2012-13 College Football Bowl Season Preview

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Ryan Noonan

Ryan Noonan is an economist with a small federal agency. Fields in which he considers himself reasonably well-informed: literature, college athletics, video games, food and beverage, the Supreme Court. Fields in which he considers himself an expert: none. He can be found on the Twitter or reached by email.

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Barry Alvarez’s return doesn’t even merit a mention, much less a bump for a game you rate as Should See without reference to that up to Must See?Report

    • I’m not sure the return of Barry Alvarez means anything to people who aren’t full-on Wisconsin fans, so no.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        I’ve heard a number of national writers/analysts say differently this past week (granted, to Wisconsin sports radio stations), but okay. 😉Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

          …To be clear, I wouldn’t argue it’s Must See in any case, but without the Alvarez storyline (and given his history in this game, I’d argue it is, or should be, of some interest to anyone with a moderate degree of free-standing interest in this particular pageant), I’m not sure I’d have rated it Should See either, except to people who consider the Rose Bowl Should See in any case, which people are quickly dwindling in number, and in whose case, as I say, I think the Alvarez story is likely to be of some interest. But yeah, not enough to make it Must See. Unless you’re a Wisconsin fan.Report

      • Avatar Plinko in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        Barry will make the press conferences considerably more interesting at minimum.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        I’m not remotely a full-on Wisconsin fan, but as a football fan who is impressed by Wisconsin’s record of success (especially compared to next door Minnesota), I’m very interested in the return of Barry Alvarez to coach once more in the Rose Bowl.Report

        • I think there is some overestimating going on here. Barry is certainly an interesting figure in recent Big Ten history, but he never really went anywhere. He’s the AD at Wisconsin, and Bielema was his hand-picked successor. What would be neat is one of the following two things:

          1. If Alvarez decides that his martial law powers extend to reinstalling himself as the head coach for next season.
          2. If Wisconsin were remotely good enough to win the game.

          1 has little to nothing to do with the game, and 2 is a genuine reason not to watch at all. I was pretty generous with my “SHOULD SEE” on this one. Wisconsin is HORRIBLE at football and is going to get curb-stomped by an incredibly physical Stanford team. The presence of Barry Alvarez on the sidelines is basically irrelevant to the situation.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

            Wow. We’ll see. They played a team that would be in the BCS Championship if not for a DQ that has nothing to do with anyone currently in the program to a 60-minute tie; two of their other losses involved sixty-minutes of tie football (granted, one of those to a surprisingly bad MSU team); and the other two by a total of three points. I’m not arguing they’re something other than what their record says they are, but their record says they’re an 8-5 team in a major conference who just hung 70 points on a ranked opposing division champion in their conference title game. I might say that’s not remotely the record of a horrible team (rather than that of a particularly underwhelming representative to a top bowl due to a confluence of bizarre circumstances, which it most certainly is), but I might be using a different definition of horrible than you.

            I don’t think anyone expects them to put 70 on Stanford, to beat them, but I also don’t really see why the Nebraska game can’t at least reasonably be seen speculatively as a demonstration of the capabilities of a late-peaking team that has faced uncommon adversity from before the season even started. I don’t think it’s remotely unreasonable to think that this team is merely likely incapable of beating Stanford, rather than being remotely far from even possibly having that capability.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

              …or even to beat them, I meant.Report

            • Wisconsin went 4-4 in an incredibly weak conference. They narrowly survived close calls against Northern Iowa and Utah State. They lost to a wretched Michigan State team. Their other four losses – Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, and Oregon State – aren’t all that bad, but the picture it all adds up to is a team with no quality wins in the regular season and one pretty horrible loss. (Note: I attended that horrible loss. It was a game I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.)

              You’re right that “horrible” is probably overstating it, but Wisconsin is an average team from an average conference (Ohio State just went undefeated and there is precisely zero talk of a split title because the AP poll won’t even give them the time of day), and the appropriate destination for them is the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Stanford is one of the top handful of teams in the country. This game is a thorough mismatch.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                That is a characterization I can live very comfortably with. What I think maybe got you to go a bit too far was that I think this team does verge on horrible by the standard that Wisconsin has set in its conference and in the country in the last few years, and occasionally over the last eight to ten. That goes to Prof. Hanley’s point above relating to the overall trajectory of the program and who’s been most responsible for it. Whether the coaching developments of the last week then add interest in that context is an entirely subjective question – I didn’t mean to suggest that you ought to think they do; it was just curious to me that they didn’t merit mention in your review.

                Cheers, mate.Report

        • Let’s also keep in mind that, without the Ohio State and Penn State sanctions, Wisconsin would be playing in the Buffalo Wild Wings or Meineke Car Care Bowl.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

            I feel pretty safe in an assumption that that is being kept in mind by everyone who might even remotely consider engaging in discussions like this of upcoming bowl matchups. But I suppose reminders can never hurt.

