Ross’s 2013 college football bowl-watching guide

Now celebrating five years of making up silly alternative names for college football bowl games!

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

  • December 21st, 3:30 PM; ABC
  • #20 Fresno State (11-1) vs. #25 USC (9-4)
  • Informally: The First Ranked Matchup Bowl

USC, which looked pretty crappy early on under ex-head coach Lane Kiffin, righted the ship after dumping the Kiffster and won five games straight—including one over #4 Stanford. Fresno State QB Derek Carr sports a 70.1% completion percentage and he’s thrown 48 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions. Oh, he’s also the younger brother of former Fresno State QB and first-overall NFL draft pick David Carr.

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Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

  • December 24th, 8:00 PM; ESPN
  • Boise State (8-4) vs. Oregon State (6-6)
  • Informally: The Don’t Spend Time With Your Family, They Suck Bowl

I almost always watch at least some of this bowl every year, regardless of who’s playing. It’s the perfect way to spend some time ignoring your family, watching sports, probably drinking a beer. This year the opponents are two teams from west of the Mississippi that I don’t really care about, but it doesn’t matter! It’s Christmas Eve!

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Russell Athletic Bowl

  • December 28th, 6:45 PM; ESPN
  • Miami (9-3) vs. #18 Louisville (11-1)
  • Informally: The TTYL Big East or Whatever You’re Called Now Bowl

The median number of points scored on Louisville’s 2nd-ranked defense this season is 10–that’s not a whole lot of points. But considering the Cardinals play in a weak and dying conference, it’s maybe not all that impressive. Live it up while you can, Lousiville! The Cardinals leave the ex-Big East, now the impossibly generic “American Athletic Conference”, and join the ACC as full members on July 1, 2014.

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Valero Alamo Bowl

  • December 30th, 6:45 PM; ESPN
  • #10 Oregon (10-2) vs. Texas (8-4)
  • Informally: The Remember When This Was Going to be the PAC-12 Championship Game Bowl

I love what Chip Kelly did for Oregon, and I love that the next man up, former OC Mark Helfric, has kept things moving along. However, I’m starting to wonder if Oregon is the West Coast equivalent of Clemson? It’d be a heckuva thing (and an extreme Clemsoning by Oregon) for the Longhorns to upset the Ducks in what will be Coach Mac Brown’s final game at Texas.

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Hyundai Sun Bowl

  • December 31st, 2:00 PM; CBS
  • Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. #17 UCLA (9-3)
  • Informally: The Roasted Bird Bowl

Dudes, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but UCLA is pretty freaking good. Head coach Jim Mora has the Bruins running super hot, and he has (as of now) spurned some lucrative and interesting head coaching offers from elsewhere. If the Hokies played their best game of the year, they could beat UCLA—I just don’t see it happening.

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Chick-fil-A Bowl

  • December 31st, 8:00 PM; ESPN
  • #24 Duke (10-3) vs. #21 Texas A&M (8-4)
  • Informally: The Good vs. Evil Bowl

Could there be a more likable guy than Duke head coach David Cutcliffe? The guy has done amazing things at a historically terrible program, and he’s done it the right way. On the other side, Johnny Manziel is…less likable. If Duke can contain Manziel a bit, and if the A&M receivers1 have an off game, the Blue Devils have a chance—they’ve certainly got the momentum.

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Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio

  • January 1st, 5:00 PM; ESPN
  • #5 Stanford (11-2) vs. #4 Michigan State (12-1)
  • Informally: The Dream Crushers Bowl

Hats off to Michigan State and Stanford for crushing the national championship hopes of Ohio State and Oregon respectively. Y’all are both winners in my book! The 100th edition of The Rose Bowl Game is the best New Year’s Day game this year, so plan accordingly.

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Vizio BCS National Championship

  • January 6th, 8:30 PM; ESPN
  • #1 Florida State (13-0) vs. #2 Auburn (12-1)
  • Informally: The Please Make the ACC Relevant Again Bowl

I’ve been saying all season long that Florida State is the best team in the nation, lucky for me they went and won all of their regular-season games. Now they can prove me double right by showing Auburn that we do still play football in the ACC (sometimes). This is the most exciting championship game in recent years.

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Honorable mention

  • Capital One Bowl • January 1st, 1:00 PM; ABC • #19 Wisconsin (9-3) vs. #9 South Carolina (10-2)
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl • January 2nd, 8:30 PM; ESPN • 11 Oklahoma (10-2) vs. #3 Alabama (11-1)

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  1. Who have continually bailed out their QB, making him look all-world in the process. Most of those Manziel highlights are: guy scrambles around, chucks up a duck, and a receiver makes a great play on the ball. 
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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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