Thursday, December 15, 2011

Streit's Bowl Mania Part 3 - January Bowls

today, I preview all the bowls that will take place in January (with the exception of the BCS). I will also preview the Pinstripe Bowl which I accidentally forgot to cover yesterday. Tomorrow, we'll wrap up the Bowl preview.

December 30

3PM - Pinstripe Bowl
Matchup: Rutgers (8-4) vs. Iowa State (6-6)

What to watch for: You can tell how excited I am for this game, I forgot it in yesterday's previews. Rutgers is basically playing a home game in Yankee Stadium. They have the 12th best scoring defense in the country at 18.8 points and nearly won the Big East. The Scarlett Knights are led by the leading receiver in the country, Mohamed Sanu, who has 109 catches for 1144 yards this year. Iowa State pulled the biggest upset of the season when they knocked off Oklahoma State to keep them out of the National Championship game. Freshman quarterback Jared Barnett has played well since taking over mid-season, but Rutgers defense should get the job done.

The pick: Rutgers - 3 points

January 2

12 PM - Ticket City Bowl
Matchup: Houston (12-1) vs. Penn State (9-3)

What to watch for: Houston appeared to be head to the BCS on the arm of record setting quarterback Case Keenum…until they got destroyed by Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship. Houston sports the #1 passing attack in the country at almost 445 yards per game. They have a pair of solid running backs as well. Penn State has gone through more adversity this season than any team in the country, but still finished with a solid 9-3 season. Their offense is not good, with only bright spot being running back Silas Redd. Their defense, on the other hand, has been fantastic for most of the season. They have 5th rated scoring defense in the NCAA and defensive tackle Devon Still is one of the best in the country at making big plays in the back field. After watching Southern Miss shut down the Cougars offense, I think Penn State will be able to do the same.

The Pick: Penn State - 10 points

1 PM - Outback Bowl
Matchup: Georgia (10-3) vs. Michigan State (10-3)

What to watch for: I'll have much more on this game in the coming weeks. This is a solid matchup between two teams coming off losses in their conference title games. Expect great defense from both squads, but you know I'm taking the Dawgs in this one.

The Pick: Georgia - 15 points

1 PM - Capital One Bowl
Matchup: South Carolina (10-2) vs. Nebraska (9-3)

What to watch for: South Carolina's defense has been great all season relying on the strength of the defensive line led by Melvin Ingram and Jadaveon Clowney. The Gamecocks were able to keep it together after losing Marcus Lattimore and Connor Shaw has gotten better and better. Nebraska also relies heavily on its defense to keep them in games. Runningback Rex Burkhead had another great season this year and Taylor Martinez continued to be Taylor Martinez. If the Gamecocks shut down Burkhead, the Huskers will be in trouble.

The Pick: South Carolina - 22 points

1 PM - Gator Bowl
Matchup: Florida (6-6) vs. Ohio State (6-6)
What to watch for: So may subtitles for this game: The Urban Bowl, The Lowered Expectations Bowl, or the How the Mighty Have Fallen Bowl. Neither team is good on offense and decent on defense. Braxton Miller will be a great player under Urban Meyer, but right now he still plays for Luke Fickell. I'd like to see Muschamp send John Brantley out a winner for making him take a tremendous amount of punishment this fall. Florida fans will get to laugh at Urban on this day…but Urban will remember and it is going to be a big deal!

The Pick: Florida - 14 points

January 6

8 PM - Cotton Bowl
Matchup: Kansas State (10-2) vs. Arkansas (10-2)

What to watch for: This game matches up two school that should be in the BCS in my opinion. Arkansas scores with the best in the country on the strength of its passing attack that features quarterback Tyler Wilson and a great group of receivers. Joe Adams is one of the most exciting players in all of football and the Wildcats would be wise to not kick him the ball. Kansas State, on the other hand, gets things done using a ground game. They rarely pass (109th in the country) but their quarterback is the star of the offense. Collin Klein has been responsible for 38 touchdowns this year, 1745 yards passing, and 1099 yards rushing. But their defense gives up too many points and the Hogs will score at will.

The Pick: Arkansas - 32 points

January 7

1 PM - Compass Bowl
Matchup: Southern Methodist (7-5) vs. Pittsburgh (6-6)

What to watch for: The Pony Express is back in a bowl for the second year in a row. June Jones tried to leave to take the Arizona state job, but he is now back on the sideline. The offense was not nearly as successful as last year, with Kyle Padron benched in favor of JJ Mcdermot early in the season. SMU's best victory was a defeat of TCU, but overall, this season ahs been a disappointment. Pittsburgh lost its first year coach yesterday, so who knows

The pick: Pitt - 23 points

January 8

9 PM - Bowl
Matchup: Arkansas State (10-2) vs. Northern Illinois (10-3)

What to watch for: Arkansas State lost their coach to an SEC school and immediately replaced him with a coordinator from an SEC school. They won the Sun Belt Conference this year by scoring a lot of points and going undefeated in conference play. Quarterback Ryan Aplin threw for 3,235 yards and receiver Dwayne Frampton caught 90 passes for 1,125 yards. Northern Illinois won the MAC by coming back against Ohio to win 23-20 in the MAC Championship. Chandler Harnish was absolutely amazing this year, passing for almost 3,000 yards and running for almost 1400. That is an amazing feat, and for that, I am giving the edge to the Wolves.

The pick: Northern Illinois - 7 Points

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