2010 Bowl Matchups: Is The Fiesta Bowl The Worst BCS Game Ever?

You may already know that the 2010 Fiesta Bowl features the Connecticut Huskies, unranked in the Week 15 USA Today poll and the final BCS rankings, and the first such team to be snubbed in the last BCS top 25 and still make it to a BCS bowl game. And you may have already surmised that the presence of possibly the worst BCS team ever may make this the worst BCS bowl ever.

But is it, really? There are more than a few other candidates.

2000 Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford. Before the BCS moved to a five-game format, duds were rare. But this is still the lowest-scoring BCS game ever — Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9 — and its claims to fame were the second consecutive Rose Bowl MVP Ron Dayne won and immortality in the form of a Futurama episode.

2005 Fiesta Bowl: Utah vs. Pittsburgh. Back when Urban Meyer was just the guy who was going to replace Ron Zook at Florida, his undefeated Utes were in the first of many BCS bowls featuring an embarrassingly bad Big East champion. Utah dusted Pittsburgh, 35-7, in a game that served notice about the spread option Meyer would bring to Florida. About 13 people were watching.

2006 Orange Bowl: Penn State vs. Florida State. It came with a cool storyline — ancient coaches Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden barking incomprehensibly at each other for the seventh time — but turned out to be a snoozer that Penn State won 26-23 because of both teams' offensive struggles. The game went to triple overtime, and featured a safety, a scoreless overtime period, and the return of Florida State's kicking woes in the form of Gary Cismesia. None of that made it good.

2007 Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Notre Dame. All the talk heading into the game was about how Heisman finalist Brady Quinn would face a tough test against the LSU defense. Then LSU dropped the Irish 41-14, JaMarcus Russell was named MVP, and the Oakland Raiders set their franchise back another three years.

2007 Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Wake Forest. This gets my vote for the worst BCS bowl ever: it isn't even a game that the casual fan would have watched at midseason, and the Demon Deacons, who ground out victories all year during a Cinderella run to the ACC title, did just enough to make Bobby Petrino's Louisville offense nearly unwatchable, but couldn't stop the Cardinals from scoring 14 fourth quarter points to win 24-13.

2008 Orange Bowl: Kansas vs. Virginia Tech. Another Cinderella run to the Orange Bowl! And this one wasn't thwarted! The game was close but not particularly exciting, as neither team was particularly sharp on offense, and Kansas won 24-21. Aqib Talib was named MVP. When cornerbacks are MVPs of bowl games, it's not exactly a sign of quality.

2008 Rose Bowl: USC vs. Illinois. The Illini were picked to give the Rose Bowl a Big Ten-Pac-10 game. Alas, it wasn't a good one: John David Booty and the Trojans rolled 49-17.

2009 Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech. One year before Cincinnati was exciting on offense under Brian Kelly, the Bearcats took part in the lowest-rated BCS bowl game ever. And it deserved that distinction: Cincy scored first, then gave up 20 unanswered points to lose 20-7 in the second-lowest-scoring BCS game ever.

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