The Five Worst College Bowl Games This Year
Sometimes, brutal honesty is the best way to determine which teams play where in the college football bowl season. In most cases, money talks despite the matchup of teams.
Such may be the case of the former Gator Bowl, the TaxSlayer Bowl which pits Tennessee from the SEC against Iowa of the Big Ten.
When discussing the reasons for picking two mid-level teams with above average records, it wasn’t as much the “best” pairing, according to the selection committee, it was more about which teams would travel well to Jacksonville for a game after New Year’s Day.
That might be college speak for filling hotel rooms and spending money after the holiday celebrations are over.
While Tennessee is a program on the rise under Butch Jones and Iowa and Kirk Ferentz is always a solid team in the Big Ten, the game is far from perfect, which makes it qualify for one of the worst of the bowl season. Purposely, I am not talking about the College Football Playoff games – mainly because they are in a class by themselves and untouchable. There are 39 games to be played and these are the five worst amongst the masses this football season.
BIRMINGHAM BOWL – EAST CAROLINA VS. FLORIDA
The Pirates have been known to put points on the scoreboard. They dropped 70 on North Carolina, in a win over a traditionally basketball school. Florida, playing with DJ Durken as its interim coach, is known for its defense and a weak offense. In this case, offense trumps defense.
TAXSLAYER BOWL – TENNESSEE VS. IOWA
Like I said, not the best match-up, but both teams travel well, which is something all bowl cities like. I suppose staying in North Florida for a few days and bringing in the New Year is not a bad thing. This could be one of those games that surprises us all – but I strongly doubt it.
HAWAII BOWL – FRESNO STATE VS. RICE
Fresno State, which lost in the Mountain West championship game, is the third team in four seasons to play in a bowl despite a losing record (UCLA in 2011 and Georgia Tech in 2012 were the others). The thought of going to Hawaii for a bowl game should be exciting. These two teams are not.
QUICK LANE BOWL – NORTH CAROLINA AT RUTGERS
The Tar Heels barely qualified for a bowl game while Rutgers was a new member of the Big Ten this year and surprised many of us. Underachievers vs. Overachievers. This is not high school any more. Both offenses may have issues moving the ball.
MILITARY BOWL – CINCINNATI VS. VIRGINIA TECH
It’s this game reserved to honor our men and women fighting for our freedom? Gunner Kiel and the Bearcats face Frank Beamer and his underachieving, barely qualifying Hokies. By rights, this should be a blow out, but Beamer and his boys are unpredictable.