Picking The BCS Bowl Winners
Friday - December 29, 2010
Looking ahead to the new year, it seems like fun to outguess the BCS. There was a time when college football ended its season on Jan. 1 with all the major bowl games. Now they are spread out, and we start with the Rose Bowl featuring Big 10 co-champion Wisconsin and non-AQ representative TCU.
In the most surprising bit of odds-making in the entire bowl season, TCU is a 2 1/2 point favorite over the Badgers. While the Horned Frogs have some offensive balance and a tenacious D, Wisconsin features the best offensive line in the college game and running backs who can cause sleepless nights for opposing defensive coaches. The Badgers may be the best team in the land right now, and I’ve got them rolling over the Frogs. Final score: Wisconsin 31, TCU 14.
The only other bowl game actually played on New Year’s Day is the Fiesta Bowl, featuring Big 12 champion Oklahoma against Big East winner Connecticut. UConn leads one to believe that BCS stands for Broken College System - they simply don’t belong in an elite bowl game. The Sooners aren’t perfect, but they win easily here. They ought to rename this year’s edition the Siesta Bowl. Final score: Oklahoma 35, Connecticut 10.
The Orange Bowl should be a good spectator game. Stanford has a high-powered offense and the likely No 1. pick in the upcoming NFL draft in QB Andrew Luck. Virginia Tech has an abundance of team speed and real talent at the skill positions. The Cardinal is favored by 3, but I think the Hokies are due. Final score: Virginia Tech 31, Stanford 28.
This year’s Sugar Bowl takes place Jan. 4 and pits Ohio State against Arkansas. The starting QBs couldn’t be much different. OSU’s Terrelle Pryor is a fabulous spread signal caller dangerous with his feet as with his arm, while Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet is a classic drop-back passer who makes all the throws. The difference will be on defense, and I like the Buckeyes here. Final score: Ohio State 27, Arkansas 23.
We’ll have to wait till Jan. 10 for the BCS Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon. May the game live up to the hype.
Both teams survived close calls this year, but generally Auburn did it against better competition. Oregon has fabulous speed and LaMichael James is fun to watch, but there’s a reason Cam Newton won the Heisman trophy. I will root for Oregon but my head says the Tigers get the ring. Final score: Auburn 35, Oregon 31.
* The WAC basketball schedule has arrived for the Rainbow Warriors and they start out in the toughest venue possible: in Logan against Utah State.
The good news is it just gets easier after this Dec. 29 game. Then Hawaii will spend New Year’s Eve in Reno against a Nevada team they’ve never beaten on the road.
But the Wolfpack is not what they’ve been, and UH could surprise if they shoot well.
The problem for Gib Arnold is depth. He’ll need another recruiting class or two to be at the level to which UH aspires.
Count on this team to play hard and beat some teams they shouldn’t. This year they’ll make the WAC tournament.
Next year they make some serious noise.
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