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Monday, 22 December 2014

College Football: Five Under-The-Radar Bowl Games Worth Watching

Ameer Abdullah


The College Football Bowl season always brings us games that make us shudder, but there are always games that become instant classics.

Most folks will be concentrating on the major bowl games, but there are several games that have gone under the radar that have the opportunity to become instant classics.

Here are five games for fans to keep an eye on:


Boca Raton Bowl – The battle between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the Northern Illinois Huskies has instant classic written all over it.  Marshall was mere minutes away from pulling off an undefeated season, and has grown to become a destination for collegiate football athletes.  Northern Illinois has developed their program to become the class of the MAC conference and are looking to prove that they belong on the big stage without the stigma of leading a smaller conference.  Northern Illinois and Marshall have the ability to put points on the board quickly, and will make for an exciting game.

National University Holiday Bowl – Nebraska and USC are traditional collegiate football powers and this game will bring fans of the game back to yesteryear.  Nebraska has one of the most exciting athletes in the collegiate game with Running Back Ameer Abdullah who is primed to make a big statement in this game.  Abdullah and Defensive End Randy Gregory of the Cornhuskers have scouts drooling over their prospects at the next level.  USC will also bring one of the most dynamic prospects for the NFL with Defensive End Leonard Williams.  Williams is a surefire top pick if he decides to enter his name into the NFL Draft in 2015.  USC and Nebraska had the makings of being a possible Rose Bowl contender early in the season, and will look to cap off their season with a solid victory over a top competitor.

Belk Bowl – The Georgia Bulldogs were able to survive a tumultuous season in the SEC and came out a more focused team.  The Bulldogs have developed a foundation for the future, and will be a force in the SEC next season.  Louisville has continued on their winning ways, and has grown into a force in the collegiate game.  Louisville and Georgia have the ability to put up big numbers and this will surely be a game filled with fireworks.

Hyundai Sun Bowl – Arizona State and Duke are two of the feel-good stories of the 2014 College Football season.  Duke coach David Cutcliffe has developed a once “joke of a team” into a solid football program.  Many used to call Duke a “basketball school that happens to have a football team”.  Duke has grown and become a force in the crowded ACC, and has built a solid foundation for the future.  Arizona State was able to weather the storm of several injuries to begin their season to almost qualify for the PAC 12 Championship game.  The Sun Devils can put points on the board quickly, and are well balanced on both sides of the ball.  This has the markings of a fantastic game captained by two solid head coaches.

Outback Bowl – Auburn and Wisconsin are two of the premier football programs in the country, and are consistently in bowl games on New Year’s Day every year.  Wisconsin is in a state of flux again after losing their head coach, but in the words of Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, “time for the next man to stand up.”  Wisconsin has the best Running Back in the country with Melvin Gordon, and one of the best defenses in the game.  Auburn had another solid season, and was only a few plays away from being back in the national title picture.  Auburn and Wisconsin are two phenomenal programs and will look to go out on a high note.


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