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Ranking the 2010-2011 Bowls (and early picks)
Wisconsin RB John Clay
Wisconsin RB John Clay
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 8, 2010


What are the bowls you can't miss, like Wisconsin, and the healthy return of John Clay, vs. TCU in the Rose, and which matchups might be just ho-hum? With three reasons to watch every bowl, why you might be able to skip each one, three relatively under-the-radar stars to watch, and an early pick for each game, here are the rankings of all the 2010-2011 bowl games.



2010-2011 Bowl Rankings

Ranking Them 1 to 9


- Initial Thoughts on the Bowl Matchups    
- Top 15 Non-AQ Bowl Teams | Every School's Bowl Profile    
- Six Bowls Worthy of Respect | 35 Games, 35 Comments  
- Ranking the 2009/2010 Bowl Season
- 2009-2010 CFN All-Bowl Team & Top 50 Players 

The 2010-2011 Pre-Bowl Rankings
- No. 10 to No. 17 | No. 18 to No. 27 | No. 28 to No. 35 

Now THESE Are Bowl Games
Ditch everything to see these games, and you'll be a better person for it.

9. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
December 24, 2010 Honolulu, HI 8:00 pm ESPN
Tulsa vs. Hawaii
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) Offense. Hawaii is first in the nation in passing. 2) Offense. Tulsa is fifth in the nation in yards. 3) Offense. The two teams should combine for 100 points.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
If you have any interest in defense, turn away. There's a chance that one team's offense is hot and the other's isn't.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1)  QB Bryant Moniz, Hawaii, 2) QB G.J. Kinne, Tulsa, 3) WR Greg Salas, Hawaii
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Hawaii 55 ... Tulsa 50

8. Valero Alamo Bowl
December 29, 2010 San Antonio, TX 8:00 pm ESPN
Oklahoma State vs. Arizona
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) Passing. Oklahoma State is first in the nation in yards and second in passing. Arizona is ninth in the nation in passing yards. Expect 800 yards through the air between the two teams. 2) Justin Blackmon. The Cowboy star is the best wide receiver in America. 3) The Pac 10 needs this. There aren't that many of the league's teams in bowl games and this is a must win. After getting pantsed by Nebraska in last year's Holiday Bowl, the Wildcats need to show up.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
Arizona lost its last four games of the year and hasn't been sharp. The Wildcats might have a great offense, but they could be outbombed.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1)  QB Nick Foles, Arizona, 2) QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State, 3) RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Oklahoma State 44 ... Arizona 30

7. Gator Bowl
January 1, 2011 Jacksonville, FL 1:30 pm ESPN2
Michigan vs. Mississippi State
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) If you like running games, this is for you. Both teams like to run the spread with the speed of the Michigan attack vs. the power of MSU. 2) The Wolverine offense is always worth a watch. Denard Robinson will be healthy. 3) The Wolverine defense is always worth the watch. MSU can bank on at least 250 rushing yards.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
If Mississippi State's defense shows up, this could be a statement for the SEC. The Michigan offense will give up over 200 rushing yards to the Bulldogs.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) QB Chris Relf, Mississippi State, 2) WR Roy Roundtree, Michigan, 3) LB Chris White, Mississippi State
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Michigan 38 ... Mississippi State 35

6. Discover Orange Bowl
January 3, 2011 Miami, FL 8:00 pm ABC
Virginia Tech vs. Stanford
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) There are some who believe Stanford might just be the second best team in the country. This is a tough, physical team that should match up well with the tough, physical Hokies. 2) Andrew Luck. He's the most talented player in America and will be the No. 1 pick in the draft whenever he's ready to leave. 3) Virginia Tech is better than you think. Yes, the James Madison game was a hangover after the Boise State loss. Had the Hokies held on late against the Broncos, they'd probably be coming into this game 13-0.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
Stanford's best win this year was at Notre Dame. There's a chance that the Cardinal isn't anywhere near as good as the hype. Only one of Virginia Tech's 11 straight wins was by single digits.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) LB Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech, 2) V, 3) CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Virginia Tech 24 ... Stanford 20

