Montee Ball has a shot at breaking the single season TD record... okay, barring illness or injury, he's pretty much got it already.
Mike: Well, it's our last chance to embarrass ourselves with our picks. I've selected the best of the remaining games. That means we're not picking the Orange or GoDaddy bowls. And while we already know who the better team is, I think we kind of have to pick a winner of the exhibition game between LSU and Alabama.
Andy: No GoDaddy Bowl picks??? An outrage for two reasons: 1) I just added "GoDaddy" to our spellcheck dictionary. Now I feel like that was just time wasted, and 2) It would have given us an excuse to link to one of those GoDaddy online videos of Danica Patrick in a 30 minute three-way with Paula Barbieri and Kyle Orton.
Those commercials are not teasers. GoDaddy.com is rife with Danica Patrick pornography.
Aaron: Well, I'm going to pick the winner of the Orange Bowl. Even though they've had our number I just have a feeling this is Nebraska's year. Huskers 24, Miami 17.
Jon: Every year I think we should keep track of these picks, and every year by the end of the year I'm glad we didn't. (Lot of confidence showing there!)
Ticket City Bowl
Houston (-6.5) vs. Penn State
Andy: Houston's prolific offense ranked 1st in the nation in scoring, albeit against a strength of schedule that ranked about even with most 1-AA schools. When your signature win is a 4 point victory over Skippy, you're likely in for system shock when you venture into the top 25. Houston found that out in a 21 point spanking at the hands of Southern Miss. Penn State is better, regardless of the availability of Gerry Cooney McGloin. Pedophile U. 31 Run Sumlin Run 10
Aaron: I keep thinking that Houston could pull the upset, but as long as Penn State's defense shows up, this should be a W for the lions. Penn State 24, Houston 10.
Mike: Whether Matt McGloin is available to play or not is almost secondary to the fact that McGloin was injured in a locker room fight...with one of his receivers. (Who caught the last touchdown of Penn State's season, I might add...) So add this on top of everything else that's happened in Happy Valley, and I can come to no conclusion other than "Team Turmoil". Cougars 28, Nitts 9
Jon: I'm a little surprised that Houston isn't favored in this game, but on the other hand, they were beaten pretty handily by Southern Miss in their championship game. We should know early who's going to win this game - the Cougars will stack the box and if Penn State can run against that defense, it'll be a long day for Houston. A Nittany Lion versus a Cougar, though? That sounds pretty even to me. Nittany Lions 21, Cougars 17
Georgia (-3.5) vs. Michigan State
Andy: On paper, this appears to be a pretty even matchup. Tight defense on both sides, top-notch QB's, solid running attacks. So how do I decide which way to go? Simple. Until the Big 10 shows they can hang, I'll take the SEC team. Georgia 27 Mich St. 13
Aaron: This might be Michigan State's last chance to compete with an SEC team for a few years. I've like the Spartans in most games and I don't think Georgia has the Dawgs to play with Sparty. Michigan State 31, Georgia 21
Mike: I really wish I could take Sparty. I really wish I could. They'll play better than they did last New Years Day, but only because they probably couldn't play any worse. Dawgs 31, Sparty 21.
Jon: Both teams made their conference title games, both came away losers. Will both teams want to show up for a bowl game they didn't want to be in? Looking at it from that perspective, I'd have to go with Georgia. Michigan State has played the "we don't get no respect" card most of the season, so that motivational method is shot. Honestly, I just can't shake the bipolar attitude I have towards Sparty. Georgia 30, Michigan State 24
Urban Meyer Bowl
Florida (-2) vs. Ohio State
Andy: THIS made the cut of best remaining games? .500 teams with two of the country's worst offenses and mediocre at best defenses? Needless to say, this won't require a 3rd TV set for the 1PM games on January 2nd.. I'd rather watch Rob Ryan take a shower than sit through 4 minutes of this instant crapfest. What a chunk of shit. I'm picking the GoDaddy Bowl instead. Arky St. and Northern Ill. both average over 30 points a game, but the Red Wolves peskier defense will be the difference. Arkansas St. 45 Northern Illinois 30
Aaron: But, but it's the OMG-Urbanmania bowl! Even though reports have that Urban Meyer won't even be at the game (what a pansy, be a man and face that Florida team you walked away from), this should be an easy W for the B1G this bowl season. Florida has been dreadful and is only here for the "marquee name" match up. OSU hasn't been great, but their good enough. Buckeyes 31, Florida 13
Mike: Florida instantly became better once Charlie Weis left for Kansas. I mean, how could the Gators be any worse? So yep... I'm going with the esseeeeceee on this one. Gators 24, Bucknuts 21
Jon: This game represents what's best about bowl season - there's something for everybody. This is the game for people on quaaludes and cough syrup (if there's any of those left anymore). I'm impressed that my colleagues think anyone's going to score more than 20 points in this game, but I'll chalk it up due to turnovers. Still, Braxton Miller can give Florida headaches. Ohio State 19.99, Florida 7.5
Oregon (-6) vs. Wisconsin
Andy: Two prolific offenses and Oregon actually averages about 60 more yards a game rushing that the pound-it-at-ya Badgers. LaMichael James' injuries likely kept him from a 2000 yard season and a possible Heisman, but it did allow Kenjon Barner enough carries to come within 91 yards of giving Oregon two 1000-yard rushers. Wisconsin's free agent signing of Russell Wilson gave them a solid passing option to open up their running game. His fans and Brent Musberger will be greatly disappointed in a few months when this translates to only a late round draft pick. (NFL teams are generally not looking for 5'10" dropback passers and Wilson is not Drew Brees. Sorry.)
