Starting today and ending the second week of January, almost every time I turn on the TV I will be able to find a compelling college football game.
Honestly, how many times have I watched Florida International this year? Well I’ll give you a hint, the number starts with a 0! But now I can watch them in whatever bowl game they are in and be truly interested.
But let’s not kid ourselves either, all bowl games aren’t made equal. Some are more entertaining than others. So with that being said, here are five bowls (outside of the National Championship) that I am highly interested in:
- MAACO Bowl: ASU vs. Boise State – Dec. 22
Honestly, I kind of think this game will be a blowout as I just think ASU is just packing it in (although the coaching change may keep the players playing hard to ensure spots on next year’s team). But, there is one big reason why I want to watch this game: Kellen Moore. Moore has been entertaining to watch the last four years at Boise starting with the Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma. He has led fun and exciting teams at Boise with poise and leadership. So I am going to watch him play for one last time.
Pick: Boise State 38, Arizona State 21
- Alamo Bowl: Washington vs. Baylor – Dec. 29
This is kind of an under the radar bowl even though it features this year’s Heisman Award winner RGIII. It’s probably because Baylor is almost a double digit favorite and Washington flew under the radar the entire season. But Washington quietly is a very good team with an up and coming standout QB Keith Price. When Price was healthy and starting for the Huskies, he was a great compliment to another under-the-radar player in RB Chris Polk. I have seen Polk play live and the guy is an absolute animal. He is deceptively quick with a powerful frame that I think will give Baylors’ defense fits. If he is able to get it going and Price starts to run the play-action, they can keep up with the Bears all game. However, I do think RGIII and company will be too much for Washington’s D.
Pick: Baylor 49, Washington, 41
- Meineke Car Care Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas A&M – Dec. 31
I am going to watch this game for basically the same reason I am watching the Boise State game, for one player: Dan Persa. He seems to have been hurt his entire career at Northwestern but he should be healthy for this game as he leads a Northwestern team vs. an underperforming Texas A&M team. The Aggies are definitely more talented but they have been disappointing all season allowing teams come back from big deficits all season. This time though, I think Northwestern won’t need a big comeback as the team should be ready to perform in Persa’s last game as a Wildcat.
Pick: Northwestern 32, Texas A&M 29
- Gator Bowl: Ohio State vs. Florida – Jan. 2
Never have I been more interested in a match-up of 6-6 teams. It should be a lot of fun though to see the Gators’ fans’ signs about Meyer. I’m thinking: “Meyer, Meyer, pants on fire!” That’s actually not bad if I do say so myself. But these teams actually do have some talent on the team and some underclassman I am looking forward to watching such as Florida’s Redshirt-Freshman WR Quentin Dunbar who should be a star for the Gators next year. Also, on Ohio States side of the ball, I want to watch Braxton Miller who should be a good fit for Urban Meyer’s offensive scheme next year. But Miller will also be pivotal in this game as I think he takes Ohio State over the top.
Pick: Ohio State 24, Florida 20
- Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin – Jan. 2
Ya, so, umm, I am a homer. What can I say, how am I not going to include this game? It is a big game for Oregon. I do not necessarily buy into the notion that if the Ducks lose this game, they will not be considered an elite program. I think they are in the spot Ohio State was a few years ago when they “couldn’t win the big game” and would always lose to the big boys. Oregon is Pac-10/12 champs for three years in a row, there is no shame in that. But still, they have lost several big games: Boise State in 2009, Ohio State in 2010, Auburn in 2011 and LSU this year. They will need to win a big match-up soon or they will start being hurt in the polls no matter what they do in conference play. So it starts with this game. The secret to beating Oregon is having a dominating defensive line which Wisconsin does not have by any stretch of the imagination. However, Wisky has a huge offensive line that will present big problems to Oregons undersized defense no matter how fast they are. It is also a match-up of polar opposites in terms of time of possession as the Badgers are in the top-20 while the Ducks are second to last. So will Oregon, in 20 minutes of possession, be able to score more points than the Badgers with 40 minutes of possession?
Pick: You really think I am jinxing this game? Hell no! lol…
Also: Keep a lookout on the promised blog about the corruption running the college bowl system in the next week. It will be posted, I promise!!