5. Capital One Bowl
January 1, 2011 Orlando, FL 1:00 pm ABC
Michigan State vs. Alabama
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) This could be a BCS game and no one would complain. Call this the Sugar Bowl Lite. 2) The Capital One Bowl is usually great. Eight of the last 11 have been decided by one score. 3) There's a chance that MSU comes in first up with something to prove, while Alabama might want to play at a high level to get rid of the taste of the Iron Bowl.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
Neither team really wants to be here. Michigan State thinks it should be in the BCS while Alabama isn't in the BCS Championship. If either team comes in moping, it could get ugly.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) WR Julio Jones, Alabama, 2) LB Greg Jones, Michigan State, 3) S Mark Barron, Alabama
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Alabama 23 ... Michigan State 20

4. AT&T Cotton Bowl
January 7, 2011 Arlington, TX 8:00 pm FOX
Texas A&M vs. LSU
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) Is Texas A&M for real? One of the hottest teams over the second half of the season, now it gets a chance to come up with a win over an SEC team for the first time in 15 years. 2) Is LSU for real? A wildly inconsistent 10-2 season needs to finish up with a bowl win after blowing a chance at a BCS game with a loss to Arkansas. 3) The two defenses are among the most aggressive and effective in the nation. The respective pass rushes are fantastic.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
It's the We Lost Big Games To Arkansas club. Texas A&M has been a dog with fleas in the bowls, losing its last four games and eight of the last nine. LSU has won four of its last five and ten of its last 13 bowl games.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) CB Patrick Peterson, LSU, 2)DE/LB Von Miller, Texas A&M, 3) DT Drake Nevis, LSU
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: LSU 23 ... Texas A&M 14

3. BCS Championship
January 10, 2011 Glendale, AZ 8:00 pm ABC
Auburn vs. Oregon
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) The running games. The high-octane Oregon ground attack is fourth in the nation and Auburn's is sixth. Oregon is second in the nation in total offense and Auburn is seventh. 2) It's Cam Newton on the biggest stage. Already cranking out one of the greatest seasons in college football history, this could make him a true legend. From here on, future quarterbacks with mobility and the talent to carry a team on his shoulders will be compared to Newton and not Vince Young. LaMichael James is pretty good, too. The best running back in the country gets his chance to shine, too. 3) Is Oregon for real? Can Auburn finish the drill and give the SEC another title? It's the national championship.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
Oregon's one win of note this year was over Stanford. Stanford's one win this year was over ... Notre Dame? There's a chance that the Ducks are about to be exposed, but there's also a chance that the Auburn of the first half of the Iron Bowl shows up. Oregon's average margin of victory is over 30 points per game. Auburn's is just over 18.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) DT Nick Fairley, Auburn, 2) WR Jeff Maehl, Oregon, 3) WR Darvin Adams, Auburn
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Auburn 38 ... Oregon 23

2. Allstate Sugar Bowl January 4, 2011
New Orleans, LA 8:00 pm ABC
Arkansas vs. Ohio State
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) It's the SEC vs. Big Ten game of the year. Ohio State will try to exorcise its SEC demons, while Arkansas will take a huge step forward with a win. 2) Terrelle Pryor vs. Ryan Mallett. There might not be a better quarterback matchup this bowl season. 3) Arkansas is No. 3 in the nation in passing offense, Ohio State is No. 2 in the nation in total defense and No. 4 against the pass.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts:
Arkansas has lost 12 of its last 15 bowl games. It won last year, but it took overtime to get by East Carolina. Ohio State is 0-9 vs. the SEC in bowls.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) CB Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State, 2) RB Knile Davis, Arkansas, 3) DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Ohio State 31 ... Arkansas 27

1. Rose Bowl
January 1, 2011 Pasadena, CA 4:30 pm ABC
Wisconsin vs. TCU
Three Reasons To Watch This Bowl: 1) With a few breaks, this could've been for the national championship. The game should be electric, even for the Rose Bowl, with Badger fans packing the house and TCU fans jacked up for a game even bigger than last year's Fiesta Bowl. 2) Each team will be looking to make a statement. The winner might finish the year No. 2. 3) Who has been hotter than Wisconsin to close out the year? TCU, you wanted a shot at the big boys, this is it.
And Why You Should Spend Your Time Roasting Your Chestnuts: TCU hasn't faced an offensive line anywhere near as physical as Wisconsin's. With the time off, the Badgers will have a healthy John Clay again in the backfield.
Three Names To Drop That'll Make The Perky Girl In Accounting Want To Take You Into The Storeroom During The Holiday Party For Smooches: 1) DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin, 2) WR Jeremy Kerley, TCU, 3) OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Wisconsin 27 ... TCU 17