The Man’s Bowl Game Picks Dec 21–Jan 10
After going 2-1 on my first 3 picks, and only making picks on the first 3 games, I thought it was about time to make my selections for the rest of the bowls. With there being nothing but blowouts so far, I’m not really sure what to expect but here we go:
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl: I’m going with the Golden Eagles over the Cards of Louisville.
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs Boise State is a game that should be on everyone’s “much watch” list. It’s probably going to be one of the best games before the New Years Day games. I’m going to stick with the boys in blue and call the Broncos in this one.
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Much like Southern Miss and Louisville, I don’t know much about these two teams so this is just a hunch pick but I’m taking Navy over SDSU.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: This, to me, is a pretty simple pick. Hawaii is basically playing a home game so I’m making them my pick to win this game. Plain and simple there. Home team over the visiting Golden Hurricanes.
Little Caesars Bowl: Toledo will top the FIU Golden Panthers. At least, for my sake, I hope so.
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: This matchup of the triple option is a tough call but I don’t think Tevin Washington can hold up in the spot of Tech QB Josh Nesbitt. He definitely won’t be able to hold up enough to carry the Yellow Jackets past Air Force. Air Force takes the game.
Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia playing North Carolina State out of the ACC should also be a good game but I think that it’s a good one that goes in favor of NC State.
Insight Bowl: This game is expected to be quite a battle. Mizzou is a very strong team. If you remember, this team is one that beat a newly named #1 Oklahoma team in October. They will put up quite a fight against Iowa but the Hawkeyes are ranked 7th in the nation in points against on the season so I don’t see the Tigers putting up enough points to beat them. I’m taking the Hawkeyes.
Military Bowl: I think this is a very easy pick. Eastern Carolina might try to put up a fight but Maryland, with the firing of Coach Ralph Friedgen, has something to play for.They have inspiration to send their coach out on a good note! With that said, I’m taking the Terps. As they say, Fear the Turtle!
Texas Bowl: Illinois vs Baylor is another matchup that I don’t know much about but just for the sake of calling it, I’m going with Baylor. Baylor beat Kansas State and Texas this season so that’s where I’m basing my pick. I know that Texas had a very down year but they’re still my pick. The fighting “Ron Zook’s” will challenge my call quite well but we shall see how good my gut call is on the 29th of Dec.
Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys are coming into the game 3rd in the nation in scoring shown in their 10-2 record. Arizona had an early win against Iowa and a mid-season win over Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies. I don’t think either is enough of a statement to say that they’ll beat the 3rd highest scoring team in the nation. I’m taking the Cowboys over the Cats.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Army playing against SMU is a very interesting matchup. Army is in the mid-50’s for points for and points against. SMU is 66th in points for and 61st in points against. These statistics play against Southern Methodist but I’m pulling for the Mustangs in this one. I don’t know if they are considered the underdog here but they’re getting my nod for the victory here.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: I don’t know too much about Syracuse or Kansas State but I’m going with the Wildcats. Not real sure why but that’s my pick.
Music City Bowl: This game for me is a very tough pick! I’m going to go with UNC and away from my SEC upbringing. Tennessee just isn’t a strong pick to me. I like North Carolina to roll over UT pretty big.
Holiday Bowl: Another must watch game here. It’s the last game of the night on December 10th. Nebraska vs Washington is going to be a big time match up of Quarterbacks, Taylor Martinez against Jake Locker. Nebraska comes in 9th in rushing yards per game in the nation and 8th in the nation for points against, only giving up an average 17 points. Washington can’t match those numbers, but here is where I make a bold pick. Nebraska took the Huskies behind the woodshed on September 18 this season to the tune of 56-21. I predict a revenge-seeking Washington team to come into this bowl game and handle business.
Meineke Car Care Bowl: I’m just going to lay this out: Clemson has had a disappointing season and South Florida is coming off of a rivalry win over the U or Miami! I’m going with Skip Holtz and his South Florida Bulls over the Tigers of Clemson. Easy pick for me.
Hyundai Sun Bowl: This game has been pegged by some people across the Twitter network as “Catholics vs Convicts” and if that’s how the game is then I’m going with a solid pick of the cons. Nothing tough about it here for me. Miami has almost had as bad of a season as Texas has but I think that they have enough left in the tank to beat Notre Dame. Also, I think that they have to play for, if nothing else, pride. Their coach was fired following a rivalry LOSS to South Florida so I would think that they need to fight for pride.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Another tough pick here. The Dawgs started out 1-3 without their star receiver in AJ Green. Since he’s been back, UGA has finished up with a 6-6 season and now faces a UCF team that has worked its way into the BCS Top 25. UCF is 10-3 and only lost 1 conference game. I’ve been raised to be a Dawgs fan and it was very tough for me to turn down picking UCF but, in the end, that’s what I did. This pick is my least confident pick but I’m following my upbringing and sticking with the Dawgs here. Look for a tight game between these two.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Personally, I cannot wait for this bowl game above all others. One reason is that I’ll be at this game and the other is that Florida State is my favorite team. If it weren’t for 10 SAT points I’d be enrolled there and eventually I will have a degree from there but that’s beside the point. This game is set between the runner-up from the SEC in South Carolina and the runner-up from the ACC in FSU. This is going to be a great game with both teams coming off of beatings in their respective conference championship games. Florida State leads the nation in sacks with 46 on the year and Gamecock’s QB Jeff Garcia has been sacked 22 times this season but for me, the key to this game comes on the offensive side of the ball in the play of FSU QB Christian Ponder. If he is able to play, and all reports say that he will, then it’s a matter of how well he plays as to who wins this game. I have a lot of respect and belief in Ponder and because of that, I’m going with FSU.
