Cirminiello Thoughts - Bowl Matchups To Watch
Iowa RB Marcus Coker
Iowa RB Marcus Coker
Posted Dec 16, 2011

Cirminiello Final Thoughts - The matchups in each bowl to watch

Cirminiello's Final Thoughts 

The Top Bowl Matchups

- Final Thoughts  2010 | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7
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- Fiu Final Thoughts - The Stupid Fat Bowls
- Cirminiello Final Thoughts - The Top Bowl Matchups
- Zemek Final Thoughts - Breaking Down Every Bowl
- Sallee, Johnson, Harrison Final Thoughts - Analyzing the Early Bowls 
By Richard Cirminiello 

Top Matchups To Watch For This Bowl Season

Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict vs. himself.
In what should be his final game before testing NFL waters, Missouri QB James Franklin vs. the front seven of North Carolina. Franklin is a budding, dual-threat star, but the Heels feature a mess of linemen and linebackers who'll be playing on Sundays.

NC State CB David Amerson vs. Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater.

If Bridgewater plays like a rookie, the nation's pick leader is liable to take three of his passes in the opposite direction.

Texas' Backs vs. Cal's Linebackers.

The ‘Horns finally appear to be healthy in the backfield now that true freshmen Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron are getting closer to 100%. They'll run head first into a talented corps of linebackers headed by Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks.

Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd vs. Florida State CB Greg Reid.

What Reid gives away in size he'll make up for with want-to and the ability to elevate high into the air to knock balls away.

Baylor QB Robert Griffin III vs. the Washington D.

It'll be a complete mismatch in the Alamo Bowl, which is one of the reasons this could be one of the most entertaining games of the postseason.

The Tulsa Backs and Receivers vs. BYU LB Kyle Van Noy.

Chances are you don't know Van Noy, but you should. The sophomore is an up-and-comer, with the athleticism and tenacity to be the MVP of the Armed Forces Bowl.

Iowa RB Marcus Coker vs. Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis.

Irresistible force, meet immovable object.

The Georgia Tech Triple-option vs. the Underrated Utah Defense.

A month is a long time to prepare for Paul Johnson's attack. Too long, when your D is home to NT Star Lotulelei and a slew of disciplined defenders.

Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead vs. Vanderbilt LB Chris Marve.

Marve is one of the linchpins of a Commodores defense that doesn't get nearly enough credit.

Houston QB Case Keenum vs. the Penn State D.

No disrespect to Keenum or his myriad records, but it's been a long, long time since the gunslinger has faced a grown-up defense, such as the one he'll see in the TicketCity Bowl. The South Carolina Defense vs. the Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead. The Huskers ground game is liable to run into a garnet and black brick wall at the Capital One Bowl.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray vs. the Michigan State Defense.

The Spartans are flush with playmakers this year, ranging from sophomores Denicos Allen, Max Bullough, William Gholston and Isaiah Lewis to vets Jerel Worthy and Trenton Robinson. This will be a steep climb for Murray and his youthful receivers.

Kansas State QB Collin Klein vs. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson.

No, they won't technically being going head-to-head, but the duel between Klein and Wilson could be the impetus for the highest scoring game of the postseason.

Oregon RB LaMichael James vs. Wisconsin LBs Chris Borland and Mike Taylor.
Borland and Taylor are a pair of snot-knockers, but do they have the speed to keep James and his mates from getting outside the tackles and into the secondary?

Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden vs. Stanford QB Andrew Luck.

Like Klein vs. Wilson in the Cotton Bowl, Weeden and Luck won't be on the field at the same time, but their aerial clash could be the kind that leaves NFL scouts drooling.

Michigan QB Denard Robinson vs. Virginia Tech DC Bud Foster.
Although Robinson is special, a month is a long time for Foster to prepare his troops to stop No. 16.

Clemson OC Chad Morris vs. West Virginia HC Dana Holgorsen.

Two of the best young offensive minds in the game are poised to match wits in the Orange Bowl, an ingredient for an intriguing meeting in South Florida.

LSU's Young Backs vs. Alabama's Linebackers.

Spencer Ware, Michael Ford and Kenny Hilliard have been unsung heroes of the Tigers' perfect season. Running on Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower and the rest of the nation's best run D, though, can be a fruitless effort.

The Barrett Jones-led ‘Bama O-line vs. the (fill in the blank)-led LSU D-line.

Jones & Co. have been terrific supporters of RB Trent Richardson, but the Tigers can come at you with so many different quality linemen, like Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo, Michael Brockers and Bennie Logan.

Alabama QB AJ McCarron vs. the LSU Secondary. Tyrann Mathieu. Morris Claiborne. Eric Reid. Tharold Simon.

Uggh. Tide RB Trent Richardson better get a lot of rest before getting to New Orleans because no one throws on this star-studded Tigers defensive backfield.

- Fiu Final Thoughts - The Stupid Fat Bowls
- Cirminiello Final Thoughts - The Top Bowl Matchups
- Zemek Final Thoughts - Breaking Down Every Bowl
- Sallee, Johnson, Harrison Final Thoughts - Analyzing the Early Bowls