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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Revised Bowl Predictions

The Ball State-Central Michigan game was actually pretty enjoyable last night, and the Fighting David Lettermans actually kept their flickering BCS hopes alive with a win. They're third in the mid-major pecking order though, and the close game against Central Michigan (a team Georgia destroyed) just goes to show that this isn't a team that belongs in a bowl game with the big boys.

Speaking of those bowl games, however, here's my updated predictions on how things might shake out...

BCS National Championship Game: Oklahoma vs. Florida.
This, of course, assumes Oklahoma beats Texas Tech and Missouri the rest of the way, and Florida gets by Alabama in the SEC title game. I'm pretty confident the former will happen. The latter? Maybe I'm the last guy to jump on the bandwagon, but despite how well Florida is playing right now, I still think Alabama can beat them. The Tide are the tougher, more physical team, and that's the way to slow the Florida offense. If the Gators don't jump out to a big lead early, they are a lot more vulnerable, and I think Bama's D can hold them in check long enough to at least make it a game. I seem to be in the minority on that opinion, however, so I'll still put Florida here.

Fiesta Bowl: Texas vs. USC.
The Fiesta Bowl folks must be doing cartwheels thinking about their prospects. Outside of the national championship game, this is really the other BCS game that looks to have any sizzle whatsoever. Assuming the title game features the Big 12 vs. SEC, the Fiesta will automatically take the Big 12 runner up (either Texas or Texas Tech, my bet being on the Horns) and would have first crack at an at-large. If Oregon State beats Oregon, that makes USC an at large. If not, the Fiesta still gets Ohio State, which would be another very attractive (and profitable) matchup. The pickings are awfully slim after those two teams, however, so it gets ugly for the remaining bowls.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah.
If Florida tops 'Bama, the Sugar Bowl will be thrilled to have the Tide as the consolation prize. The problem, however, is the opponents the Sugar Bowl will have to choose from. Of all the at-large or unaffiliated teams, Utah may actually be the most attractive by the time the Sugar Bowl gets its choice. That just shows how bad the Big East is this year. If Utah loses to BYU, expect to see Boise State here.

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Oregon State.
Hooray, tradition! The annual Pac-10 vs. Big Ten rivalry will remain intact for yet another year, though you have to imagine the Rose Bowl folks are crossing their fingers that Oregon can topple the Beavers and put USC in this game. The Fighting Paternos just need to top Michigan State to lock up their trip to Pasadena.

Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Cincinnati.
Can you feel the excitement? Orange Bowl folks need to pray Miami makes this game or endure the misery of a potential Maryland vs. Cincinnati game. I'm not even sure I'd want to watch that if they were playing basketball. Making the matchup even more exciting? Brian Kelly may already have moved on from the Bearcats for the greener pastures of Clemson or Tennessee by the time this game is played.

Other SEC bowl games...

Capital One Bowl: Georgia vs. Ohio State. It'd be fun to watch an SEC team destroy Ohio State yet again. Michigan State will grab this spot if the Pac-10 or Big Ten standings change between now and season's end.

Liberty Bowl: Kentucky vs. Georgia Tech. Will I watch this? Yes. Will I probably need a fully stocked fridge to find it entertaining? Yes.

Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech. So if Florida and Georgia both hung 50 on the Tigers, what do you suppose Mike Leach's offense will do?

Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Iowa. The Hawkeyes have come on at the end of the season and this might actually be a pretty interesting game to watch.

Chick-fil-A Bowl:
Mississippi vs. Florida State. Shot in the dark here. The ACC is a mess, so who knows who will end up where?

Music City Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Virginia Tech. Did you realize Vandy could actually win a fifth SEC conference game for the first time since 1935 if the Commies beat Tennessee? Good for them.

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