Bowl Tip Sheet Part II
By Tony Gerdeman
We have finally reached the part of bowl season where good teams are actually playing, or at least some of them.
If the first third of bowl season has taught us anything, it's that we haven't really watched many of the bowl games that are somehow so important to college football.
Forgive me if I'm not watching bowl games that players don't want to play in.
And yes, I love that the bowl games are kept around “for the kids”, even if those kids have very little desire to participate in said games, and I'm sure schools love purchasing thousands of tickets because their fans don't care either.
You know what? I think I need to start a bowl game. It's a beautiful racket.
Thursday December 29
Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando, FL)
Teams: Notre Dame (8-4) vs. Florida State (8-4)
Time (TV): 5:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Florida State
If only this was the early '90s and this game actually mattered, that would be pretty cool. I could watch this game in my jams rocking Nirvana and anxiously waiting the follow up to 'In Utero'. Sadly, that is not the case. We are in present day and these two teams suck. The teams combined to go just 1-3 against ranked opponents this past season, with Notre Dame's 31-13 win over #15 Michigan State being the lone quality win. Lousy Sparty. I'm a bit torn on this game, but I'll go with the better offense. Notre Dame 27 – Florida State 24
Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, TX)
Teams: Washington (7-5) vs. #12 Baylor (9-3)
Time (TV): 9:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Baylor
Forget the Heisman Curse in bowl games for Robert Griffin, because it won't come into play against a Pac-12 defense. The Huskies are giving up 33.3 points per game, which translates to about 47 points in Baylor speak. Washington will score some points, and they might even turn this game into a shootout, but as long as Griffin has final say, Baylor will win. Baylor 47 – Washington 34
Friday December 30
Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas, TX)
Teams: Tulsa (8-4) vs. BYU (9-3)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Tulsa
Tulsa has four losses on the season—all of which were blowouts. However, all four losses came to top ten teams. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Boise State and Houston all put a hurting on Tulsa, but they were the only ones to do so. The Golden Hurricane finished 7-1 in Conference USA, and only had one close victory on the season. They're giving up 27.6 points per game, which will help BYU, but not enough. By the way, BYU should be embarrassed by the schedule they played this year as an Independent. Tulsa 34 – BYU 28
Pinstripe Bowl (New York, NY)
Teams: Iowa State (6-6) vs. Rutgers (8-4)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Iowa State
Buckeye fans will tune into this game to get a glimpse at their new offensive coordinator Tom Herman. However, Herman has already come out and told Buckeye fans that what they see in this game against Rutgers may not be indicative of what they'll see in the future. Rutgers' defense is pretty good, or at least that's what Herman says. They're only giving up 18.8 points per game, but UConn's offense scored 33 points against them in their season finale, so how good can they actually be? It won't matter. Iowa State's offense isn't very good. Rutgers 27 – Iowa State 16
Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN)
Teams: Mississippi State (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (6-6)
Time (TV): 6:40 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Wake Forest
If I could pick two teams out of a BCS hat that I could not possibly care less about seeing matched up in a bowl game, it might just be these two teams. I'll have the game on, but I'll most likely be busy ignoring it. Mississippi State 17 – Wake Forest 13
Insight Bowl (Tempe, AZ)
Teams: #14 Oklahoma (9-3) vs. Iowa (7-5)
Time (TV): 10:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Iowa
Poor Iowa. Poor defenseless Iowa. They won't have running back Marcus Coker to burn the clock, and they don't have the type of defense to shut Oklahoma's offense down. Nothing about this game points to a win for the Hawkeyes, other than the fact that Bob Stoops is on the other sideline. But since this isn't technically a “big game”, the Sooners have no worries. Oklahoma 31 – Iowa 17
Saturday December 31
Texas Bowl (Houston, TX)
Teams: Texas A&M (6-6) vs. Northwestern (6-6)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Northwestern
The Wildcats are still looking for their first bowl victory since 1949. They have played in eight bowl games since--all since 1996, and have come away losers every time. Even though we already know what the outcome is going to be, Northwestern's bowl games are usually the most entertaining of the bowl season. They're like a movie based on a book you've already read. You know what's going to happen, but you still enjoy seeing it brought to life on the big screen. Texas A&M 41 – Northwestern 38
Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX)
Teams: Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Utah (7-5)
Time (TV): 2:00 pm (CBS)
Cheer For: Utah
I don't know, do we also have to root for Pac-12 teams now? Generally, bowl season hasn't been kind to Paul Johnson because opponents have more time to prepare for his high school offense. He's lost all three of his bowl games with Georgia Tech, and the only bowl wins he's ever recorded have come against New Mexico and Colorado State when he was with Navy. However, Utah isn't very good. They closed out their season with a 17-14 loss to Colorado at home. That followed an overtime win at Washington State. If Paul Johnson can't get this win, then Georgia Tech should just move on from him. Georgia Tech 28 – Utah 17
Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN)
Teams: Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Cincinnati
Vanderbilt hasn't been in a bowl game since 2008, which they won over Boston College in the Music City Bowl. It was their first bowl win since 1955. Funnily, the Bearcats have gone even longer than Vandy since their last bowl win. Cincinnati hasn't tasted postseason victory since 2007 against Southern Miss in the PapaJohns.com Bowl. Vanderbilt has zero good wins this season, and neither does Cincinnati. The Bearcats never even played a ranked opponent. I rarely pick against SEC teams in bowl games because it's just easier that way. I'll go ahead and side with Vandy running back Zac Stacy in this one. Vanderbilt 30 – Cincinnati 27
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (San Francisco, CA)
Teams: UCLA (6-7) vs. Illinois (6-6)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Illinois
Illinois is one of just nine teams in the FBS who hasn't won since the weekend of October 8th. They were the first FBS team to ever start 6-0 and finish the regular season 6-6. UCLA, meanwhile, had to file a waiver with the NCAA (somebody alert Dave Brandon) in order to not have a loss in the Pac-12 Championship Game count against their bowl hopes. Both Rick Neuheisel and Ron Zook are long gone, and both for good reason. This game will be coached by interim head coaches, but the teams are so reflective of their old coaches that it likely won't matter. Illinois' defense should be able to stop UCLA's terrible offense, but will the Illini's struggling offense be able to do anything against the Bruins' terrible defense? However, even though they're on a six-game losing streak, I can't go against Illinois in this game. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase should have a very good 2012 season under Tim Beckman, so don't be surprised if he's a little more amped and productive in this game than he has been all season. Illinois 34 – UCLA 20
Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, GA)
Teams: Virginia (8-4) vs. #25 Auburn (7-5)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Virginia
Auburn comes into this game with a struggling offense, a struggling defense, and both coordinators have taken new jobs. Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is the new head coach at Arkansas State, but he'll still be calling plays in this game. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof left for the same job at UCF, which isn't much of a loss at all. There is talk that Auburn is finally going to turn its offense over to freshman quarterback Kiehl Frazier in preparation for next season. He's got the most potential of all the Tiger quarterbacks, and since this game is a throwaway anyway, why not go with the guy you're expecting to be at the helm next year. Virginia comes into this game scoring just 23 points per game, and yet they have somehow managed an 8-4 record. There is just something about the Cavaliers this year, but after they burned me when I picked them against Virginia Tech (losing 38-0), there's no way I can ever trust them again. Auburn 24 – Virginia 17
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.