Friday, December 16, 2011

Streit's Bowl Mania Part 2 - The BCS (and a few I missed)

Today is the final part in my series previewing the entire bowl season. today, I will cover the BCS bowls along with two games I accidentally missed along the way.

December 28

8 PM - Holiday Bowl
Matchup: California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5)

What to watch for: California is a mediocre team with a mediocre record. They do not have a signature win on their resume and are 47th in the country in scoring offense and 52nd in scoring defense. Zach Maynard has thrown for 2800 yards, but only completes 57% of his passes. While Georgia was able to rebound from a losing season in 2010, Texas was not. The Longhorns looked great to start the year, but then got crushed in back to back games to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. They dropped a game to Missouri in which they only scored 5 points. Texas's defense was decent this year and should get better in the future.Texas employs a two young quarterbacks in Case McCoy and David Ash. I think the horns take this one to get back to 8 wins.

The pick: Texas - 29 points

December 29

9 PM - Alamo Bowl
Matchup: Washington (7-5) vs. Baylor (9-3)

What to watch for: This will probably be the final college football game for Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. I could take time to preview Washington or talk about the improvements Baylor has made, but I won't. The reason to watch this game is RGIII.

The pick: Baylor - 30 points

January 2

5 PM - Rose Bowl
Matchup: Wisconsin (11-2) vs. Oregon (11-2)

What to watch for: A classic Rose Bowl matchup between the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-12. Both teams feature running games that can rack up yards and points in a hurry. I would love to save that Russell Wilson and Montee Ball can help Wisconsin score enough to keep up with the Ducks. But I just don't see it. LaMichael James will close out his college career in style as the Ducks send the Badgers home as Rose Bowl losers for the second straight year.

The pick: Oregon - 13 points

8 PM - Fiesta Bowl
Matchup: Stanford (11-1) vs. Oklahoma State (11-1)

What to watch for: Offense. You've got the best quarterback in the country against the oldest quarterback in the country. Andrew Luck is the best college quarterback I have ever seen. He looks like an NFL QB the way he commands the line of scrimmage. If he played at USC, Texas, or Alabama, those schools would have gone undefeated. He has taken Stanford, I repeat Stanford, to two straight BCS bowls. As good as luck is, he does not have the supporting class to beat the Cowboys. Oklahoma State proved they are that good by thumping Oklahoma. Justin Blackmon is Julio Jones with better hands. Lots of points will be scored here.

The pick: Oklahoma State - 11 points

January 3

8 PM - Sugar Bowl
Matchup: Michigan (10-2) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)

What to watch for: Two teams that had solid years but will be much better next year. Denard Robinson is a fun player to watch, but I still think he is too risky with the football. He made so many risky throws against Notre Dame, yet somehow they won. We know Michigan has a solid defense, but winning this game will be on Denard Robinson. Virginia Tech looked impressive when I saw them play...except against Clemson. Logan Thomas is going to be a very good college QB and I loved watching him get 8 yards a pop on QB sneaks against Tech. David Wilson is fast, and the key for him is getting to the edge against a large Wolverine line. I have no clue who wins this one, this is my least confident pick.

The pick: Virginia Tech - 1 point

January 4

8 PM - Orange Bowl
Matchup: West Virginia (9-3) vs. Clemson (10-3)

What to watch for: Dana Holgerson's passing attack is fun to watch. Unfortunately, it is all they have got. I expect the Wolverines will come out looking strong, but eventually Clemson will shut them down like LSU did. Sammy Watkins will have a field day against the West Virginia secondary. Unless Clemson plays like they did against Georgia Tech.

The pick: Clemson - 20 points

January 9

8 PM - BCS National Championship
The matchup: LSU(13-0) vs. Alabama(11-1)

What to watch for: The rematch. Alabama may be one of the most complete teams I have seen in years. But, LSU beat them at their place. Yes, Bama missed 4 field goals. But, LSU has actually played even better since that game. After seeing the Tigers in person, I know what they can do when they get rolling. If Bama wants to win, they will need to win the second half of the game. That is when LSU bludgeoned Georgia and Arkansas. I can't see the Tigers playing as well as they did in the SEC Championship losing to Bama.

The pick: LSU - 2 points

So that's it. Are you ready for bowl season, I sure am.


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