What would college football be without rankings, arguments and the occasional in flagrante delicto moment in a bathroom stall? We cannot do much to accommodate that third quality at the moment, but we will proceed with a ranking of all 34 bowl games. And beware of women in Iowa jerseys who wander into the men's room.
34. Independence Bowl (Dec. 28)
Louisiana Tech (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6), Shreveport, La.
The Huskies were shut out by Navy, at home, in their final game of the season. The Techsters lost at Army. Call this the Disarmed Forces Bowl.
*NIU is 5th in the nation in pass defense.
33. EagleBank Bowl (Dec. 20)
Navy (8-4) vs. Wake Forest (7-5), Washington, D.C.
“EagleBank…we know a thing or two about nest eggs.” The Middies beat the Demon Deacons 24-17 on Sept. 27. Once was enough.
*The Midshipmen lead the nation in rushing offense.
32. New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 20)
Colorado State (6-6) vs. Fresno State (7-5), Albuquerque
One of four bowls where the teams’ combined number of victories is only 13. Three of the six teams whom the Rams beat this season have fired their coaches. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, enter on the heels of a 51-point pummeling at Boise State.
*Rams are last in the nation in sacks and next-to-last in tackles for loss.
31. magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl (Dec. 20)
South Florida (7-5) vs. Memphis (6-6), St. Petersburg
Voted “The Bowl Most Likely To Remind You of a Song by The Who.” Memphis has yet to beat anyone with a winning record. The Bulls have lost four of their past five. And they’re playing inside the Tropicana Dome. Hung around St. Petersburg/When I saw it was time for a change. Wait, wrong legendary band.
*Matt Grothe leads the Bulls in both passing and rushing.
30. New Orleans (Dec. 21)
Troy (8-4) vs. Southern Mississippi (6-6), New Orleans
Troy led LSU 31-3 late in the third quarter in Death Valley last month before absolutely freaking out and allowing 37 points in the final 16:26. I like that their quarterback is “Bad, Bad” Levi Brown.
*The Trojans are fourth in the nation in sacks, with 38.
29. Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 31)
Air Force (8-4) vs. Houston (7-5), Fort Worth, Tex.
When these two met in September — in Dallas due to a hurricane — the Falcons won 31-28 without completing a pass. Houston QB Case Keenum, meanwhile, is the nation’s second-most prolific passer behind Graham Harrell of Texas Tech.
*Houston averages nearly 28 first downs per game, tops in the country.
28. Liberty Bowl (Jan. 2)
East Carolina (9-4) vs. Kentucky (6-6), Memphis
All things considered, give me death. The Wildcats went 0-5 in their own division, the SEC East. How will the Pirates cope with their coach, Skip Holtz, skipping off to Syracuse after this is done?
*Pirates have had three different 3-game win streaks this season.
27. International Bowl (Jan. 3)
Connecticut (7-5) vs. Buffalo (8-5), Toronto
You’re going to listen to so much broadcaster butt-kissing of the two upward-bound head coaches, Randy Edsall (Huskies) and Turner Gill (Bulls), that you’ll think Dickie V is doing the game. These two ex-QBs do have extremely bright futures ahead of them, though.
*Huskies’ Donald Brown is the nation’s leading rusher (151.83 ypg).
26. Motor City Bowl (Dec. 26)
Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida Atlantic (6-6), Detroit
Both quarterbacks, the Chippewas’ Dan LeFevour and the Owls’ Rusty Smith, were sleeper darlings entering 2008. Both had seasons that failed to equal their 2007 campaigns.
*Punt, Owls! You’re last in the nation in 4th-down conversions (2 for 12)
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick he wishes he was spoken to in private prior to the insults.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Saban hurt by colleagues' comments?
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick what he think of these comments.
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