It’s hard to believe, but the 2010-2011 Bowl Season kicks off this Saturday with three games. While we don’t planning on running our own contest through the site this year, I will be participating in ESPN’s Bowl Mania. I am a part of Bernie’s group for straight picks and the general public for confidence picks. Here are my picks for all the bowl games, ranked from my most confident pick to my least confident pick:
35. Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma over Uconn
UConn in the BCS is just sad. Oklahoma is playing well and has momentum after beating Nebraska in the Big XII Championship. Boomer Sooner
34. Capital One Bowl – Alabama over Michigan State
Michigan State struggled to beat Notre Dame. Alabama was preseason #1 and lost to Auburn by 1 point. Roll Tide.
33. New Mexico Bowl – BYU over UTEP
BYU always seems to play well in bowls. The Cougars will go independent next year and this will be their final gift to the Mountain West Conference.
32. Liberty Bowl – Georgia over UCF
I’ll have a full preview for this game later. Needless to say, AJ Green’s last game will be a big one. GO DAWGS!!!
31. Hawai’i Bowl – Hawaii over Tulsa
Hawaii has 10 wins and they are essentially playing at home. They might throw for 700 yards against a bad Tulsa D. Warriors do the HaKa dance all night long.
30. Ticket City Bowl – Texas Tech over Northwestern
Northwestern is missing their quarterback, who was their offense. Tommy Tubberville will have the Raiders ready to win. Guns up!
29. Las Vegas Bowl – Boise State over Utah
Those missed field goals cost Boise nearly $12 million. Utah got invited to the Pac 10 instead of the Broncos. They will be pissed. Kellen Moore goes crazy, Broncos win.
28. Holiday Bowl – Nebraska over Washington
Wow, this is a mismatch. 6-6 Washington against a Nebraska squad that lost 3 games by a total of 13 points. Taylor Martinez will be healthy, the Huskers roll the Huskies.
27. Armed Forces Bowl – SMU over Army
“Pony Excess” was awesome. I love SMU, I wish they would have won C-USA so they could have played the Dawgs. June Jones’ offense against the US Military Academy – no contest. Pony up!
26. Champs Sports Bowl – West Virginia over NC State
Russell Wilson is fun to watch, but West Virginia really should be in the BCS playing Oklahoma. Bill Stewart may get fired, but the Mountaineers send him out with a victory. Couches of Morgantown, prepare to burn.
25. BBVA Compass Bowl – Pitt over Kentucky
Kentucky could not beat the worst Tennessee team in years and now their quarterback is suspended. Even without the Wanstache, the Panthers beat down the ‘Cats.
24. Insight Bowl – Missouri over Iowa
This is an interesting matchup. So much was expected of Iowa, but they finished 7-5. Blaine Gabbert is pretty awesome, so I’m picking Mizzou.
23. Military Bowl – Maryland over East Carolina
Maryland impressed me this season. East Carolina, not so much. Turtles win.
22. Outback Bowl – Florida over Penn State
Urban Meyer’s last game will not end with a loss to a Big Ten team starting a walk-on at quarterback. The torch is passed to Muschamp with a big win in Tampa.
21. Poinsettia Bowl – San Diego State over Navy
The Aztecs have already seen the triple option this season, defeating Air Force back in October. While they have four losses, all of them have been by 5 points or less (and the 5 point loss was to
#3 TCU). If the Navy run game can’t get going early, this may be a blow out.
20. Texas Bowl – Baylor over Illinois
I love Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure and Baylor QB Robert Griffin. They are exciting players whenever they touch the ball. Baylor wins with defense.
19. Alamo Bowl – Oklahoma State over Arizona
At times this year, I thought Arizona was really good. But the loss to Arizona State confirmed they really are not very good. Oklahoma State is better this year than they were in 2009. Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter lead the Pokes to the W.
18. Pinstripe Bowl – Kansas State vs. Syracuse
Syracuse is bowl eligible? Playing in Yankee Stadium in December will suck. K-State beat Texas without throwing a pass after the first quarter earlier this year. They will beat an Orange team that plays its home games in a dome running it over and over again.
