Ranking The 2012-2013 Bowls - Seriously?!
Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle
Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle
Posted Dec 6, 2012

Before they start, the ranking of the bowls and how entertaining they should be.

2012-2013 Bowl Matchups


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The 2012-2013 Pre-Bowl Rankings
- The Can't Miss - The Top 5  
- The Excellent - No. 6 to No. 10 
- The Solid - No. 11 to No. 15
- Just Bowls. No More, No Less - No. 16 to No. 20
- The Mediocre - No. 21 to No. 25
- The Lousy - No. 26 to No. 30 
- Seriously? - No. 30 to No. 35  

35. AdvoCare V100 Independence

Ohio vs. ULM

Shreveport, LA Independence Stadium
Dec. 28, 2:00 pm, ESPN

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. ULM will be jacked up to play in Shreveport in what could be one of the most fun atmospheres of the bowl season. This is the first bowl game in the program's history, and it's going to be a big deal for everyone involved. There won't be a motivation problem in any way.

2. Ohio has something to prove. The Bobcats started out the season on a high note with a tough win over Penn State, and there was talk about being what Northern Illinois turned into with a 7-0 start. Despite the second half slide, this is still a good, smart team that's bowl savvy with three straight appearances.

3. The Warhawks are always worth the price of admission. The wild offense has put up big points throughout the season with a thrilling passing attack and an aggressive offense. The defense led the Sun Belt against the run.

And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: This isn't the bowl we should've had. Louisiana Tech apparently needed more time, hoping for a better offer, and got burned. Instead of a wild and raucous shootout between the Bulldogs and the Warhawks – along with the two angry fan bases – there's this. Louisiana Tech-ULM might have been the must-see game of the non-BCS bowl season.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You

1. QB Kolton Browning, Jr. ULM – The world was his after his wonderful performances against Arkansas, Auburn and Baylor to start the season, and while he was banged up and sputtered a bit over the second half of the season, he still put together an all-star caliber year.

2. RB Beau Blankenship, Jr. Ohio – One of the nation's top runners over the first half of the season, he sputtered a bit in the middle after not getting enough carries. That changed over the final two games with 161 yards and three scores against Ball State and 145 yards against Kent State.

3. WR Brent Leonard, Sr. ULM – One of the nation's hottest receivers, he caught 11 catches or more in three of the last four games with 55 grabs over the last five games.

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: ULM 45 … Ohio 31

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34. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces

Rice vs. Air Force
Fort Worth, TX Amon G. Carter Stadium
Dec. 29, 11:45 am, ESPN  

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. Rice comes in red hot having won four straight and five of its last six to get bowl eligible. The running game is terrific and the defense has shown up over the second half of the season allowing fewer than 20 points four times. Air Force has been spotty over the last month, but the running game is still among the best in college football.

2. There should be lots and lots of rushing yards. Neither team can stop the run and each can crank out the big plays on the ground. 600 yards of combined ground game might not be too far-fetched.

3. Air Force tends to play interesting bowl games. The 2009 Armed Forces was a dud, shocking Houston 47-20, but the other five appearances since 2000 have been decided by eight points or fewer. However …

And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: Rice bowl games have been a complete and utter disaster. Out of the eight in school history – going back to 1937 and including the recent matchups – Rice has yet to play a bowl game decided by seven points or fewer. The 2008 Texas Bowl against Western Michigan was a 38-14 win, and the 2006 New Orleans Bowl against Troy was a 41-17 loss.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You

1. RB Cody Getz, Sr. Air Force – There was a while in the early part of the season when he led the nation in rushing with three 200+ yard efforts in the first five games. He got banged up, but he came back to finish with 1,213 yards and nine scores.

2. PK Chris Boswell, Jr. Rice – It might not be a plus to have a kicker who has attempted so many field goals, but Boswell is a good one nailing 21-of-26 on the season including 5-of-6 against SMU. For an offense that needs a little help, he's good at coming through to at least get a few points.

3. LB Austin Niklas, Sr. Air Force – One of the nation's better tacklers, he came up with a few huge performances with 17 stops against Army and 16 against UNLV. He's not a pass rusher, but he's a big hitter.

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Air Force 34 … Rice 21

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33. AutoZone Liberty

Tulsa vs. Iowa State
Memphis, TN Liberty Bowl
Dec. 31, 3:30 pm, ESPN  

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. The Conference USA champion has something to prove. Last season's Liberty Bowl was a Big East-SEC matchup, but C-USA had lost four of the previous five games. However, the games have been terrific with the last eight decided by eight points or fewer including a few of the best bowls in their respective seasons.

