2012-2013 College football bowl games: The complete watchability index


At a glance, here is every bowl game and its ensuing enjoyment factor based on scientific categories like sponsor ads, number of verts, fighting between teammates, commentators drooling all over specific players, people hitting other people so hard their helmets pop off, etc.

It's been fun, hasn't it? I really, truly enjoyed spending college football season with you guys. We had a lot of fun, watched a lot of football, smiled, laughed, some people cried, others just drank a lot. Regardless, the bowls this year were like any other year: some good, some bad, some just okay, but all of them were football and football is just about the greatest thing in the world.

Let's take a look back at each of the bowls and rate them based on their overall enjoyment factor, assigning the games a specific number of Schnellenberger Pipes, up to 10. If you agree or disagree, feel free to share that. This is in no way the end-all, be-all watchability of said games; rather, they are how I felt about them as I was watching them and afterward.

New Mexico Bowl -- 8

December 15, Arizona 49, Nevada 48

There was a lot of red. We had a fun Gil-Dan GIF about Arizona teammates fighting, and everyone made lots of Breaking Bad jokes during a game that ended up being a blast to kick off a month-plus of football.


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl -- 5

December 15, Utah State 41, Toledo 15

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl has the best sponsorship, between the rocking logo, the weird scary Hunter S. Thompson acid trip potato with a face, the two-ton potato and people wearing french fries on their heads. In a world of BBVA Compasses, we need more Famous Idaho Potatoes.

Poinsettia Bowl -- 5

December 20, BYU 23, San Diego State 6

You have to love defense to get up for BYU vs. SDSU. And lovers of defense were rewarded with Kyle Van Noy, which I believe is Dutch for 'hits harder than you.'

But please watch the weird BYU commercial again. It's worth it:

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl -- 2

December 21, UCF 38, Ball State 17

Until the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl embraces the absurdity of being the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, it's just going to keep being a game between two not-that-great teams on horrible turf with nothing memorable except the fact it is called the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.

New Orleans Bowl -- 6

December 22, Louisiana-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34

Rowdy fans in New Orleans scoring a bunch of points. Another example of how important pairing teams is -- if ULL had played someone like San Diego State and ECU was stuck playing Fresno State, both games would have been forgettable. Instead this ended up quietly being a Supersuckers show of a bowl.


Las Vegas Bowl -- 4

December 22, Boise State 28, Washington 26

Brent Musburger was there and had his early Musburger Moment (that would later be topped in a big way during the National Championship):


But this game wasn't that great. I fell asleep in the third quarter sometime. I'm sorry. Boise State needs to play in a better bowl.

Hawai'i Bowl -- 3

December 24, SMU 43, Fresno State 10

Everyone made jokes about this game and holiday movies and stuff. That's all I really remember about it. Completely forgettable on a poorly-timed night. I'm sure the players had a lot of fun in Hawai'i, though.

Little Caesars Bowl -- 5

December 26, Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21

This game kind of ruled at times. The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl Twitter account got a little too crazy(bread):

There were some late-game dramatics, and Western Kentucky's interim head coach was all fired up.

Military Bowl -- 1

December 27, San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20

Nothing against San Jose State or Bowling Green, but I forgot this game even happened. When the most exciting things about the game are no one being there and a punter going bananas, well, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Belk Bowl -- 8

December 27, Cincinnati 48, Duke 34


From Tuberville's jacket to Twitter throwing Belk puns out the wazoo, I loved this game. People, DUKE WAS IN A BOWL GAME. This happens about as often as Halley's Comet coming around town to hang out.



Holiday Bowl -- 4

December 27, Baylor 49, UCLA 26

Sure is fun watching Jim Mora, Jr. get blasted on TV, but Baylor got out to a lead that was too big, too quickly. The game was basically over in the first half barring some collapse you just had the feeling wasn't going to happen. We knew Baylor would score a lot of points, we just assumed UCLA would probably also do that too. There was a weird halftime show, at least.

Independence Bowl -- 5

December 28, Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe 14

Take a second and acknowledge the job Frank Solich has done at Ohio University. He's made the Bobcats not only a consistent bowl threat in Southeast Ohio, which is usually only good for two things: meth labs and binge drinking. He's at the point now where they might just name the field after him. The Slobcats plasted ULM, which felt it apt to credential a gnome in the press box (not a Clay Travis joke, I swear).


(photo from Rob Cornelius)

Russell Athletic Bowl -- 1

December 28, Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10

This game was the absolute worst.


Texas Bowl -- 6

December 28, Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31

Pretty cool Texas Tech won this game after Tuberville left them at the Grand Canyon and they had to grow up wondering what happened to him and then they told their story on Dennis Miller's daytime radio talk show. Inspirational stuff.

Bell Armed Forces Bowl -- [N/A]

December 29, Rice 33, Air Force 14

I did not watch this game. I'm assuming you didn't either. If you did, thank you for your service.

Pinstripe Bowl -- 5

December 29, Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14

Snow and baseball jokes and West Virginia's horrible defense and sacks and safeties and Geno Smith to the Jaguars maybe still.


Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl -- 4

December 29, Arizona State 62, Navy 28

Arizona State beat the piss out of Navy, and Todd Graham promptly left his car in the airport parking deck for someone else to take care of later on.

Alamo Bowl -- 7

December 29, Texas 31, Oregon State 27

A great down-to-the-wire game from two teams that probably saw themselves playing in a bowl with a bit more prestige than the Alamo Bowl. Mack Brown has to check his booty for third-degree burns, and will need to do a lot more than he did this year if he wants to stick around in Austin. Also, Storm Woods' mom rules:


Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl -- 6

December 29, Michigan State 17, TCU 16

Just a fun, well-played defensive battle. It was good to see Le'Veon Bell end his college career with a win. He deserved better this year.

Music City Bowl -- 6

December 31, Vanderbilt 38, N.C. State 24

<3 James Franklin. Also, Dana Bible was allegedly there.

Sun Bowl -- 3

December 31, Georgia Tech 21, USC 7

This game was like driving a Hyundai. It was boring, stripped down, you kind of always thought something bad would happen but it never did, and I guess at least you're not watching the Kia Soul Bowl. The Schadenfreude of watching Lane Kiffin lose to a god-awful Georgia Tech team was fun though.

Liberty Bowl -- 2

December 31, Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17

These two teams played each other already. And it wasn't that great the first time around. Tulsa's helmets were kind of neat.

Chick-fil-A Bowl -- 9

December 31, Clemson 25, LSU 24

From a complete package (football, matchup, coaching, players, sponsor, time of the game) perspective, this was outright the most entertaining bowl game. Happy New Year, y'all.


Gator Bowl -- 5

January 1, Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20


Heart of Dallas Bowl -- 3

January 1, Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14

lololololol Purdue

Outback Bowl -- 7

January 1, South Carolina 33, Michigan 28

Really great game with punches and counterpunches and OH MY GOD JADEVEON CLOWNEY JUST RIPPED THAT GUY'S HEAD OFF


Capital One Bowl -- 6

January 1, Georgia 45, Nebraska 31

It didn't seem like Georgia really cared all that much, and honestly, you can understand why. They were a handful of yards away from the national championship and instead played in Orlando against an underachieving Nebraska squad. It was just a bunch of waiting around for the Dawgs to flip the switch and overwhelm the Cornhuskers with talent.

Rose Bowl -- 6

January 1, Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14

We'd probably all have liked a bit more scoring in this one, but the two defenses played well, the coaching was solid (always good to see Barry Alvarez back on the sidelines) and the Stanford band sparked some controversy as always. Maybe next year the Rose Bowl won't be Wisconsin and Stanford again, but even if it is, there are certainly worse bowls.

Orange Bowl -- 5

January 1, Florida State 31, Northern Illinois 10

It was close for awhile there, but Florida State was bigger, faster and stronger than the Huskies. If you were like me you went second screen for the second half and watched 1970s SNL episodes. Oh, you didn't do that? Never mind then.

Sugar Bowl -- 8

January 2, Louisville 33, Florida 23

Unless you're a Gators fan and you were in your own personal hell, this was a pretty phenomenal game. Teddy Bridgewater and Charlie Strong were still a secret to some college football fans, but the Cardinals busted out in a big way. Huge hits and big plays in this one.


Penalty loss of one Schnellenberger Pipe for Tim Tebow being there.

Fiesta Bowl -- 7

January 3, Oregon 35, Kansas State 17

The whole time this game was going on and Oregon was basically dismantling Kansas State, I just wished I was watching a semifinal and Oregon would play the winner of Notre Dame vs. Alabama. At least Chip Kelly is sticking around for another year.

Cotton Bowl -- 5

January 4, Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 13

Oklahoma was a pretty average team and Texas A&M finished the year bulldozing everything in its path. This one didn't look close on paper and wasn't close from the get-go. The pictures of Johnny Manziel that came out after the game were way more entertaining than the game itself.


Compass Bowl -- 3

January 5, Ole Miss 38, Pittsburgh 17


Ole Miss might be pretty good next year.

GoDaddy.com Bowl -- 5

January 6, Arkansas State 17, Kent State 13

Kent State had a pretty long bowl drought, and they celebrated their jump back into the spotlight with some pretty interesting helmets that were similar to the ones the team wore when they were in the Tangerine Bowl in 1972.


BCS National Championship -- 6

January 7, Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14

I wanted this game to be everything we all wanted it to be. No. 1 vs. No. 2. Storied traditions and programs. Short, but powerful head coaches. Bama's offensive line vs. Notre Dame's stout defense. But the Crimson Tide just blew the doors off of the Fighting Irish, and we were left talking about A.J. McCarron's girlfriend and how inappropriately everyone was responding to her, from LeBron James to Darnell Dockett to Brent Musburger.

I wish the playoff had started this year. I wish we could see Oregon vs. Alabama. Instead the Tide did it again, and the SEC continues to rule the world.

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