  

Just making sure you're still with me. 

Hawaii QB Colt Brennan will have his shot in front of a national audience—and more importantly, every NFL scout in the country. 

Georgia freshman running back Knowshon Moreno is one of the best in the country, and should see plenty of holes against a suspect Hawaii run defense.

 

1. BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 7, 2008: #1 Ohio State vs. #2 LSU

I went chalk here, selecting the Championship Game as the best of the Bowl Season.  Here's why:  I honestly believe Ohio State has a shot to win this game. 

LSU is faster, bigger, and more physical.  But if Jim Tressell is half the coach we think he is, he'll have his Buckeyes keyed up, ready to make up for last year's embarrassment and show up this year's doubters. 

Another reason to watch: the possibility of a split National Championship.  Sure, it's a longshot, but it's still a possibility.  Remember, Virginia Tech is number one according to the computers.  If the Hokies whip up on Kansas, and LSU narrowly defeats Ohio State... the BCS could implode.