You survived the New Mexico Bowl. You watched the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and lived to tell the tale. You suffered through Hawaii Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl. You fought boredom by watching Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. You even sat through the Beef O'Brady Bowl despite not knowing what a Beef O'Brady is.
You did it all to get to today. Monday, January 2nd is your reward, college football fan. Six bowl games, many of which feature quality opponents and all of whom provide interesting storylines, await your eyeballs on this day.
Congrats, college football fan...you made it.
There was a time this season when both of these teams seemed destined for BCS glory. Instead, Penn State was turned into a pariah and the Cougars lost at the most inopportune time. Hence, here they are in a bowl named for a ticket broker that will be sparsely-attended. The game itself will be the ultimate contrast in styles as Penn State will follow it's defense into battle while Houston just wants to throw, throw, throw and throw.
Both of these squads made surprising runs to their conference championships and then not-so-surprisingly lost in them. So while their opponents in those games go on to BCS glory, they're stuck here trying to end their season not with a whimper but with a bang. The Spartans are looking for their first bowl win of the Dantonio era and their first since 2001. This is Georgia's fifth Outback Bowl appearance and this game will be a rematch of the 2009 Capital One Bowl in which Georgia won 24-12.
The Gamecocks will look for the winningest season in school history, while the Huskers will play in just its second Florida bowl since 1998, something that used to be a given. Carolina will have to buck history if they want to win this game. The school is 0-3 against Nebraska all-time and coach Steve Spurrier is 0-1 himself. Last year, the Huskers overlooked a Washington team they should have beaten in a bowl game and won't make that mistake again.
Urban Meyer is no longer the coach at Florida and not yet the coach at Ohio State and yet you expect to hear his name uttered roughly 3,825 times during this telecast. This game represents just how much the sport can change in five years. That's how long it's been since these two 6-6 teams played for the national title. A loss for Ohio State would make it the first seven-loss season for the Buckeyes since 1897, so, they probably want to try and avoid that. Bonus, you get to find out what the heck TaxSlayer is, finally.
You want new uniforms? You've got'm. Plus, two of the nation's most intriguing offenses. The Ducks sport an explosive offense led by their fifth ranked rushing attack that averages 295.7 rushing yards per game. The Badgers are one of the highest scoring offenses in the entire NCAA, averaging over 40 points per game on the season. This game has the potential to go MACtion with the MAC schools real quick.
In what many have dubbed the best pound-for-pound bowl game on the docket, this one is going to feature a matchup of speed versus strength. If Stanford's defense can account for Oklahoma State's offense and pace, this could turn into quite a game. However, the Cowboys didn't get here because defenses are good at accounting for them. Meanwhile, the Cardinal offense averages over 40 points per game and runs the ball for over 200 yards a game, even with having Andrew Luck under center.