2013 College Football Bowl Game Preview
Along with Santa Claus, fruitcakes and presents under the tree comes the favorite time of year for college football fans. When bowl season begins, fans across the country have visions of victories dancing in their heads. As more bowls are added to the schedule, teams from first and second-tier conferences do their best during the regular season to get an invitation for a holiday trip. Whether heading to Hawaii for the Hawaii Bowl, the “Smurf Turf” of Boise for the Potato Bowl or the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl the season is not considered successful unless a team goes bowling. This year the lineup of games is perhaps the best ever, with intriguing matchups from coast to coast.
While all eyes will be on the national championship game between Florida State and Auburn, there will be plenty of other interesting games to watch. With 35 bowl games on the schedule, 70 teams are eyeing victories for themselves and their fans. Bowl season officially started on December 21 with the New Mexico Bowl featuring Colorado State against Washington State. Both teams have been on the outside looking in the past several years, with the Rams being home the last four years and the Cougars in a bowl for the first time in a decade. The Poinsettia Bowl on December 26 offers an intriguing matchup between the Aggies of Utah State and the Huskies of Northern Illinois. The Huskies, led by future NFL quarterback Jordan Lynch, had been set for a BCS game until losing the MAC championship game, while Utah State boasts the number one defense in the Mountain West conference.
One of last year’s national championship participants, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, make their way to New York to take on Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. An exciting game for fans in the Northeast, it promises to be a tough, defense-oriented game that’s sure to awaken the echoes of past glory. Two teams that had national championship aspirations at the beginning of the season square off in the Alamo Bowl on December 30. The “Quack Attack” of the Oregon Ducks, losers of two of their final four games, take on the Longhorns of Texas in coach Mack Brown’s final game as head coach. The teams last met in the 2000 Holiday Bowl, and Texas is 4-1 all-time against Oregon.
The BCS games, always the ones on most people’s minds, have a variety of great matchups. The Fiesta Bowl provides this year’s BCS buster in Central Florida, which goes up against coach Art Briles and his Baylor Bears. Alabama, who many still consider the nation’s best team, heads to New Orleans on January 2 to play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Many expect the Crimson Tide to take out their frustrations of losing out on a third straight national title against the Sooners, but anything’s possible once the game begins. No matter what games interest fans the most, it’s sure to be the best bowl season yet.