What does this all mean? I guess I tend to bet on speed. Oregon 44 Wisconsin 37
Aaron: I want to see Wisconsin win, but I don't want Montee Ball to get Barry Sanders TD record, so I'm going completely against the grain in this one. Wisconsin 9, Oregon 6.
Mike: Remember last year when people thought that Oregon was going to score gubily-mubillions of points in the bowl game? Oh, and let's not forget this: the Pac-12 is only 1-4 in bowls this season, and that "1" was an overtime win by Utah. Bucky 31, Donald 23
Jon: Russell Wilson and Montee Ball versus Darron Thomas and LaMichael James - that's a helluva match up. There are only five teams in the nation averaging more than seven yards a carry with Oregon and Wisconsin being amongst them. On note about Barry Sanders record - in Barry's day they didn't count bowl games along with the rest of the stats. That's too bad because Ball is going to break that record, easily. Wisconsin 45, Oregon 41
Oklahoma State (-3.5) vs. Stanford
Andy: No idea on this one. Can Coach Hair Product convince the Pokes that they have a shot at a poll title if ‘Bama beats LSU in a stinker? Or will they continue the college football tradition of sulking their way to being upset in a game they feel is beneath them? I have to make two picks.
Motivated Ready-to-play Cowboys 48 Stanford 28
Sulky Bitchy Cowboys 35 Stanford 38
Aaron: Never bought into the Andrew Luck hype. Oklahoma State 52, Stanford 27.
Mike: Remember the Alamo Bowl? This one seems to set up the same way. Pace yourself on January 2nd, folks, and be ready to stay up late for this one. This one is going to look like Arena Football. Pokes 63, Tree 56
Jon: Oklahoma State had their traditional big letdown moment against Iowa State. Now they go into the biggest game in their school's history (which may or may not be true, who the hell cares) and they've got a chance to show that they belong as one of the nation's elite. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon vs Andrew Luck and.... uh... well, a bunch of smart receivers. Oklahoma State 53, Oregon 50
Michigan (-2.5) vs. Virginia Tech
Andy: Interesting matchup of two eerily similar teams. Schedules are similar, teams are statistically close, records almost even, neither team's biggest win of the year (Nebraska, Georgia Tech) was very impressive. Denard could be the difference...in either direction. There really is no middle ground with him. For the hell of it, let's say the Hokies are more comfy in Nawlins than pasty Ann Arbor types. Va Tech 30 Wolfy 27
Aaron: Michigan really found their stride late in the season and the Hokies haven't shown up against the better end of the competition spectrum this season. All Michigan here. UM 48, VT 17
Mike: The Weasels did find their stride late in the season, while Virginia Tech has no business being in a BCS bowl game this season. Weasels 31, Chokies 13
Jon: One thing about everyone believing you're not supposed to be there - it's not difficult to motivate a team under those circumstances, especially when you're Frank Beamer and you've done all this before. One thing the Hokies have not done before is win 12 games in a season (don't forget, they are 11-2). Michigan, however, shouldn't have much difficult with motivation - all they have to do is remember the past few years and they'll be fine. I am looking forward to seeing how the defenses handle Logan Thomas and Denard Robinson. Been a while since we heard the phrase "Beamerball", hasn't it? Michigan 31, Virginia Tech 23
Arkansas (-8) vs. Kansas State
Andy: Thankfully, going Arkansas' way on this one is easy, because I'd rather discuss the merits of "Passion of the Christ" with Mel Gibson rather than pick Kansas St. to win anything. Arkansas averages 38 ppg with a top 30 offense in yardage; Kansas St. averages 33 ppg despite being 96th in yardage. Um, big advantage Arky. The Kitty defense gives up 28 ppg and has been torched for over 50 three times this year. I was never overly impressed with Arkansas this year and only consider them a borderline top 10 team, but that should be plenty to stomp a mudhole in KSU's ass. Arkansas 48 KSU 25
