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Monday, December 10, 2007

Bowl Game Predictions

The time is near for the greatest celebration of the year. A time when all people put aside their differences and embrace love and brotherhood. A time for healing, redemption, and happiness. This time, of course, is Bowl Season. Yes, the time of the first college bowl game of the year is nigh. Starting with the first game, next Thursday, here are the following predictions for this year's bowl slate.

Thursday, December 20-

Poinsettia Bowl- 9:00 EST.
Utah (8-4) vs. Navy (8-4)
This is an interesting matchup as you've got Utah, one of the most prolific users of the pass heavy spread offense in college football, vs. Navy's throwback triple option offense. This is also the first game for new Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo, who replaces Paul Johnson, who after six years in Annapolis is moving to take over for Chan Gailey (hahaha) at Georgia Tech. Will the new coach guide the triple option to victory over the 5 wide receiver spread? Could be entertaining to watch, but I take the Utes in this one.
Utah 27, Navy 20

Friday, December 21-

New Orleans Bowl-8:00 EST

Florida Atlantic (7-5) vs. Memphis (7-5)

This is the FAU Owls first ever bowl game after starting a football program from scratch 9 years ago. Other than that, this Sun Belt Champ vs. Conference USA Runner Up game doesn't hold much worth watching.
FAU 35, Memphis 24

Saturday, December 22-

Papa John' Bowl- 1:00 EST
Southern Mississippi (7-5) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)
First off, why isn't this just the Papa John's Bowl? Can't we just assume the company has a website? Do they want us to go the website and look, rather than the restaraunt and actually buy the pizza? Oh, this game should suck.
Cincinnati 34, Southern Miss 17

New Mexico Bowl- 4:30 EST
Nevada (6-6) vs. New Mexico (8-4)
Has there always been a New Mexico Bowl? Did they just create one to put New Mexico in a bowl? Anywho, this WAC vs Mountain West smackdown features two interesting offenses, at least, and who doesn't love watching Nevada play the pistol?
Nevada 35, New Mexico 31

Las Vegas Bowl- 8:00 EST
BYU (10-2) vs. UCLA (6-6)
This is a rematch of a game from September which the Bruins won 27-17. But that was before UCLA launched its final late season collapse under Karl Dorrell. BYU has gone 9-1 since that game, while UCLA has gone 4-6. UCLA will also play this game with a lame duck coaching staff, and I just don't expect this to be pretty.
BYU 42, UCLA 20

Sunday, December 23-

Hawaii Bowl- 8:00 EST
Boise State (10-2) vs. East Carolina (7-5)
Boise State goes in one year from winner of one of the most exciting bowl games in history to a participant in the Hawaii Bowl. I don't think East Carolina stands a chance against the fury of Ian Johnson in this one.
Boise State 56, East Carolina 24

Wednesday, December 26-

Motor City Bowl- 7:30 EST
Purdue (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (8-5)
These teams met on September 15, with Purdue triumphing 45-22. I have no reason to believe this game should be much different.
Purdue 48, Central Mich. 28

Thursday, December 27-

Holiday Bowl- 8:00 EST
Arizona State (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3)
This game intrigues me, as its probably the best matchup of the games to this point. Arizona State has been pretty damn impressive this season barring one blowout at the hands of USC, and Texas, while I've clearly been convinced all year that they suck, is still Texas, and I will still thoroughly enjoying watching them lose this battle of premier head coaches in Dennis Erickson and Mack Brown.
ASU 28, Texas 17

Friday, December 28-

Champs Sports Bowl- 5:00 EST
Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan State (7-5)
Both of these teams started off really hot this year, with BC rising all the way to number 2 before falling prey to the apparent curse of that ranking. Not surprisingly this was after Iggins! endorsed Matt Ryan for Heisman. Michigan State started off 4-0 before starting their typical mid season downfall, but, proving that they are in fact no longer coached by John L. Smith, managed to rally enough to secure a bowl birth. This game should feature a decent level of offense and a great quarterback in Matt Ryan playing against a potentially great quarterback with a cannon for an arm in Brian Hoyer.
Boston College 31, Michigan State 27

Texas Bowl- 8:00 EST
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)
This game, as its name implies, really should only be watched by people from Texas. But if you really have nothing else to do this night and are watching this game, Houston's offense is sometimes worth watching, and the TCU mascot, the Horned Frog, always looks awesome on the sideline.
Houston 38, TCU 24

