Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Preview And Where to Watch Online: Oregon Ducks And Kansas State Wildcats Look To Light Up The Scoreboard In The Arizona Valley
I imagine those in power who were commissioned to name the bowl game played in the Arizona Valley had this year’s matchup in mind when they decided to call it the Fiesta Bowl.
One of the definitions of the word “Fiesta” is: an elaborate party or celebration, often outdoors.
Thursday night’s Fiesta bowl has all the makings to be just that - an elaborate outdoor party.
When No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Kansas State meet in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, there will be bands playing, crowds cheering, cheerleaders dancing and touchdown celebrations. Sounds like a party to me. Did I mention there would be touchdown celebrations? There will be. A lot of them. These teams score right at a point a minute. So when I say a lot, I literally mean…A LOT.
Sugar Bowl Preview and Where to Watch Online: No. 3 Florida Gators Take On No. 21 Louisville Cardinals
Familiarity Breeds Contempt.
You would be hard pressed to find another coach across the country that is more familiar with the Florida Gators than Louisville head coach, Charlie Strong. You will also be hard pressed to find another coach that respects them more than Strong.
Strong served on the staff at Florida four different times and experienced a career’s worth of success. Most recently, he ran their defense from 2003-09, winning a pair of BCS titles during that time.
"Florida is a program of excellence and I really enjoyed my time there," he said. "I watch that program every week.
So, if familiarity breeds contempt, someone forgot to tell Charlie Strong. Nothing but respect from him.
That’s about as far as the familiarity between these two teams goes.
In fact, throughout the history of these two programs, they have only played twice, in 1980 and 1992, both in Gainesville, and Florida won both contests.
Bowl season hasn’t been kind to the Big Ten in recent years, and with the conference struggling throughout the 2012 campaign, it will take some doing to reverse that trend. Still, some impressive offensive talents will get their chances to shine on the New Year’s Day stage.
This trio has the best prospects of earning some bowl-game pride for their beleaguered conference:
1. Venric Mark, Northwestern
By far the most evenly matched of the conference’s five New Year’s bowls pits No. 20 Northwestern against Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. The Bulldogs aren’t the best defense in the mighty SEC, but they’ll give the Wildcats a tougher test than most of the opponents they’ve faced in a 9-3 season.
The offensive hero for NU has been tailback Venric Mark, who piled up more than 1,400 yards from scrimmage and led the nation with 20.1 yards per punt return. The MSU defense will need to contain the lightning-fast Mark at all costs. Even so, it’s a good bet that he’ll still get the 148 all-purpose yards he needs to eclipse Damien Anderson’s school record for a season.
2. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
FedEx Orange Bowl Preview And Where To Watch Online: BCS Busters No. 15 Northern Illinois Huskies Look To Upset No. 12 Florida State Seminoles
The Florida State Seminoles are no stranger to the Orange Bowl. They have had some epic games against some of college football’s powerhouse programs, playing the likes of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State and Notre Dame.
This year, the Seminoles find themselves back in the Orange Bowl and will take on, well, not exactly another college football powerhouse. They’ll play the Northern Illinois Huskies.
Northern Illinois? How do you go from Nebraska to Oklahoma to Penn State to Notre Dame to…Northern Illinois? Something doesn’t add up. That’s BCS math for you.
How is that possible?
It’s all real simple. There is a BCS clause that states a team from a non-BCS league to be chosen if it finishes in the top 16 of the BCS standings and is higher than a BCS conference champion.
Despite many pundits screaming that these Huskies do not belong, here they are. And it’s not the Huskies fault. If you want to point fingers, blame the system. It’s been broken for years. It will undoubtedly get tweaked again this year but it will never be right until a true playoff system is put in place.
2013 Rose Bowl Preview And Where To Watch Online: Barry Alvarez Leads Wisconsin Badgers Against No. 6 Stanford Cardinals
Remember back in the day when football was not considered a track meet on grass. When teams didn’t try to score in less than one minute every time they touched the ball. When a physical running game and a tenacious defense was the key to being a consistent contender. When quarterbacks relied on their pocket presence, precision passing and ability to manage a game instead of their ability to read whether or not a defensive end squeezes on the zone read.
Those were the good ol’ days. And if everything is cyclical, then there is hope for anyone who appreciates the aforementioned style of football for it to return to popularity. Alabama and Notre Dame play that style and they are playing for the National Championship. I’m just saying.
If you are one of them, one of us, make sure you tune in for the 2013 Rose Bowl when the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Stanford Cardinal. It will be full of overgrown lineman, physical running games and attacking defenses. It will be a thing of beauty. Trust me.
There are is one major sub plot to go along with the game that adds a little something extra to the drama.