Bowl Preview Guide: Not all bowls are created equal - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Bowl Preview Guide: Not all bowls are created equal

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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007 9:45 am | Updated: 6:53 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Check out Tribune's 'Kickoff' Bowl Preview Guide where we break down each of the 32 bowl games using our patented five-thumbs rating system.

Click here for our rating system or scroll down to bottom of article

Download the print version of our Bowl Preview Guide


BCS National Championship

At New Orleans | 6 p.m. Fox | Payout: $17 million

Ohio State (11-1) vs. LSU (11-2)

The Buckeyes hope to avoid a repeat performance of last year’s title game and prove they’re better than their soft schedule.

The Tigers will just look to finish the game in less than three overtimes. After all, they’re unbeaten in regulation.


Rose Bowl

At Pasadena, Calif. | 2:30 p.m. ABC | Payout: $17 million

Southern California (10-2) vs. Illinois (9-3)

USC might just be the best team in the land. A win over the Fighting Ron Zooks can only solidify that claim.

Sugar Bowl

At New Orleans | 6:30 p.m. Fox | Payout: $17 million

Hawaii (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-2)

This is Hawaii’s time to shine. Some wonder if it can hang with an SEC team. I wonder if it can play before midnight EST.


Fiesta Bowl

At Glendale | 6 p.m. FOX | Payout: $17 million

West Virginia (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)

Late-season losses cost each a chance at playing for the

BCS championship. Instead they’ll play for chips and salsa.


Orange Bowl

At Miami, Fla. | 6 p.m. Fox | Payout: $17 million

Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2

The Jayhawks want to prove their loss was a fluke & beat a tough “D”. Coach Mark Mangino will try not to eat the Orange Bowl.


Poinsettia Bowl

At San Diego | 7 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

Utah (8-4) vs. Navy (8-4)

Navy QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada ran the triple option. Hope you found three other options to watch instead.


New Orleans Bowl

At New Orleans | 6 p.m. ESPN2 | Payout: $325,000

Fla. Atlantic (7-5) vs. Memphis (7-5)

It’s tough being the third-best bowl game in your city. Perhaps it should be played in November instead.

>> DECEMBER 22 Bowl

At Birmingham, Ala. | 11 a.m. ESPN2 | Payout: $300,000

Cincinnati (9-3) vs. So. Miss (7-5)

“Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.”

How about “Better Teams. Better Bowl.”

Can I opt for DiGiorno Bowl instead?

New Mexico Bowl

At Albuquerque, N.M. | 2:30 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

New Mexico (8-4) vs. Nevada (6-6)

Try planning “a nice little Saturday … go to Home Depot. Maybe Bed Bath & Beyond … if you have enough time.”

Las Vegas Bowl

At Las Vegas | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $1 million

BYU (10-2) vs. UCLA (6-6)

Another wise pick by the Las Vegas Bowl committee. Because we all know how much Mormons love Sin City.


Hawaii Bowl

At Honolulu | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

E. Carolina (7-5) vs. Boise St. (10-2)

No Cinderella story. No surprise marriage proposal. No Statue of Liberty play. But the surfing’s great.


Motor City Bowl

At Detroit | 5:30 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

C. Michigan (8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)

The Boilermakers already annihilated Central Michigan once this year (45-22), but anything can happen in Detroit.


Holiday Bowl

At San Diego | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $2.25 million

ASU (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3)

Finally, an exciting game to watch. ASU will play with a chip on its shoulder after missing out on a big BCS payday.


Champs Sports Bowl

At Orlando, Fla. | 3 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $2.125 million

Boston College (10-3) vs. Mich. St. (7-5)

B.C. has a stout defense, but all eyes will be on QB Matt Ryan as he makes his case for becoming a Miami Dolphin.

Emerald Bowl

At San Francisco | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $1.575M (total)

Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon St. (8-4)

The Beavers have something to prove while the Terps seem to be more focused on cable cars and sea lions.

