Well, this is it. These last few days of bowl action bring us not only the National Championship, but also some other pretty intriguing match ups that don’t mean anything as well as two games trying to leech some of that NFL playoff audience.
Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Alabama. While the Crimson Tide hasn’t beaten the Sooners in over 50 years, Nick Saban has beaten Bob Stoops, in the Sugar Bowl. That game was for a national title, though, and Saban is far better in title games than he is in other BCS bowls. Then again, Stoops has been notoriously bad in BCS bowls of nearly every variety, with at least one loss in the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and BCS National Championship games. (ESPN)
Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri. As former conference-mates in the old Big Twelve, these two have played each other more often than probably any other pair of bowl opponents this year. The Tigers lead the overall series 28-23, but the Cowboys have won four of the last five. Obligatory Program Cover Art. (Fox)
Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson. The only other time these two played was 35 years ago. You know what happened. Since then, each team has had five head coaches. Ohio State has gone 14-16 in bowls. Clemson has gone 12-14. Ohio State is 18-16-1 against arch-rivals Michigan and has won 14 conference titles. Clemson is 21-13-1 against arch-rivals South Carolina and has won 7 conference titles. This year, both teams feature high-powered offenses and suspect defenses. That said, both teams rank in the top 21 in scoring defense in the country. This is going to be interesting. (ESPN)
BBVA Compass Bowl: Houston vs. Vanderbilt. This is last year that BBVA Compass will sponsor the Birmingham Bowl, so I thought I’d look them up and see who they are, since it’s not exactly obvious unless they make compasses. They don’t. (ESPN)
Go Daddy Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Ball State. Look: I’m tired, you’re tired. Neither one of us is watching this game. Let’s just move on with our lives. (ESPN)
BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn. It’s the final game of the BCS Era, and I couldn’t be happier to see it go. As much as I hate to cheer for the Seminoles, it would be a fitting end for the convoluted championship system if FSU could beat an SEC team, simultaneously ending that conference’s (and the state of Alabama’s) streak of titles and avenging their own loss to the SEC’s Tennessee in the first BCS title game. (ESPN)