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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bowl Predictions

We're down to the last month of the season, so I figured it seemed like a good time to take a crack at predicting the big bowl matchups. I warn you in advance, while I know a good bit about college football, I'm terrible at games of chance, so the two tend to even themselves out here.

In any case, here's my picks for the BCS games, and I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts as well.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Texas. This is sort of a shot in the dark, but my thought process is that the two best conferences are the SEC and the Big 12, and in my opinion, these are the two best teams from those conferences. I know Florida beat Georgia handily, but I also think the Bulldogs exposed a number of weaknesses on the Gators' D, they just didn't take advantage of them. I also know that Alabama's D is more physical and more dominant than Georgia's is. So while everyone is ready to anoint Florida the best team in the land, I still think 'Bama will have something to say about it. In the Big 12, I think the conference is going to end the season with a three-way tie for first place (Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech) with each team having one loss and split games with the other two teams. So how do they figure out the champ? I have no idea, so I'm just going with Texas.

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. USC. Old school Big Ten vs. Pac-10, and what a matchup this would be. Penn State's problem is its conference just doesn't have the juice to push it past an SEC or Big 12 school, even one with one loss. So what could very easily happen at the end of the year is this: Texas wins the national championship game with one loss. Penn State wins the Rose Bowl and finishes undefeated. And the BCS denies Joe Pa another national championship despite his team winning all of its games. If that happens, the cries for a playoff will reach an all-time high.

Fiesta Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Ohio State. With Texas heading to the national championship game, the Fiesta Bowl gets first crack at a replacement, and I'm guessing it goes with Texas Tech for two reasons: 1.) Oklahoma is there every year, and 2.) scoring = ratings, and Texas Tech can score some points. If this happens though, I can say without much hesitation that Oklahoma will be the best college football team not to play in a BCS game. Ohio State lands an at-large bid, but only by default. Since no conference beyond the SEC and Big 12 deserve a second team making a BCS game, but no conference can send three teams, someone else has to land the gig. In all honesty, it should probably go to a non-BCS conference team, but that won't draw the same type of ratings or crowd that Ohio State will.

Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. West Virginia. Final score prediction on this one: Florida 136, West Virginia 5.

Orange Bowl: Maryland vs. Utah. Seriously, if this game was just an average Saturday afternoon telecast, would you even bother to find out what channel it was on? The interesting notes here are: 1.) Who the heck wins the ACC? Maryland is the only team with just one conference loss, but if the Terps should slip up, there are SIX other ACC teams with two defeats. What a mess. Utah has a huge game this week against TCU, with the winner staking its claim on a BCS berth. Either would be deserving if they were to win out, but what about Tulsa, Boise State and Ball State? I'm not saying any of the three have played a schedule that warrants consideration, but you have to at least think Boise State's history makes it an interesting possibility. Is there any chance a second non-BCS conference team could make a BCS bowl this year?

A few other quick predictions:

Cotton Bowl (Big 12 #2 vs. SEC): Oklahoma vs. LSU
Capital One Bowl (Big Ten #2 vs. SEC #2): Georgia vs. Michigan State
Outback Bowl (Big Ten #3 vs. SEC): Minnesota vs. South Carolina
Chick-fil-A Bowl (SEC vs. ACC #2): Kentucky vs. Georgia Tech
Music City Bowl (SEC 6/7 vs. ACC 5/6/7): Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest
Independence Bowl (SEC vs. Big 12): Ole Miss vs. Nebraska

So what do you think? Where will Georgia end up? Where would you like to see Georgia end up? Personally, I'd be thrilled with a trip to the Cotton Bowl, since I've never been to Dallas before.


Anonymous said...

As a georgia alum in michigan, I'd actually really like to see a michigan state game. I think it'd be fun. Now, thats assuming we get past our regular season games first...

Ludakit said...

Crazily enough, UGA could still be in line for a BCS bowl, but Florida has to lose to either FSU or So. Carolina as well as drop the SECC game.

If that happens, I don't see the BCS taking a 10-3 Florida team over a 10-2 UGA team, especially with Florida suffering 2losses within 3 weeks of each other.

If UGA wins out I think they're in line for a decent BCS bowl. Probably the Sugar again b/c Alabama would then go to the MNC, leaving the Sugar open for a rematch of 2005.

That's a HUGE what-if scenario, but if Florida does happen to stumble twice throughout the rest of the season and UGA wins out, it's a viable scenario.

Anonymous said...

Vandy probably won't play WF in a bowl since they already play the last weekend of the season.

David Hale said...

That's a good point on Vandy-Wake. Hadn't thought about that. The ACC's a total crapshoot anyway, so could be any one of about nine teams to play in that game.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you figure a three way tie in the Big 12 with Texas coming out of it. That is impossible, did you forget that one all three teams are in the south?