Texas Bowl

At Houston | 6 p.m. NFL | Payout: $1.25M (total)

Houston (8-4) vs. TCU (7-5)

Houston’s offense versus TCU’s defense should be an interesting matchup … if you are from Texas.


Meineke Bowl

At Charlotte, N.C. | 11 a.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

UConn (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)

Aka the “We almost beat Virginia Bowl” (both lost 17-16 at UVA). The Huskies aren’t really overachieving, are they?

Liberty Bowl

At Memphis, Tenn. | 2:30 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $1.75 million

Mississippi St. (7-5) vs. UCF (10-3)

UCF’s Kevin Smith goes for the single-season rushing record while George O’Leary “tweaks” his résumé.

Alamo Bowl

At San Antonio | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $2.225 million

Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)

81-year-old JoePa coaches his 500th game for the Nittany Lions in a matchup about 15 years past its prime.


Independence Bowl

At Shreveport, La. | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $1.1 million

Colorado (6-6) vs. Alabama (6-6)

Mmm, .500 football! Both teams have an upset & an upsetting season to their credit. Well, it’s this or Jets/Chiefs.


Armed Forces Bowl

At Fort Worth, Texas | 10:30 a.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

California (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)

Shouldn’t the Armed Forces Bowl feature two Armed Forces programs? Cal isn’t even a force. Armed? Maybe.

Sun Bowl

At El Paso, Texas | Noon CBS | Payout: $1.9 million

So. Florida (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)

A game of the year candidate

in mid-October, now there isn’t even Dennis Dixon to watch.

Humanitarian Bowl

At Boise, Idaho | Noon ESPN2 | Payout: $750,000

Fresno St. (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)

What’s so humanitarian about having a couple of warm-weather teams play on blue turf on New Year’s Eve in Idaho?


Music City Bowl

At Nashville, Tenn. | 2 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $1.6 million

Florida St. (7-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)

A well-tested UK offense vs. the FSU junior varsity squad. Should be a thriller. Worth watching to see who’s not playing.

Insight Bowl

At Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe | 4 p.m. NFL | Payout: $1.25 million

Indiana (7-5) vs. Okla. St. (6-6)

IU, in its first bowl since '93, will win one for Coach Hoep in an emotional, heart-warming game you probably won’t see.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

At Atlanta | 5:30 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $2.9 million

Clemson (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)

A betting man would put his money on the Tigers. Good old-fashioned Southern football before the midnight kissing.


Outback Bowl

At Tampa, Fla. | 9 a.m. ESPN | Payout: $3.1 million

Wisconsin (9-3) vs. Tennessee (9-4)

The SEC is superior to the Big Ten right now and this will be the first of three Big Ten bowl losses to the SEC.

Cotton Bowl

At Dallas | 9:30 a.m. Fox | Payout: $3 million

Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)

Two Heisman finalists, a team robbed

of a BCS berth and plenty of offense make this one a don’t-miss.

Capital One Bowl

At Orlando, Fla. | 11 a.m. ABC | Payout: $4.25 million

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

Heisman-winner Tim Tebow’s bum thumb shouldn’t affect his passing or running. Neither will Michigan.

Gator Bowl

At Jacksonville, Fla. | 11 a.m. CBS | Payout: $2.25 million

Virginia (9-3) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)

TT will throw all day, all night & probably into the next day (not including chairs by hoops coach Bobby Knight).


International Bowl

At Toronto | 10 a.m. ESPN2 | Payout: $750,000

Rutgers (7-4) vs. Ball State (7-5)

Two good offenses, two bad defenses and an extra 10 yards of field length should make for some gaudy stats.



At Mobile, Ala. | 6 p.m. ESPN | Payout: $750,000

Tulsa (9-4) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)

Maybe this should be called the “BCS Eve Bowl.” The only college games after Jan. 1 should be BCS and basketball.

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