Part I Record: 4-2 with one more to go
Champs Sports Bowl
Clemson Vs. Colorado
Theme Song: 'Don't You Want Me?' by The Human League
This 1982 tale of unrequitted love hits home for both the Tigers and Buffs. Tommy Bowden has taken his fair share of criticism at Clemson even though he has returned the program to a permanent bowl fixture and beaten Florida State twice in the last 3 years. In Boulder, Gary Barnett must be thinking the same thing. After leading the Buffs to 4 Big 12 North titles in 5 years, he was let go by the administration after the 70-3 loss to Texas in this year's Big 12 title game.
Arizona State Vs. Rutgers
Theme Song: 'Celebration' by Kool & the Gang
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights, easily one of the worst programs in Division I football history, are off to only their 2nd ever bowl game. Who cares if they are double-digit dogs to a team playing what amounts to a home game in Phoenix? Almost any place in the country beats the hell out of New Jersey in late December.
Winner: Arizona State
MPC Computers Bowl
Boise State Vs. Boston College
Theme Song: 'Let's Hear it for the Boy' by Deniece Williams
3 cheers for Dan Hawkins as he coaches his final game on the blue smurf turn in Boise before departing for Colorado. In his 5 seasons at the school, Hawkins has a record of 53-10 with 2 bowl wins and 4 WAC titles. Not only does he win, but his teams usually score a ton of points and are exciting to watch. Here's wishing him the best at Colorado.
Winner: Boston College
Michigan Vs. Nebraska
Theme Song: 'Out of Touch' by Daryl Hall and John Oates
This Hall and Oates ditty is perfect for 2 programs out of touch with their past glories. For Michigan the 2005 season was out of touch with what most fans expected. 3 losses in the first 6 games doomed the Wolverines to a non-New Year's Day bowl for the firts time since reconstruction. For the Huskers, they have been out of touch since Frank Solich was let go. 2004 marked the first time they had not played in a bowl game since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. They have returned to the postseason in 2005, albeit on a stage much smaller than the one they are accustomed to.
Georgia Tech Vs. Utah
Theme Song: '(Just Like) Starting Over' by John Lennon
For the Utes, the loss of wunder-coach Urban Meyer and 1st overall pick Alex Smith meant a time of starting over. The Utes were able to have a successful season, but after destroying a BCS team in primetime last season in the Fiesta Bowl, a mid-afternoon showdown against a team coached by Chan Gailey is a testament to how much farther they must still go.
Winner: Georgia Tech
Oklahoma Vs. Oregon
Theme Song: 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' by Simple Minds
Everyone wrote them off after a 2-3 start, but the Sooners won 5 out of their last 6 (with the one loss resulting from a series of bad officiating against Texas Tech) to gain some momentum heading into their bowl game. 40-5 is the combined record of the 4 teams that beat the Sooners this year. The Ducks have had a nice 10-1 season, but Oklahoma will announce their return to the national scene in this game.
Part III coming soon.