Every Bowl Team's Best Bowl Moment - January
The best games and the brightest moments for all the 2012-2013 bowl teams
Best Bowl Moments
Pre-BCS January Bowls
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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
Best Bowl Moments
- Pre-BCS December Bowl Teams
- Pre-BCS January Bowl Teams
- BCS Bowl Teams
Heart of Dallas
Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl
Jan. 1, 12:00 pm, ESPNU
Matchup: Oklahoma State vs. Purdue
Best Boilermaker Bowl Moment: In its long history, Purdue has been to just a pair of Rose Bowls, winning one long before any current players were born. Back in 1966 when Bob Griese was barking out signals, the Boilermakers capped their first nine-win season in nearly a quarter century and a No. 6 ranking in the final polls by defeating USC 14-13.
Best Cowboy Bowl Moment: Last year, Oklahoma State claimed its first BCS Bowl game victory over the Stanford Cardinal in a classic that will stand in OSU lore. QB Brandon Weeden passed for 399 yards and three touchdowns as he and Andrew Luck traded blows until it all came down to field goal kicks. As time expired, Stanford’s Jordan Williamson missed a potential winning field goal, and then missed another in overtime to set up the heroics of a game-winning kick by Quinn Sharp for a 41-38 win.
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Jacksonville, FL EverBank Field
Jan. 1, 12:00 pm, ESPN2
Matchup: Northwestern vs. Mississippi State
Best Bulldog Bowl Moment:Playing through a blizzard for much of the game, Mississippi State defeated Texas A&M, 43-41, in the 2000 Independence Bowl, one of the wilder games in college football’s postseason history. The Bulldogs fought back from 14 points down in the fourth quarter, winning the game on a blocked extra point that was returned for a two-pointer, followed by a six-yard touchdown scamper from QB Wayne Madkin.
Best Wildcat Bowl Moment: No contest. When you’re the Big Ten’s perennial doormat and you haven’t been to a bowl game in 47 years, an unexpected berth in the Rose Bowl is more than a great bowl moment—it’s the modern day high point for your program. Such was the case for the 1995 ‘Cats, which shocked the world by winning the conference title and earning a trip to Pasadena. They led favored USC early in the fourth quarter before succumbing, 41-32.
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Orlando, FL Florida Citrus Bowl
Jan. 1, 1:00 pm
Matchup: Georgia vs. Nebraska
Best Bulldog Bowl Moment: Georgia has a very rich bowl tradition that includes 47 invites and victories in the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Gator Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. Fueled by freshman sensation Herschel Walker, the Dawgs took a perfect mark into the 1981 Sugar Bowl, where No. 7 Notre Dame awaited. Walker shook off a dislocated shoulder in the first quarter to score a pair of touchdowns, leading Georgia to a 17-10 win and the national title.
Best Husker Bowl Moment: Nebraska’s massive bowl resume includes an unheard of 31 New Year’s Day appearances. You can go in so many directions with this question, such as pasting No. 2 Alabama in the 1972 Orange Bowl; pounding Notre Dame 40-6 in the 1973 Orange Bowl in Bob Devaney’s final game; or winning the national title with a win over Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl. However, no game stands out more than the 62-24 demolition of Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. In a matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2, the Huskers rushed for a bowl-record 524 yards, putting forth one of the most dominant big game performances the sport has ever witnessed.
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Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium
Jan. 1, 1:00 pm
Matchup: Michigan vs. South Carolina
Best Gamecock Bowl Moment: Aside from the 2011 victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, South Carolina hasn’t been particularly impressive in its most recent string of bowl appearances. However, in the 2002 Outback Bowl, the Gamecocks got the job done. They allowed Ohio State to rally from a 28-point deficit before Daniel Weaver booted a game-winning 42-yard field goal for a sigh-of-relief victory. It was South Carolina’s second straight win over the Buckeyes in Tampa and a symbol of just how far the program had progressed under then-coach Lou Holtz.
Best Wolverine Bowl Moment: 41 bowl games, 20 bowl victories and 20 trips to Pasadena ensure there are plenty of viable candidates. Slipping by Alabama in overtime in the 2000 Orange Bowl. Beating Washington in 1981, the school's first Rose Bowl win in 16 years. Or, try this: capping a perfect 1947 season by trouncing USC, 49-0. Still, it's tough to deny the 1997 squad, which got past Washington State 21-16 in the Rose Bowl. While it wasn’t the sharpest Wolverine effort, it was enough to give the program its first national title in nearly half a century.
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Arlington, TX Cowboys Stadium
Jan. 4, 8:00 pm, FOX
Matchup: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
Best Aggie Bowl Moment: In one of the most important wins of the modern era, the Aggies shackled Heisman winner Tim Brown and defeated No. 12 Notre Dame, 35-10, in the 1988 version of the Cotton Bowl. The A&M attack was spearheaded by a couple of freshmen, QB Bucky Richardson, who was named game MVP, and RB Darren Lewis, who tossed a game-tying touchdown pass on a halfback option play.
Best Sooner Bowl Moment: Although most of the last several BCS bowl appearances have been eminently forgettable for this proud football school, Oklahoma’s 27-17-1 bowl record ranks among the best of any program with at least 15 appearances. The Sooners, regulars in Miami throughout the years, used the 2001 Orange Bowl as a vehicle to regain their status as a perennial national title contender. The Oklahoma defense suffocated high-powered Florida State in a shocking 13-2 win that captured the school’s seventh national championship.
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Birmingham, AL Legion Field
Jan. 5, 1:00 pm, ESPN
Matchup: Ole Miss vs. Pitt
Best Panther Bowl Moment: Ranked No. 9 before the 1976 season began, Pittsburgh wrapped up the national championship with an authoritative 27-3 win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Heisman winner Tony Dorsett rushed for a Sugar Bowl-record 202 yards, and the Panther defense one-upped the vaunted Junkyard Dawgs, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone for the first time all season.
Best Rebel Bowl Moment: Under legendary head coach Johnny Vaught, Ole Miss made a habit out of playing in big bowl games in the 1950s and 1960s. The most memorable was a 21-0 thumping of LSU in the 1960 Sugar Bowl that avenged a loss to the Tigers during the regular season. The 10-1 Rebels notched their eighth shutout of the season and outgained their SEC rival 363-74.
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Mobile, AL Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Jan. 6, 9:00 pm, ESPN
Matchup: Arkansas State vs. Kent State
Best Golden Flashes Bowl Moment: When you haven’t been to a bowl in 40 years, the pickings are slim. Add it to the fact that the Golden Flashes only have one bowl game appearance under their belt in the history of the program, and the choice of best bowl moment is staring right at you. Kent State went to the Tangerine Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) under the direction of hall of fame coach Don James in 1972, and lost to the College Division independent Tampa Spartans, who were coached by future Ohio State head man Earl Bruce. Kent State fell behind 21-0 early, and despite a furious rally, fell short, 21-18, to run its bowl record to 0-1 all-time ... until now.
Best Red Wolves Bowl Moment: Arkansas State has only appeared in two bowl games. The 2005 New Orleans Bowl wasn’t even played in New Orleans due to the damage done inside the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina. ASU lost to Southern Miss on the campus of the Louisiana-Lafayette. Last year wasn’t much better as the Red Wolves got beat up by Northern Illinois in their first appearance in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. This time, Arkansas State gets to trump that matchup by appearing in consecutive years in Mobile to try and notch its first-ever bowl victory after celebrating its second-straight Sun Belt Conference championship.
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