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2008/2009 Bowl Matchups - Here We Go ...

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 7, 2008


Here they are ... the 2008/2009 Bowl Matchups. It's Oklahoma vs. Florida for the national title leading one of the best BCS seasons ever. Ohio State, Alabama, Texas and Utah should make the BCS a blast, and there are several other great non-BCS games. Check out the matchups along with why each game might be good and why each could stink.

2008-2009

Bowl Matchups, Dec. 7

Bowl Projections Sept. 1 | Sept. 8 | Sept. 15 | Sept. 22
- Sept. 29 | Oct. 4 | Oct. 11 | Oct. 19 | Oct. 26 | Nov. 2 | Nov. 9
- Nov. 16
| Nov. 23

BCS GAMES

FedEx BCS National Championship
Jan. 8 / 8 p.m. Miami Gardens, Fla. FOX
*BCS #1 vs. BCS #2 
 
Oklahoma vs. Florida 
This bowl could be good because ... It's the offensive showdown everyone outside of Texas wanted. These are the two hottest teams in the country playing in what should be an epic battle.
This bowl could suck because ... Have you seen Oklahoma in the last two Fiesta Bowls? How about that clunker of a showing against USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl? How about the 2004 Sugar Bowl against LSU?

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 5 / 8 p.m. Phoenix, Ariz. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (Big 12 Champion, if available)
  Texas vs.
Ohio State
This bowl could be good because ... Each team will be playing with something, everything to prove. Texas will want to show the world it belonged in the national championship, while Ohio State will need to show everyone that the BCS Championship games were a fluke.
This bowl could suck because ...  USC 35, Ohio State 3 ... LSU 38, Ohio State 24 ... Florida 41, Ohio State 14 ...

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 2 / 8:30 p.m. ET  New Orleans, La. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS  (SEC Champion, if available)
  Alabama vs. Utah

This bowl could be good because ... Utah isn't Hawaii. This is a rock-solid team that's good enough to pound away with Alabama.
This bowl could suck because ... If the Tide plays at the level it was at in the SEC title game, Utah could have big, big problems.

FedEx Orange Bowl
Jan. 1 / 8 p.m. Miami Gardens, Fla. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (ACC Champion, if available)
 Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

This bowl could be good because ... The two teams really are good. Cincinnati is going for its 23rd win two years, while Virginia Tech is back at the Orange Bowl looking to finally get the ACC back over the BCS hump.
This bowl could suck because ... It's Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati. This is more like an ESPN2 matchup on a late September Saturday.

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Jan. 1 / 5:10 p.m. ET  Pasadena, Calif. ABC
*BCS vs. BCS  (Big Ten Champion vs. Pac 10 Champion, if available)
  USC vs. Penn State

This bowl could be good because ... USC has allowed four passing touchdowns this year, Penn State has given up six. No one else has allowed fewer than eight. The defenses are tremendous, the offenses are fine, and this is, well, it's Penn State vs. USC. This could be the national championship.
This bowl could suck because ... It's the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl vs. USC. What time is the NHL's Winter Classic II starting?


The Rest


EagleBank Bowl

Dec. 20 / 11 a.m.. ET Washington, D.C.
Tie-Ins: ACC vs. Army or Navy 
  
Wake Forest vs. Navy
This bowl could be good because ... Navy's defense has gotten better and better as the season has gone on and is coming off two straight shut outs. Wake Forest died at the end, but was good enough to be in a better bowl than this.
This bowl could suck because ... We did this already. Navy beat Wake Forest 24-17 on September 27th.


New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 20/12:30 p.m. Albuquerque, N.M. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. WAC 
 Colorado State vs. Fresno State

This bowl could be good because ... Colorado State will be pumped up under first year head coach Steve Fairchild with a power running game against the soft Fresno State run defense. The Bulldogs always get jacked up for the bowls.
This bowl could suck because ... Fresno State died down the stretch losing three of its last five games including a 61-10 pasting at Boise State.

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 20 / 8 p.m. ET Las Vegas, Nev. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac-10 No. 4
 BYU vs.
Arizona
This bowl could be good because ... It's the Mountain West's chance to prove itself yet again against the Pac 10. The M-West is 6-1 against the league to the left, and with the high-octane Cougars against an Arizona team fired up to be in a bowl for the first time under Mike Stoops.
This bowl could suck because ... BYU is the third best Mountain West team. If the Arizona defense doesn't show up, the Cougars could make this a blowout by halftime.

magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl
Dec. 20 / 9 p.m. ET  St. Petersburg, Fl.
Tie-Ins: Big East vs. Conference USA 
 South Florida vs. Memphis

