There’s still time to get in your picks for the Bowl Pick’Em game here at TAC. To encourage you, Jay Anderson & I have provided you with our picks & our comments about each bowl. Dave Hartline as well as commenter Nicholas Jagneux have also sent in picks, which I’ll show at the end. Again, your picks are definitely appreciated and we’ll take them until 1 o’clock CST tomorrow (when the New Mexico Bowl starts).
But first, another reminder to repeat “Leaders” and “Legends” to the nearest Big 10 fan you know. Whatever dignity the Big 10 had is gone…ouch.
So let’s talk about the bowls!
One disclaimer first: since I’m not being paid to shill for these companies, I have eliminated the sponsors name wherever possible. Sometimes this includes changing the bowl back to its real name. For example, the Chick-fil-a bowl is the Peach Bowl.
New Mexico Bowl: BYU v. UTEP
Jay: BYU-UTEP lost 5 out of its last 6 games. That’s no way to go into a bowl game.
Michael: BYU-I’m still not sure why they’re going independent, but I think they’ll win a bowl before they do.
Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois v. Fresno St.
Jay: Northern Illinois-I’m going with the team from the Midwest. Fresno State turns the ball over too much.
Michael: Northern Illinois-This team was ranked before getting upset in the MAC title game and I think they’ll get past a Fresno St. team that got embarrassed by Boise.
New Orleans Bowl: Ohio v. Troy
Jay: Ohio-Rufus the Bobcat will beat up on the Trojans. And that’s just in the mascot war. I’m going with the team from Ohio.)
Michael: Troy apparently has an NFL prospect at WR, but Ohio’s played well all year and at the end of the day, I’ll take MAC over Sun Belt.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl: Southern Mississippi v. Louisville
Jay: Southern Mississippi-The what bowl? Beef ‘O’ Brady? This has got to be the stupidest bowl name in history. I’m picking Southern Miss, but I’d be embarrassed as hell to admit that I won the frickin’ Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl.
Michael: Southern Mississippi- They always play teams tough, and I have no respect for a barely bowl-eligible team from the Big LEast
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise St. v. Utah
Jay: Boise State-On paper, Boise State vs. Utah is a great match-up. The Broncos need to come to play, lest they suffer the same fate Alabama did a few years ago when the Crimson Tide came so close but lost out on the opportunity to play for the “National Championship” and had to “settle” for playing Utah in the Sugar Bowl. I’m sure many will try to draw parallels between then and now. But this time, it will be Utah on the end of the drubbing as I believe Boise State will blow this game out.
Michael: Utah was shown up to be a pretender by TCU & Notre Dame; while Boise clearly has no interest in being in this bowl instead of the Rose Bowl their kicker could have sent them to, they’ll be mad enough to light up the scoreboard against Utah.
Poinsettia Bowl – Navy v. San Diego State
Jay: Navy-It’s basically a home game for San Diego State, but that won’t be enough to stop Navy’s option attack. The Midshipmen will win this one.
Michael: San Diego St.-They played tough against TCU, and I’m skeptical of option attacks when teams have a few weeks to study up on it. In a home game, the Aztecs will win it.
Hawaii Bowl – Hawaii v. Tulsa
Jay: Hawaii-Another “home game” bowl. The travel time and jet lag will take it’s toll on Tulsa. Hawaii wins.
Michael: Hawaii-This game is always unbearable to watch due to the hawaiian shirts all the coaching staff wears. Still, Hawaii’s passing attack should get them by Tulsa.
Little Caesars Bowl – Florida International v . Toledo
Jay: Toledo-And yet another “home game” – well, sorta – as Toledo travels just a few miles up the road to play Florida International in Detroit. Detroit? Damn. Who’s Wheaties do you have to pee in to get consigned to playing your bowl game in Detroit? What? Was Kandahar unavailable for a bowl game?
Michael: Toledo-This is one of those early bowls where I look up at the matchup and think “I’d like to pick both these teams to lose.” Since I can’t, I go for the home field advantage taking Toledo to the win.
Independence Bowl – Georgia Tech v. Air Force
Jay: Air Force-I know I should go with the ACC team, but I’ve been impressed with Air Force this season. Up we go …
Michael: Air Force-With Nesbitt out, GT has struggled mightily and that won’t change here.
Champs Sports Bowl – West Virginia v. NC State
Jay: West Virginia-Again, I should go with conference pride and pick the ACC team. But it’s the ACC. They play basketball in that conference.
Michael: West Virginia-The Mountaineers played well at the end the season and are more consistent than the Wolfpack
Insight Bowl – Iowa v. Missouri
Jay: Iowa-Iowa is the best 5-loss team in the nation. This is a team that should be playing in a major bowl, had they lived up to their potential. If I were Missouri, I certainly wouldn’t want to be facing them right now.
