Monday, December 7, 2009
How I rank the Big 12's upcoming bowls
By ESPN.com staff
The array of Big 12 bowl treats over the next month will feature a little of everything.
We've got some good games and others that might not be as appealing for those from outside the respective fan bases. Here's a look at how I rank the Big 12's eight bowl games this season.
I based my selections on importance, style of the two teams, coaching and starpower. Here are my rankings.
1. Citi BCS National Championship Game
Texas vs. Alabama
My take: The national title will be decided between two tradition-steeped programs with Heisman finalists Colt McCoy and Mark Ingram. Who could ask for more?
2. Brut Sun Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Stanford
My take: Even if Andrew Luck doesn't play, we'll have an intriguing battle between Toby Gerhart and the Sooners' defense. Toss in the Sooners' need for a bowl victory and this could be a good one.
3. Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Nebraska vs. Arizona
My take: Two strong defenses will square off in this game. Throw in two fiery coaches like Mike Stoops and Bo Pelini and it should be an intriguing coaching matchup.
4. Advocare V100 Independence Bowl
Texas A&M vs. Georgia
My take: Sure, the Georgia staff has been blown up after the firing of Willie Martinez. But two high-powered offenses keyed by Jerrod Johnson and Joe Cox should result in a lot of points and passing yards.
5. Texas Bowl
Missouri vs. Navy
My take: The Tigers slid all the way into the bottom of the Big 12's pecking order, but this game still will be interesting. Danario Alexander and the potent Missouri passing game against Navy's option attack should be an interesting contrast of styles.
6. AT&T Cotton Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi
My take: The Cowboys must rebound from their final-game struggles at Oklahoma, or they will face a difficult challenge against Jevan Snead and the Rebels.
7. Valero Alamo Bowl
Texas Tech vs. Michigan State
My take: Texas Tech's high-powered offense and underrated defense will be going against an undermanned Spartan team wracked by suspensions. I have no idea how either team will approach their trip to San Antonio.
8. Insight Bowl
Iowa State vs. Minnesota
My take: Insight Bowl officials jumped all over the Cyclones, hoping they will drive tickets for this battle of 6-6 programs. They better hope the Arizona golfing is good, because Minnesota's struggling offense produced no touchdowns in the last two games of the season.