As evidence of how out of it I am right now, this should have been posted earlier, obviously because the Texas - Iowa game is already in the third quarter. My bowl picks, however, have already been registered by the "In the Bleachers" guys as I'm participating in their pick 'em contest, in which Mrs. Corn Nation is kicking my butt. It's so good to be me!
And as the bowl games roll on, the better they get. There is not a single game here that I want to miss.
Alamo Bowl, Dec. 30th, 3:30 CST, ESPN
Texas vs. Iowa
Both of these teams had disappointing seasons, so the winner of this bowl game will be dependent upon the team that wants to win the bowl game. There will be a lot said about which McCoy plays quarterback for Texas, but it won't make much difference. Texas has a good defensive line, a good running game, and they'll pound Iowa into submission. Texas wins because they're close to home and they have more pride than the Hawks.
Have you ever looked at how much Kirk Ferentz is getting paid at Iowa? He's getting a lot of dough for them to suck this bad. I don't think Kirk Ferentz sucks, he is a good coach. It's not the players either, but the aura of the place. No disrespect intended to Iowa City, but Iowa has always been content with being just above average. Not great, just above average. Weird. Maybe it's a Big 10 disease.
Texas by more than 10.
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 30th, 7:00 pm CST, ESPN
Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
Georgia, a team that could have been a contender, still trying to figure out where their offense is against steadfast Frank Beamer's Hokies.
Virginia Tech wins this because they'll want it more. Georgia will be too busy still being disappointed in their season, their coach, their state, their cheerleaders. You name it, they're disappointed about it, but not nearly as much as Alabama.
MPC Computers, Dec. 31st, 6:30 pm CST, ESPN
Miami vs. Nevada
Most people will be picking Miami. Not me - I'll be watching this game for the sole purpose of watching Miami lose on a blue field in Idaho. Miami will spend the first quarter pondering the blue field. They'll spend the second quarter wondering how they ended up in a place that's cold for a bowl. They'll spend the third quarter thinking about what should have been a great season. They'll wake up to the fact they could lose to Nevada at around 13:00 left in the fourth quarter, and start playing football. They'll nearly win and spend the off-season pondering how that could have happened, blame Larry Coker for everything in mid-January but by mid-August, they'll instead blame their quarterback.
Nevada wins by a half point.
Outback Bowl, Jan 1st, 10:00 am CST,
Penn State vs. Tennessee
Tennesee's coach is much bigger than Joe Paterno, but that isn't the reason why they'll win this game. Penn State, Joe Paterno, a great school, a great legacy, a great coach who isn't past his prime.
Tennessee by five.
Cotton Bowl, Jan. 1st, 10:30 am CST,
We'll cover this one separately when I post Bill Callahan's Keys To Victory.
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1st, noon CST,
Wisconsin vs. Arkansas
I've always liked Wisconsin. Maybe it's the beer and cheese, in that order. Maybe it's because my mother was born and raised in Rice Lake, and used to tell me stories about her childhood. Maybe it's because Barry Alvarez played for Nebraska. Maybe it's because they're red. Maybe it's all of the above and the fact that Wisconsin plays football a lot like Nebraska - with not a lot of flair and an eye towards workmanship above all else.
Arkansas? The only good thing to ever come out of Arkansas was Dave Van Horn, and that's not a bad thing, but a different sport. I grew up around plenty of people named Nutt, but none of them was a bad person, so I have to conclude that Houston Nutt is from the other side of their family (everyone has a good and bad side, right?). McFadden, great as he is, will get shut down in this game, and as he goes so go the Razorbacks. An angry mob of player's parents will show up demanding that the Hogs throw the ball more next season, causing more dissent and leading to a failed 2007 season.
Both teams put together great seasons, but Wisconsin will win because Arkansas is already falling apart.
Wisconsin by 3.
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1st, noon CST,
Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia.
Calvin Johnson with no Reggie Ball, and Chan Gailey play Rich "It wasn't that hard to stay" Rodriguez's Mountaineers. Reggie Ball has been ruled academically ineligible, so he won't be playing his final game. Sad that a kid who has started as much as he has goes out that way. Ball has been plagued by inconsistency throughout his career, so most Georgia Tech fans are probably happy he won't be starting.
West Virginia will have too much offense against Georgia Tech's decent defense.
Calvin Johnson goes pro after this game. Why would he stay?
West Virginia by eight.