I didn’t watch all 34 of this season’s first 35 college football bowl games because, well, I’m not totally insane. Working on it, but not there yet.
That doesn’t mean I can’t offer a Best of 2012 Bowls list or two before Monday night’s BCS title game.
1. New Mexico Bowl: Arizona 49, Nevada 48. This was the first bowl game, and it set a tone that most others didn’t follow. In other words, it was entertaining.
2. Outback Bowl: South Carolina 33, Michigan 28. Topsy-turvy. A Gamecock touchdown pass with 11 seconds left for the win. And college football’s tackle of the season. You’ve seen it over and over, but here it is again:
3. Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson 25, LSU 24. A last-second field for the win. Clemson quarterback Tahj Boyd makes the All-Bowl Team at quarterback. Well, he would were it not for Johnny Football.
4. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan State 17, TCU 16. The first-half was a dud, with TCU going to halftime with a 13-0 lead. But MSU showed some serious character by rallying for the victory.
5. Alamo Bowl: Texas 31, Oregon State 27. The ‘Horns were pushing a piano uphill all night, but found a way to prevail.
Honorable mention: Texas Tech’s 34-31 win over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Stanford’s 20-14 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, Georgia’s 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
Just about every other game: Meh.
1. The Big 12 was 4-5 and not too impressive. The two marquee teams, Kansas State and Oklahoma, got significantly outplayed by Oregon and Texas A&M, respectively. Baylor and Oklahoma State were the only teams from the league that were sharp. Texas and Texas Tech could easily have lost.
2. The Big Ten’s 2-5 makes the league 8-16 in bowls over the last three years. It’s now nine Big Ten losses in its last 10 Rose Bowls. And even worse, it’s two straight resounding losses in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
3. I love the Mickey Mouse bowls until the bigger ones have been played. Then, I have no time for the Compass Bowl and the GoDaddy Bowl. But even those games from the past weekend got ESPN good television ratings compared to what it normally woud air in those slots. So when you ask why there are so many bowls, that’s your answer. People watch them.
THINGS I DID NOT SEE COMING
1. Louisville beating Florida.
2. Georgia Tech beating USC.
3. The Western Athletic Conference having the best bowl-record of any league (2-0).
4. Conference USA having the second-best mark (4-1).
5. Barry Alvarez losing a Rose Bowl (OK, I saw that coming on Dec. 31. But not a month earlier. Or seven years earlier.)
BOWLS I HAVE NEVER COVERED BUT WOULD LOVE TO BEFORE I RETIRE TO MY MALIBU BEACH HOUSE
1. Sugar Bowl
2. Las Vegas Bowl
3. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
4. Cotton Bowl
5. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
BOWLS I HAVE NEVER COVERED AND AM GRATEFUL ABOUT IT
1. Belk Bowl
I don’t really have anything against the Belk Bowl, Belk, or the progressive city of Charlotte. But “Belk Bowl” just sounds funny.
BOWLS I THINK THE BIG TEN SHOULD ADD
1. Holiday Bowl
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