Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bowl Predictions Nobody Asked For

Since my beloved Redskins are all but out of a playoff spot, I'll turn my attention to the college football arena. Lots of bowl games coming up - 28 of them to be exact. Since I know next to nothing about more than half of these teams, these predictions will probably prove to be crap. Also, I have a topical post after this one, so read it too. And comment. Or I'll send Chuck Amato after you.

New Orleans (really, the Lafayette Bowl): Southern Miss vs. Arkansas State.
Arkansas State? Who invited them? I'm sorry, but Vandy could go 6-5 in the Sun Belt. Southern Miss should have no problems.

GMAC: UTEP vs. Toledo.
Toledo's Bruce Gradkowski is one heck of a quarterback. So is UTEP's Jordan Palmer (brother of Carson). But Toledo actually has a running game.

Las Vegas: BYU vs. California.
Cal's been disappointing this year, and BYU has surprised everyone in the Mountain West. Also, the BYU players will be less likely to be distracted by the gambling. Look for the Cougs to pull the upset.

Poinsettia: Colorado State vs. Navy
Poinsettia Bowl? Did you run out of plants? What's next, the Geranium Bowl? Umm... Navy. Sounds good to me.

Fort Worth: Kansas vs. Houston
Since I can't pick them both to lose, I'll pick Kansas.

Hawaii: Nevada vs. Central Florida
Nevada surprised Fresno State, but UCF surprised the hell out of everybody this year.

Motor City: Memphis vs. Akron
Can we please put a moratorium on bowls held in cold-weather parts of the country? I'll take Memphis, just because the thought of Akron winning anything makes me laugh uncontrollably.

Champs Sports: Clemson vs. Colorado
Clemson beat Florida State. Colorado lost by 67 to Texas. Any questions?

Insight: Arizona State vs. Rutgers
Poor Rutgers. You earn your first bowl bid in 20-odd years, and what do you get? A game in Arizona against an Arizona State team that led both USC and LSU in the fourth quarter. Whee.

MPC Computers: Boise State vs. Boston College
Boise State always wins the Blue Field Bowl. That's because it's their home field.

Alamo: Michigan vs. Nebraska
Michigan has been better down the stretch than the 'Huskers, and will win the Sounds Like It Should Be A National Championship Bowl.

Emerald: Georgia Tech vs. Utah
My Utes have been horribly inconsistent this year. Fortunately, Georgia Tech is always inconsistent. I'll pick Utah - they don't have to fly as far.

Holiday: Oregon vs. Oklahoma
No one seemed to notice Oregon, but they very quietly made their way into a #5 ranking at the end of the regular season.

Music City: Minnesota vs. Virginia
Remember when Laurence Maroney was a Heisman contender? Remember why? Neither do I. Virginia should win.

Sun: Northwestern vs. UCLA
Two teams with a lot of offense and no defense. Northwestern can keep up with UCLA's high-powered attack so I'll pick them. But really, the only safe bet here is the "over" bet.

Independence: South Carolina vs. Missouri
The Ol' Ball Coach has done a heck of a job in Columbia this year, so I can't bet against SC here.

Peach: Miami vs. LSU
LSU has had to deal with enough Hurricanes this year.

Meineke: South Florida vs. NC State
These teams are not gonna pay a lot for their mufflers. This game would be a tossup in any other bowl - but since it's being played in Charlotte, NCSU gets the nod.

Liberty: Tulsa vs. Fresno State
Easy pickings for a Fresno State team that ran with USC... but that's what they said about Nevada, too.

Houston: TCU vs. Iowa State
Hmm... a game in Texas with a TCU team that was a second-week loss to SMU away from really screwing up the BCS picture? Sorry, 'Clones.

Cotton: Texas Tech vs. Alabama
I don't care how good 'Bama's defense is. Their offense will still have to put up 28 to beat Texas Tech, and I don't think it's happening.

Outback: Iowa vs. Florida
It really isn't fair to let Florida play in Tampa.

Gator: Louisville vs. Virginia Tech
This oughta be a fun game, but I think VT can rebound from that awful Florida State debacle and pull it out.

Capital One: Wisconsin vs. Auburn
Auburn has been playing really well this year. They should be able to handle Wisconsin.

Fiesta: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
I haven't been able to figure out Ohio State this year. There must be something there that makes the BCS people think they'd be better than LSU or Oregon, but until I see it, I'm going with Notre Dame.

Sugar: West Virginia vs. Georgia
Bad luck for the Mountaineers. This would have been a close game at a neutral site such as New Orleans, but since the game got moved to Atlanta, Georgia has a definite advantage. WVU should make it interesting, though.

Orange: Florida State vs. Penn State
Two coaching institutions face off in a big bowl game. Too bad Penn State is the only team that deserves to be there.

Rose: Southern California vs. Texas
We've been waiting for this game since September. USC has stumbled more than Texas this season, but the Trojans have the advantage of playing a home game. The 'Horns struggled in their last hostile environment (College Station). Still, I think Texas has the offensive firepower to keep up with USC - as long as Vince Young brings his 'A' game.

Update: Some congresspeople have way too much time on their hands. A congressional investigation of college football? Is Congress going to pass a resolution declaring Auburn the national champion from last year? I don't get it...


Mike said...

Wow, I'm not sure I truly realized how ridiculously many bowl games there are until just now.

In general, I agree, with the following exceptions:

Georgia Tech over Utah - GT served me well this year in my pick-em league, and besides, I know you're a tad biased

Oklahoma over Oregon - something of a shout-out to Aaron, but I stand by it if Adrian brings his A-game

UCLA over Northwestern - really just a gut feeling on this one

Missouri over SoCar - just because I can't stand Spurrier

Miami over LSU - LSU hasn't exactly weathered Hurricanes too well this year either. (Get it? Weathered?)

Tulsa over Fresno State - Fresno has been on a fairly steady decline - also my second shout-out to Aaron

USC over Texas - got go with the father's quasi alma mater

Not that my opinion really matters anyway. :-P

Aaron said...

Nice insight. I agree with most of the picks but for slightly different reasons. My disagreements are:

UTEP over Toledo
UTEP has more of a running game than most people realize.

UCLA over Northwestern
This will be a shootout but I don't trust Northwestern.

Tulsa over Fresno St.
A biased pick, but one that can be backed up. Fresno State is very turnover prone (14 turnovers in their last 3 games). Tulsa on the other hand led C-USA in turnover margin. Also Tulsa has a special team edge with NCAA record holder Ashlan Davis returning kicks.

Oklahoma over Oregon
Just my Oklahoma bias as I have been conditioned since birth to be a Sooner fan.

Minnesota over Virginia
Minnesota's running game may be too much for the Cavaliers.

Ohio State over Notre Dame
OSU's defense will keep the game tight and Ted Ginn Jr. will change momentum late with a big return as is typical for an OSU game.

USC over Texas
As a Sooner fan I can't pick the Longhorns for anything.

Sorry I'm a bit long-winded when talking football.