2011-12 Bowls: Early Bowl Open Thread

Amid the Rams madness today is a sextuplet of bowl games with four going off early. We'll try to provide as much content as we can on the Rams action (led by Van whose fingers have now been worn down to dwarfy nubs from typing at roughly 8,135 words per minute) while keeping an eye on the Rams of tomorrow playing today...sounds a bit like Colbert Super PAC...

After the jump, the info on the four early bowls. (and I'm working to catch up the watchlist to real time, but it's not looking good. Nevertheless, I've had just about every team playing today on there at some point this season so it's still a worthwhile reference.)

TicketCity Bowl logo

TicketCity Bowl (Houston v. Penn St.), 12:00pm - ESPNU

The opening act for today's college football action, the game that's played at the Cotton Bowl not called the Cotton Bowl features two programs coming in from two very different places. We all know the drama at Penn St., but Houston is a program that has clearly increased its visibility in the last few years.

Look out for two OLBs today: Houston's Sammy Brown and Penn St.'s Gerald Hodges. Both are legit prospects. Of course the most interesting prospect for Rams fans has to be the Nittany Lions' stud DT Devon Still. Should the Rams move back in the 1st round trading the #2 pick, Devon Still is a name that will definitely come into play if he's still on the board.

Rams player of interest: Devon Still, Penn St. DT (RS Sr.)

Final score: Houston 31, Penn St. 21

Outback Bowl logo

Outback Bowl (Michigan St. v. Georgia), 1:00pm - ABC

Speaking of stud DTs, Michigan St.'s Jerel Worthy is a notable 1st round prospect. He's powerful as hell for his size and has the hands you want out of a 4-3 nose. He doesn't move incredibly well laterally, but he's still someone that's going to get a lot of focus come April. Rams fans might want to take a long look at Georgia's interior line as well. Both G Cordy Glenn and C Ben Jones are headed to the NFL.

Rams player of interest: Cordy Glenn, Georgia G (Sr.)

Final score: Michigan St. 38, Georgia 36

Capital One Bowl logo

Capital One Bowl (Nebraska v. South Carolina), 1:00pm - ESPN

Who is Alshon Jeffery? Is he the stud sophomore who slaughtered SEC defenses with more than 1,500 receiving yards or the disappointing junior who has struggled to make his mark including a four game stretch where he caught 13 passes for just 77 yards? Well he's both. There might not be a more confusing prospect in all of college football, and for the Rams it's an enigma that the new GM will have to try and figure out. And while other teams might be salivating over DE Melvin Ingram's big play ability, the Rams will likely be more interested in CB Stephon Gilmore.

On the Nebraska side, the defensive line is stacked with prospects but CB Alfonzo Dennard might be of the most immediate interest. Dennard's a thick corner who can play the physical game as well as anyone in college. Will the Rams' next head coach put as much value on his corners' ability to play a more physical brand of pass defense? If so, Dennard's going to be in the conversation for the Rams.

Rams player of interest: Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina WR (Jr.)

Final score: Nebraska 24, South Carolina 14

Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl logo

Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl (Ohio St. v. Florida), 1:00pm - ESPN2

The Urban Meyer Bowl pits two of the biggest programs in the country in two of their worst seasons in a long, long time. Ohio St. never recuperated from the early suspensions that kept some of their best talent off the field including WR DeVier Posey. This is a huge stage for those guys to show that despite missing a ton of time, they're ready for the challenge at the next level.

For Florida, it's always been about speed. But the Muschamp era didn't begin the way many Gators fans were hoping as the John Brantley-led offense looked mediocre at times...and downright disgusting at others. Brantley's 3-interception performance in his final regular season game against Florida State all but ended any chance of being drafted. The Gators defensive line, however, offers plenty of options for Rams fans, though the most talented D-linemen are still just sophomores.

Rams player of interest: Mike Brewster, Ohio St. C (Sr.)

Final score: Ohio St. 35, Florida 24

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