This bowl could be good because ... Memphis has a decent enough offense to crank out some big yards if the USF defense isn't pumped up at home. The Bulls should be well motivated after getting blown out by Oregon in last year's Sun Bowl.
This bowl could suck because ... it's the tradition, the pageantry, the, the ... the inaugural magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl. Memphis shouldn't be in a bowl game. It's a home game for South Florida ... uh oh.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Dec. 21 / 8 p.m. ET New Orleans, La. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Sun Belt No. 1 vs. C-USA 
 Troy vs. Southern Miss

This bowl could be good because ... This is the best ever New Orleans Bowl matchup by far. These two teams should be playing in a far more prestigious bowl. Southern Miss is red hot, coming in on a four-game winning streak, while Troy is good enough to challenge anyone outside of the BCS.
This bowl could suck because ... The New Orleans Bowl almost always sucks. Southern Miss had better bring its A game or else Troy will win this thing in a rout.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 23 / 8 p.m. ET San Diego, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Pac 10 (WAC if no Pac 10 team available)
 TCU vs. Boise State

This bowl could be good because ... This could easily be a BCS game and no one would blink. TCU's fantastic defense will be a great test for Boise State's ultra-efficient passing game. This has the potential to be the most talked about, most important matchup of non-BCS teams.
This bowl could suck because ... Boise State has a defense, too. There's a chance that one team's D absolutely dominates the other team's O. If you like points in bunches, move on.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Dec. 24 / 8 p.m. ET  Honolulu, Hawaii ESPN
Tie-Ins: Pac 10 vs. WAC 
  
Notre Dame vs. Hawaii
This bowl could be good because ... All of a sudden, this throwaway Xmas Eve bowl turns into a must-watch if only to see what Notre Dame can do going into next year. A win could possibly set the tone, while Hawaii always plays at another level in Aloha.
This bowl could suck because ... Notre Dame's offense could have big problems if Hawaii's D plays like it did against Cincinnati.

Motor City Bowl
Dec. 26 / 7:30 p.m. ET  Detroit, Mich. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC 
  Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan

This bowl could be good because ... The quarterbacks. FAU's Rusty Smith vs. CMU's Dan LeFevour could make this a 55-52 shootout. It'll be a shocker if this isn't a high-octane shootout.
This bowl could suck because ... FAU isn't all that great. This isn't the Owl team of last year, while Central Michigan could come in without a lot of fight getting to go to (whoopee!) Detroit for a bowl game for the third year in a row.

Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 27 / 4:30 p.m. ET  Orlando, Fla. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4 or No. 5
 Florida State
vs. Wisconsin
This bowl could be good because ... Running game, running game, running game. Florida State's ground attack has improved by leaps and bounds, while Wisconsin will try to power its way over a fantastic Seminole run defense.
This bowl could suck because ... The Badgers have been awful. If they don't come up with something new after struggling to beat Cal Poly and with the best win this year against Minnesota, the athletes of FSU could dominate in what will amount to a home game.

Emerald Bowl
Dec. 27 / 8:30 p.m. ET  San Francisco, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 7 vs. Pac-10 No. 5
 Miami vs.
California
This bowl could be good because ... It's a home game for Cal. The Emerald Bowl has been dying to get California, and now it gets its wish. Miami has the athletes to stay with the Bears. Miami's defense can really, really pop, and the program will be looking to make a statement before what it hopes to be a big 2009.
This bowl could suck because ... It's a home game for Cal. Miami doesn't do anything particularly well.

Meineke Car Care Bowl
Dec. 27 / 1 p.m. ET Charlotte, N.C. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 6 vs. Big East 
 North Carolina vs. West Virginia

This bowl could be good because ... North Carolina will get to play at home against Pat White in his final game. The Mountaineers have won three straight bowl games, while the young Tar Heels will try to establish a tone for next year.
This bowl could suck because ... This isn't the West Virginia of the last three seasons. It's decent, but it's not great, while North Carolina stunk late, losing two of its last three games with the one win coming in a close one over Duke.

PapaJohn’s.com Bowl
Dec. 29 / 3 p.m. ET Birmingham, Ala. ESPN2
Tie-Ins: Big East vs. SEC (or Sun Belt if no SEC team available)
Rutgers  vs. NC State

This bowl could be good because ... Forget about Oklahoma and Florida; NC State and Rutgers might be the two hottest teams in the country. Fine, so they're not the Sooners and Gators, but NC State won four straight get here while Rutgers has pulled off six in a row.
This bowl could suck because ... Each team has been blowing away everyone over the last quarter of the year. Could one team get hot and blowout the other? Tom O'Brien is great in bowl games, and Greg Schiano's Rutgers team destroyed Ball State in last year's International Bowl.