2. Iowa State is battle hardened. It has been a rocky second half of the season, but the team has seen plenty of solid teams and came close in a few good battles. All six losses came against bowl bound teams.

3. Tulsa has a fun defense that attacks, attacks, attacks. The Golden Hurricane is third in the nation in sacks and fourth in tackles for loss. The team isn't afraid to take a few chances.

And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: We already did this, and it wasn't fun. Iowa State beat Tulsa 38-23 in the opener with the Cyclones withstanding a tough first quarter to win in a blowout thanks to three takeaways and a great ground game.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You

1. RB Trey Watts, Jr. Tulsa – The all-purpose start it a top-shelf kick and punt returner, a good receiver out of the backfield, and 41 yards away from being a 1,000-yard runner. He ran for 125 yards in the first meeting.

2. LB A.J. Klein, Sr. Iowa State – With Jake Knott getting knocked out early in the year, Klein had to pick up the slack and do even more at linebacker. He became even more of a playmaker against the run, finishing up with 14 tackles against West Virginia.

3. DE Jared St. John, Sr. Tulsa – Not expected to be much more than a decent backup coming into the season, the senior turned it loose and became the star of a great group of pass rusher with 1
1. 5 on the year including two against UCF in the Conference USA title game.

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Tulsa 34 … Iowa State 27

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32. Sheraton Hawai'i

Fresno State vs. SMU
Honolulu, HI Aloha Stadium
Dec. 24, 8:00 pm, ESPN

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. Fresno State is full of terrific talents who'll be spending time on NFL rosters in the near future. QB Derek Carr has already announced he's returning for his final season, while Robbie Rouse is one of the nation's most explosive runners. The Bulldogs have the potential to put on a show.

2. It's June Jones coming home. Is it going to move the needle for the former Hawaii head coach to bring his SMU team to town? Probably not, but he's going to make sure his team is ready and prepared. No one knows how to handle playing in paradise better.

3. SMU found itself over the second half of the season winning four of its last six games including a tough victory over Conference USA champion Tulsa just to get bowl eligible. Fresno State has won its last five games and seven of its last eight.

And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: Fresno State is far, far better. If the Bulldogs have the right frame of mind and they take this game seriously, they should be able to win in an ugly blowout. SMU is way too inconsistent.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You

1. QB Derek Carr. Jr. Fresno State – He's not the talent his brother, David, was, but he's a smart bomber who's coming into his own with almost 7,500 passing yards and 62 scores over the last two seasons.

2. RB Zach Line, Sr. SMU – Injured late last year, he didn't get to play in the bowl. The ultra-productive back has hit the 1,000-yard mark three years in a row with 46 career rushing scores and 4,114 yards.

3. DB Phillip Thomas, Sr. Fresno State – The Thorpe Award finalist leads the nation with eight interceptions to go along with 82 tackles and four sacks with four forced fumbles.

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Fresno State 48 … SMU 24

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31. Heart of Dallas

Oklahoma State vs. Purdue

Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl
Jan. 1, 12:00 pm, ESPNU     

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. It's possible that this could be one of the wildest shootouts of the bowl season if Purdue holds up its end of the bargain. The Boilermakers are coming off a 56-35 win over Indiana with a passing game that started to do a bit more over the final few games. Oklahoma State is fifth in the nation in total offense averaging close to 550 yards per game.

2. The mediocre OSU pass defense is a positive for those who want a fun bowl game. Purdue needs to get hot early in a shootout, and it needs to take advantage of a Cowboy D that gives up big plays. This is a veteran Boilermaker team that won't be afraid of the limelight.

3. Maybe Purdue can take on an us-against-the-world attitude. No one is going to believe this game will be anything but a blowout. The team is playing with house money after rallying just to get bowl eligible, and it should play loose and free. However …

And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: How will Purdue play without a head coach? Wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins will be the interim head man while the program courts Cincinnati's Butch Jones, but the team needs to be razor sharp to hang around with the Cowboys, and won't be.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You

1. RB Joseph Randle, Jr. Oklahoma State – There are several decent backs in the game, but Randle is a star coming off a 1,351-yard, 14 touchdown season. With his quickness and burst, he's destined for the next level and should come up with a huge game before having a big decision to make.

2. DT Kawann Short, Sr. Purdue – The Boilermakers had a rough season against the run, but Short did what he could with six sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss with four blocked kicks. After putting off the NFL for a year, this is his last chance to make a big statement.

3. PK/P Quinn Sharp, Sr. Oklahoma State – The nation's best all-around kicker, he got hot again after a bit of a rocky start to nail 15 of his last 16 kicks. He's also a special punter averaging 45.8 yards per try.

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Oklahoma State 52 … Purdue 24

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