The Indisputable Rankings of All 40 Bowl Games: Part 2 (20-1)
Welcome back to National Ave’s full bowl season game rankings. In this article we’ll explore the games you’ll actually watch, rankings 20 through 1.
- Liberty Bowl (Jan. 2): Kansas State (6-6) vs Arkansas (7-5)
Will this game be good? No. Is it ranked this high on our list because we forgot that college football throws in two shitty games after New Year’s Day with all of the good ones? You bet your ass.
- Cactus Bowl (Jan. 2): West Virginia (7-5) vs. Arizona State (6-6)
Oh boy! It’s the other awful game that should be happening on December 21st. That being said, the game is so late you’ll either be drunk or falling asleep by the time it comes on, so it probably won’t be that awful to pretend to watch.
- Music City Bowl (Dec. 30): Louisville (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)
If you’re staring at your computer/phone/iPad/watch/television glasses/do people access the Internet through sweatshirts yet? thinking, “This won’t be a good game,” congratulations! You know the sports. Want to know what will be good though? All of those classic Johnny Football highlights. Sure, he’s not fun now on the awful Browns, but there’s no denying he was the best asshole to play the game in recent years. Watch that little munchkin make points out of garbage and TRY to not enjoy it. You’ll fail.
- Foster Farms Bowl (Dec. 26): Nebraska (5-7) vs. UCLA (8-4)
If you enjoy human rights, this probably isn’t the game for you. The only thing comparable to the unholy torture UCLA will commit against Nebraska is the unholy torture Foster Farms commits against its chickens and the stomachs of the American people. Nebraska allowed 55 points to a tragically bad Purdue (is there any other kind?) and will now have to square off against a UCLA team that routinely put up 30+ points behind the arm of a football prodigy.
However, it should be AMAZING watching the Cornhuskers get obliterated as karmic justice for depriving the world of another uhhhh-mazing Bo Pelini tirade. Nebraska decided a 5-7 record with a boring coach would be better than an 8-4 season with a ceaselessly exciting one, and they deserve to be punished.
- Sun Bowl (Dec. 26): Miami (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4)
Don’t let the middling records fool you – these teams couldn’t be more different. Miami is big game choker who beats up on schools like Florida Atlantic University and flounders against real competition like Clemson and North Carolina. Meanwhile, Washington State is a big stage performer with the ability to push teams like Stanford to the brink and even defeat the likes of UCLA and Oregon. They just don’t know how to handle freebies like Portland State. That’s what makes this game so exciting: If the Hurricanes start off the game with a score, Washington State will act like Miami is a good team and compete. However, once Washington State shows that it’s a good team, Miami will crumble. But then the Cougars will think Miami is terrible and also become awful. This cycle will continue until the end of eternity and then continue in Hell.
- Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 29): Air Force (8-5) vs. California (7-5)
Do you love propaganda during football games? Do you dream about battles between hippies and soldiers? Then this is the game for you. If you don’t care about either of those things, you probably won’t enjoy this game too much, unless you enjoy really average college football.
- Military Bowl (Dec. 28): Pitt (8-4) vs. Navy (9-2)
Please replace “hippies” with “future steel mill employees” in the above paragraph. That’s literally the only difference.
- TaxSlayer Bowl (Jan. 2) Penn State (7-5) vs. Georgia (9-3)
Don’t let the semi-respectable records fool you: Neither of these teams is very good. In fact, if you were to add up the number of good wins these teams have, the Georgia fans might be able to count that high (it’s two). However, this game is worth watching for its implications alone. The SEC is slowly dying as a powerhouse; Alabama is the only good appendage in its polio-stricken body. If the atrocious Penn State Nittany Lions can knock off the Bulldogs, it will symbolize the Big Ten’s emerging kingdom on the SEC’s burial ground.
- Holiday Bowl (Dec. 30): USC (8-5) vs. Wisconsin (9-3)
Wisconsin is far better than their three losses imply. USC is not better than their five losses. Wisconsin should destroy the Trojans (which will be a great homage to how their students spend their weekends). While this doesn’t sound like fun, remember that USC is USC, and also that they have spent the greater part of the last week systematically dismantling their former head coach who has obvious addiction issues.1 USC losing is always fun, and now you can be self-righteous about it.
- Peach Bowl (Dec. 31): Houston (12-1) vs. Florida State (10-2)
Before you decry, “Strength of schedule!!!” and immediately assume Florida State is going to win, allow me to make two arguments: 1. Who cares? 2. I don’t give a fuck if you do. Houston ended the season four points from an undefeated season and knows how to put up points (i.e. SCOREBOARD, you horrendous “purists”). Florida State lost all of the games it played against good opponents while also occasionally putting up ridiculous numbers and playing solid defense. This will be a decent game and if you think the ACC is that much better than the AAC in football, you honestly don’t deserve to enjoy sports anyhow.
