Quick Bowl Looks - BCS Games
Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas
Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas
Posted Dec 28, 2011

The bowl season is about to blow up. Here's a quick primer for all the BCS games before the big one.

2011-2012 Bowl Season

Quick Looks At The Big Bowls 


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It's been an entertaining bowl season so far with some strong games from unlikely places, but now is when the fun really starts to kick in. Now is when the bowl season becomes the bowl season.

The slow trickle of games over the first two weeks are good, but this time of year is about gluttony. It's about a Friday with four games, a Saturday with five, and a January 2nd loaded with some of the best matchups of the year, closing out with the Rose and Fiesta Bowls. This is what we've all been waiting for.

While you can check out the CollegeFootballNews.com bowl previews for the breakdown, analysis, and prediction of each game, here's a quick primer on each of the bowls from Friday up until the GoDaddy.com Bowl the night before the BCS championship to know a little bit about each bowl matchup.

- Quick Looks - December 30 & 31
- Quick Looks - January 2 to 8
- Quick Looks - BCS Games

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO 
January 2, 2012 Pasadena, CA, 5:00 pm ESPN
Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Welcome to the new world order. USC might be on its way back to being the powerhouse of the Pac-12, but Oregon has won three straight conference titles. Ohio State might look scary down the road with Urban Meyer taking over, and Michigan is putting together a whopper of a recruiting class, but it's been Wisconsin who's going to a second straight Rose Bowl and is the Big Ten's current star. Now one of the two programs has to win something big after Oregon lost last year's BCS championship and the 2010 Rose Bowl as part of a run of six bowl losses in the last eight years. Wisconsin has lost three of its last four bowl games including last year's Rose Bowl against TCU. The Badgers pound the ball with Heisman finalist Montee Ball working behind one of college football's toughest offensive lines, but this isn't a one-dimensional attack with quarterback Russell Wilson capping off one of the most efficient passing years in college football history. Can the UW power overcome the blinding speed and quickness of an LaMichael James and an Oregon attack that led the Pac-12 in scoring, yards, and rushing? The Big Ten has won just one Rose Bowl since Wisconsin's victory over Stanford in the 2000 game, while the last Pac-12/Pac-10 team other than USC to win one was Washington in 2002.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 
January 2, 2012 Glendale, AZ, 8:30 pm ESPN 
Oklahoma State vs. Stanford 

It's No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 4 Stanford, but many think the Cowboys should be No. 2. It's statement-making time for an OSU team that came within inches on a missed late field goal in the double overtime loss to Iowa State from playing in the BCS championship. If the Cowboys win, then the argument could be made that the wrong team is playing LSU for the national title, but if Stanford wins, the BCS lovers will cry out that the system worked. Either way, it should be a fascinating battle between two NFL-caliber quarterbacks and two terrific offenses. Considering the way LSU and Alabama played the first time around, this is the game for fans of the forward pass. Oklahoma State finished second in the nation in scoring offense and passing offense, highlighted by a 44-10 blasting of Oklahoma that probably should've been enough to kill the LSU-Alabama rematch plan. Stanford got dominated at home by Oregon and wasn't quite right over the final two games against Cal and Notre Dame. Quarterback Andrew Luck has already said he's ready to go pro, and if he wins he'll leave with the 2011 Orange Bowl and 2012 Fiesta Bowl titles to his credit.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
January 3, 2012   New Orleans, LA, 8:30 pm ESPN 
Virginia Tech vs. Michigan

Michigan State has a legitimate case that it deserves to be here over Michigan, and several teams from Kansas State to Boise State are still grouchy about Virginia Tech slipping in, but the matchup is the matchup, and it should be great. The Hokies lost two games to Clemson, and there isn't a signature win on the résumé. Shutting out Virginia to get to the ACC title game was nice, but that was all forgotten after Clemson roared over Tech in a blowout. The defense is stingy and active, and David Wilson and the running game have the potential to be special. Meanwhile, Michigan is looking to close out Brady Hoke's first year with the program's second 11-win season since winning the national title in the 1997 Rose Bowl. The defense is night-and-day better than it was under Rich Rodriguez, while Denard Robinson and the offense have rolled for 95 points over the last two games against Nebraska and Ohio State and has the running game to match the Hokies yard-for-yard.

Discover Orange Bowl
January 4, 2012  Miami Gardens, FL, 8:00 pm ESPN 
Clemson vs. West Virginia 

The knee-jerk reaction from most fans is to dismiss and ignore the one BCS game the ACC and Big East champions were stuck in, but this has the potential to be wildly entertaining. West Virginia doesn't know how to play a boring game with several fourth-quarter wins: four thrilling victories in the last five weeks; and the last four games all decided by three points or fewer. The offense gave LSU a battle thanks to Geno Smith, who bombed away for 463 yards and two scores in the loss, and it'll have to get its track shoes on against a Clemson offense that's becoming among the most exciting in the ACC. Freshman sensation Sammy Watkins is a premier home run hitter, while Tajh Boyd and most of the key parts to the rest of the offense are tuning up for what should be an even bigger 2012. The Tigers took their foot off the gas after wrapping up the Atlantic title losing three of the final four games before blowing away Virginia Tech for the conference championship, but can they be focused enough to come up with their first Orange Bowl win since taking home the 1981 national title? There should be plenty of fireworks.

- Quick Looks - December 30 & 31
- Quick Looks - January 2 to 8
- Quick Looks - BCS Games