Tis the season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Jeff Budlong Sports Editor

It’s time to go bowling.

Since there is no playoff I figure I will do my best March Madness breakdown of some of the college football bowl matchups.

It looks like we have some very intriguing non-BCS bowl games this year which should be entertaining as we wait for the calendar to turn.

Here we go:

USC vs. Texas (Rose Bowl) &045; The championship matchup college football fans have been wanting the whole season is now a reality.

The BCS worked even if it was largely due to luck.

More than the players on the field I am interested to see if Mack Brown can prepare his team to win a big game.

The Horns struggled down the stretch &045; save the thrashing of Colorado in the Big 12 Championship game.

After years of top recruiting classes can Brown take down the most successful coach in recent memory and his team in search of an unprecedented third straight title?

Penn St. vs. Florida St. (FedEx Orange Bowl) &045; Further proof that the BCS is not so great comes in the form of an 8-4 Seminole squad that nearly lost four games in a row to end the season.

Lots of talk about the coaching matchup Bobby Bowden against Joe Paterno, but neither one of those coaches have done much winning in any bowl games of late.

Congratulations to JoePa for getting Penn St. back.

Interesting that the Big 10 took a beating this year for not being a great conference, and yet they have two teams (Ohio St.) in the BCS once again.

Georgia vs. West Virginia (Nokia Sugar Bowl) &045; Further proof that the BCS … never mind.

West Virginia is 10-1, who knew.

While this game doesn’t spark a lot of interest to me I do find it ironic that Georgia has become a power under head coach Mark Richt, while Florida St. has steadily declined since he left the Sunshine State.

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (Tostitos Fiesta Bowl) &045; Two storied programs with another intriguing coaching matchup.

Defensive-minded Jim Tressel versus offensive guru Charlie Weis.

I think this has a chance to be the second-best matchup behind the title game.

Miami vs. LSU (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl) &045; Two teams that thought they were heading to greener pastures should give us one of the better matchups not part of the big four.

LSU looked to be rolling before Georgia put that notion to rest, and the Hurricanes have not gotten back up to the level they exhibited in Larry Coker’s first season.

Michigan vs. Nebraska (MasterCard Alamo Bowl) &045; If I were Michigan I don’t know how good I would feel about this.

Michigan at 7-4 goes to the Alamo while 7-4 Iowa (who the Wolverines beat in overtime) gets a January Florida bowl.

I am from Iowa so I will not complain but it is interesting.

Iowa fans flock en masse to bowl games maybe that had something to do with it.

Minnesota vs. Virginia (Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl) &045; I think a healthy Laurence Maroney goes crazy in this one.

Not the bowl the Gophers were thinking about early in the season, but it should be a good ACC vs. Big Ten matchup.

Boise St. vs. Boston College (MPC Computers Bowl) &045; Boise, Idaho in late December.

Whose comin’ with me!