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NCAA Football Bowl Previews: Orange, Sugar, GoDaddy, Cotton

Back when hair bands were cranking out the hits, you just didn’t see bowl games after New Years day. While I guess we shouldn’t complain about the prolonging of college football season, I get mixed feelings when I see the Kraft Fight Hunter Bowl being played one night before the National Championship.

The post-New Years docket of bowl games is full of potential, however, as BCS and standard bowl games alike make up a list of seven games in eight days. After that, you will have to find another reason to justify your existence. Here’s a quick preview of the first half of the eight-day bender.

Orange Bowl: Monday, Jan. 3rd

#5 Stanford (11-1) v. #12 Virginia Tech (11-2)

Rumors are running rampant that Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh is going to jump ship for the opportunity to coach players who don’t have to be quite as smart. Can’t blame teams for wanting a piece of the former ‘Captain Comeback,’ as Stanford was a dreadful 1-11 the year before he took over. They will try and get the school’s first bowl win since 1996 against a Hokies squad that has reeled off 11 wins in a row since their early season loss to James Madison. While everybody has been busy loving on Andrew Luck, VT quarterback Tyrod Taylor has thrown for 23 touchdowns versus just four interceptions.

Sugar Bowl: Tuesday, 1/4

#6 Ohio State (11-1) v. #8 Arkansas (10-2)

The well-tattooed Buckeyes will try to end the school’s 0-9 mark against SEC schools in bowl games when they take on the BCS Bowl-virgin Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, who has thrown for 60 TDs in his two season as the Hogs’ starter, actually played against OSU when he donned the Michigan uniform in 2007. The five Buckeye players implicated in the tattoo scandal don’t have their suspensions go into effect until next season, which is convenient for Ohio State, since the club is 22-3 in Terrelle Pryor’s career starts. Bowl, Thursday, 1/6

Middle Tennessee State (6-6) v. Miami-OH (9-4)

Not only does have the advertising strategy of using a scantily-clad Danica Patrick, it also has the naming rights of a mediocre bowl game. MTSU needed a fourth-quarter rally in their final game just to become bowl eligible, although they were without starting QB Dwight Dasher the first four games of the year. Miami won the MAC title this season one year after finishing 1-11. The turnaround was so impressive that coach Mike Haywood got the head gig at the University of Pittsburgh, but was promptly fired when he gave some chick the Bobby Brown treatment.

Cotton Bowl, Friday, 1/7

#11 LSU (10-2) v. # 18 Texas A&M (9-3)

LSU, whose only losses were to BCS participants Auburn and Arkansas, will make their 11st strait bowl appearance against an A&M team that won its last six games after Ryan Tannehill was inserted as the starting QB. Defensive stars will be on showcase in this one, as LSU DB Patrick Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award and Aggies LB Von Miller won the Butkus. These two teams played for the first time all the way back in 1899, but haven’t squared off since 1995.

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