Cirminiello's Best Bowls
Posted Jan 8, 2013

Rich Cirminiello's best bowls of the 2012-2013 bowl season

2012-2013 Bowl Season

Cirminiello's Top Bowls

- 2012-2013 CFN Bowl Central 

Richard Cirminiello's 2012-2013 Bowl Season ...
Top Offensive Performances | Top Defensive Performances
Best Bowl Coaches | Best Bowl Games
Biggest Bowl Surprises | Biggest Bowl Disappointments

By Richard Cirminiello

10. BCS National Championship
The outcome was never in doubt, and the matchup had much higher potential, but Alabama-Notre Dame squeaks into the Top 10 on sheer spectacle and historical importance alone. Honest, how many other games would you have preferred to watch anyway? The Crimson Tide put on a 60-minute clinic for the viewing audience, showing everyone in the FBS how far they'll have to travel to become a champion.

9. Meineke Car Care Bowl
Vegas thought blowout. Minnesota had another vision in mind. The Gophers, two touchdown underdogs in Houston, put up a valiant fight against Texas Tech before fading in the final minutes. The Red Raiders rallied from a 31-24 deficit, getting a 35-yard touchdown pass with 1:10 left, and a walk-off field goal from Ryan Bustin to win it. Both teams were feisty throughout, adding to the game's energy.

8. Belk Bowl
Overlooked when the postseason began, the tussle between Duke and Cincinnati entertained right up until the final seconds. Both teams produced more than 500 yards of offense, trading blows throughout, while producing 49 second-half points. The game was knotted at 34, before the Bearcats rose up with an 83-yard touchdown pass and a 55-yard pick-six in a scintillating final minute.

7. Cotton Bowl
Yeah, the Cotton Bowl matchup between Oklahoma and Texas A&M stopped being competitive midway through the third quarter, but it was a fun night of football nonetheless. The game was chock of storylines, from the brief renewal of rivalry to a rare energized building this postseason. Oh, and that Manziel kid sure did put on a show, validating his Heisman win from a month earlier.

6. New Mexico Bowl
The first bowl game of the postseason wound up being one of the most entertaining bowl games of the postseason. Nevada thoroughly outplayed Arizona, piling up 659 yards behind QB Cody Fajardo and RB Stefphon Jefferson, but yielded two touchdowns in the final 46 seconds of a thrilling 49-48 loss.

5. Alamo Bowl
One of the most entertaining games of the postseason featured the perfect mix of offense, defense and drama in the waning moments. Texas rallied with two touchdowns in the final eight minutes to defeat Oregon State, 31-27, to provide a little relief for Mack Brown and his assistants. QB David Ash rose up in crunch time, as did a ‘Horns D that got to the quarterback 10 times.

4. Capital One Bowl
Georgia and Nebraska went blow-for-blow in a title bout that produced seven touchdowns from at least 24 yards out. The game was knotted at 31 at the start of the final quarter, setting the stage for some heroics out of Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray. The junior hit Keith Marshall for the go-ahead score, before icing the game on an 87-yarder to Chris Conley that began with a simple slant pattern.

3. Rose Bowl
Proof that wads of offense are not required for a compelling game, Wisconsin and Stanford kept viewers riveted despite producing just three second-half points. Both defenses were terrific, the big hits were non-stop throughout and every possession of the final 30 minutes mattered. The Rose Bowl was a well-played, evenly-matched game that remained suspenseful until Usua Amanam picked off Curt Phillips with two minutes left.

2. Chick-fil-A Bowl
Expectations were high for the meeting between Clemson and LSU in Atlanta. Expectations were exceeded. The battle of the Tigers went right down to the final seconds, with the ACC version rallying from a 24-13 fourth quarter deficit to deliver an upset on a walk-off Chandler Catanzaro field goal. There were memorable drives, questionable decisions and terrific performances from both the offense and the defense; all of the ingredients of a can't-miss postseason game.

1. Outback Bowl
Four lead changes in the final 15 minutes. The last game of Denard Robinson's career. The start of Jadeveon Clowney's Heisman push. And a game-winning 32-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left on the clock. The Outback Bowl between South Carolina and Michigan was rife with high drama in arguably the most entertaining game of New Year's Day.

Richard Cirminiello's 2012-2013 Bowl Season ...
Top Offensive Performances | Top Defensive Performances
Best Bowl Coaches | Best Bowl Games
Biggest Bowl Surprises | Biggest Bowl Disappointments