Aaron: Arkansas was another one of those teams that really struggled at times to get by mediocre competition. They managed to win those games. When they played real teams, they got hammered. Kansas State gets a few lucky bounces and the SEC's miserable post season continues. Kansas State 45, Arkansas 31
Mike: Mediocre competition? I was going to make fun of that statement, then I went back and looked at Arky again. 10 point win over Troy. 4 point comeback win against A&M. (Everybody did that.) 3 point win against Vandy. 5 point win over Ole Miss. But I'm not so impressed by K-State either. They did put on one hell of a game against Okie State though... Piggies 38, Kitties 31
Jon: Egad. I hate Arkansas. Can't stand Bobby Petrino. Still..... Arkansas 35, Kansas State 24
SEC West Division Exhibition
Alabama (-1.5) vs. LSU
Andy: Better than average offenses, outstanding D, they already played this right?
Kreskin says: LSU 9 Alabama 6
Aaron: Well, at least the SEC is guaranteed not to have a perfect bowl season. That's the one benefit of this rematch. The SEC needs to watch out or they will get left behind. As important as football is, there is more to a university than that. While the B1G and P12 are building their relationship throughout their entire athletic and academic systems, and are expanding their brands world-wide, SEC fans just keep cheering SEC in the fall and winning football games. As far as the football game goes, LSU will make their case as one of the best ever. LSU 42, Alabama 17.
Mike: LSU showed us in the SEC championship game that they can turn it on whenever necessary. They won in Tuscaloosa, they can win in their own back yard. Tigers 20, Overpriced Laundry Detergent 6
Jon: Wow, we're all picking LSU? No one thinks that Nick Saban hasn't spent 23.5 hours a day the past three weeks coming up with every possible solution to the Les Miles problem, including consulting with Satan, sacrificing virgins, and not stepping on sidewalk cracks because Nick Saban really really gives a shit about this game. That's what makes Nick Saban so different than everyone else - about 95% of the nation could not care less about this game. It would be a shame if Alabama won, however. LSU 8, Alabama 4
Capital One Bowl
South Carolina (-2) vs. Nebraska
Andy: South Carolina went 10-2 against a schedule that raised few eyebrows and managed to avoid LSU and Alabama. An early victory over Georgia and a late victory over Clemson highlight their victory list. Connor Shaw has proven a solid dual threat following Sailor Jerry Garcia's boot from the squad. Marcus Lattimore's injury should have been devastating but USC has found ways to score in his absence.
The Huskers actually played a slightly tougher schedule than the Cocks (Boo-yeah!! Cocks! Get it??) with impressive victories over Michigan St. & Penn St. Oh hell, enough analysis. Do you really think I'm picking against our boys at the end of the year? Of course not. I've honestly enjoyed watching the Huskers this season. They were a very young team - made much younger by the Crick injury - so it was probably a bit much to pick them to win their division and possibly a new conference this season. For crying out loud, we're returning something like 16 starters next year.
Let's save the high expectations till then and enjoy these kids one last time as they defend the Big 10's honor vs. the SEC: Huskers 62 Spurrier 28 Huskers 23 Spurrier 20
Aaron: Game of the week here. My common sense and gut tells me that this is not a good match up for Nebraska. We should get schooled ala Michigan or Wisconsin, but crazy things happen in college football. Nebraska 20, South Carolina 14
Mike: We've been reminded that South Carolina has had issues with the option, and the Cocks defensive dominance is against the pass, not the run. But can Barney Cotton's line create enough running room for Rex? I think they'll find enough. Huskers 20, Gamecocks 17.
Jon: Who's more motivated? Since they're trying for their first 11-win season in school history, I have to believe it's the Cocks. I don't like the match ups we have in this game. I am suspect of our offensive line's ability to handle their defensive line, and (OMG!) they have a mobile quarterback. Bottom line - whomever wins this game is the team that wins first down. Right now, I'm betting that's South Carolina. (I hope I'm wrong and we stomp the crap out of them.) USC 24, Nebraska 23