I went 28-13 for the B1G in-conference season, and that doesn’t include Michigan State because I don’t pick Spartan Games. That’s a 68% accuracy rating – not bad but not awesome either. I’ll try to do better.
Here are my not-worth-the-paper-their-not-printed-on picks for the B1g bowls…
Little Caesar’s Bowl – Purdue vs. Western Michigan, Dec. 27, 4:30pm on ESPN. Typically, a B1G team should spank an MAC team, but I’m not so sure in this case. Purdue went 6-6 and they are middle-of-the-road just about any way you look at them. Western went 7-5 (granted, against weaker opponents), but they do know how to throw the ball pretty darn well. The game is being played in Michigan. I’m going to go with the Broncoes by three.
Insight Bowl – Iowa vs. #14 Oklahoma, Dec. 30, 10:00pm, ESPN. Iowa beat Michigan, otherwise, they didn’t really beat anybody good this year. Oklahoma beat Texas, K-State and Texas A&M. They lost to very good teams such as Baylor and Oklahoma State. The Sooners passing game is a killer. I just don’t see the Hawkeyes surviving this one. Sooners by 17.
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas – Texas A&M vs. Northwestern, Dec. 31, Noon on ESPN. Both teams went 6-6 on the season. The Aggies have an aggressive offense, and it’s well balanced. The Wildcats are have a good offense, but not great. And the game is in Texas. Ouch. Aggies by 10.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Illinois vs. UCLA, Dec. 31, 3:30pm on ESPN. The Illini went 6-0 just to finish 6-6. Ouch. The Zooker was shown the door and new coach Tim Beckman formerly of Toledo Rockets fame is now at the helm. UCLA damn near alternated Ws and Ls all year, went 6-7 after losing to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game (USC couldn’t play because they’ve been bad), fired their coach and new coach Jim Mora is steering the ship. The two offenses are pretty even. The only real edge in this game is the Illini defense which is way better than the Bruin’s defense. I think Illinois breaks the six game losing streak and comes back to beat UCLA by a score.
TicketCity Bowl – #19 Houston vs. #22 Penn State, Jan. 2, Noon on ESPNU. The Cougars are good. 12-1 good. But who did they play? They beat UCLA and that’s not really super-amazing. Southern Miss spanked them. Penn State looks like the best opponent Houston will face this year. The 9-3 Nittany Lions just want 2011 to go away, and for good reason. But the players are doing their best to not fade away. Houston’s offense is potent (maybe) and Penn State’s defense is up to the challenge. I’m going against the grain and picking Penn State by 10.
Outback Bowl – #17 Michigan State vs. #16 Georgia, Jan. 2, 1:00pm on ABC. An even match-up no matter how you look at it. Should be a great game. Go Green!
Capitol One Bowl – #20 Nebraska vs. #9 South Carolina, Jan. 2, 1:00pm on ESPN. If only the Huskers could pass effectively, they could be really dangerous. The rushing game is excellent and their defense is good, but the air attack is just not there. But you know what, the same can be said for the Gamecocks. They are very similar teams, but South Carolina is just a tick or two better in most every category. I’m going out on a limb and taking Nebraska by a point in a high scoring game.
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl – Ohio State vs. Florida, Jan. 2, 1:00pm on ESPN2. Urban Meyer’s old team vs. Urban Meyer’s new team. The Gators had a tough schedule and they lost to everyone good. The Buckeyes had a less-hard schedule and were completely unpredictable. Luke Fickel will “coach” this one so that Meyers can focus on poaching recruits. I pick Ohio State to win by a score, but then vacate the win at a later date.
The Rose Bowl presented by Vizzio – #10 Wisconsin vs. #5 Oregon, Jan. 2, 5:00pm on ESPN. I really want Wisconsin to win. I think they are a really good team and they represent the B1G well. But holy crap Oregon is good. Really good. Really, really fast. On paper, these teams are very close. But why is it that Oregon’s highlights look like they are on fast-forward? But the Duck’s defense is not great. The question becomes can the Ducks offense break the Badger’s defense. I say NO! Wisconsin by four in OT.
AllState Sugar Bowl – #13 Michigan vs. #11 Virginia Tech, Jan. 3, 8:30pm on ESPN. How these two teams made it to a BCS bowl is beyond me, but they did. The Wolverines have cleaned up their act and found some stability, but their still vulnerable every time Shoelace throws the ball. Van Halen, I mean Virginia Tech hasn’t really beaten anybody good, but they’re not really bad either. I hate, hate, hate to say it but I think Michigan wins by two scores unless shoelace gets picked off two or more times.
I hope I’m wrong and the B1G wins all of their bowls. If I’m right, the B1G goes at least 6-3. Nothing here feels like a lock to me though. Should be fun.
Lucky Strike Extra: Champs Sports Bowl – Florida State vs. Notre Dame, Dec. 29, 5:30pm on ESPN. Neither team is ranked, both are 8-4. Coach Kelly has benched, released or otherwise exploded upon all of his QBs to point where the starter in this bowl game will likely have about 29 pass attempts on the year. Oh you magnificent bastard, I had no idea you were that much of a hot head. The Seminoles are the epitome of hit and miss. I think the Irish need to go regroup and call it a year already. Seminoles by twenty.
I retain the right to revise up until game time. If I do, I’ll be obvious about it; nothing sneaky around here.