Bowl Season's Week 2 ... Well, At Least It Isn't All About Conference Realignments

  on December 22 2012 4:57 PM

Did you hear the latest in college football? Some schools are talking about switching leagues. Can you believe it?

Even more amazing, one school – Boise State – is talking about switching back to the league it was switching from. Confusing? You betcha, but it’s not necessarily surprising.

With all the cash involved, and the seemingly never-ending collapse of the Big East – could someone just put a fork in the poor conference and we be done with it already? – it stands to reason that there may be, um, a little movement here or there.

Fortunately, with the bowl season in full swing now, we can focus our eyes onto the actual field these days. So, without further ado, let’s look at upcoming Week 2 of the non-playoff postseason:

MONDAY

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State (9-3) vs. Southern Methodist (6-6): Yep, as Boise is looking to get back into the Mountain West, Fresno is considering getting out. Of course, the Big East is the other option for both. Two of the nation’s best RBs highlight this game, though – the Bulldogs’ Robbie Rouse and the Mustangs’ Zach Line, both of whom have registered three straight 1,000-yard seasons rushing.

WEDNESDAY

Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl – Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6): Not gonna sugar-coat it, this is pretty boring, matchup, site (Ford Field in Detroit), you name it. At least the Hilltoppers made some noise by hiring Bobby Petrino as their next head coach.

THURSDAY

Military Bowl – San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4): The coaching carousel only took one casualty from this pairing as the Spartans lost Mike MacIntyre to Colorado. San Jose State QB David Fales (3,798 yards, 31 TDs passing) is the featured performer in this one.

Belk Bowl – Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6): The Blue Devils started the season 6-2, so they’re not exactly rolling into Charlotte, N.C., on a high note – but at least it’s a short drive from Durham. The Bearcats are one of the country’s hidden-gem programs. Their three losses, one in OT, were by a combined 14 points.

Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl – Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4): Nice to see the Bears didn’t fall off the planet with Robert Griffin III’s departure after last season. Also nice to see the Bruins play so well under first-year coach Jim Mora. All in all, a nice matchup; should be entertaining.

FRIDAY

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl – Ohio (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (8-4): The Bobcats were poised to be quite story this fall, kicking off a 7-0 start with a win at Penn State. But they fell apart. The QBs is this one – Ohio’s Tyler Tettleton and Monroe’s Kolton Browning – should entertain. Tettleton has RB Beau Blankenship, a 1,500-yard rusher, as an option as well.

Russell Athletic Bowl – Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6): Whoever thought that when these former Big East rivals met that the Scarlet Knights would appear to have the brighter future … down the road, that is, since Big Ten-bound Rutgers blew an outright Big East title with two losses to end the season?

Meineke Car Care Bowl – Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5): Zzzzzzzzzz … hard to believe that reps from the Big Ten and Big 12 could meet in a bowl and the matchup be nothing more than a snoozefest, but here you go. Tech QB Seth Doege (3,934 yards, 38 TDs passing) may put up some numbers.

SATURDAY

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6): The Falcons’ C&C connection figures to prevail, that being RB Cody Geitz and QB Connor Deitz, who – surprise – is a two-way threat. The Owls closed the regular season with four straight wins to become bowl-eligible.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl – West Virginia (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5): Remember way, way back in September when the Mountaineers’ Geno Smith was the runaway Heisman frontrunner? Well, he might not even be the best QB in this one as Orange senior Ryan Nassib has solidified his NFL stock the last few months.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Navy (7-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5): If nothing else, the matchup pits some sweet uniforms against one another. Kidding aside, the contrast in styles – Navy’s all-out option assault and the Sun Devils’ balanced one – should be interesting, and fast since they both go uptempo.

Valero Alamo Bowl – Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3): You have to wonder just what kind of season the Beavers would have had if A) sophomore QB Sean Mannion didn’t get hurt and B) he hadn’t come back too early. The Longhorns’ Swiss-cheese defense could pave the way to some pinball scoring.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – Texas Christian (7-5) vs. Michigan State (6-6): See Meineke Car Care Bowl synopsis above, and substitute Doege info with State RB Le’Veon Bell has been, arguably, the country’s biggest enigma – starring one week, disappearing the next, but still posting 1,648 yards rushing.