Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Here are my picks for all 5 bowl games on Saturday.

12:00PM - ESPN2
International Bowl - Toronto, ONT
South Florida Bulls vs. Northern Illinois Huskies
No-brainer here. Despite NIU's awesomely devious and creepy mascot, I have to go with the USF Bulls. Both teams are 7-5, but 7-5 in the Big East is slightly more impressive than 7-5 in the MAC.

2:00PM - ESPN Bowl - Birmingham, AL
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. UConn Huskies
UConn's 7-5 record doesn't really tell you the whole story. Their 5 losses were by a combined total of 15 points. They never lost a game by more than 4 points. South Carolina is tough, thrashing Clemson at the end of the season. But they did lose 4 of their last 6, and really disappointed. I think UConn wins one for the Big East.

2:00PM - Fox
Cotton Bowl - Arlington, TX
#19 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels
OSU was knocked out of the BCS by their rival OU. Ole Miss is making their 2nd straight Cotton Bowl appearance, which is a pretty good result for a program now officially on the rise. The Cowboys lost to Houston, Texas, and Oklahoma. They're not great, but they'll represent the Big XII well and win the Cotton Bowl.

5:30PM - ESPN
Liberty Bowl - Memphis, TN
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. East Carolina Pirates
ECU beat Houston in the C-USA title game, thus preventing the Liberty Bowl from being very interesting. I think Arkansas runs away with this one in a romp.

9:00PM - ESPN
Alamo Bowl - San Antonio, TX
Michigan State Spartans vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Disappointment Bowl. MSU was supposed to contend for the top spot in the BigTen, or at least be a factor. Texas Tech lost to Texas A&M. But MSU can't win games. I'll take the Red Raiders here. The game is only 350 miles from their campus, a stone's throw in Texas.

More previews on Monday. Happy New Year!


Here are the New Year's Day Bowls. There's some really good ones to enjoy while nursing your New Year's Eve hangover.

11:00AM - ESPN
Outback Bowl - Tampa, FL
Northwestern Wildcats vs. Auburn Tigers
Northwestern? Really? Good for them, I guess. They're actually pretty good, going 8-4, 5-3 in the BigTen, and they were the ones who finally beat Iowa. Auburn started hot, but lost 5 of their last 7. But they did give Alabama a good fight, they will have many more fans supporting them in Orlando, and it's hard to pick against an SEC team. I'm predicting an Auburn victory.

1:00PM - CBS
Gator Bowl - Jacksonville, FL
#16 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Florida State Seminoles
This will be a fun game to watch. I think WVU is a bit overrated here. Also, Tallahassee is a mere 3 hour drive from Jacksonville. FSU is without a doubt the best 6-6 team in the country, and they'll pull out the upset here.

1:00PM - ABC
Capital One Bowl - Orlando, FL
#13 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. #12 LSU Tigers
Without a doubt, the best non-BCS Bowl out there. PSU couldn't win the big games this year, which has been a pattern for them recently. They'll win 9+ games, but are incapable of topping a quality team. LSU is a quality team. And LSU will win this for the SEC.

4:30PM - ABC
Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
#8 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #7 Oregon Ducks
Another great match-up, that will turn into another disappointment for the BigTen. Oregon lost to Boise State on their blue field, and lost at Stanford. They also beat Utah. Ohio State is very good, but still just shy of the level they need to be at. They lost to Purdue. Apart from their wins against Penn State and Iowa, there's not much they can boast about. I say Oregon wins their first Rose Bowl since 1917.

8:30PM - Fox
Sugar Bowl - New Orleans, LA
#5 Florida Gators vs. #3 Cincinnati Bearcats
The BCS's master plan develops here, as an undefeated team (Cincy) is assured to go down. There's no way Florida doesn't demolish the Bearcats. I'm picking Florida and rooting for Cincinnati. Maybe if the Bearcats win, Tim Tebow will hang himself.


Time to pick the New Year's Eve Bowls, and there are some tantalizing ones on the menu. All these games are on Thursday 12/31.

12:00PM - ESPN
Armed Forces Bowl - Fort Worth, TX
Houston Cougars vs. Air Force Falcons
Good C-USA/MWC match-up here. Houston has the shorter trip, but there are plenty of Air Force people in Texas who will come out in support of AFA. Houston's put up 29+ in every single game, including a win over Texas Tech. They also beat #19 Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Still, they lost to ECU. Air Force is a solid mid-pack Mountain West team, but Houston's too much for them.

2:00PM - CBS
Brut Sun Bowl - El Paso, TX
Oklahoma Sooners vs. #21 Stanford Cardinal
I think everyone outside of Pasadena and Berkeley have been Stanford fans this season. The Cardinal is one of only 2 teams that beat Pac-10 Champ Oregon. Oklahoma will have more fans with the game in West Texas, and I think this will be an exciting contest. But I'm going with OU to win.

3:30PM - ESPN
Texas Bowl - Houston, TX
Navy Midshipmen vs. Missouri Tigers
The Tigers are part of a dreadful Big XII North that was nothing short of a joke. I think Navy sails away with this one.

6:00PM - NFL Network
Insight Bowl - Tempe, AZ
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Both teams boast 6-6 records, so the game should at least be a close one. ISU feasted on North Dakota State, Army, and Kent State to get their 6 wins. Minnesota had South Dakota State and Syracuse. ISU sucks on toast, Minnesota is just kind of bad. Minnesota wins.

7:30PM - ESPN
Chick-fil-A Bowl - Atlanta, GA
#11 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Complete mismatch. Then again, the ACC has struggled against the SEC this season. But Va-Tech never plays at the same level as the ACC. I think this game is a blowout in favor of the Hokies.


Tom Brady will backup Rivers and Manning at QB. Logan Mankins will start at guard. Wes Welker is a backup WR. And Vince Wilfork will start at tackle.

No Patriots were snubbed. And frankly, who cares. Being named to the Pro Bowl team is more of an honor than actually playing in it.

This will be Brady's 5th Pro Bowl. Logan Mankins' 2nd. Only Vince Wilfork's 2nd. And Wes Welker's 2nd.

The Vikings boast 8 players named, the Eagles 7 the Colts 6, the Cowboys 6, New Orleans 5, Baltimore 5, San Diego 5. Arizona, Houston, and Denver also have 4.