Today's question is where does this year's AdvoCare V100 'Independence' Bowl rank among ACC bowl games?
Coach: I'm going to say 4th, behind FSU/Auburn, Clemson/Ohio State and Louisville/Miami
If you just look at it by name recognition and rankings, there are three others in the Georgia Tech/Ole Miss, UCLA/Virginia Tech and Texas A&M/Duke games that have intrigue. The problem is, I don't think those three are actually going to be very good or entertaining games and I think with Carey and Williams in the Independence Bowl game, it has an appeal those others don't. The one exception might be A&M and Duke because of the story lines with Manziel and Cutcliffe, but I happen to think the Aggies will blow them out.
New Guy: Yes to what he said.
Duke is intriguing against Texas A&M but I have a bad vibe that it's a bad matchup for the Blue Devils.
Grant: The Independence Bowl is pretty low on the list, to me, but it does have a couple things going for it -- warm weather and a solid opponent. Shreveport itself, however, is kind of meh. I'm not going and have never been but from what everyone says there isn't much to do there except go somewhere else (such as Dallas or New Orleans).
ESPN has our bowl 5th which to be quite honest seems pretty ridiculous. The Peach Bowl with two ranked teams (one of which features Johnny Football) is definitely better. Music City with Georgia Tech and Ole Miss is better. And I think UNC vs. Cincy in the Belk is better.
Then is starts getting murky. But I'll throw us in a tie for 9th with Cuse vs. Minnesota. But maybe it's just because I like Minnesota.
A.J: Interesting question. Let me start by saying that I think BC-Arizona has to be in the Top 3 ACC Bowl Games and here is why. The only two that I would put above it is Clemson-Ohio State and Florida State-Auburn, because they are both BCS games, and Virginia Tech-UCLA. Let me tick off why each of the other bowl games aren't as interesting. Boston College and Arizona are two evenly matched teams with arguably the two best running backs in the country, that should be must watch TV for football fans.
Syracuse, Maryland and Pitt are playing boring opponents in boring bowls. Doesn't entice me. Texas A&M is going to house Duke, who won't be able to stop the Aggies offense. Ole Miss-Georgia Tech is an interesting matchup, but the Rebs are schizophrenic and who knows what team will show up. I will never put an American team against an ACC team higher than BC's matchup, so that eliminates Cincinnati-North Carolina and Louisville-Miami.
Jeff: Arizona - Boston College is the seventh most intriguing game or interesting from a national perspective. At the end of the day, I don't think Andre Williams fourth place Heisman finish will do a lot to drive TV ratings or make the game more interesting for most fans. And as we look at other ACC Bowl matchups, I think most BC fans would rather have one of a number of opponents other than Arizona.
Clearly the two BCS games rank ahead of BC-Arizona. Then there is the Peach Bowl which even though it is one of the worst matchups in a while since Duke is headed to that game they still have Texas A&M to attract a lot of eyes and sell tickets. Miami-Louisville is next on my list for ACC games as Miami is a big name and Louisville was in the BCS National Championship Game / Heisman discussion for a while. Then Virginia Tech drew a ranked UCLA team which puts their game ahead of BC-Arizona. Then finally I have Georgia Tech-Ole Miss ahead of BC-Arizona. Ole Miss is from the best conference in the country and both teams bring in 7-5 records just like BC-Arizona but the more regional matchup makes the bowl slightly more appealing than BC-Arizona.
Brian: I agree with Coach, New Guy and A.J. If the I-Bowl isn't the best non-BCS ACC bowl game, it's the second best. The Independence is the only bowl other than the BCS National Championship Game to feature two Heisman Trophy top-10 finishers (Carey and Williams) and people are going to want to tune in to see what this Andre Williams character is all about. Williams was a unique Heisman finalist in the fact that few actually saw him play this year and likely voted for him based on box scores and stat sheets. This game is the only one in its time slot, kicking off a busy New Year's Day of college football.
The other thing that the I-Bowl has going for it is the matchup. The ACC and Pac-12 rarely run into one another during bowl season outside of the Sun Bowl. The two conferences should probably do this more often.
Plus the ACC's other non-BCS bowl games are not as exciting as some here have made them out to be. Duke-Texas A&M is the worst Peach Bowl matchup since BC joined the conference (maybe second worst that one year 8-4 Virginia backed into the game). After starting the year 7-0, Miami finished the year by losing three of five. Similarly, Louisville is a bit of a disappointment this year after losing out on the American title and winning its final three games by a score. Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina -- all with Coastal Division titles at the beginning of the year -- had disappointing seasons in giving the division title to Duke. Georgia Tech-Ole Miss may be the most overrated bowl game of the season. Maryland-Marshall is better played on a campus. In September.