Bowl games have been called boring in recent years. Many have called for a true playoff system. But they haven't watched games like the Rose Bowl 2012, won in a high-scoring thriller by Oregon over Wisconsin. The Sugar Bowl 2012 might be a sleeper in many respects, since a national championship isn't on the line, but the game could deliver a similar viewing thrill -- but from a decidedly more defensive perspective.

Higher ranked teams were passed up for the Sugar Bowl 2012, but try telling #11 Virginia Tech and #13 Michigan they don't belong. The Sugar Bowl committee opted to go with the two teams that give in the long run the best opportunity to put together a match-up that will provide a very exciting football game, said the bowl's CEO, and the teams say they want to deliver.

Michigan, 10-2, and Virginia Tech, 11-2, kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday night, January 3, on ESPN, with live streaming on ESPN 3. Click here to get the live stream, though not all Internet providers have access to view for free. Many do, however -- just enter the name of your provider and account information. If not, users can subscribe with membership.

The game features two of the better defensive teams in the country. Virginia Tech is ranked 13th in the nation, allowing just 313.9 yards per game, while Michigan ranked 18th in defense nationally, giving up 317.6 yards per game.

The Hokies made it to the ACC Championship game but lost to Clemson 38-10. The team wants to show it belongs in the final Top 10 by beating the Wolverines.

Michigan, on the other hand, has lost five of the team's last six bowl games. Last season it got particularly ugly in the team's 52-14 loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. The Wolverines hope to turn the tide against Virginia Tech.