17. GoDaddy.com Bowl – Miami (OH) over Middle Tennessee
Don’t know too much about these teams, but I know the Red Hawks had Florida on the ropes to open the season. Plus my cousin went to school there, so I am taking Miami.
16. Gator Bowl
Dan Mullen is still the coach, right? Okay. Michigan has no defense and MSU will wear them down in the second half. Taking the West Bulldogs to get the win.
15. Sun Bowl – Miami (FL) over Notre Dame
Miami doesn’t have a coach, but it won’t matter. Brian Kelly is a good coach, but injuries have killed his team. It’s all about da U!
14. Cotton Bowl – LSU over Texas A&M
The fact that this LSU team went 10-2 is amazing. They looked so bad sometimes. But their defense is awesome and the Mad Hatter is the luckiest man alive. A&M certainly improved since Georgia saw them in the Independence Bowl, but not enough to beat the Bayou Bengals.
13. St. Petersburg Bowl – Louisville over Southern Miss
Southern Miss looked bad on the opening the night of the season, letting some freshman named Marcus Lattimore run all over them. For that reason, I am going with the Cardinals. Plus, I think Charlie Strong is a good coach who will get things turned around in the Bluegrass State.
12. Humanitarian Bowl – Fresno State over Northern Illinois
They always talk about Fresno State being willing to take on any team. I want to see them step up and beat a team they should crush. Northern Illinois is playing well, but I think the Fresno Dogs get it done.
11. Chick-Fil-A Bowl – South Carolina over Florida State
What a great match up? The losers of the SEC and ACC championships meeting in Atlanta is awesome. Can Spurrier get the troops up for another trip to the destruction that was the SEC Championship? The game rides on the legs of Lattimore.
10. New Orleans Bowl – Troy over Ohio
Who cares? I’m taking the school with the cooler mascot.
9. Car Care Bowl – Clemson over South Florida
Kyle Parker has one final game to prove himself before he leaves for baseball. I think he will get the job done. Skip Holtz’s club could not beat UConn to close the season, I see no reason they will beat the Tigers.
8. Rose Bowl – Wisconsin over TCU
TCU has been solid all season and is a great football team, but Wisconsin has just been steamrolling teams. They won’t score 50 or even 40, but I don’t see TCU being able to do enough to beat the Badgers.
7. Little Caesar’s Bowl – Florida International over Toledo
Another bowl I have absolutely no interest in. FIU gets in fights in the OB, Toledo doesn’t, so they win.
6. Orange Bowl – Stanford over Virginia Tech
This may be one of the best games of the bowl season. Since losing to James Madison, Virginia Tech has been unstoppable. Tyrod Taylor has grown into a great passing quarterback (adding to his running ability). Stanford has the most talented player (Andrew Luck) and a great coach.
This one will be close. Stanford has a tree for a mascot, Va Tech has a turkey. Stanford wins.
5. Music City Bowl – Tennessee over North Carolina
Tennessee had to win its last four games just to make a bowl. They have a found their QB in Tyler Bray. North Carolina lost too many players and never lived up to expectations. Another winning season on Rocky Top.
4. Sugar Bowl – Ohio State over Arkansas
Can Ohio State finally beat an SEC school? I think they have the players to do it. Arkansas is awesome now that they have a running game. Should be a fun night down on Bourbon Street!
3. Independence Bowl – Georgia Tech over Air Force
In what may be the fastest game ever played, I think Tech wins the battle of the option offenses. If Nesbitt comes back, then Tech should definitely get the victory.
2. BCS National Championship – Auburn over Oregon
Both teams score like crazy. But no one is stopping Cam Newton right now. Auburn wins, but this one will be a back and forth battle.
1. Nevada Bowl – Nevada over Boston College
Didn’t Nevada just beat Boise State? Yes. Isn’t Boston College only 7-5? Yes. Then why do I have no confidence in this game? BC’s defense has been playing well and should be able to shut down Nevada’s pistol attack…or they score all over the place and it’s a blowout. I have no clue who to pick, so this game earns the #1 spot.
So those are my picks. Debate.