Emerald Bowl- 8:30 EST
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)
Maryland is the poster boy of ACC mediocrity every year, and this year is no different as here they are in the venerable "Emerald Bowl", playing the formidable offense of the Oregon State Beavers. This game actually becomes fun if instead of watching the players you imagine the mascots fighting, and a turtle fighting a beaver just merits watching.
Oregon St. 28, Maryland 13

Saturday, December 29-

Meineke Bowl- 1:00 EST
UConn (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
Don't watch this game. Don't do it.
Wake 17, UConn 9

Liberty Bowl- 4:30 EST
UCF (10-3) vs. Mississippi St. (7-5)
I really want to take Mississippi State in this one, as the job Sylvester Croom has done in getting his team to a bowl game in the SEC was downright impressive. However, Miss St. gives up 159 yds rushing per game on defense, and now has to face UCF's Kevin Smith and his 2,448 (Holy Fucking Shit) rushing yards. I expect Smith and the Golden Knights to triumph in this one.
UCF 30, Mississippi St. 23

Alamo Bowl- 8:00 EST
Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
This could have been a hilarious matchup of senile former coaching genius (Joe Paterno) versus pretentious wanna-be-but-never-gonna-be coaching genius (Dennis Franchione), had Franchione's reign of stupidity not finally come to an end this season. I expect Penn State to throw the ball over the Aggie defense, which comes into the game giving up 264 yards passing per contest.
PSU 27, A&M 17

Sunday, December 30-

Independence Bowl-8:00 EST
Alabama (6-6) vs. Colorado (6-6)
This game features a matchup of two .500 teams, but with very different stories. Alabama comes in dejected after a 5-2 start to the season disintegrated with four straight losses, one of which came at the hands of Lousiana-Monroe. Colorado is simply thrilled to be going to a bowl game after a miserable 2-11 season last year. I think the Buffs come out ready to play and take this one.
Colorado 23, Alabama 10

Monday, December 31-

Armed Forces Bowl- 12:30 EST
California (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)
California has fallen ridiculously far from its 5-0 start. With the number two ranking and a chance to seize number one, Cal lost to Oregon State, and since then has gone 1-6 to finish the regular season. Will this streak continue against Air Force? I don't think so.
Cal 24, Air Force 14

Humanitarian Bowl- 2:00 EST
Fresno St. (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)
This is another game featuring an interim coach, as Georgia Tech's defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta takes over as the interim head coach for one game only before giving the job to former Navy coach Paul Johnson. Unlike the previous games featuring lame duck coaches, I'm gonna take Tech in this one, because I expect the players to be so ecstatic in their first game free of Chan Gailey that they win this one out of sheer exuberance.
GT 17, Fresno State 7

Sun Bowl 2:00 EST
South Florida (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)
Two victims of the #2 curse square off in this game. South Florida probably never should have been that high, where Oregon was crippled by the loss of quarterback Dennis Dixon (Iggins! is to thank for that one). I expect the Bulls to win this one,with Matt Groethe outdueling Brady Leaf.
USF 28, Oregon 17

Music City Bowl 4:00 EST
Kentucky (7-5) vs. Florida State (7-5)
Kentucky has a chance to win two straight bowl games for the first time in its history, and I think they do so in Andre Woodson's last game. Florida State is just too inconsistent to win this one.
Kentucky 31, FSU 20

Insight Bowl 6:00 EST
Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)
Indiana has had an inspiring season this year in honor of late Coach Terry Hoeppner. OSU has had an interesting season this year, typified by Coach Mike Gundy's hilarious rant (I'm a grown man! I'm 40!). If you have a chance to watch this one, watch it, because the two offenses lead by duel-threat quarterbacks Kellen Lewis for the Hoosiers and Zac Robinson for the Cowboys both average 400 yards per game or more. Should be very entertaining.
Indiana 42, Oklahoma State 34

Peach Bowl (Chick-Fil-A Bowl) 7:30 EST
Clemson (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)
I still refuse to refer to this 80 year old bowl game by its bastardized commercial name. The two teams in this game, however, are both hard running teams with impressive defenses. I think Auburns defense contains Clemson backs CJ Spiller and James Davis in this one.
Auburn 20, Clemson 17

