Friday, December 07, 2012

2012-2013 College Bowl Games

While I am not an ardent fan of college football, I do tend to enjoy Bowl season, and always do this post as a way to keep track of all 35 games. This year, there is more interest in my part than ever. Locally, not only are the Northwestern Wildcats competing once again to finally win their first Bowl game since the 1940s, but Notre Dame, (which is considered a Chicago area institution) is going for the National Championship.

However, the big story to me is the fact that my alma mater, Northern Illinois University has made it all the way to a BCS Bowl Game and will be playing in the Orange Bowl! That is not something I ever expected to see in my life. When I attended NIU, I believe the football team was ranked in some publication during my freshman year as being the worse Division I team in the entire country. They won just a handful of games the four years I was a student there. I did not attend a ton of them, but I remember being at one game, where there was a big victory (perhaps just snapping a losing streak) and it was such a momentous event, that students tore down the goal posts drunkenly paraded them to the lagoons on campus and threw them in.

Since I have graduated, the NIU Huskies have gotten a lot better as a football program (basketball is still pitiful) and started going to Bowl games most years about 8 seasons ago. It was amazing to me back when NIU made it's first Bowl Game and actually won it back then, and it has always been great to see them playing in some of the more minor Bowl games, especially since they have won those games the last two years.

The Orange Bowl though on prime time New Year's Night? This is just amazing to me that something like this could ever happen. While I will not be in Miami, I will be watching on television, rooting on my alma mater, even though they may possibly lose this game quite badly. Just getting to this point for the back to back MAC Conference Champions is a great accomplishment and anyone associated with the school; past, present, or future should be proud. Yes, Northern Illinois going to the Orange Bowl is certainly controversial, especially with ESPN pundits, but they played by the rules and earned it. My alma mater made national headlines a few years back for a horrific shooting on campus, but what the Huskies have been doing on the field deserves a lot of credit. Who knows? Maybe there will be a surprise outcome in the Orange Bowl itself.

So, let's list the Bowl games. The teams that will be highlighted will be the ones I want to win the game, and not necessarily as prediction, as I don't really know much about any of these teams anyway. The rankings will be that of the AP Top 25 poll. Let's also note that the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes, who happen to be undefeated, are ineligible to take part in any Bowl game this year, because they did something wrong once.

1. New Mexico Bowl
Albuquerque, NM

Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack vs. Arizona Wildcats

2. Potato Bowl
Boise, ID

Toledo Rockets vs.  # 18 Utah State Aggies

3. Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego, CA

Brigham Young Cougars vs. San Diego State Aztecs

4. Beef  'O' Brady's Bowl
St. Petersburg, FL

Central Florida Knights vs. Ball State Cardinals

5. New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans, LA

East Carolina Pirates vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

6. Las Vegas Bowl
Las Vegas, NV

Washington Huskies vs. # 20 Boise State Broncos

7. Hawai'i Bowl
Honolulu, HI

California State, Fresno Bulldogs vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs

8. Pizza Bowl
Detroit, MI

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

9. Military Bowl
Washington, District of Columbia

# 24 San Jose State Spartans vs. Bowling Green State Falcons

10. Belk Bowl
Charlotte, NC

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils

11. Holiday Bowl
San Diego, CA

Baylor Bears vs. # 17 California, Los Angeles Bruins

12. Independence Bowl
Shreveport, LA

Ohio Bobcats vs. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

13. Athletic Bowl
Orlando, FL

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Scarlet Knights vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokies

14. Car Care Bowl of Texas
Houston, TX

Minnesota, Twin Cities Golden Gophers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

15. Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, TX

William Marsh Rice Owls vs. United States Air Force Academy Falcons

16. Pinstripe Bowl
The Bronx, New York, NY

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange

17. Fight Hunger Bowl
San Francisco, CA

United States Naval Academy Midshipmen vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

18. Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, TX

Texas at Austin Longhorns vs. # 15 Oregon State Beavers

19. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Tempe, AZ

Texas Christian Horned Frogs vs. Michigan State Spartans

20. Music City Bowl
Nashville, TN

North Carolina State at Raleigh Wolfpack vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

21. Sun Bowl
El Paso, TX

Southern California Trojans vs. Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets

22. Liberty Bowl
Memphis, TN

Iowa State University of Science and Technology Cyclones vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

23. Chick-fil-A Bowl 
Atlanta, GA

# 9 Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Tigers vs. # 14 Clemson Tigers

24. Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, FL

Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science Bulldogs vs. # 21 Northwestern Wildcats

25. Heart of Dallas Bowl
Dallas, TX

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oklahoma State-Stillwater Cowboys

26. Outback Bowl
Tampa, FL

# 11 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. # 19 Michigan Wolverines

27. Capital One Bowl
Orlando, FL

# 6 Georgia Bulldogs vs. # 23 Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers

28. Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA

Wisconsin-Madison Badgers vs. # 8 Leland Stanford Junior Cardinal

29. Orange Bowl
Miami Gardens, FL

# 16 Northern Illinois Huskies vs. # 13 Florida State Seminoles

30. Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, LA

# 22 Louisville Cardinals vs. # 4 Florida Gators

31. Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, AZ

# 5 Oregon Ducks vs. # 7 Kansas State Wildcats

32. Cotton Bowl
Arlington, TX

# 10 Texas A&M Aggies vs. # 12 Oklahoma Sooners

33. Compass Bowl
Birmingham, AL

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Mississippi Rebels

34. Bowl
Mobile, AL

# 25 Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

35. Bowl Championship
Miami Gardens, FL

# 1 Notre Dame du Lac Fighting Irish vs.# 2  Alabama Crimson Tide