NGSC Sports

2013 NCAA Bowls and Why You Should Watch Part 1: The First Five

Bowl season is upon us and all 35 bowls deserve to be respected, watched, and enjoyed.  Here is why you should watch.

Gildan New Orleans Bowl

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dec 21, 2pm, ESPN

Colorado State(MWC) vs Washington State(PAC-12)

Mike Leach’s coaching style has already started to yield results as Washington State overcame a difficult schedule to become bowl eligible.  Colorado State squeaked in as there were more Mountain West teams than slots available, so the energy and excitement is high.  Despite being western schools, these two have never played each other, but both Leach and Rams coach Jim McElwain have their long struggling programs moving in the right direction.  The Cougars are all about the spread offense, as Washington State quarterback Conner Halliday ranks 4th in the nation for passing yards.  Colorado State has a star running back in Kapri Bibbs, who is 2nd in the nation in rushing touchdowns along with over 1500 yards on the ground.  The Rams are the only team in the nation to have both a 1500 yard rusher and 3000 yard passer.

 

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Las Vegas, Nevada. Dec 21, 3:30pm, ABC

Fresno State(MWC) vs USC(PAC-12)

One loss dropped Fresno State from having a fiesta to seeing purple.  This is a very intruging game as we see star Bulldog QB Derek Carr play his last game against a USC squad that will be on their 3rd head coach of the season.  USC hired Washington’s Steve Sarkisian, which led to interim head coach Ed Orgeron to resign.  Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will call the plays.  USC has been a scrappy team since Lane Kiffin was fired, but the story will be about how many yards Carr will be able to put up as he averages over 409 yards per game.  Carr will be playing on Sundays soon enough.

 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Boise, Idaho. Dec 21, 5:30pm, ESPN

Buffalo(MAC) vs San Diego State(MWC)

Buffalo comes into this game falling just short of winning the MAC East division.  Even so, the Bulls have a good opportunity to notch their first bowl victory in just their second attempt.  San Diego State started the season very flat at 0-3, but won 7 of their next 9 games to secure a school record 4th consecutive bowl bid.  Like Buffalo, the Aztecs finished 2nd in their respective division, the West division of the Mountain West.  With 1000 yard running back Adam Muema leading the Aztecs Branden Oliver leading the Bulls, this looks to be a good ground and pound game traditionalists would love.

 

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: New Orleans, Louisiana. Dec 21, 9pm,ESPN

Tulane(CUSA) vs Louisiana-Lafayette(SBC)

In what is being viewed as a home game for both teams, this game gives us the shortest traveling distance out of all the bowls.  Tulane qualified for a bowl game for the first time since 2002 and is led by Nick Montana, son of NFL great Joe Montana.  Despite throwing for only 1600 yards, the Green Wave went 5-5 in games Montana started.  The key for Tulane is to keep the score down, as their defense is the strength of this team with a plus 12 turnover margin.  The success of the Ragin’ Cajuns relies on the health of quarterback Terrance Broadway.  When he’s playing, the Ragin’ Cajuns average over 40 points a game.  Louisiana-Lafayette is the Sun Belt Conference champions.  This is Tulane’s last game in Conference USA as they join the American Athletic Conference next year.

 

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl: St Petersburg, Florida. Dec 23, 2pm, ESPN

Ohio(MAC) vs East Carolina(CUSA)

East Carolina plays their last game as members of Conference USA before joining the American Athletic Conference.  Falling short in a winner take all game against Marshall for the CUSA East crown, the Pirates were relegated down to the Beef Bowl.  Ohio has made a bowl game in five straight seasons under Frank Solich.  The Pirates are all about quarterback Shane Carden, who is 6th in the nation in passing yards and is tops with a completion percentage of 71.  The Pirates average over 40 points a game, so the Bobcats will have their work cut out for them.  Ohio is led by Tyler Tettelton, who can throw as well as run.  What could help Ohio is that they did defeat Marshall earlier this year.  This is one of the few bowl games that takes place in a baseball stadium.

Host of the OT with Andrew G for the Sports Chronicles Radio Network

Host of The College Cram, NFL and NCAA writer on the National Gridiron Network

Contributing writer for Pro Player Insiders

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