The full 40-game college football bowl schedule was released Sunday and it’s time to break down which contests you should be paying attention to. We’ve decided to rank the five bests bowl matchups for you.
A note off the top: It would be far too easy to list the national semifinal games and the championship game on this list, so we’re going with the best five games other than those. Obviously you should be interested in those matchups, this is the best of the rest.
5. Holiday Bowl: No. 16 Michigan State vs. No. 18 Washington State
Broadcast info: Dec. 28, 9 p.m. EST, FS1
Washington State looked like a potential playoff team after starting 6-0, but Mike Leach’s squad went 3-3 down the stretch to finish 9-3 and miss the Pac-12 title game.
Michigan State looked like a major comeback story after the Spartans started 6-1. Then they suffered an overtime loss against Northwestern and were blown out by Ohio State 48-3.
So who are these two 9-3 teams? It’s a good question, but one with a complicated answer.
Wazzu finished the season ranked second in the nation in passing yards per game (374.8), but somehow also ranked 15th in total defense (314 yards per game). That is, frankly, shocking given Leach’s history.
On the other side of the ball, Michigan State finished with it’s typically stout defense ranked ninth in the nation in yards allowed (298 yards per game), while their offense ranked 91st, averaging just 378 yards per game.
This game will come down to a battle between the minds of Leach and Mark Dantonio. Leach’s Air-Raid offense against Dantonio’s defense. It should be a fun chess match.