Independence Bowl
Dec. 28 / 8 p.m. ET  Shreveport, La. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big 12 No. 7 vs. SEC No. 8 (Or WAC & the third choice of Sun Belt teams if no Big 12 or SEC team available)
Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
This bowl could be good because ... Talk about fired up, Louisiana Tech should play at another level in a home game, while NIU was the proverbial bubble team that snuck into the dance late in Jerry Kill's first season. It's MAC vs. WAC in a statement game for the two non-BCS leagues.
This bowl could suck because ...NIU lost three of its final four games and was shut out at home by Navy, 16-0, when it though it needed the seventh win to get a 13th game.

Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29 / 8 p.m. ET  San Antonio, Texas ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 4 or No. 5 vs. Big 12 No. 4
Northwestern vs. Missouri

This bowl could be good because ... The Alamo Bowl is almost always really good no matter what the matchup. It's Chase Daniel's final game at Missouri, while he'll be under pressure from the strong Wildcat pass rush.
This bowl could suck because ... Northwestern hasn't just lost its last five bowl games, but it's been obliterated. Missouri, if it gets on a roll, could make this a laugher.

Texas Bowl
Dec. 30 / 8 p.m. NFL Network
Tie-Ins: Houston, Texas
Big 12 vs. C-USA 
Western Michigan vs. Rice

This bowl could be good because ... Get your popcorn ready. Chase Clement and the Rice offense will put up 500 yards and 45 points. Tim Hiller and Western Michigan could throw 46 points and 501 yards on the board.
This bowl could suck because ... Rice doesn't play any defense. If it's offense isn't on, the Broncos could win big. If Rice takes advantage of the home field advantage and gets hot, this could be a blowout the other way.


Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Dec. 30 / 8 p.m. ET San Diego, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac-10 No. 2
Oklahoma State vs. Oregon

This bowl could be good because ... It's the Big 12's best rushing offense (and seventh in the nation) against the Pac 10's best rushing attack (that's fourth in the country). Neither team will plan on stopping the other as this should be an up-and-down the field shootout.
This bowl could suck because ... The Pac 10 was lousy this year, so if Oregon's running game was just a mirage against a slew of mediocre teams, Oklahoma State could roll big.

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl
Dec. 30/4:30 p.m.  Boise, Idaho ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 8 vs. WAC
Maryland
vs. Nevada
This bowl could be good because ... The WAC always comes into this game looking to make a huge statement. Nevada's offense, especially the ground game, is rolling, while Maryland's attack has the potential to get hot for stretches.
This bowl could suck because ... There will be approximately 19 people at this game. 18 of them Wolf Pack fans. Maryland has lost three of its last four games.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 / 12 p.m. ET  Fort Worth, Texas ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Conference USA 
Air Force vs.
Houston
This bowl could be good because ... Houston's high-powered offense vs. the high-octane Air Force running game could make this a ton of fun. Houston can't stop the run, while Air Force will have to prove it can keep up the pace.
This bowl could suck because ... If the Air Force running game isn't working early on, Houston could make this 35-3 after the first quarter.

Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 / 2 p.m. ET. El Paso, Texas CBS
Tie-Ins: Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame vs. Pac-10 No. 3
Pitt vs. Oregon State
This bowl could be good because ... The running backs. Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Pitt's LeSean McCoy will be worth the price of admission. Last year's Oregon Sun Bowl win over over South Florida was a blowout, but this is almost always one of the season's best bowl games.
This bowl could suck because ... Each team has serious clunker potential. Pitt's passing game is painful, at best, during stretches, while Oregon State collapsed against Oregon without Quizz.

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Dec. 31 / 3:30 p.m. ET Nashville, Tenn. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC vs. SEC No. 5
Boston College vs.
Vanderbilt
This bowl could be good because ... It's Vanderbilt's first bowl game in a bazillion years and it'll be playing at its highest intensity level to take advantage of the opportunity. Boston College is one of the nation's best bowl teams year-in-and-year out winning eight straight.
This bowl could suck because ...Offense? We don't need no stinking offense? If you're hoping for a 48-45 festival of fun, this isn't going to be the bowl game for you.

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Dec. 31 / 7:30 p.m. ET  Atlanta, Ga. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 2 vs. SEC
Georgia Tech
vs. LSU
This bowl could be good because ... The Georgia Tech offense is always worth the price of admission. If the Yellow Jackets can do to the defending national champs what they did to Georgia, watch how Paul Johnson becomes a hot SEC coaching commodity.
This bowl could suck because ... With a month to prepare, LSU's athletic defense has the chance to prepare for the option more than anyone else has been able to. LSU has a ground game of its own that could be dominant.

