Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bowl Picks, Part 3

Bowls To Date: 12-10
Season: 231-93

The bowl season drags on and on. Next up is New Year’s Day. Once upon a time, New Year’s Day was a celebration of college football. You had the Cotton Bowl when it was a big game. You had the Rose Bowl, when it was an excuse to prepare for the really important game that night. Then, you had the Orange Bowl, which usually featured a Big 8 team and/or Miami playing for a national championship. Ok, not every year, but it sure seemed like it. Now, there is a glut of meaningless games on New Year’s Day and spreading to the days after. There is only one game that counts, and it is on January 8.

Outback Bowl, January 1, Tampa: Iowa vs. South Carolina: Slow Big Ten team plays underachieving SEC team. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier was once quarterback for an NFL team in Tampa. They went 0-14. He’ll do better on New Year’s Day. Pick: SC

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, January 1, Jacksonville: Nebraska vs. Clemson: Middle of the road Big 12 team meets middle of the road ACC team. It won’t be great TV, but they’ll sell plenty of tickets and fill plenty of hotel rooms. Pick: Clemson

Capital One Bowl, January 1, Orlando: Georgia vs. Michigan State: See Outback Bowl-slow Big Ten team plays underachieving SEC team. That’s right, the Bulldogs underachieved, having lost to both rivals in Florida and Georgia Tech. Still, they should be able to handle the Spartans. Pick: Jawja

Rose Bowl presented by Citi, January 1, Pasadena, California: USC vs. Penn State: Once again, USC is in the Rose Bowl, and once again, a Big Ten team loses the Rose Bowl. Penn State should be able to keep it close, but SC’s defense should keep Penn State’s offense out of the end zone for most of the game. Pick: USC

FedEx Orange Bowl, January 1, Miami: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech: This really is a BCS bowl game. None of the other BCS bowls wanted either of these teams, but the Orange Bowl gets the national championship game this year, so they’re stuck with this matchup. VT came out of a gaggle of evenly balanced teams in the ACC. Cincinnati dominated the Big East this year. Pick: Cincy

AT&T Cotton Bowl, January 2, Dallas: Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech: Ole Miss surprised the SEC and the world this season in their first year under Houston Nutt. Tech has won 11 games for the first time in the history of man. Make that 12. Pick: Tech

Liberty Bowl, January 2, Memphis: Kentucky vs. East Carolina: Zzzz. Did you know this is Kentucky’s third bowl in a row? So-so SEC team vs. champion of Conference USA. Give me the SEC. Pick: Kentucky

Sugar Bowl, January 2, New Orleans: Alabama vs. Utah: Bama has to be disappointed after running the table in the regular season before losing to Florida in the SEC championship game. The Utes had an awesome year, going undefeated to represent the non-BCS world in one of the $17 million BCS bowl. This won’t be as bad as Hawaii’s game last year against Georgia, but don’t look for the ’06 Boise State team to show up, either. Pick: Alabama

International Bowl, January 3, Toronto: Buffalo vs. Connecticut: Somebody has to go to Toronto in January for a bowl game. It may as well be two snowbound schools. At least the game is indoors. Buffalo won the MAC in Turner Gill’s third year as coach. UConn is becoming a bowl regular. The Bulls have had a great run, but UConn knows what they’re doing here. Pick: UConn

Fiesta Bowl, January 5, Glendale, Arizona: Texas vs. Ohio State: The Longhorns are really, really mad that they came out on the wrong end of the Big 12’s three-way tiebreaker for the South division championship. They really do have a case to be in the national championship game. On the other side of this matchup is Ohio State, winners of 10 games and a regular to this game in the desert. The Buckeyes had a nice season in the Big Ten, but they’re no match for Texas. Pick: Texas

GMAC Bowl, January 6, Mobile, Alabama: Tulsa vs. Ball State: Ball State had a great season, going 12-0 before being upset by Buffalo in the MAC championship game. Since then, head coach Brady Hoke has flown the coop for the warmer climes at San Diego State. Tulsa had a great year, as well, winning 10 games. Tulsa has faded a bit at the end of the season, losing three of their last five games. Pick: Ball State

BCS National Championship Game, January 8, Miami: Oklahoma vs. Florida: Get ready to stay up all night for this one, as there will be lots of offense here. Both teams have Heisman trophy winners. Both teams won premier conferences. Bob Stoops has national championship rings from both schools. As a Sooner fan, I cannot review this game objectively. Sooners win national championship number 8. Pick: OU


Zee said...

Except for the TCU game ... lol ... all the other games are lame! I think last year's bowl games were better!

John said...

College football has the absolute worst postseason. What a dud! The only game that really matters is January 8. The others are merely exhibitions played a month after the season ends.