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Thursday's question of the day: Which Jan. 1 and beyond bowl game (with the exception of Texas-Alabama) are you most looking forward to?

December 31, 2009 | 11:54 am

Reporters from around the Tribune family answer the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

The rubber-necker in me is looking forward to Texas Tech vs. Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl, the Mutiny on Two Bountys. Texas Tech fired its coach before the game and Michigan State suspended seemingly half its team for a dormitory scandal. The Marcus Welby MD in me is looking forward to the Sugar Bowl, featuring a Cincinnati team whose coach, Brian Kelly, got sick of coaching there and a Florida coach, Urban Meyer, who resigned because of health issues and then reinstated himself the next day. The most interesting tape studied before this game was... 911?. The purist in me has focused in on the Fiesta Bowl, where undefeated Boise State and Texas Christian get to show the world why they should no longer be considered underlings in this nutty college football system. The winner of this game not only states its case for the national title this year, but both teams will be positioned next year for a national title run. Boise State, which returns everybody, could be preseason No. 2 next year behind Alabama. TCU returns almost everybody and will enter 2010 as a top-10 school. This year's Jan. 4 Fiesta Bowl is not the Kid's Table Bowl, it's a look at how far college football has come and maybe how far it still needs to go.

Keith Groller, Allentown Morning Call
When it comes to bowl games, I’m a traditionalist.
Unless they make everyone happy and replace the entire system with a playoff format, I want it the way it was when I was a kid. I want my “minor” bowl games — those with all of the goofy sponsor names — played before Jan. 1, and the big ones on New Year’s Day. Then, don’t clutter up the schedule with anything except the BCS title game.
So, having five Jan. 2 games and other games on the 4th, 5th and 6th (Troy and Central Michigan playing on Jan. 6? Gimme a break) makes me cringe.
About the only game adhering to tradition in terms of the day, time and conference affiliation is the Rose Bowl. Again the matchup is as attractive as the setting, featuring a pinball-like Pac-10 offense in Oregon and a bruising, plodding Big Ten team in Ohio State.

Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun

For me, it has to be the State of Confusion Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Year’s Night. Who can resist that tried-and-true collegiate story line: A team whose coach has abandoned it plays against a team whose coach may or may not abandon it?
 Remember in 1980 when NBC broadcast an NFL game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins without announcers? Maybe Fox could convince the University of Cincinnati and the University of Florida to play this one without coaches. Talk about cutting edge.
 Besides Brian Kelly’s departure and Urban Meyer’s pseudo-departure, there really are honest-to-goodness sporting reasons to make this one a must watch. We get to see Tim Tebow’s last collegiate game -- maybe his last football game, period. And we get to see just how good the Bearcats are and just how much they were jobbed in the BCS debacle.

Andrea Adelson, Orlando Sentinel

The Sugar Bowl between Florida and Cincinnati has so many intriguing storylines, it is the must-see game of all the Jan. 1 bowl games and beyond.

How will the Gators respond to coach Urban Meyer first resigning, then taking a leave of absence? Will Meyer grab his chest at some point in the game? Will the Gators even be motivated to play in the game after losing to Alabama in the SEC championship? What will Tim Tebow do in his final game with the Gators?

How will Cincinnati fare without coach Brian Kelly, who left his team for Notre Dame? Will the Bearcats be just as effective without their offensive mastermind? Will they be motivated not only to show Kelly what he left behind, but to show America they deserve a piece of the national championship?

Can't wait to find out.