Today was a busy day as the BCS Bowl Schedule was Decided/Released. The big controversy is of course going to be surrounded by the fact that Alabama will play against LSU in the National Championship Game. Oklahoma State put forth a last minute case to play LSU with a convincing win against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, but it was to no avail. So you know that game, let’s take a real quick look at the other games that are out there and give you a real quick primer. Of course we’ll be here all Bowl season to give you which prospects to watch for in each game. Towards the bottom of the page I’ve listed out all of the bowl games and in a few games quickly mentioned some names to watch. On the days of the bowl games I’ll break down the prospects in more specifics.
Almost every player mentioned below has a scouting report for him on our scouting report page
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs Oregon
This game is intriguing on many levels, the biggest will of course be the Power vs speed game. Wisconsin plays a smash mouth style of football while Oregon is all speed. There are a lot of big prospects in this game. Quarterbacks Russel Wilson and Darorn Thomas could use big final games to try and improve their draft stock.
Wisconsin has three offensive linemen who could be drafted in the first two rounds: Kevin Zeilter is having a huge season. Peter Konz could be drafted in the top 20, Ricky Wagner is perhaps a bit of a long shot for the second round right now, but he’s also a N.F.L. caliber tackle.
In the All Star Sugar Bowl
Michigan will play Virgina Tech
The two best draft prospects in this game play for Virginia Tech and they are Running back David Wilson who has had a huge season and he looks to continue that in the Sugar Bowl. A big matchup will be the play of Michigan DT Mike Martin. I also think that Michigan Defensive end Craig Roh is really underrated. A guy who can play both the run and pass very well. They could both use a big game.
Defensive back Jayron Holsey is a ball-hawking off coverage cornerback and it’ll be fun to watch to see how he does in supporting the run game as the Wolverines love to run the football.
Denard Robinson might not be a quarterback in the N.F.L., but he’ snot likely to declare for the draft either way. Michigan also has a center: David Molk to look out for.
In the Discover Orange Bowl Clemson will take on West Virginia University
West Virginia has a few pretty good N.F.L. prospects. Three on defense. Julian Miller has come on strong at the end of the season and looks to be a mid round pick.
Bruce Irvin has been done a disservice by the Mountaineers coaching staff this year as a defensive end. He needs to be standing up in rushing in space. He’s probably a second round pick right now. West Virginia also has a cornerback Keith Tandy, he could be picked sometime early in round three.
Clemson is loaded with N.F.L talent. Brandon Thompson hasn’t had quite the season people may have expected after a pretty good start and he could use a big game. Andre Branch could sneak as high as the late first round because of the lack of 43 DE in this class and is probably definitely a second day pick.
Running back Andre Ellington hasn’t had the kind of season he hoped for, but played better last week, another strong week and he could see a little boost in his draft stock.
Clemson TE Dwayne Allen is one of my favorite players in this draft. A really good blocker who also makes plays down the field. He is one of the better two way tight ends to enter the draft in awhile. Allen also plays kind of a hybrid full back role for the Tigers too so he’s versatile and just a good player.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Stanford vs Oklahoma State
Well obviously the headliner here are the quarterback for the Stanford Cardinal Andrew Luck and the WR for Oklahoma State Justin Blackmon, but there are other players.
David Decastro has made a lot of appearances on top ten boards, which is impressive considering he plays guard. He could be a top twenty pick which is unique.
The Cardinal also have a quality receiving tight end in Coby Fleener and a late round WR in Chris Owusu who is a decent player, but has had issues with concussions.
The two players I’m really interested in watching some more are Linebackers Chase Thomas and how he handles the quick offense of Oklahoma State and Markelle Martin. Martin is very athletic but has some refinement to work on
AT and T Cotton Bowl: Kansas State vs Arkansas
If this was the game next year we’d be talking about Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and him making a push for the first round, but I doubt he declares, but there are a lot of wide receivers to watch for Arkansas.
Arkansas will trot out Greg Childs (finally healthy), Joe Adams, and Jarius Wright.
On defense Arkansas has an athletic hard hitting safety with Tramain Thomas and a good draftnik favorite DE Jake Bequette, who has been battling injuries all season so he hasn’t been quite as good as one would hope.
Kansas State has linebacker Arthur Brown who made an appearance on Dan Kadar’s (of mockingthedraft.com) top 100 big board. I really haven’t watched much Kansas State this year so I’ll be focusing on Brown a lot.
National Championship Game: Alabama vs LSU
LSU’s best players not named Morris Claiborne (who will probably declare) might not declare this year. S Brandon Taylor is having a real fine season and could be working his way into the second round with his plus play. Watch the Defensive line play for the Tigers, you’ll see some 2013 first rounders.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson could do himself a huge favor with a big game against the Alabama defense. Jefferson’s completion percentage his hovering just about 60 percent this year and he could use a huge game, I think he gets drafted on day three either way. Ruben Randle is a very nice player, but hasn’t had huge production (in part because of the quarterback play and the LSU offense), but he isn’t THAT far behind the top wide receivers in this draft. If he was more productive I think he’d be a high second round pick.
On Alabama there is plenty of defense to be had for N.F.L. general managers. They have a pair of quality safeties in Robert Lester and Mark Barron. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is a top 20 pick in 2012 as well.
I’m not a huge fan of Josh Chapman, but he’s one of the few players who can play the Nose Tackle in the N.F.L. and will be over-drafted.
There’s some running back for Alabama who might be a good pro too.
The Crimson Tide are also running out linebacker after linebacker with Courtney Upshaw, Donta Hightower and Nico Johnson.
December 17th Games
Gidan New Mexico: Temple vs Wyoming
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Ohio vs Utah State
R + L Carriers New Orleans: San Diego State vs Louisiana Lafayette
December 20th games
Beef ‘O’ Brady: Florida International Vs Marshall
December 21st games
TCU vs Louisiana Tech
December 22nd: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs Boise State
Sheraton Hawaii: Nevada vs Southern Miss (watch Quarterback Austin Davis)
December 26th Advo CareV1000 Independence:
Missouri vs North Carolina (a lot of DL to watch in this game and UNC WR Dwight Jones, and LB Zach Brown and Kevin Reddick)
Little Ceasears: Western Michigan vs Purdue
Belk: Louisville (TE Josh Chichester) vs NC State (LB Audie Cole)
Military Bowl: Toledo (Eric Page) vs Air Force
Bridgepoint Education Holiday: California vs Texas
Champs Sports: Florida State vs Norte Dame
Valero Alamo: Washington Vs Baylor
Bell Helicopter Armed Foces: BYU vs Tulsa
New Era Pinstripe: Rutgers vs Iowa State (CB Leonard Johnson and OL Keliche Osmele)
Insight: Iowa vs Oklahoma
December 31st games
Meineke Car Care of Texas: Texas A and M vs Northwestern
Hyundai Sun: Georgia Tech vs Utah
Autozone Liberty: Cincinnati vs Vanderbilt
Kraft Fight Hunger: Illinois vs UCLA
Chick Fil A: Virgina vs Auburn
TicketCity: Houston vs Penn State
outback: Michigan State vs Georgia
Capital One: Nebraska vs South Carolina ( CB Alfonzo Dennard vs WR Alshon Jeffery is a huge matchup to watch)
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl: Ohio State vs Florida
Happy Bowl Season, everyone!