Tuesday, December 25, 2007

College Picks: Bowl Picks, Part 2

Last set of bowl picks: 3-2
Overall: 185-96

There are a lot more bowl games set for this week, all of which mean nothing but money for hotels and programming for ESPN and NFL Network. Nonetheless, several coaches and fan bases will end the season happy this week.

Motor City Bowl at Detroit, Purdue vs. Central Michigan: Rematch of a September game in West Lafayette, won 38-24 by Purdue. The Boilermakers have bounced around this season, while the Chippewas got hot in conference play and won the MAC. Purdue would rather be somewhere other than beautiful downtown Detroit, but this is where they are. The Chips made it respectable at the end of the first meeting. They get revenge in the second game. Pick: Central Michigan

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl at San Diego, Arizona State vs. Texas: The Longhorns have reverted to pre-Vince Young form this year, going 9-3 and beating most of the teams they are supposed to beat. The Fighting Sun Devils have rode the coaching of Dennis Erickson to a 10-2 season. Make that 11 wins for ASU. Pick: Arizona State

Champs Sports Bowl at Orlando, Boston College vs. Michigan State: BC ended up here after losing the ACC championship game. Michigan State finished 7-5 playing mediocre Big Ten teams. BC has a history of winning bowl games. They win another one. Pick: Boston College

Texas Bowl at Houston, TCU vs. Houston: Frogs are in their ninth bowl in 10 years, with a disappointing 7-5 record. U of H is in a coaching transition, as Art Briles left to take the Baylor job. The Frogs have more stability right now. Stable is good. Pick: TCU

Emerald Bowl at San Francisco, Maryland vs. Oregon State: This bowl is nuts, literally. Emerald Nuts is the sponsor. Maryland gets to be the ACC team to take a few fans all the way across the country for a second-rate bowl game. Oregon State has shown flashes of brilliance this year. Pick: Oregon State

Meineke Car Care Bowl at Charlotte, Connecticut vs. Wake Forest: I got my oil changed at Meineke last week. That has no relevance to this bowl game. UConn has had a great season, finishing second in the Big East. Wake Forest gets to play in a bowl close to home. Pick: Wake Forest

AutoZone Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Mississippi State vs. UCF: Starkville is right down the road from Tupelo, birthplace of Memphis’ own Elvis. UCF won Conference USA, the 14th ranked conference in Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings (Independents and two FCS conferences finished ahead of C-USA). Pick: Mississippi State

Valero Alamo Bowl at San Antonio, Penn State vs. Texas A&M: It feels like it’s been forever since the Ags fired Coach Fran, but it was only a month ago. Gary Darnell is coaching the bowl game. Joe Paterno, or a reasonable facsimile there of, is coaching Penn State. Who knows? Pick: A&M

PetroSun Independence Bowl at Shreveport, Colorado vs. Alabama: These two teams have lost as many games as they have won, as both are 6-6. Colorado has wins over Oklahoma and Nebraska. Alabama lost to Louisiana-Monroe. Pick: Colorado

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth, Air Force vs. Cal: Cal melted down in the last half of the season to finish 6-6. Air Force should play well in a bowl named in honor of them and the other branches of the military. Pick: Air Force

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl at Boise, Idaho, Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State: The ACC booby prize this year goes to Georgia Tech, as they get a most-expenses paid trip to beautiful Boise, Idaho to play in a bowl named for a truck stop. For the second year in a row, the ACC coach in this game was fired (see Larry Coker, Miami, 2006). The Ramblin’ Wreck’s reward is a date with Fresno State. Pick: Fresno

Brut Sun Bowl at El Paso, South Florida vs. Oregon: Both teams were once ranked #2 in the nation. Oregon has been in free fall since the injury to star QB Dennis Dixon. USF is glad to be on national network TV from the west Texas town of El Paso. Pick: USF

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl at Nashville, Kentucky vs. Florida State: Big Blue Nation invades Nashville once again. FSU is in the midst of scandal, losing 34 players for this game due to an academic scandal. The Noles will be playing with FCS level numbers. Kentucky’s relative depth will wear FSU down and out. Pick: Kentucky

Insight Bowl at Tempe, Arizona, Oklahoma State vs. Indiana: Indiana meets their goal of a bowl game to honor the memory of their late coach Terry Hoeppner. OSU is glad to be in the Big 12, because a 6-6 record got them a bowl game as a result. Pick: Indiana

No comments: