Sugar, Orange & Cotton Bowls Primer

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a second quarter touchdown with David Molk #50 while playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

For those of you still able to watch the game of football, tonight features a really fun matchup in the Sugar Bowl between Michigan and Virginia Tech. Tomorrow, we'll see the Orange Bowl between West Virginia and Clemson. Then on Thursday we get the Cotton Bowl between Arkansas and Kansas State. The Orange isn't exactly on the level of the Rose or Fiesta matchups we've seen so far, but at least these two games will be played in the general vicinity of New Years Day, unlike the monstrosity that has become the BCS Championship Game.


Allstate Sugar Bowl
Michigan Wolverines (10-2) vs Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2)
Tuesday, Jan. 3 in New Orleans, LA, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Watchability Rating (1-10, 10 being "Must watch" and 1 being "Screwdriver to the eyes"): 8

Pertinent Information: Michigan was good enough to win 10 games, so it's not all that bad. Virginia Tech had the automatic bid in its hands when facing Clemson in the ACC title game, but couldn't hold up against a surprisingly good finish for the Tigers. Don't doubt either team in this game. Both the Wolverines and the Hokies are intriguingly similar on the stat sheet. The Wolves are 33rd nationally on offense; the Hokies are 36th. UM is 15th nationally on defense; VT is 17th. The problem for the Hokies, however, is their scoring offense is 52nd, compared to Michigan's at 22nd. That could be the difference. This game is worth making room in tonight's schedule.

UM (-3), O/U 51

Discover Orange Bowl
West Virginia (9-3) vs Clemson Tigers (10-3)
Wednesday, Jan. 4 in Miami, FL, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

Watchability Rating (1-10, 10 being "Must watch" and 1 being "Screwdriver to the eyes"): 7

Pertinent Information: West Virginia is the underdog in this one, but don't think for one second the upset isn't possible. The Mountaineers have better numbers on the stat sheet, and had to face LSU during the regular season. Clemson lost three of four by double digits before the ACC title game, including losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. This one doesn't have the star power of the other BCS games, but it's a really good matchup between pretty good teams. It should come down to turnovers and quarterback pressure for both teams.

Clemson (-3), O/U 61.5

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2) vs Kansas St. Wildcats (10-2)
Friday, Jan. 6 in Dallas, at 8 p.m. on FOX

Watchability Rating (1-10, 10 being "Must watch" and 1 being "Screwdriver to the eyes"): 3

Pertinent Information: This is the absolute worst matchup of all the major bowl games. If Arkansas doesn't reach 30 by halftime, I'd be quite shocked. Kansas State has lived off of special teams, turnovers, and running the ball against a greatly weakened Big 12 conference. The Wildcats are 74th on defense, 96th on offense nationally. The Razorbacks are 25th on offense, 52nd on defense, but the pass offense (13th) should carve up the KSU pass defense (106th). If you've got nothing else to do on a Friday night, flip on this one; but have a back up plan.

Arkansas (-8), O/U 62.5

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