TicketCity Bowl: After a crazy New Year’s Eve, we’ll kick off the new year with Northwestern playing Texas Tech. I don’t expect this to be a very interesting game. I’m just going to throw out my pick and be done with this one rather quickly. I’m picking the Wildcats over the Red Raiders.
Outback Bowl: Urban Meyer’s last reign before Will Muschamp takes over in the Swamp. The Gators, who have also had a less than expected season, will be looking to send their coach out on a high note while Joe Paterno still roams the sideline for the Nittany Lions. I think that the Gators can fight all that they want to but Penn State will be too much for them in the end. Calling for yet another Joe Pa win here.
Capital One Bowl: This matchup throws together last year’s National Champion Crimson Tide of Alabama against Michigan State’s Spartans. State comes in only losing one game on the season and throwing punches in every game that they played. The Spartans, who are in a 3 way tie as Big Ten Champions, come in to the game against the SEC West’s 4th team. Alabama has the talent, no doubt about that, but I don’t think that their season has went the way that they had expected it and I don’t think that they turn it around here against the Spartans. Michigan State takes this game from the Tide.
Gator Bowl: Another New Year’s Day game that pins the Bulldogs of Mississippi State against the Wolverines of Michigan. The only thing that I know about the Wolverines is that Denard Robinson plays for them and will be playing in this game. That kid is electric! Saying that, I do have to make my pick. My pick is going away from Robinson and Big Blue but instead is heading to Starkville, Mississippi. I’m going with the Dawgs in this one.
Rose Bowl: The “Grand Daddy of ‘em all” bring in two teams that have had huge seasons. TCU comes out of the Mountain West (a Non-AQ conference) to play the Wisconsin Badgers, who also share a piece of that 3 way Big Ten Champion tie. The Horned Frogs are looking to complete their 2nd consecutive undefeated season and the Badgers are looking to keep their season to only 1 loss. TCU also looks to get their shot to show the nation that they deserve to have the opportunity to play in a National Championship game. I want to pick TCU but my gut is telling me to stick with the “Big Boys” so I’m going for the Badgers.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: UConn and Oklahoma are battling it out in another New Year’s Day game. I don’t know how much there is to say about this game either. I’m going with the Sooners. I feel like that’s enough said right there.
Orange Bowl: Stanford and Andrew Luck against Virginia Tech and Tyrod Taylor. Luck has led Stanford to a 1-loss season, that loss was to Oregon who is headed to the National Championship game. Taylor led Tech to the ACC Title and 11 straight wins after starting their season losing to Boise State followed by a loss to James Madison. Luck has thrown for over 3,000 yards and ran for 438 yards; Taylor has passed for over 2,500 and rushed for 637 yards. I’m going to have to take the Cardinals because of Luck. He wasn’t a finalist for the Heisman for nothing.
Sugar Bowl: Ohio State and Arkansas head to New Orleans for this game. OSU is the 3rd team that shares the tie in the Big Ten Championship however, that’s the only thing I’ve heard about the Buckeyes this season. For that reason, I’m taking the Hogs and Ryan Mallett. Mallett has a big arm and shows up big when it matters.
GoDaddy.com Bowl: Middle Tennessee and Miami of Ohio are playing in this January 6th game. Another game that I know next to nothing about the teams who are playing. I’m making a random gut feeling pick here and going with Miami of Ohio. Not sure why but there it is.
AT&T Cotton Bowl: The “Mad Hatter” leads the LSU Tigers into the game against Texas A&M. A&M comes in this game after winning the Big 12 South and finishing with a 9-3 record. LSU comes in with a 10-2 record and finished 2nd in the SEC West behind Auburn ,who is heading to the National Championship game. The Tigers are 9th overall in points against in the nation and because they only give up an average of 17.8 points per game, I’m picking them to win this game.
BBVA Compass Bowl: The Pitt Panthers only give up 19.8 points per game on average and the Wildcats of Kentucky average 33 points per game. I see the defense coming up big on this game and leaving Kentucky short of victory. For that reason, I’m taking the Panthers from Pittsburgh.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada, with an overtime win against Boise State, won the WAC Conference this season and is going up against the ACC Atlantic 4th best team in Boston College. BC’s defense gives up an average of 19.5 points a game, but Quarterback Collin Kaepernick and his offensive unit average 42.6 points per game for the 7th best average in the nation. I’m going to have to take the Wolfpack and Mr. Kaepernick for the victory in this game.
And finally for the biggest game of them all:
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: If you don’t know these two teams by now then you must not have a pulse. Auburn is led by Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton at quarterback, who leads the nation’s quarterbacks for QB rating, and anchored on defense by Nick Fairley, who is tied for 10th in the nation in sacks with 10.5. Oregon is known for its numerous jersey combinations but now with this team they are beginning to be known for the people inside them starting with Heisman finalist LaMichael James. James is number 1 in the nation with 1,682 yards rushing on the season and has helped the Ducks to become the number 1 scoring team in the nation, averaging 49 points per game. This is a tough pick. Most people in the nation expect this to be a high scoring affair, along with myself, but I don’t think it’ll be high scoring for the team that you all expect. I’m pulling for the #1 Tigers. I’ll even predict a score on this game, 48-37 Auburn.