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Ranking of the 2011-2012 Bowls - No. 10 to 17
Michigan QB Denard Robinson
Michigan QB Denard Robinson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 5, 2011


Before they start, the ranking of the bowls and how entertaining they should be, along with an early prediction. The decent bowls, ranked 10th to 17th.



2011-2012 Bowl Rankings

The Solid   
 





 

 
- The 2010-2011 Pre-Bowl Rankings

The 2011-2012 Pre-Bowl Rankings
- No. 1 to No. 9 | No. 10 to No. 17 | No. 18 to No. 27 | No. 28 to No. 35  

Looks Good, But Possibly Forgettable
These are the better bowl games that should be entertaining, but not quite the games you have to drop everything to see.

17. Louisville vs. NC State
Belk Bowl 
December 27, 2011  Charlotte, NC, 8:00 pm ESPN
 
Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. The Cardinal defense is terrific. Charlie Strong almost got the team to the Orange Bowl with five wins in the final six games, but it lost the Big East tie-breaker to West Virginia. The young D, along with QB Teddy Bridgewater, are rising.
2. Tom O’Brien was all but fired after a 2-3 start, and then his Wolfpack got on a roll. The NC State defense is playing as well as the Cardinal D, even with the problems over the first three quarters against Maryland.
3. The NC State pass rush was among the best in the ACC, dominating Clemson in a blowout win, and Louisville’s pass rush is just as strong. If you like a defensive bowl, this should be it. However …

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: If you don’t like low scoring bowl games, turn away. NC State scored more than 13 points just twice over the last five games. Louisville scored over the second half of the season, but the offense finished the year 104th in the nation in total yards.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. CB David Amerson, Soph. NC State
2. LB Dexter Heyman, Sr. Louisville
3. LB Terrell Manning, Jr. NC State

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Louisville 16 ... NC State 13
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16. Wyoming vs. Temple 
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
December 17, 2011 Albuquerque, NM, 2 pm ESPN 

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. Seriously, Temple vs. Wyoming is going to be worthy of opening up the bowl season. Both programs have energetic head coaches who should probably be at bigger programs, and they’ll have their teams ready and prepared. Be shocked if this isn’t a close, tight game for four quarters.
2. Temple led the MAC in rushing led by Bernard Pierce. This could be his last game before taking off to the NFL. The Owl defense was third in the nation in scoring, keeping Penn State to 14 points and allowing more than 21 points twice.
3. Wyoming won three of its last four games. Considering it’s a really, really young team, being fourth in the nation in turnover margin is impressive. The Cowboys have been one of the year’s biggest surprises and head coach Dave Christensen deserves Coach of the Year recognition.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: Wyoming beat Fresno State in double overtime to win the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, but three of the five games have been awful. If Temple’s defense and running game are working, this could get ugly. However, if the Cowboys get up early, the miserable Owl passing game can’t mount a comeback.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. QB Brett Smith, Fr. Wyoming
2. LB/DE Adrian Robinson, Sr. Temple
3. S Luke Ruff, Jr. Wyoming

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Temple 24 ... Wyoming 20
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15. Iowa vs. Oklahoma 
Insight Bowl  
December 30, 2011 Tempe, AZ, 10:00 pm
  
Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. Last year, Iowa shocked Missouri and Blaine Gabbert 27-24 in a thrilling Insight Bowl. Four of the last six years, the Insight has been among the most fun and exciting games of the bowl season.
2. Oklahoma is better than it showed against a jacked up Oklahoma State. This was the preseason No. 1 team, and when everything was working, it looked like it. The team was still in the national title hunt up until late November.
3. Iowa’s coaching staff knows how to get it done in bowl games. With QB James Vandenberg, RB Marcus Coker, and WR Marvin McNutt, the skill players are in place to potentially make this interesting. Can the Hawkeyes rise up and play up to their normal bowl level? They’ve won three straight.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: It all depends on Oklahoma. If it shows up focused and decides to try, Iowa might not have a chance. The Sooners proved in blowouts against Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Iowa State that the firepower is there to make this one of the ugliest bowl games.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. LB Travis Lewis, Sr. Oklahoma
2. LB James Morris, Soph. Iowa
3. WR Kenny Stills, Soph. Oklahoma

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Oklahoma 55 ... Iowa 17
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14. Florida State vs. Notre Dame
Champs Sports Bowl
December 29, 2011 Orlando, FL, 5:30 pm ESPN
 
Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. It’s Florida State vs. Notre Dame. It might be better on name recognition than actual production this year, but it’s still a good-sounding matchup. Neither program is at the level it wants to be, but the wheels are in motion for both to do huge things over the next few years with great talent bases in place.
2. One way or another, Notre Dame will be a storyline this offseason. If the Irish get blown out and finish 8-5, Brian Kelly could be on a wee bit of a hot seat. However, with a good win over the Seminoles, and after last year’s great recruiting class maturing, the excitement could be sky high.
3. Florida State is second in the nation in run defense, first in punting, and has one of the best pass rushes in college football. The Noles could put on a dominant defensive show that could set the tone for a big offseason. The team was close in its four losses and might just need a little more maturity.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: The Florida State defense. It hasn’t allowed more than 19 points since October 8, a span of seven games and it could shut down the Irish cold. Notre Dame’s offense got worse as the season went on.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. DE Brandon Jenkins, Jr. Florida State
2. RB Cierre Wood, Jr. Notre Dame
3. P Shawn Powell, Sr. Florida State

