It doesn't get much better than bowl season for the rabid college football fan, with the 2011-2012 bowl season looking to provide local fans with some great games. Here are 10 bowl matchups that should hold a lot of interest for local fans for a variety of reasons.
BYU fans are on the cusp of becoming very familiar with Notre Dame with six matchups lined up with the from 2012 to 2020. Notre Dame was the original independent powerhouse, one that BYU would very much like to emulate in many ways. The Champs Sports Bowl is a matchup featuring two of college football's traditional powerhouses looking to regain some of their former glory.
Both BYU and Utah came up short against these teams (BYU falling to Texas and Utah losing to Cal) early in the season in what looks to be a very good matchup. The Holiday Bowl has a history of providing high-scoring games that aren't decided until late and this year's game certainly looks to have that potential.
It will likely be the first chance for many to see Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin perform. There's also some intrigue in seeing how Washington fares against the high-powered Bears.
It was the preferred non-BCS bowl destination for both BYU and Utah for about a decade and features a matchup that should interest most locals. Utah came up short against the Sun Devils early in the year, while BYU looks forward to an extended series with the Broncos.
The Cowboys were left out of the national championship game by a narrow margin but will have a chance to prove they belonged when they square off against a very good Stanford team. The game will feature two of the best players in all of college football in Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and OSU receiver Justin Blackmon.
With both teams winning the first-ever championship game in their respective conferences, there is little doubt these are the two best teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. The game offers an intriguing matchup with Wisconsin's power-running attack vs. Oregon's wide-open spread-option. A lot of points should be scored as a result in what looks to be a very exciting matchup.
No matter who the opponent is, the national championship game is always one that will hold a lot of interest. LSU and Alabama matched up once before in what proved to be one of the more competitive games of the season with the Tigers eking out a 9-6 overtime victory.
It will be the Aggies' first trip to a bowl since 1997 when they lost to Cincinnati in the Humanitarian Bowl. Utah State looks to be a program on the rise and what better way to kick off a bright future than with its first bowl victory since 1993?
This is BYU's bowl game — well, at least it is for this season. The Cougars' matchup with Tulsa might elicit a yawn before looking more closely at how both teams match up with one another. The Golden Hurricane has four losses on the year, but all of them came against teams that were ranked inside the top 10 at the time (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Boise State and Houston.)
It's Utah's first opportunity to represent the Pac-12 in the second-oldest bowl game in existence. The Sun Bowl has been around since 1935 and is tied with the Orange Bowl, trailing only the Rose Bowl in its connectivity. The Utes will take on Georgia Tech in what looks to be a very competitive matchup. The Yellow Jackets won their first six games of the season before finishing with an 8-4 overall record. They'll present a very potent offense that should give the Ute defense all it can handle.