Insight Bowl
Dec. 31 / 5:30 ET Tempe, Ariz. NFL Network
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6
Minnesota
vs. Kansas
This bowl could be good because ... Maybe, just maybe, this could be as good as the 2006 Insight Bowl when Minnesota collapsed in an all-timer of a game against Texas Tech. That game led to the hiring of Tim Brewster. Kansas has the offense to make this interesting.
This bowl could suck because ... If Minnesota plays like it did at the end of the regular season, this won't just be a KU blowout, it'll be brutally ugly. Iowa 55 - Minnesota 0. If you saw that game, you're scared.

Outback Bowl
Jan. 1 / 11 a.m. ET Tampa, Fla. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC
Iowa vs.
South Carolina
This bowl could be good because ... Iowa is always pumped up to be in a bowl and with Shonn Greene, the nation's only back to run for 100 yards in every game, there will be a marquee name to watch. South Carolina is in a New Year's Day game and can make big strides in the Steve Spurrier era with a win.
This bowl could suck because ... If the Gamecocks start throwing interceptions in bunches, this might not be pretty. USC's offense could bog down in a big way, and even if it's working, there won't be much in the way of fireworks.

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
Jan. 1 / 1 p.m. ET  Jacksonville, Fla. CBS
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 3 vs. Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame 
Clemson vs.
Nebraska
This bowl could be good because ... These are two of the most resurgent teams in the country over the last part of the season. Clemson has shown tremendous heart just to get bowl eligible, while Nebraska has improved getting better and better with five wins in the last six games.
This bowl could suck because ... If Clemson's defense plays as well as it did over the final three games of the year, Nebraska might not be going anywhere. If the Husker defense comes in jacked up and gets into the Clemson backfield early and often, the Huskers could win by three touchdowns.

Capital One Bowl
Jan. 1 / 1 p.m. Orlando, Fla. ABC
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Michigan State vs. Georgia

This bowl could be good because ... As always, the Big Ten vs. SEC debate will be in full swing. Georgia couldn't handle the Georgia Tech running game, can it handle Javon Ringer? Can the Spartans beat someone with a pulse. As always, this will be among the more intriguing interconference matchups.
This bowl could suck because ...
If Georgia is able to be Georgia again after spending the next month getting healthy, yeeeeeesh. MSU might be in big, big trouble.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Jan. 2 / 5:00 p.m. ET Memphis, Tenn. ESPN
Tie-Ins: C-USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 6
East Carolina vs. Kentucky
This bowl could be good because ... For those of you Syracuse fans wanting to see your new head coach (maybe) in action, Skip Holtz will take the Conference USA champions into Memphis against a good UK team that's always happy to go bowling.
This bowl could suck because ... Few teams were as banged up as Kentucky. If that defense gets healthy over the next four weeks and it returns fully loaded, ECU will gain 10 yards.

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Jan. 2 / 2 p.m. ET Dallas, Texas FOX
Tie-Ins: Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC 
Texas Tech vs.
Ole Miss
This bowl could be good because ... It's Texas Tech in a bowl. No one, no one is more fun to watch in the post-season considering the last two epic comebacks needed to beat Virginia and Minnesota over the last two years. Ole Miss will try to represent the SEC and show that the league really didn't stink. If the Rebels win this game, the whole Big 12 superiority thing might be a myth.
This bowl could suck because ... Ole Miss couldn't defend the pass in the pass-challenged SEC. Thank you very much, good night, and to break into Tebow, God bless.


International Bowl
Jan. 3 / 12 p.m. ET Toronto, Canada ESPN2
Tie-Ins: Big East vs. MAC No. 4 or 5
Connecticut vs. Buffalo

This bowl could be good because ... It's the team with no defense (Buffalo ... takeaways against Ball State aside) against the team with no offense (UConn). Stick them in a large room together and watch the mayhem ensue.
This bowl could suck because ... If the Connecticut offense is working, it's nap time. Buffalo outkicked its coverage to get here, and while the effort should be strong, there will be problems if the Huskies are focused.

GMAC Bowl
Jan. 6 / 8 p.m. ET  Mobile, Ala.  ESPN
Tie-Ins: C-USA No. 2 vs. MAC/WAC
Tulsa vs. Ball State

This bowl could be good because ...  Simply put, this will absolutely, positively be the most fun bowl game of the season, guaranteed. Ball State averaged 459 yards per game, Tulsa averages 565. There won't be a lick of defense as the two teams march up and down the field.
This bowl could suck because ... It's the land of jilted, would-be conference champions that couldn't stop giving the ball away. It's Nate Davis and his fumbles vs. David Johnson and his interceptions. If one team starts turning the ball over in bunches, and the other doesn't follow suit, it could be a 30-point blowout.

   






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