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Exceptionally gifted: Rating bowl game swag

The Times rates the bowls, 1 to 35, on the Swag Scale — extra points for those with 'gift suites'

December 14, 2012

1. MAACO Las Vegas

Sat., Dec. 22, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN), Las Vegas

Washington vs. Boise State

You can't beat this $550-limit gift suite. No quill pens or Timely watches, or coins, or footballs. Just a no-strings-attached gift suite. Think of it as skipping the middleman on that ugly sweater you get for Christmas and then return. OK, and you're in Las Vegas.

2. Rose

Tues., Jan. 1, 2 p.m.

(ESPN), Pasadena

Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Features a gift suite where a player can choose a recliner or blender to make healthy food, plus a Fossil watch (Did Fred Flintstone get one of these at his bowl game? Because they're everywhere); an Oakley backpack and a New Era Thirty9 Thirty cap, most likely with a Rose Bowl logo on it.

3. Valero Alamo

Sat., Dec. 29, 3:45 p.m. (ESPN),

San Antonio

Texas vs. Oregon State

Apple iPad mini, Fossil watch, $100 Best Buy gift card, panoramic team photo, Schutt mini helmet. An iPad mini and a Best Buy card would cause lots of kids to say, "Best Christmas ever!" And those make up for the mini helmet.

4. Franklin American

Mortgage Music City

Mon., Dec. 31, 9 a.m. (ESPN), Nashville

North Carolina State

vs. Vanderbilt

Gift suite, Fossil watch. Neat, simple, engraved timepiece, and let the shopping begin.

5. Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman

Dec. 27, noon (ESPN),

Washington, D.C.

Bowling Green vs. San Jose St.

Apple iPad mini, Timely watch, beanie. The iPad alone makes this a winner. Yes, San Jose State will get better gifts than USC. Take that, Trojans.

6. Belk

Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN), Charlotte, N.C.

Cincinnati vs. Duke

Perfect for the Dukie who has everything. Teams get a shopping trip to a Belk department store. And the Fossil watch. Who wears these things?

7. Famous Idaho Potato

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN),

Boise, Idaho

Toledo vs. Utah State

Gift suite, North End winter coat, Kombi winter gloves, Tiger Woods Victory Nike beanie, Ogio Bullion backpack, Big Game football. It's still a Tiger victory beanie? But a gift suite and a North End coat? Sweet.

8 (tie). Russell Athletic Sports

Fri., Dec. 28, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN), Orlando

Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers

A $420 shopping trip to Best Buy, Timely watch. Wouldn't want to be in the Best Buy when the guys come through. Hope they bring calculators.

8 (tie) Capitol One

Jan. 1, 10 a.m. (Ch. 7), Orlando

Georgia vs. Nebraska

A $420 shopping trip to Best Buy, Fossil watch. Couldn't find a difference between a Fossil watch and a Timely watch.

10. Discover Orange

Jan. 1, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN), Miami

Gardens, Fla.

Northern Illinois vs.

Florida State

Gift suite and Tourneau watch. Classy watch. Shop till you drop in the suite. Typical day for Florida State players but something new for Northern Illinois.

11. Chick-fil-A

Dec. 31, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN),


Clemson vs. LSU

$300 gift card, Fossil watch, Chick-fil-A Bowl hat, Russell Athletic travel bag, Chick-fil-A gift card. This is not a political statement, just a love of Chick-fil-A. Yum.

12. Discover BCS National Championship Game

Mon., Jan. 7, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN), Miami Gardens, Fla.

Notre Dame vs. Alabama

Gift suite, Tourneau watch. To the victor goes the classy watch. And the spoils of the suite.

13. Meineke Car Care of Texas

Dec. 28, 6 p.m. (ESPN),


Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

Fossil watch, 32-inch flat-screen TV, belt buckle, T-shirt, lapel pin, backpack. Players will keep the TV. It might be a belated "Merry Christmas, Dad," for the belt buckle.

14. (tie) San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia

Thursday, 5 p.m. (ESPN),

San Diego

BYU vs. San Diego State

Best Buy gift card, Tourneau watch, Maui Jim sunglasses gift certificate, cap.

14 (tie) Bridgepoint Education Holiday

Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. (ESPN),

San Diego

UCLA vs. Baylor

Best Buy gift card, Tourneau watch, Maui Jim gift certificate, cap. San Diego shopper must have gotten two-for-one deals

16. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces

Dec. 29, 8:45 a.m. (ESPN),

Fort Worth

Rice vs. Air Force

Sony gift suite, Fossil watch, Dakine backpack, Big Game football. Forget the last three items. Drool over an all-Sony gift suite.

17. Gator

Jan. 1, 9 a.m. (ESPN2),

Jacksonville, Fla.

Northwestern vs.

Mississippi State

Fossil watch, Dome hat, Mercury garment bag and carry-on bag, Jostens ring, football. Players will already have their luggage; it's been logo-stamped and mailed. If you see it during your holiday travels, give the guys a big hello. But with all these gifts, shouldn't they get a tax slayer?

18. Allstate Sugar

Wed., Jan. 2, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN), New Orleans

Louisville vs. Florida

Gift suite, Fossil watch, New Era cap, Boxer and Stone hoodie. Would have been higher but value is deducted from the suite for that Fossil watch.

19. R+L Carriers New Orleans

Dec. 22, 9 a.m. (ESPN)

East Carolina vs.


Beats by Dre headphones, Fossil watch, Oakley backpack. Those headphones seem trendy but don't most kids already have them?

20. Tostitos Fiesta

Thurs., Jan. 3, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN), Glendale, Ariz.

Oregon vs. Kansas State

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