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College football: Bowl assignment winners & losers

by Berry Tramel Published: December 3, 2012

Winners and losers from the bowl assignments:

Loser: Florida State. The Seminoles weren’t in a fabulous showdown to begin with when it looked like Louisville was headed to the Orange Bowl. But they weren’t in a no-win situation. Louisville is at least a representative program, plus a future ACC foe of Florida State. But now Florida State gets Northern Illinois, a totally no-win situation for FSU.

Winner: The MAC. The Mountain West and the Western Athletic Conference have had their turn at being a BCS buster. Now the Mid-American Conference gets its shake. The MAC has a long history of upsetting middling Big Ten teams. Wins over Michigan and Ohio State aren’t so prevalent. Northern Illinois can change that in the Orange Bowl.

Loser: Oklahoma State. When the Cowboys had an 11-point lead in the second half of Bedlam, the BCS remained a possibility, and the Cotton Bowl looked at least probable. Now OSU is headed for the Heart of Dallas Bowl, playing a bad Purdue team on ESPNU. Ouch.

Winner: Texas. The Longhorns avoided a Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M. Nothing else matters. Get rolled in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, and UT won’t care. The ‘Horns keep the Cold War alive.

Loser: Louisiana Tech. Only two bowl-eligible teams didn’t make a bowl. Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. The latter was 9-3, spent some time in the top 25 and beat both Illinois and Virginia. But Louisiana Tech was a victim of the Northern Illinois fallout. When Northern Illinois made the Orange Bowl, it created a ripple effect that ended up knocking Iowa State out of Big 12 slot. The Liberty Bowl scooped up the Cyclones. On Saturday, the Independence Bowl offered a bid to Louisiana Tech, but athletic director Bruce Van de Velde asked for more time, thinking the Liberty was a likely option. The Independence then invited Ohio to play Louisiana-Monroe. Louisiana Tech was left out in the cold.

Winner: The MAC again. Seven Mid-American teams are in bowls. Same as the Big Ten.

Loser: Sugar Bowl. New Orleans went from Florida-OU to Florida-Louisville. Quite a comedown.

Winner: Pinstripe Bowl. On Oct. 12, what do you think were the chances of the Yankee Stadium bowl getting a West Virginia-Syracuse matchup. A revival of an old Big East rivalry.

Loser: Iowa State. If you finish ninth in a conference, you don’t really have a beef about which bowl you go to. And the Liberty Bowl actually is a decent prize for the Cyclones. Except ISU now has a rematch with Tulsa, a team it beat back in September and a team it plays again next September.

Winner: Big Bowl. Do you think that if the Orange Bowl people try really hard, they’ll be able to market a Notre Dame-Alabama national championship game?

Loser: Sun Bowl. The good folks of El Paso get Southern Cal, a dream-type team for the Sun Bowl, but are stuck with a losing-record Georgia Tech.

Winner: Fiesta Bowl. Clearly the second-best bowl game, Kansas State vs. Oregon. A bowl that’s had more than its share of mid-majors deserves a good consolation prize.

Loser: Mike Stoops. Even back when his defenses were good, Stoops didn’t have a great track record against Johnny Football-style quarterbacks.

Winner: Big Ten. For a lousy conference, the Big Ten sure ended up with some decent — and winnable — bowl games. Nebraska could beat Georgia if the Bulldogs are emotionally down in the Capital One Bowl. Michigan has a shot at South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. Minnesota stinks but so has Texas Tech for a month and might still in the Houston bowl. Michigan State won’t get run over by TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and could have a chance at the end. Maybe even Wisconsin has a shot at Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

Loser: Vanderbilt. The Commodores had a great season, 8-4, and get stuck staying home in the Music City Bowl, against a team, North Carolina State, that fired its coach.

Winner: Las Vegas Bowl. The best pre-Christmas bowl, with Washington-Boise State. We’ll be ready for some decent college football by then.

Loser: Little Caesars  Bowl. The ineligibility of Penn State and Ohio State means the Big Ten couldn’t fill its slot, so the Detroit game stooped to 7-5 Western Kentucky, against a 6-6 Central Michigan team.



by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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