College bowls are coming to town

Philip Consuegra

Christmas time is in the air, and with that comes, as always, the college bowl games.

Santa Claus comes early every year for college football fans, giving them a plethora of bowl games to watch during the season. They say Santa makes a list and checks it twice – but you may not want to tell Auburn or Cal that, as they were nice all year, but end up with coal. Santa can only do so much with a system that is so wrong, but for the fans, he has delivered some pretty good gifts.

There is just so much going on that one can’t help but be giddy. This Christmas, you’ll find me doing a lot more than just opening presents, as I’ll be in front of the television watching as much college football as I can. While I think there are way too many bowl games out there (we’re up to 28 this year), I am always one to take advantage of Santa’s generosity in giving us great bowl games. So read on, fans, and then grab a seat and take advantage of a great college bowl season.

I know the song tells me “you better not cry,” but I have to say it once. I’ve already made known my thoughts on the BCS system, as I felt Auburn should have had a shot at the national title. I stand by those comments, and I think the BCS has gotten it all wrong – again. I had to put in a short rant, so to the games we go.

The national championship will be decided in Miami this year, and the FedEx Orange Bowl should be a great game. Two undefeated teams, both having a pair of explosive players, will make this match-up one to remember.

This season, we could see two Heisman Trophy winners on the same field for the national championship. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush have led USC all season, and Jason White and Adrian Peterson have been carrying Oklahoma on their backs. Look for both White and Leinart to have big numbers, but this battle will be won on the ground. Whoever establishes the run effectively first will be taking home the glory.

The Nokia Sugar Bowl will be another interesting game, pitting an angry Auburn team against a Virginia Tech team which has a lackluster running game. Tech is still 10-2, however, and will try to put up a fight against the mighty Tigers.

V-Tech’s quarterback Bryan Randall will do all he can, but Auburn will rule the day with Carnell “Cadillac” Williams and Jason Campbell leading the charge. Auburn will roll; they’re playing with a little more fire after being snubbed, and if there’s any team you don’t want to face when their angry, it’s Auburn.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl features two teams who surprisingly earned a BCS bid. Utah won an at-large bid after going undefeated, and lost its coach because of it. Pittsburgh is in the BCS simply because the Big East is deplorable. Expect Alex Smith to put up high numbers, and Utah to come out on top, becoming the first non-BCS team to make and win a BCS bowl.

The Rose Bowl presents us with two teams who nearly missed the cut. Michigan goes to Pasadena for the second straight year, thanks to Wisconsin’s late season drop, giving the Big Ten title to the Wolverines. The Texas coaching staff must have gone to mass the day before BCS selection day, as a much more deserving Cal team was snubbed for the Longhorns. Look for Michigan to utilize Braylon Edwards, and their defense to abuse Texas’ weak passing game.

On the other sideline, Mack Brown will try to establish the run early with Cedric Benson, but the Texas defense is strong. I expect Texas to squeak by, but in a tough contest.

As usual, there are other bowl games that seem intriguing. The Outback Bowl will be a great game with Georgia and Wisconsin. Georgia is led by senior QB David Greene and senior tackle David Pollack. With these two players at 100 percent, Georgia will be looking to send them off in style. Wisconsin counters with senior running back Anthony Davis and a strong defense. Expect two different styles of play: Georgia with their passing offense and furious pass rush on defense, and Wisconsin with a solid run game and disciplined secondary. Georgia should win, but expect this one to go down to the wire.

The Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl gives us an interstate battle with a great twist. Miami, coming off its first three-loss season in almost five years, travels to Atlanta to play Florida, coming off an enormous victory at Florida State to finish out the season. Expect both teams to play with heart – Florida’s players are still steaming about that whole Ron Zook mess – but expect Miami to inch by Florida.

So many bowls, so little time. These next few weeks will be filled with joy, holiday merriment and lots and lots of football. I asked Santa for great bowl games, and I got some great early presents.

So to all of you wonderful college football fans who have been so patient in waiting for bowl season to commence, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy the final taste of college football until seven months from now.