Well the College Bowl season has finally come to and end and it was one of the best in recent memory. For all the grief that the bowl system gets - it is still a fun time. Trust me, I'm not a fan of the BCS and would love a playoff but I'm certain there is a way to have both.
Here are my rankings of each bowl game in order of entertainment. The big name bowls get most of the press but the lesser known bowl provided most of the excitement this year.
RATINGS 34 -1:
#34 International Bowl: Tied 3-3 at halftime. South Florida puts up 24 unanswered points to win 27-3 over Northern Illinois. Northern climate bowls are one thing. But Canada?
#33 Insight Bowl: A couple of 6-6 teams battle in the desert. Iowa State wins 14-13 over Minnesota with no scoring in the fourth quarter.
#32 Papa Johns.com Bowl: Connecticut wins 20-7 over South Carolina. Gamecocks don't score until the fourth quarter.
#31 Texas Bowl: Navy surprised a lot of folks including Mizzou as they rolled to a 35-13 victory. Armed Forces had a great bowl season.
#30 Sugar Bowl - Cincinnati rolled over and this game was over after the first quarter. FOX had a designated "Tebow Cam" for the entire game that you could watch on their website. Barf. No surprise that the Bearcats struggled after Coach Kelly took the money and headed to South Bend.
#29 Hawaii Bowl - SMU made the most of it's first bowl appearance in 25 years. Mustangs won 45-10 as Nevada had no answer on defense.
#28 St. Petersburg Bowl: This one was 28-17 at the half. Rutgers ended up winning 45-24 over UCF. Beef O Brady's was the sponsor - barf.
#27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: At least Little Caesars put up a great coupon for a $3.99 Hot N Ready because of the Pizza Bowl. Marshall won 21-17 but didn't score in the second half. This game was close but too many bad green uniforms made it hard to watch.
#26 Holiday Bowl - Nebraska crushes Arizona 33-0. Not a very competitive game but watching the Cornhuskers defense dominate the Wildcats was impressive.
#25 National Championship Game: This could have been one for the ages. Colt McCoy gets hurt early and his collegiate career is over. Alabama is up 24-6 at the half and then just sits on the ball for the entire third quarter. Texas gets things going in the fourth quarter but two turnovers sealed their fate. Bama win 37-21.
#24 Cotton Bowl: Mississippi puts up 14 in the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie. Oklahoma State leaves their offense at home as they lose 21-7.
#23 Emerald Bowl: USC showed up for this game and won 24-12 over Boston College. The Trojans could have collapsed since they weren't playing a BCS game but at least gave their fans some hope for next season.
#22 Independence Bowl: This one started off slowly with a scoreless game after the first quarter. 64 points later Georgia was victorious 44-20 over Texas A&M.
#21 Las Vegas Bowl: The wind was insane for this game. Was supposed to be a close game but BYU smothered Oregon State 44-20. PAC 10 started off their bowl season poorly while the Mountain West continued to shine.
#20 Fiesta Bowl: The rematch of last years Poinsettia Bowl between Boise State and TCU. TCU looked flat most of the game. The Broncos pulled another trick out of their hat with a fake punt deep in their own territoy. Boise State pulls a 17-10 win; their second in the Fiesta Bowl.
#19 EagleBank Bowl: The turf was frozen in DC. Bill Cosby had Temple ready and the Owls led 21-10 at halftime. UCLA scored 20 unanswered to win 30-21.
#18 Chick-fil-A Bowl: This was a close game as Virginia Tech was up 17-14 at the half. The Volunteers imploded in the second half and went on to lose 37-14.
#17 Gator Bowl: West Virgina was rolling with a 14-3 lead after the 1st quarter. Then Bobby Bowden led the Seminoles to score 10 points in the next three quarters in a 33-21 victory in his coaching finale.
#16 Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech only totalled 155 yards in their 24-14 loss to the Hawkeyes. Iowa proved their doubters wrong.
#15 Armed Forces Bowl: Houston was supposed to blow out Air Force with their high powered offense. The Falcons had other ideas as they intercepted Chase Keenum 6 times and put up 400+ yards rushing. Mountain West continued to impress moving to 4-0.
#14 Music City Bowl: The final stop in the CJ Spiller express - this one was close to till Spiller scored the game winner to make it a 21-13 victory for Clemson over Kentucky.
#13 New Orleans Bowl: Southern miss led 14-0 after the first quarter. Middle Tennessee State put up 14 in each of the next three quarters to win 42-32.
#12 Capital One Bowl: Penn State kicks a 21 yard field goal to win 19-17 over LSU. Field was a soggy mess and both teams struggled to move the ball.
#11 Rose Bowl: Ohio State broke their streak of bowl losses and pulled out a 26-17 victory over the Oregon Ducks. Another rough bowl season for the Pac - 10 in the books.
#10 Champs Sports Bowl: Wisconsin used it's powerful running game to push around Miami. Badgers win 20-14.
#9 Poinsettia Bowl: Utah was down early but scored 17 points in the second quarter and never looked back. 37-27 victory over Cal made it nine bowl victories in a row for the Utes.
#8 Alamo Bowl: The Mike Leach saga gave the Alamo Bowl record ratings. The Red Raiders didn't lose a step in a 41-31 victory over the bad boys from Michigan State.
#7 Sun Bowl: Stanford was without their QB Andrew Luck and Oklahoma was of course missing Sam Bradford. But the Brut Backup QB Bowl was better than expected. Toby Gerhart had 135 yards plus a touchdown for the Cardinal. The Sooners D stepped up and only allowed 3 points in the second half enroute to a 31-27 win.
#6 Meineke Bowl: Pittsburgh needed a 33 yard field with 52 seconds left to pull out this one over North Carolina 19-17.
#5 Liberty Bowl: Rough day for the kickers provided a crazy finish in Memphis. East Carolina's Ben Hartman made just 1 of 5 field goals and Arkansas made 2 of 3. Razorbacks pulled it out in OT with a 37 yarder from Alex Tejada.
#4 GMAC Bowl: Chippewa QB Dan LeFevour went out with a bang. It took two overtimes but Central Michigan defeated Troy 44-41.
#3 Outback Bowl - Northwestern comes back from 14 down and has a chance to win the game with a field goal yet misses as time expires. The Wildcats have their chances to win in overtime but can't pull it out and they remain at just one bowl victory in their history. Auburn wins 38-35.
#2. Humanitarian Bowl - Idaho pulls out a last second victory 43-42 over Bowling Green. This game was played in frigid conditions on the smurf turf but it was still an impressive shootout.
#1. New Mexico Bowl - Wyoming pulls of a 35-28 2OT victory over Fresno State. This game had it all. Offense? Check. Defensive Stand? Check. Fourth Quarter comeback? Check. Missed opportunities? Check. Timely turnovers? Check.
Yes I am biased since I'm a Wyoming fan but this was a the first game of the bowl season and it really started things off with a bang. Most of the nation had never seen the Cowboys play this year and they were treated to a tremendous performance.
And there you have it! Rankings for every single bowl game. I'm sure you have your own opinion. Where did I miss? What games did I hit?
Conference Bowl Records
- Bowl Subdivision Record
- Atlantic Coast 3-4
- Big 12 4-4
- Big East 4-2
- Big Ten 4-3
- Conference USA 2-4
- Independents (FBS) 1-0
- Mid-American 1-4
- Mountain West 4-1
- Pacific-10 2-5
- Southeastern 6-4
- Sun Belt 1-1
- Western Athletic 2-2