Michael: Like Jay said, Iowa is the best unranked team in the nation and I never believed in Mizzou. Easy pick for me.
Military Bowl- East Carolina v. Maryland
Jay: Maryland-Okay, I’m going to go with the ACC in this one.
Michael: Maryland-ECU is always a dangerous team, but they haven’t impressed this year as they’ve done in years past, so I’ll give the nod to a better than expected Terps squad.
Texas Bowl – Baylor v. Illinois
Jay: Baylor-Going with my heart, family ties, and loyalty to alma mater, even though my head says Illinois.
Michael: Baylor-Illinois is probably the better team, but watching them choke to Fresno St. makes me wary of them. I think Baylor cares more about this game and pulls off the upset.
Alamo Bowl – Oklahoma State v. Arizona
Jay: Okie St.- Oklahoma State in a walk. They’re playing against a Stoops, and the Stoops almost never come through in bowl games.
Michael: Oklahoma St.-I still have no idea how the Wildcats beat the Hawkeyes. The Wildcats will be looking to avoid punting or kicking extra points in order to have a chance to survive.
Armed Forces Bowl – Army v. SMU
Jay: SMU-Home-town team wins this one.
Michael: SMU-I like being patriotic, but how many military named bowls do we really need? SMU should get it done.
Pinstripe Bowl – Syracuse v. Kansas St.
Jay: Syracuse-A bowl game played in the frickin’ Bronx? Really? That’s just so pathetic that a Big East team deserves to win this one.
Michael: Kansas St.-I guess if the Yanks couldn’t get Cliff Lee a bowl game will serve as a consolation prize. It’ll be so much fun to play outside in a baseball stadium. K State’s running game gets them past a slipping Syracuse team.
Music City Bowl – UNC v. Tennessee
Jay: UNC-Although the game is being played in Tennessee, UNC is just a better team than the Volunteers
Michael: UNC-I usually pick SEC,, but the bottom of the SEC East doesn’t deserve that presumption. UNC is better than people think.
Holiday Bowl – Nebraska v. Washington
Jay: Nebraska-Nebraska will win big over Washington. This is a rematch of a regular-season game in which the Huskers drubbed the Huskies by 30+ points.
Michael: Nebraska-While Mel Kiper might think that Jake Locker has a chance, I don’t.
Meineke Car Care Bowl – South Florida v. Clemson
Jay: Clemson-This game, being played in Charlotte, is almost a home game for Clemson
Michael: Clemson-This team took Auburn to the wire in Auburn; I give them the edge.
Sun Bowl – Miami v. Notre Dame
Jay: Miami-While I want to go with my heart on this one, the head prevails. When was the last time the Irish won a bowl game?
Michael: Notre Dame- The Irish came on strong to upset USC & Utah to become bowl eligible so I like them over a team that just fired its coach.
Liberty Bowl – Central Florida v. Georgia
Jay: UCF-The Dawgs are big-time underachievers
Michael: Georgia-While anytime anyone has to go to Shreveport (in college football and otherwise), it’s a disappointment, AJ Green is a beast and UGA with him is a good team.
Peach Bowl – Florida State v. South Carolina
Jay: FSU-Although this is his best season at South Carolina, Spurrier struggles against Florida State, and Jimbo Fisher definitely has the Seminoles on the way up
Michael: South Carolina-Yeah, I’ll pick the SEC over the ACC. While Garcia is scary in a bad way, Lattimore is scary in a good way and will run them by the Noles.
TicketCity Bowl – Northwestern v. Texas Tech
Jay: Northwestern-Northwestern is better than their 7-5 record.
Michael: Texas Tech-With Persa out, The Wildcats have been terrible. Persa will still be out, so I pick the Red Raiders.
Hall of Fame Bowl – Penn State v. Florida
Jay: Penn St. Just because I like pulling for Joe Pa, and the Gators are really not all that good this year.
Michael: Florida-I’m getting a little annoyed at all the jokes about how JoePa is sticking around while Meyer is quitting. Why are we mocking a guy who’s made all the money he’ll ever need and wants to spend time with his family? Joe Pa is class, but I’ve never wanted to see Florida win more. That, and Penn St. got smacked every time they played a decent team this year.
Citrus Bowl – Michigan State v. Alabama
Jay: Michigan St.-Although chances are that Bama will probably win, I’m nevertheless picking Dantonio and the Big Ten.
Michael: I don’t remember if MSU is a leader or legend,. Either way, there’s no way Nick Saban loses to his former employer after stewing on the Auburn loss for a month. Bama crushes an overrated Sparty.