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Notre Dame 23 ... Florida State 17
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13. Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
December 31, 2011  Memphis, TN, 3:30 pm ABC   

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. Vanderbilt has come up with a terrific defensive season and is improving offensively. First-year head man James Franklin took the job saying the program could be competitive, and he proved it. This isn’t a fluke; the team is the real deal.
2. Had QB Zach Collaros not gotten hurt, Cincinnati almost certainly would’ve ended up in the BCS. The run defense is among the best in the country thanks to a pass rush that leads college football in both sacks and tackles for loss. This is a BCS worthy team with an offense that found itself over the last two games.
3. The last seven Liberty Bowls have been close with all of them decided by eight points or fewer. They haven’t always been offensive shows, but they’ve come down to the wire.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: Vanderbilt’s offense could hit a wall against a Cincinnati defense that should be able to get into the backfield. If the Bearcats hit their average of 34 points, the Commodores will be in trouble.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. DT Derek Wolfe, Sr. Cincinnati
2. QB Jordan Rodgers, Jr. Vanderbilt
3. RB Isaiah Pead, Sr. Cincinnati

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Vanderbilt 20 ... Cincinnati 16
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12. Western Michigan vs. Purdue
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl 
December 27, 2011  Detroit, MI, 4:30 pm ESPN
 
Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. It might seem like a mid-September non-conference matchup, but it should be as entertaining as any December Bowl. Western Michigan’s offense hung 63 points on Toledo and 68 on Akron over the last three weeks and scored 45 points or more in four of the final seven games.
2. Purdue finally got past all the injury issues and all the adversity to get to a bowl game. It might only be the Little Caesars Bowl against a MAC team, but it’s a big deal for a program that’s been looking for positive steps forward. The BCS-league team will try; that matters in early bowl games.
3. The bowl game has been terrific over the last four years with the four games decided by a grand total of 14 points. Purdue’s 51-48 shootout win over Central Michigan in 2007 was a thriller.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: It might seem crazy, but can the Big Ten team play with the MAC team? WMU QB Alex Carder is expected to be healthy after missing the regular season finale, and the offense has the potential to blow up against a mediocre Purdue defense. The Boilermakers don’t have a high-octane offense.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. WR Jordan White, Sr. Western Michigan
2 DT Kawann Short, Jr. Purdue
3. QB Alex Carder, Jr. Western Michigan

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Western Michigan 44 ... Purdue 41
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11. Ohio State vs. Florida
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
January 2, 2011 Jacksonville, FL, 1:00 pm ESPN2

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. It’s the Urban Bowl. It might be Ohio State vs. Florida with Luke Fickell and Will Muschamp as the head coaches, but there’s a very large figure looming over the game. With the game played in Jacksonville – Tebow Territory – it’ll be interesting to see what the mood is like from the Gator fans toward the new regime, even though Meyer won’t be on the sidelines.
2. Braxton Miller is one of college football’s brightest new stars. Buckeye fans are already salivating over what he’s going to do in Meyer’s offense and this is another great showcase game on a national stage.
3. If ever a program of Florida’s caliber was going to try, it would be this game. After an awful season, to close out 6-7 would be a disaster. To lose to an Ohio State program that just barely got over the SEC hump past year would be apocalyptic.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: Neither team can throw the forward pass. Florida is 102nd in the nation in total offense and it can’t stop turning the ball over. Ohio State is 116th in the nation in passing.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. DE Ronald Powell, Soph. Florida
2. DE John Simon, Jr. Ohio State
3. LB Jonathan Bostic, Jr. Florida

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Ohio State 23 ... Florida 13
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10 Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State
GoDaddy.com Bowl   
January 8, 2012   Mobile, AL 9:00 pm ESPN

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. It should be among the most competitive bowl games. Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois might not get too many fans excited, but these are two dominant conference champions who should play at a high level. Effort won’t be an issue for either side.
2. This is the best season in Arkansas State’s history. First-year head man Hugh Freeze is already getting some looks for job openings, but first, he’s looking to finish the drill after leading the Red Wolves to nine straight wins. The defense is the real deal and the offense is efficient and effective. The two losses came on the road early at Illinois and Virginia Tech.
3. NIU first-year head coach Dave Doeren is also a hot candidate. His Huskies are ninth in the nation in rushing offense leading an attack that hit the 40 point mark in eight of the first ten games. The offensive line is one of the best among non-BCS teams.

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: The Huskies were supposed to get a battle from Fresno State in last year’s Humanitarian Bowl, but Chandler Harnish and the offense exploded on the way to a 40-17 win. NIU has the bowl experience and Harnish to rely on. ASU isn’t used to preparing for bowl games.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. QB Ryan Aplin, Jr. Arkansas State
2. C Scott Wedige, Sr. Northern Illinois
3. DE Brandon Joiner, Sr. Arkansas State

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Northern Illinois 34 ... Arkansas State 30
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