When we left last, College Football News had not rated one MWC Bowl - the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
Well the ranking is now in and CFN has good things to say about the match up between the Nevada Wolf Pack and Arizona Wildcats, rating among "The Solid" (No. 11-15) -- placing the bowl the highest of the MWC post season at No.12.
Here's their rational:
At least in theory, this should be among the most fun offensive shootouts and it should be a whale of a way to open up the bowl season.
Sounds like a good assesment -- especially when you have the nation's top two rushers - Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey (No. 1) and Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson (No. 2) on opposite sidelines and two teams that have unheralded defenses.
CFN has the final two categories rated as "The Excellent" and the Top 5 as the "Can't Miss."
Unbelievably they don't have the BCS Championship game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide rated as their No. 1 game. That game only rated No. 2. You'll never believe what they rate as their top bowl game for 2012-13. Hint: The Big East is involved.
Over at Bleacher Report, when the boys weren't "poking fun" at El Paso and the Sun Bowl, they found some time to rate the MWC bowls. And they did not disappoint on the snark-o-meter with featured columnist David Luther's entry "The 10 Tastiest Cupcakes of the College Football Season."
It took a while to figure it out because Bleacher Report insists on using that annoying "Slideshow" approach but I was eventually able to suss out that Luther does not think highly only one MWC bowls this season - the Fresno State Bulldogs vs. SMU Mustangs match up in the Hawaii Bowl.
Southern Methodist is keeping its recent string of bowl appearances alive—barely—with a 6-6 finish this season (5-3 in Conference USA), and the Mustangs are being rewarded with a trip to O'ahu for the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Eve... SMU should be able to hang around in this game, but if Mustangs junior quarterback Garrett Gilbert starts throwing interceptions, it could get very ugly very fast.
True to his site's rebel nature, Luther includes BCS bowls the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl as cupcakes -- guess the Louisville Cardinals and Northern Illinois Huskies were not to his liking.
Over at Athlon Sports, Steven Lassan took a break from ranking cheerleaders to take at ranking this year's 35 bowl games, subtitling their effort "From Must See to Must Miss." The results are about what you'd expect. The BCS Championship game is their top pick.
As for MWC bowls, it's about the same as everyone else. The Air Force Falcons-Rice Owls Armed Forces Bowl is rated absolutely last at No. 35.
The Hawaii Bowl finished at No. 33. The rest of the bowls all fall above No 21 (that's where the San Jose. St. Spartans-Bowling Green Falcon match in the Military Bowl landed). Not bad.
Athlon agrees with College Football News in naming the New Mexico Bowl as the pick of the 2012 litter, landing at No. 14. The Utah St. Aggies-Toledo Rockets in the famous Idaho Potato Bowl comes in at No. 15 followed by the Las Vegas Bowl's Boise St. Broncos-Washington Huskies match up at No. 16.
The BYU Cougars-San Diego St. Aztecs battle in the Pointsettia Bowl lands at a pedestrian No. 19. Athlon points out what a few people have not when Rocky Long took Coach of the Year honors in the Mountain West, then dishes up a stark bit of reality for fans out on Montezuma Mesa:
Despite having to replace quarterback Ryan Lindley and running back Ronnie Hillman, the Aztecs topped last season’s victory total and enter the bowl game on a seven-game winning streak...
The Cougars have dominated San Diego State in the series history, owning a 27-7-1 record. The Aztecs last win against BYU occurred in 2005 and have lost nine out of the last 10 matchups in this series.
Wonder who Athlon will pick to win this one?
Well... that's all for now kids...