Tuesday, January 1-

Outback Bowl- 11:00 am EST
Tennessee (9-4) vs. Wisconsin (9-3)
This as an interesting matchup, as these teams are actually pretty similar to each other. Both have proven to be the best of the mediocre-to-bad teams in their conferences, both both wilt against stiff competition. Who gives way in this one? My guess is the Badgers, but God do I hate you Phil Fulmer.
Tenn. 27, Wisconsin 14

Cotton Bowl- 11:30 am EST
Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)
This game should, on its surface, be an incredible matchup of talent as the powerful Mizzou offense led by quarterback Chase Daniel faces off against the run heavy leviathan that is Arkansas and Darren McFadden. Mizzou should be the favorite, but I think the disappointment of missing out on the national title game and being screwed out of the BCS will cost the Tigers, and I think McFadden runs wild in his last college game.
Arkansas 38, Mizzou 21

Capital One Bowl- 1:00 EST
Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida (9-3)
The journey that began for Michigan with the loss to Appalachian State will culminate in a loss to Heisman winner and DemiGod Tim Teabow in this bowl game. Lloyd Carr will lose his final game as a head coach and wander off into the sunset, searching for the perfect bottle of Scotch.
Florida 44, Michigan 27

Gator Bowl- 1:00 EST
Texas Tech (8-4) vs. Virginia (9-3)
My anti-ACC stance this year has resulted in me watching exactly zero games involving Virginia this year, but my strongly Pro-Air Raid stance will have me watching this one at least briefly. I expect the Red Raiders to finish their season with a win in this one.
Texas Tech 27, Virginia 24

ILLINOIS (9-3) vs. USC (10-2)
Yeah, I'm well aware this doesn't look good for my Illini. USC only gives up 79.2 yards rushing per game, which, as everyone knows, is the key to the Illinois offense. Duel threat quarterbacks Have given USC some trouble in the past, however, and Juice Williams has played very well in the Illini's last few games. Objectively, there's really no way to predict an Illini victory. On the other hand, however, Have I ever been fucking objective in anything this year? Why be a fan if I won't show any faith on this one, however misguided it may eventually look to be.
Illinois 31, USC 28

Sugar Bowl- 8:30 EST
Hawaii (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-2)
Everyone wants Hawaii to be the Cinderella this year, as Boise State was last year, and make the BCS look totally worthless by winning this one impressively and making the national championship game look even more bunk. Unfortunately its not going to happen, as I think the Bulldogs will pressure Colt Brennan into making some key mistakes, and I don't think Hawaii's defense slows down either quarterback Matt Stafford or runningback Knowshon Moreno.
Georgia 41, Hawaii 24

Wednesday, January 2-

Fiesta Bowl- 8:00 EST
West Virginia (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)
West Virginia, as we know, and as Iggins! bemoaned, had a shot at the national title, but lost to Pitt of all people. Iggins! still cradles his Pat White action figure while wearing his Steve Slaton pajamas, however, and for his sake, I'm going to predict a WVU win on this one.
West Virgina 38, Oklahoma 31

Thursday, January 3-
Orange Bowl- 8:00 EST
Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)
Well, Kansas is BCS team #2 that is there wrongfully instead of Mizzou. (Illinois is number one of course). But Virginia Tech has survived this whole season based on their defense. Kansas is a more balanced team, and I'm taking them in a close one.
Kansas 23, Virginia Tech 17

Saturday, January 5-
International Bowl- 12:00 EST
Ball State (7-5) vs. Rutgers (7-5)
This is the last game of Ray Rice's brilliant college career. Other than that, I don't see any real reason to watch this mediocre bowl game sandwiched between the BCS bowls and the BCS championship.
Rutgers 28, Ball State 13

Sunday, January 6-
GMAC Bowl-8:00 EST
Tulsa (9-4) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)
Another sandwich bowl, but the GMAC always seems to provide some kind of high-scoring hilarity that makes it worth a passing glance.
Tulsa 39, Bowling Green 27

Monday, January 7-

BCS Championship Game- 8:00 EST
Ohio State (11-1) vs. LSU (10-2)
Despite the fact that the winner of this game will still have no legitimate claim to being champion, some kind of validity will result from the harsh maiming that Ohio State will receive at the hands of the Tigers. This might end up being even uglier than last years, and Ohio State will officially be the 21st century college version of the 1980s-1990s Buffalo Bills.
LSU 38, Ohio State 13

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