From 1 to 28, the best and worst of the postseason
Posted: Monday December 5, 2005 12:01PM; Updated: Monday December 5, 2005 4:50PM
Reggie Bush and USC are feeling rosy and have a chance to win a third consecutive national title with a win over Texas in the Rose Bowl.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Submit a question or an opinion to Stewart.
It's become a tradition. Rather than ranking teams this week -- because, let's be honest, it's kind of irrelevant at this point -- I hereby present my third annual ranking of all the bowl matchups:
1) Rose (Jan. 4): USC (12-0) vs. Texas (12-0). It's time to give my fellow poll voters their due for a change. It seems they're getting pretty good at predicting these national-title matchups before the season starts.
2) Fiesta (Jan. 2): Notre Dame (9-2) vs. Ohio State (9-2). The Irish didn't fare so well the last time they faced an OSU (Oregon State) in the Fiesta Bowl (a 41-9 loss in 2000). However, they've upgraded a tad at quarterback from Matt LoVecchio.
3) Peach (Dec. 30): LSU (10-2) vs. Miami (9-2). The Atlanta bowl can thank its two home-state teams, Georgia (which beat LSU) and Georgia Tech (which beat Miami), for allowing it to secure a rare matchup of top-10 teams.
4) Orange (Jan. 3): Penn State (10-1) vs. Florida State (8-4). "The game is not about Bobby Bowden vs. Joe Paterno," said both Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. Sorry, guys, but the 'Noles are ranked 22nd. This one's entirely about Bobby vs. JoePa.
5) Sugar (Jan. 2): West Virginia (10-1) vs. Georgia (10-2). You know your program is doing pretty well when a supposed rebuilding season -- which most observers believed to be in store for both teams -- culminates with a BCS berth.
6) Gator (Jan. 2): Virginia Tech (10-2) vs. Louisville (9-2). It's an opportunity for Bobby Petrino's high-powered offense to gain credibility against an elite defense -- assuming the Hokies' D actually makes the trip to Jacksonville this time.
7) Holiday (Dec. 29): Oregon (10-1) vs. Oklahoma (7-4). Hmmm ... a 10-1 Pac-10 team ticked off about its BCS snub playing against a potentially dangerous 7-4 Big 12 team. Where have we seen this before? Ah yes ... last year's Holiday Bowl.
8) Cotton (Jan. 2): Alabama (9-2) vs. Texas Tech (9-2). After the player introductions, there will then be another set for the spectators. Alabama fans, this is what an offense looks like. Tech fans, this is what a defense looks like. ...
9) Sun (Dec. 30): UCLA (9-2) vs. Northwestern (7-4). Do you like high-scoring games? Good, because both teams know how to move the ball, and neither team knows how to play a lick of defense (the Bruins rank 111th, the 'Cats 117th nationally).
10) Capital One (Jan. 2): Auburn (9-2) vs. Wisconsin (9-3). Talk about deceivingly similar records. The Tigers won at Georgia, beat Alabama and took LSU to overtime. The Badgers ... umm ... well they blocked that punt to beat Minnesota.