TCU pulled out a close one to knock off Boise and Notre Dame cruised to a decidely one-sided victory over Hawaii. My overall record stands at 4-3.
Motor City Bowl - Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Howard Schnellenberger's Owls of Florida Atlantic endured a rough start to this season, winning only one of their first six games. But quarterback Rusty Smith (2,900 yards and 22 touchdowns) led the team back in the second half of the season (including a 57-50 overtime win over rival Florida International), to reach 6-6. Central Michigan is all about QB Dan LeFevour, who we like to call the poor man's Tim Tebow. As Georgia fans saw earlier this season, he makes things happen on the ground and through the air. The Chippewas will be too much for the owls in this one.
Central Michigan 41, Florida Atlantic 21
Meineke Car Care Bowl - West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Coming off another BCS bowl victory, there were preseason talks of a national title in Morgantown. However, Pat White's senior season and the first year under Bill Stewart did not go as planned for the Mountaineers who finished at 8-4. Going into their November 11 match up with Maryland, the Tar Heels were 7-2 and looked destined for the ACC Championship Game for the first time. Unfortunately, a late score for the Terps upset UNC and they finished the season at 8-4. This should be a balanced game between two teams that fell short of preseason expectations. Look for the Tar Heels to win in an upset.
North Carolina 27, West Virginia 21
Champs Sports Bowl - Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Wisconsin found itself ranked in the top 10 early in the season, but after suffering 4 straight losses to begin their conference schedule, they found themselves out of the Big 10 race. The Badgers, on the back of HB PJ Hill, finished the season a respectable 7-5. Florida State was very close to regaining its lead position in the ACC, but a goal line fumble against Georgia Tech ended that dream. Look for FSU to win what could be an ugly defensive battle.
Florida State 20, Wisconsin 14
Emerald Bowl - Miami vs. Cal
Miami struggled through another up-and-down season under Randy Shannon. After a gritty performance against Florida, the Hurricanes were in the ACC race until a fateful Thursday night in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets whipped "Da U" and Miami's season was over. Cal had another successful Pac-10 season on the legs of running back Javhid Best. Best rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns while leading the Bears to big wins over Michigan State and Oregon. This should be a close match up with Cal's running game proving to be too much for the Miami D.
California 31, Miami 23
Independence Bowl - North Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
I don't really know much about either of these teams and I don't really care. Derek Dooley, son of Georgia's Vince Dooley, is the coach of Louisiana Tech. Advantage Louisiana Tech.
Louisiana Tech 38, Northern Illinois 10
I'll be back on Monday with my picks leading up to the New Year's Day bowls.