Here is a handful of stats and trends that will permeate throughout the 2012-13 bowl season.
0-for-9: Northwestern has lost nine straight bowl games, four of which have come by one score or less (two games went to overtime). The Wildcats’ last postseason win came in the 1948 Rose Bowl, 20-14 over California.
Third time’s the charm: Two squads are making their third consecutive trip to the same bowl destination: Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl (where the Badgers are 0-2) and Pittsburgh to Birmingham’s BBVA Compass Bowl (where the Panthers are 1-1). EDIT: Thanks to our friend Mike Lowery on Twitter, who adds that Boise State won its third straight Las Vegas Bowl this weekend.
Five “family” reunions: There are five match-ups this postseason pitting former conference foes against each other. Two have already taken place, with the departing school winning both times – BYU’s 23-6 win over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl and Central Florida’s 38-17 triumph over Ball State in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (UCF was a football-only member of the MAC from 2001-05). Three more are on tap: Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech (Russell Athletic Bowl, Friday), West Virginia vs. Syracuse (Pinstripe Bowl, Saturday) and Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M (Cotton Bowl, Jan. 4).
9: Even when the Big 12 wins the Cotton Bowl, it loses. Current SEC teams have won the last nine Cotton Bowl Classics. The SEC has won four straight and eight of nine, with the Big 12’s only win coming with Missouri’s 38-7 drubbing of Arkansas in 2008.
9: Nine of the 70 bowl bound teams will play with interim head coaches pacing the sidelines, including one Interim Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6. That number is down 25 percent from 12 last season.
16.42: The largest scoring gap in this year’s bowl season belongs to Texas Tech and Minnesota. The Red Raiders rank 18th nationally with 37.75 points per game, while Minnesota checks in at No. 97 with 21.33 ppg.
17.83: The largest chasm on defense is just a little bit wider. A Duke defense that ranks 102nd nationally at 35 points per game will attempt to keep up with a Cincinnati team that ranks 12th with 17.17 ppg.
28: Prior to the last two years, the Holiday Bowl held the reputation as college football’s wildest bowl games. In fact, it took 28 points or more to win the Holiday Bowl nine times from 2000-09. Expect more of the same on Thursday night; Baylor ranks fifth nationally by average 44.1 points per game, while UCLA checks in at No. 29 with 35.1.
1,058.25: If both offenses play to their season averages, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will create a combined output of exactly 1,058.25 yards, edging Baylor and UCLA by just under five yards for the highest average of the bowl season.
532.83: If both defenses play to their respective averages, Notre Dame and Alabama will allow a bowl season-fewest 532.83 yards in the BCS National Championship, a number Texas A&M and Oklahoma should reach within one minute of the second half kickoff.
2005: 2005 was the last time ACC had a winning record in bowl season, and has only one BCS victory in that span.