Gator Bowl – Mississippi State v. Michigan
Jay: Mississippi St.-I’m picking against RichRod – the Wolverines need Jim Harbaugh to come in and breathe some new life into The Rivalry
Michael: Mississippi St.-Dan Mullen’s Christmas present was facing the Michigan defense. I think it’s a little early to fire Rich Rod, but it’s probably inevitable that he’ll be gone by next year.
Rose Bowl Game- Wisconsin v. TCU
Jay: Wisconsin-Wisconsin is clearly the best 1-loss team in the country, and I think probably the 3rd best team overall behind Auburn and Oregon.
Michael: Wisconsin-TCU hasn’t beaten anyone of worth, and that rushing attack of the Badgers is scary good.
Fiesta Bowl – UConn v. Oklahoma
Jay: UConn-I’ve got to pick a few upsets to set my picks apart, and Oklahoma, with its 2-5 BCS record, is a pretty good bet to lose in a major bowl game. It’s a stretch, I know, but if any team can blow a bowl game to a vastly inferior opponent, it’s the Sooners.
Michael: Oklahoma-Even if Oklahoma pulls its usual choke job in a bowl game, Oklahoma at its worst is better than UConn.
Orange Bowl – Stanford v. Virginia Tech
Jay: Stanford- Jim Harbaugh will launch his Michigan coaching career with a victory over the Hokies down in Miami. I would have much preferred seeing Stanford take on Wisconsin, however, with TCU against the Sooners, and UConn playing Virginia Tech.
Michael: Stanford-This is a great matchup; I really think the BCS got some good matchups this year as opposed to years past. I pick the Cardinal (ugh…singular) b/c I think Luck & the offense is too good for the Hokeis.
Sugar Bowl – Ohio State v. Arkansas
Jay: Ohio St.-I know, I know. The Slowhio State Buckeyes can’t beat SEC teams or something. But here’s hoping that Ryan Mallet is still tainted with the “Can’t beat Tressel” aura with which he came into contact when he played for Michigan.
Michael: While I’ll give you that OSU has a better shot against Arkansas than they’ve had against other SEC teams, I’ll only pick Ohio St. over an SEC team when I see it. Mallet is a good QB with a running game, and even with a weak defense they should get back the Buckeyes.
GoDaddy.com Bowl – Miami (OH) v. Middle Tennessee
Jay:Miami (OH)- The “Cradle of Coaches” ought to be able to handle Middle Tennessee State. But it is absolutely absurd that two such also-rans are playing as late as January 6. The bowls ought to be over by January 1, just like in the old days. This interminable bowl season is a load of crap.
Michael: Miami(OH)-Ditto on the need of ending the season on Jan 1. I think the Mac champ gets by the sun belt in this one
Cotton Bowl – Texas A&M v. LSU
Jay: Texas A&M-State pride and family ties win out over better judgment.
Michael: LSU-Les Miles is a great bowl coach, and the Aggie have trouble stopping the pass rush already. The Aggies haven’t seen anything like LSU’s defense, and they’ll wish they had joined the SEC at the end of this one.
Compass Bowl – Pittsburgh v. Kentucky
Jay: Pitt-What the hell bowl game is this and who the hell cares who wins? And will anyone be watching these two suckass teams play in a bowl game an entire week after the bowls SHOULD HAVE ended?
Michael: Pitt-I don’t know how UK got bowl eligible. The Wannstache gets it done one last time.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl-Nevada v. Boston College
Jay: Nevada-Dear Lord, make it stop!!! It’s bad enough to be playing college bowl games a full week-and-a-half into the new year, but the frickin’ “Fight Hunger Bowl”?!? Who comes up with this $h!+?
Michael: Nevada-There’s no better way to fight hunger than a bowl game. Indeed, when I watch this game I feel the poverty & hunger being wiped away with every yard. Seriously, Nevada’s rushing attack is pretty good and BC won’t be able to handle it.
BCS National Championship Game – Oregon v. Auburn
Jay: Oregon-About damn time! Has MLB Spring Training started yet? It’s almost time for March Madness, isn’t it? I’m not sure I really care at this late date who wins the so-called “National Championship”. I’ll go with Oregon, mostly because of the Heisman jinx, even though the alleged jinx didn’t hurt Alabama last year. Cam Newton will probably put on about 50 lbs just making the banquet circuit, and that extra time before the BCS “Championship” rolls around will give him even more opportunities to eat himself out of shape as the keynote speaker at alumni fundraising dinners – at least that’s what apparently happened to Troy Smith.
Michael: Auburn-Although I’ll be rooting hard for the Ducks, it’s hard to deny the reality. Cam Newton & McCaleb make that offense impossible to stop. While Oregon has a great offense to match, their defense isn’t as good as the Nick Fairley led Auburn unit. Both units of the WarPlainsTigerEagleMen are better than Oregon, so they get the edge.
Allright, get your picks in!