- Outback Bowl (Dec. 1): Northwestern (10-2) vs. Tennessee (8-4)
Northwestern is a hard-nosed team that slow bores teams to death with suffocating defense and 4-yard runs. They’re unstylish beasts that bludgeon their opponents with dull clubs (or lose terribly). It’s your grandpa’s favorite type of football. And just like your grandpa, it’s amusing for five minutes and then you count every second until you don’t have to don’t have to see it for another year.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Volunteers worst defeat (statically) was a seven-point Double Overtime loss to Oklahoma. This is a team that put up 50+ points four different times this season, a feat so shocking it may have literally killed Volunteer alum Peyton Manning.
This could be a good game or a blowout. Either way, Peyton Manning is dead.
- Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 19): BYU (9-3) vs. Utah (9-3)
MORMON FIGHT IN LAS VEGAS! MORMON FIGHT IN LAS VEGAS! Who even cares about these two decently respectable football teams because this is a MORMON FIGHT IN LAS VEGAS!!!! Will Taylor Magnum accidentally become a male stripper because of his amazing porn name? Will any of the players get drunk on wine coolers the night before and miss the game? HOW MANY PLAYERS WILL GET MARRIED BEFORE, DURING, OR AFTER THE GAME? These are all questions that should be flooding your mind because we have a MORMON FIGHT IN LAS VEGAS!!!
- Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1): Michigan (9-3) vs. Florida (10-3)
Will Jim Harbaugh burst his lungs screaming? Will Florida go down early then release the juiced Will Grier from his cage to go full Doomsday on the whole Wolverine team? How many commercials for Florida’s Own orange juice can you watch before literally murdering your neighbor with a citrus fruit?
These are the questions that can only be answered watching this game.
- Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Ole Miss (9-3)
This is the Russian Roulette of significant bowl games. Both of these teams can dazzle offensively and impress defensively when they’re at their bests. However, they can also play like a bunch of Dallas Cowboys at their worsts. This could be a great midcard fight or a Pacquiao-Mayweather war of boring attrition.
- Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1): Notre Dame (10-2) vs. Ohio State (11-1)
Will this be a good football game? Sure. Will it be full of NFL prospects and impressive plays? Yeah. Will it also be mired in so much bullshit about history and tradition and blah blah fucking blah? Yeah. That’s why it’s not one of the top four.
- Russell Athletic Bowl (Dec. 29): North Carolina (11-2) vs. Baylor (9-3)
North Carolina has scored fewer than 26 points a full one time this season. Baylor put up over 60 points FOUR TIMES. Yes, the quarterback that led that offensive behemoth is gone, but Baylor has regained their third-string quarterback (yes, it’s a good thing…Don’t laugh) and will be prepared to aim for NBA numbers in the Russell Athletic Bowl. In the words of Good Ole J.R., this will be a slobberknocker.
- Alamo Bowl (Jan. 2): Oregon (9-3) vs. TCU (10-2)
If you like defense, this might be a controversial pick. TCU’s defense is solid at best and mediocre at worst. Oregon’s defense is…HEY LOOK HOW FAST THEY ARE? I’m sorry. Do you really want to see a defensive standoff, or do you want to see all of the points? Honestly, the only reason why this game isn’t higher on the list is because Oregon occasionally forgets how to be Oregon. However, if Oregon remembers how to Oregon, this is a can’t-miss game.
- Rose Bowl (Jan. 2): Stanford (11-2) vs. Iowa (12-1)
Iowa was a literal hand-length away from going undefeated and firmly planting themselves in the Playoffs. For all of the early arguments about their strength of schedule, that Big Ten Championship game proved they’re the real goddamn deal. Meanwhile, Stanford comes into the Rose Bowl finally looking like a team with a fifth-year starting quarterback and tremendous athleticism and not a team that lost terribly to a slightly above average former punching bag (Hi, Northwestern). These teams will provide the best display of balanced football in the bowl season and we should all be so lucky to see them both at their bests at the Rose Bowl.
2 and 1. The College Football Playoff — Orange Bowl: Clemson (13-0) vs. Oklahoma (11-1) and Cotton Bowl: Alabama (12-1) vs. Michigan State (12-1)
Sorry, folks. Did you expect anything different? No, these games are not guaranteed to be the most exciting or even most competitive (I’m looking at you, wildly overrated Michigan State), but they are the most important and will be the best to watch. They’re the games you can bet on, the games that really matter. If you’re going to pretend that these aren’t the very best games to watch, then you don’t deserve to watch the championship game. GOOD DAY.