Chick-fil-A Bowl: 5 Reasons to Tune In to the Game
Reasons to Watch the Chick-fil-A Bowl
When looking at the non-BCS bowl schedule there is no doubt a few games stand out above the rest, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl is undoubtedly at or near the top of this list. The game matches up No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 24 Duke, with both teams feeling they should win the game when they line up on December 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Georgia Dome.
On the side of Texas A&M the game will serve as another chance to show off an explosive brand of football that has been established by quarterback Johnny Manziel and head coach Kevin Sumlin. The two have been able to team up to overcome a faulty defense by finding holes in every defense they have faced the past two years, and fireworks are always a possibility both on the sidelines and on the field.
Meanwhile, for Duke the bowl game will be the program's second in a row but also only the second since 1995. It is clear that head coach David Cutcliffe has the team playing an exciting brand of football, and after winning two games against ranked teams during the 2013 season they are one of the up and coming programs in the nation.
If history holds itself this game will stack up as one of the most competitive games of the entire bowl season, possibly topping the excitement level and on-field play of even the BCS National Championship game. Over the last six years the Chick-fil-A bowl has been decided by less than ten points, and historically it has served as one of the most underrated bowls.
With this historical factor in mind and the strengths of both Duke and Texas A&M I have taken the liberty of identifying five reasons that those at home should watch the Chick-fil-A bowl. Enjoy and feel free to give feedback.
5. Texas A&M Has Much to Prove
After losing two straight games to close out the 2013 season one could understand why Texas A&M would be downtrodden heading into the game. But with head coach Kevin Sumlin and quarterback Johnny Manziel leading the way it can be made clear they will not go into the Chick-fil-A bowl with their heads down and in fact will look to make it a statement game. Considering that the Aggies lost by a combined total of 11 points to Alabama and Auburn this year, it can be assured that when motivated they can do some scary things. Expect Texas A&M to come out with their hair on fire against Duke.
4. Game Will Surely Be High Scoring
When Texas A&M and Duke meet on December 31 everyone in attendance at the Georgia Dome and watching at home on ESPN can expect to see an exciting and high scoring game. During the 2013 season Duke averaged 31.6 points per game while Texas A&M compiled an average of 43.6 per game. They each gave up 24.7 and 30.9 points per game respectively. With the game being played on a turf surface it can be expected both sides will throw the ball heavily and expose two defenses that have massive holes. For those that like to watch points being scored, this is the game to watch.
3. Duke Looks to Show They Belong on Big Stage
Duke has seemingly been awful at football for as long as anyone can remember as the fact that the program has not finished with a winning record since 1994 displays. With a 10-3 record in 2013 a winning record has been clinched, but cementing a reputation as a top notch football program certainly has not. Beating Texas A&M and former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel would go a long way towards cementing a heightened reputation and could announce Duke as a winning program moving forward.
2. Duke and Texas A&M Is Best December Bowl Matchup
The matchup of Duke and Texas A&M is one of only two bowl games to feature two nationally ranked teams prior to the new year, joining USC and Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. And with all due respect to those participating in Las Vegas, the two teams participating in the Chick-fil-A bowl are much better and can be expected to play a track meet of a game at the Georgia Dome. With January 1 due to bring an onslaught of top games, there will be no better tuneup than watching Duke and Texas A&M provide a good change from the many pointless bowls in December.
1. Will Likely Be Johnny Manziel's Last Game
There is no doubting that Johnny Manziel has had one of the best college football careers ever, but it seems likely that the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be his last game at the collegiate level. As a redshirt sophomore Manziel could conceivably come back to college in 2014, but all indications seem to be that the quarterback is not interested in doing this and will enter the NFL Draft shortly after playing against Duke. Expect him to go out with a bang, piling up massive statistics to build on the 7438 passing yards, 59 passing touchdowns, 2096 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns picked up over the last two years.