Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bowl Picks - Conclusion

Well, here's the last of the true college football action for the 2011 season. By January 10th, we will have crowned this year's BCS champ, know who won what, and be picking over the final polls. I do love bowl season, but I hate to see it come every year, as it brings the end of the season, and I really hate to see it go, leaving us college football-less once again. I've put the and Compass bowls first - I think we all know why - and then picked the New Year's games and lastly, the BCS bowls. It's the last official prognostication from FTS for this season, so enjoy.

Compass Bowl - May as well be the Inconsistency Bowl. With what's happened in Pittsburgh, it would make sense to take SMU, but remeber June Jones' 'just the tip' moment with Arizona State. I think the Panthers will be angry - very angry - and will have enough in them to top the 'Stangs. Pitt 27, SMU 20. Bowl - Don't overlook this one. Granted, I do hate the middies sneaking their bowls up in the schedule, but that won't dampen the fireworks. These are to streaking teams and logic says to go with the Wolves, but my gut says take the firepower from up north. No.Ill 33, Arkansas State 28.

New Year's Bowls:

Ticket City - Wow. Even with Sumlin leaving Houston, it's hard to go with the dumpster fire in State College. There's going to be chaos on both sidelines, but, for some reason, I'm going with the skill of Keenum. Despite the skill of Penn State's defense, I think the Cougs can still put up enough points. Houston 29, Penn State 28.

Outback - I know both teams lost their conference championship games, but I think one's taking it better than the other. While Sparty was still talking about how close they were to the Rose Bowl, the Georgia players were already enjoying their Outback blowout and talking about how much fun Tampa was gonna be. Michigan State has a more than capable defense, but so does Georgia, and I think it'll be harder to stop Murray than Cousins. Take the Dawgs to cover, Georgia 30, Michigan State 16.

Capital One - This is a tough, tough, game to pick. Without Lattimore, South Carolina's a scary pick. But, there's something else to this game. I don't see either team really setting off the offensive fireworks, which means it could be a hard-fought, low-scoring affair. And nobody can drag an opponent down into the muck and beat 'em like South Carolina. Look for a key defensive TD to tun things for the Gamecocks, South Carolina 21, Nebraska 19.

Gator - Another tough one to pick. Originally, I was using Ohio State's performance against Michigan as my measurement for picking the Bucks. But then I remembered 2006. So, even though I promised I wouldn't do it, I'm calling for the SEC sweep on Jan. 2, Florida 21, Ohio State 20.

Cotton -  And the sweep will continue through Jan. 6...but be careful of that 8 point spread. I'm taking the Hawgs, but close: Arkansas 32, Kansas State 27.

BCS Bowls:

Rose - I love Russel Wilson and Montee Ball; look for the two of them to give Oregon's defense fits. However, while the Badger defense has been solid all year, I don't see them being able to slow down the Ducks' high-powered run game. It'll be fun to watch early, but Oregon will pull away late, Oregon 37, Wisconsin 29.

Fiesta - Stanford has talent and Andrew luck is an able leader, but the Cardinal is just not as battle tested as the Cowboys. It ought to be a shootout, but I'm taking the Poke's resume to life them, Oklahoma State 41, Stanford 31.

Orange - Be wise, take the points. Clemson 28, West Virginia 27.

Sugar - While the Orange Bowl is probably the least interesting match-up, this one is the most questionable. VA Tech's limping in after being embarrassed by Clemson and Michigan slides in with two-losses and without having played in their conference title game. Clemson is the only team we've seen beat Va Tech, but we've seen Michigan come out flat on occasion, as well. I'm hoping both come out hot, but calling for three shootouts in five BCS bowls is wishful thinking. Look for defenses to overshadow the contest, Virginia Tech 19, Michigan 17.

BCS Championship - The Rematch. LSU's had a tougher slate down the stretch and could be more prepared for the big game, but it's hard for me to pick against Alabama. They outplayed the Tigers offensively last time, but came up short on special teams - don't look for that to happen twice. Look for more than 15 points in this one and never give Nick Saban a second chance: Alabama 21, LSU 16.

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