            To what end do we keep that in mind in this case, though, I wonder? As I say, (and for that reason in part, though the peculiarity of a five-loss team in the Rose Bowl may be a perverse mitigating factor in its own way), were it not for the Alvarez story, which you view as a non-factor when it comes to the interest this game offers, I’m not sure I’d have rated it Should See myself. You chose that on your own. Presumably when you did that, you had made sure to keep in mind the circumstances that led to Wisconsin’s strange third straight Rose Bowl appearance. So what meaning should we take from these facts as we make sure to not let our awareness of them lapse?Report

            • Michael Drew: “I’m not sure I’d have rated it Should See myself. You chose that on your own.”

              Ryan: “I tried to edit for a more general audience, but it may still be pitched a tad toward Michigan and the Big Ten in general.”

              I would never rate the Rose Bowl less than SHOULD SEE for the very reason that it’s the crown jewel of the Big Ten’s collection. I think you’re reading too much into all this.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                Ah. Well, I considered that possibility above, but I wouldn’t ever have assumed that you would rate a game as Should See that you would be rating as Should See under any circumstances without saying as much explicitly. Being a Big Ten-affiliated guy myself, I certainly understand regarding the Rose Bowl as almost automatically Should See, but as I say, were it not for certain unexpected late developments in Madison and Indianapolis, (and discounting for the fact that I’d need to discount my own interest in the game if Wisconsin were involved if I were to offer recommendations to neutral viewers), I’m pretty sure this is one of the few times I’d likely say that anyone not inherently interested in the Rose Bowl as a matter of course should regard the game itself as Can See at best. The game in Indianapolis changed my view of this team’s capabilities, however. Not that I’m picking them to beat Stanford.Report

  2. Avatar James Hanley says:

    What’s worse than a military-industrial complex bowl? Two military-industrial complex bowls.

    FYI, it’s 920,000 yards from Ann Arbor to D.C. 😉Report

  3. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    Why, after reading this list, am I put in mind of Infinite Jest’s concept of subsidized time, e.g. the Year of the Yushityu Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office Or Mobile?Report

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    I’ll be at the Music City Bowl (I was at the Liberty Bowl last year, so I will now be one of the few people in history to see Vanderbilt in consecutive bowl games). I’m looking forward to seeing North Carolina State be completely uninteresting and mediocre on both offense and defense.Report

  5. Avatar Mo says:

    I’m really excited to see the ND front seven against Alabama’s o-line. That will be a battle for the ages. OTOH, I doubt you’ll see much in the way of offensive fireworks like that USC-UT game. But if you love big guys getting down and dirty in the trenches (see: Madden, John), this is the game for you.

    IMHO, if you asked coaches around the NCAA which team scares them the most, it would probably be Oregon.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mo says:

      Or K-State. I think that Baylor game was an anomaly, and I think K-State was probably the best non-SEC school this season (I think the best 5 teams in the country this year were probably Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and either South Carolina with Lattimore or Texas A&M).Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Chris says:

        I think ND has the talent to beat K-State. Let’s not forget that the Irish took OU out to the woodshed. I think having an all SEC top 5 is pretty insular. My top 5 would have Alabama, ND, Oregon, K-State and either Stanford or Florida.

        Pretty much every team, except for Alabama, had a letdown game against a vastly inferior opponent. Sure, Notre Dame had the Pitt game, but Florida needed a miracle to beat ULL, LSU needed a 4th quarter comeback to beat Ole Miss and only beat Arkansas by 7, and UGA had the Kentucky game.Report

  6. Avatar carr1on says:

    As a Sooner fan, it’s been another disappointing year (which is relative, I know). I’m not sure that Oklahoma has the defensive firepower to stop Texas A&M and Johnny Football. I do think it’ll be a good game, and both sides will come out swinging.
    I’ve been one of those Okie critics of Landry Jones that Stoops has complained about so much in the media. While I’m not terribly sad to see Landry go, I do hope his last game as a Sooner is terrific. As Ryan mentioned, throwing for 16,000 yards makes you a special player by any definition.Report

  7. Avatar joey jo jo says:

    I think you’re missing the rivalry aspect of the BYU-SDSU matchup. It is a shame that they are no longer conference foes but the matchup has historically been a good one. Best in the series was the Detmer v. Faulk 52-52 final. Some (non-east coast biased) people say this was the greatest college game ever.Report

  8. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Your New Mexico Bowl prediction was spot on.Report

  9. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I’m in no way a college football fan, but this was well worth reading just for the names of the bowl games. I had to google a few of them to convince myself that Ryan didn’t make the whole thing up.Report