POINSETTIA MATCHUP AMONG THE ELITE BOWL GAMES
With bowl announcements completely over, the debate has begun on which games are the best of the 2008 season. Little question surrounds the top game, which of course is the Fed Ex National Championship pitting Oklahoma against Florida. From there, the college football pundits, writers and analysts all have arguments as to which are the most intriguing to watch.
For Boise State fans, one thing is certain, the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl will get plenty of national attention as one of the five best bowl match-ups of the year. Most ratings show the Poinsettia Bowl slightly behind the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Texas vs. Ohio State) and perhaps the Rose Bowl (USC vs. Penn State), but squarely ahead of either of the other two BCS games, and without a doubt the most attractive non-BCS game of the bowl season.
The ninth-ranked Broncos and 11th-ranked Horned Frogs are one of five games with top 15 teams squaring off against each other. The other four, you guessed it, all BCS games. For most serious college football fans, the TCU-Boise State game could be considered a BCS caliber battle. As could the Oklahoma State-Oregon Holiday Bowl, which ironically is also being held at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, one week after the Poinsettia Bowl. Even the players and coaches in the game see it that way.
“We are very excited to play in the Poinsettia Bowl," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. "Boise State is a BCS-caliber team, and I have a high admiration for Chris Petersen, his staff and players. They do an outstanding job in all phases of their team.”
“This is the best bowl game there is outside of the BCS,” said Boise State senior wide receiver Vinny Perretta. “You look at this game and you have us as an undefeated team at number nine and TCU, which plays hard every snap, at number eleven. It is a BCS game really. It’s our style of BCS game.”
Since everyone else is in the game of rating this year’s bowls, the staff at broncosports.com weighs in with their insights on this year’s top 10 bowls to watch:
1. BCS National Championship (Oklahoma vs. Florida). For all the marbles with the two hottest teams in college football.
2. Rose Bowl (USC vs. Penn State). Joe Pa in a return to the Coliseum. Tradition doesn’t get much better than Penn State, USC and the Rose Bowl
3. Poinsettia Bowl (Boise State vs. TCU). Two of the most underrated and successful programs in college football square off with conference pride and a potential top 5 final ranking on the line.
4. Fiesta Bowl (Texas vs. Ohio State). Ohio State trying to prove it is BCS worthy after a 10-2 season. Texas with something to prove after not making the national championship game.
5. Holiday Bowl (Oklahoma State vs. Oregon). Two of the top scoring teams in the country. This game is one week after the Poinsettia Bowl, with Bronco fans paying close attention to how Oregon finishes the season.
6. Cotton Bowl (Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech). Texas Tech is feeling the snub of the BCS. Ole Miss came on strong in the SEC under first year head coach Houston Nutt. A classic SEC-Big 12 matchup that could be a small preview of the title game.
7. Sun Bowl (Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh). Both teams fell a little short of the ultimate goal heading into the final weeks of the season. That being a conference championship and automatic BCS berth. With premier tailbacks on both teams, should be a running game extravaganza.
8. Chick-fil-A Bowl (LSU vs. Georgia Tech). The triple option Yellow Jacket offense could pose problems for an LSU defense that got overmatched at the end of the year. But, any bowl game with the defending national champion is one to watch.
9. Sugar Bowl (Utah vs. Alabama). From sheer interest, it’s the non-AQ (Automatic Qualifier as “new” politically correct term for non-BCS schools) taking on the #1 team in the country for the last half of the season. Bronco fans not want to see a Ute win, but no matter the outcome, Utah at least needs to keep it close.
10. Humanitarian Bowl (Maryland vs. Nevada). Alright, so we may be a little partial to the hometown bowl. But, for those who haven’t seen Pack quarterback and WAC Player of the Year Colin Kaepernick play, this will be a treat. Maryland, out of the ACC, usually travels well and was in position to win the Atlantic Division with two games to go, before losing to Florida State.