Tip Sheet 3

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Last updated: 01/01/2013 6:39 AM
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Bowl Tip Sheet #3 - The Finale
By Tony Gerdeman

Now we finally get to the meat station on our buffet of bowl games.

Remember the #1 rule of the meat station: Two plates is polite and encouraged.

Anyway, the college football season is wrapping up. A champion will soon be decided. Regardless of that champion, however, SEC fans will still be able to claim that no conference other than the SEC has won a championship since 2006.

At least if Notre Dame wins, we can claim that the midwest has America's best football.

Do you feel as dirty as I feel right now?

Tuesday January 1

Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL)
Teams:  Mississippi State (8-4) vs #20 Northwestern (9-3)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest:  4
Cheer For:  Northwestern

Northwestern hasn't won a bowl game since the 1949 Rose Bowl. They've been close a few times, but have yet to break through. It's really pretty funny, if you like to laugh at things that are sad. Normally, I would predict the Wildcats to keep their bowl game close, and eventually Pat Fitzgerald would find a way to lose a heartbreaker. However, I think that they're actually the better team this time around. Mississippi State has lost four of five, granted three of those four were Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU, but they didn't even put up a fight. They rolled over like a hotdog on a grill. Their best win of the season is probably over Tennessee, who was 1-7 in conference play. I'm riding with Venric Mark and Kain Colter. Northwestern 38 – Mississippi State 27

Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas, TX)
Teams:  Purdue (6-6) vs Oklahoma State (7-5)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ESPNU)
Interest:  3.5
Cheer For:  Purdue

Oklahoma State doesn't really want to be here. You know upon finding out what bowl game they were playing in, every single Cowboy player was saying, “The 'Heart of What' Bowl?” Purdue likes being here because Dallas is better than West Lafayette. They're out of the house. Out of Indiana. They can only take so much Christmas music. Unfortunately, the coaching staff is in flux right now, which automatically puts them at a disadvantage. However, it's tough to say which Oklahoma State team will show up – the one that is sometimes good, or the one that isn't. In typical stupid bowl fashion, I see this either being down to the final minute, or an Oklahoma State blowout. Right now I'm leaning towards blowout. Though don't underestimate the desire of the Boilers to try and impress new coach Darrell Hazell. Oklahoma State 37 – Purdue 24

Capital One Bowl (Orlando, FL)
Teams:  #7 Georgia (11-2) vs #16 Nebraska (10-3)
Time (TV):  1:00 pm (ABC)
Interest:  5
Cheer For:  Nebraska

I'm thinking Georgia will run and throw on offense, and smash and pummel on defense. The ol' run, throw, smash and pummel, if you will. Nebraska, meanwhile, will employ the ol' tackled, sacked, gashed and blasted. I don't expect life to be good for Taylor Martinez. But then I also have to remember that this is just Georgia, and Nebraska can absolutely run the ball on them. But it's hard to forgive the Huskers giving up 63 points to Ohio State and 70 to Wisconsin, even if it was incredibly fun to watch. Georgia 34 – Nebraska 21

Outback Bowl (Tampa, FL)
Teams:  #10 South Carolina (10-2) vs #18 Michigan (8-4)
Time (TV):  1:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  5
Cheer For:  Michigan

Conference pride, y'all! Devin Gardner will start at quarterback for the Wolverines, which means Denard Robinson won't be throwing interceptions all over the place. However, it could mean that Gardner is throwing interceptions all over the place. Robinson and Gardner will be the only running attack that Michigan will have in this game. However, South Carolina won't be able to run the ball either, and throwing it is almost as big a question mark. This is going to be a very ugly game, and I'm not just talking about the uniforms. There's a chance each team will play two different quarterbacks. All of them will be on the move. I expect Michigan to lose, but I also expect them to stay in it all the way until the end. South Carolina 21 – Michigan 20

Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
Teams:  Wisconsin (8-5) vs #6 Stanford (11-2)
Time (TV):  5:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  4
Cheer For:  Wisconsin

Prior to Bret Bielema goin' hoggin', I was planning on taking the Badgers in this game. It would have been the wrong move. But now with Barry Alvarez in charge, it's a much better move. Wisconsin isn't as bad as they were at the start of the season, and right now they should be able to run on anybody. I don't know if they can stop Stanford's pass rush well enough to throw the ball, but as long as they can run it, it may not matter. This may ultimately be won by the team with the quarterback that doesn't lose the game. I expect the Badgers to be very safe with the football, using a lot of bootlegs to open tight ends and the like. Stanford, meanwhile, will attack with their tight ends vertically and it will be up to the Badger back seven to give them the attention that they deserve. Both teams will be able to run the ball, but it will be the team who wins the turnover battle that will get the victory. I really, really want to pick Wisconsin here. Barry Alvarez is 3-0 in Rose Bowls. It's hard to pick against him when I'm being this stupid. Wisconsin 31 – Stanford 28

Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)
Teams:  #15 Northern Illinois (12-1) vs #12 Florida State (11-2)
Time (TV):  8:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2.5
Cheer For:  Northern Illinois

You should actually root for Florida State. If Northern Illinois wins this game, then quarterback Jordan Lynch is going to get a boost in the 2013 Heisman race, which isn't good for Braxton Miller or Buckeye fans. A Northern Illinois win would also lend credence to people who believe that the Little Sisters of the Poor deserve a seat at the adults' table. Of course, that seat is being removed once the playoffs begin, so nice job fighting for equality, losers. You should have just shut up and accepted the scraps you were given. It got you into the BCS, idiots. Now enjoy watching from the front window. Florida State 28 – Northern Illinois 17

Wednesday January 2

Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA)
Teams:  #21 Louisville (10-2) vs #3 Florida (11-1)
Time (TV):  8:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2
Cheer For:  Louisville

Nice Sugar Bowl you got here. I hope you don't mind if I fall asleep during the third quarter. You don't? Great. Money well spent, ESPN. Florida 27 – Louisville 21

Thursday January 3

Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ)
Teams:  #4 Oregon (11-1) vs #5 Kansas State (11-1)
Time (TV):  8:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  3.5
Cheer For:  Kansas State

The Battle of the Chokers. Each of these teams lost their 11th game of the season, thrusting Alabama into the BCS National Championship Game. Nice going, jerks. We're cheering for Kansas State because Chip Kelly is getting ready to run to the NFL from his NCAA problems, and we don't want him going out with a win. Normally in a BCS bowl, Oregon gets punched in the mouth. This time around, I'm not sure Kansas State has that ability. I expect Ducks' quarterback Marcus Mariota to outplay Kansas State's Collin Klein. I wish I was more excited about this game, but it's impossible to get excited about Kansas State. It's like getting excited about falling asleep due to boredom. This may end up being the best bowl game of the year, but I just can't get excited to watch Kansas State. Sorry.  Oregon 52 – Kansas State 38

Friday January 4

Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX)
Teams:  #9 Texas A&M (10-2) vs #11 Oklahoma (10-2)
Time (TV):  8:00 pm (FOX)
Interest:  4.5
Cheer For:  Oklahoma

Remember, Texas A&M is in the SEC, so even though we like them, we have to root against them. These two teams have four losses between them: to Kansas State, Notre Dame, LSU and Florida. In other words, they're pretty good...assuming you're okay with measuring stature through losses. This is a matchup between two dynamic offenses, but I'm not sure that Oklahoma can keep up with the Aggies and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Oklahoma was only able to score 50 points against West Virginia, which makes me think they'll only be able to manage the high 30s against A&M. I see the Aggies scoring at least 40 points in this one. Yes, there is a concern about the Heisman curse, but Manziel is such a goofball that I'm not sure he's susceptible to curses. The Sooners will need to grind this game out, and I'm not sure that they can. Texas A&M 41 – Oklahoma 31

Saturday January 5

BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, AL
Teams:  Pittsburgh (6-6) vs Ole Miss (6-6)
Time (TV):  1:00 pm
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Pittsburgh

I will be watching the Army All-American game because a high school all-star game is actually more important than whatever this game is. I don't even know what makes a BBVA compass better than a regular compass. After all, it's the magnetic north pole that does all the work! Way to take geology's credit, jerks! Ole Miss 7 – Pitt 6

Sunday January 6

GoDaddy.com Bowl (Mobile, AL)
Teams:  #25 Kent State (11-2) vs Arkansas State (9-3)
Time (TV):  9:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Kent State

If the head coaches of both of these teams didn't care enough to stick around, then why should we? Arkansas State 27 – Kent State 20

Monday January 7

BCS Championship Game (Miami, FL)
Teams:  #2 Alabama (12-1) vs #1 Notre Dame (12-0)
Time (TV):  8:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  5
Cheer For:  Notre Dame

Yes, I know, you're cheering for a meteor strike. How nihilistic of you. However, barring the sweet music of a sonic boom followed by a deafening crash into whatever this Miami stadium is called this week, you will have to pick one team or the other to root for. As for me and my house, we are siding with the Irish. It's not just because I've been on a mashed potatoes kick lately. (Though that's the main reason.) I have this theory that a portion of the SEC's dominating defense is due to the conference's terrible offenses. Texas A&M lends credence to my awesome theory, and it's that theory that I am riding as I pick the Irish to win this game. Quarterback Everett Golson is a playmaker, and Nick Saban hates playmakers. I'm looking forward to seeing Alabama's offense against Notre Dame's defense. The Tide can run the ball, and their play-action is deadly. The Irish secondary is vulnerable to the deep throw and Alabama receiver Amari Cooper might be the best deep threat east of the Mississippi right now. They don't have an answer for him, which is why the pass rush can't allow the deep stuff to develop. I think I disagree with just about all of my picks. At least that way I'll be right one way or the other. Notre Dame 24 – Alabama 21

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