December 13, 2011
In part 2 of our picks for the College Football Bowl Games, we take a look at the games from Dec. 27th – 30th. (To look at College Football Bowl Games: Part I , click here.)
Little Caesars Bowl (Western Michigan vs. Purdue): The Boilermakers will have a hard time trying to shut down one of the nation’s best receiving tandems in Jordan White and Chleb Ravenell. White had more than 1,600 yards receiving to lead the nation and is a handful to defend. Because of that (and a virtual home game in Detroit), I like Western Michigan.
Belk Bowl (Louisville vs. North Carolina State): The Wolfpack get home field advantage for this bowl (formerly the Car Care Bowl) and they beat pretty good Clemson and North Carolina teams this season. Louisville boasts an impressive defense, but I don’t know that they have enough in this one. My pick is North Carolina State.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (California vs. Texas): This is another tough one to pick as both teams have been mired in the middle of their respective conferences. The difference could be home field, which should go to Cal with the game in San Diego. But after playing a tough Big 12 schedule, I’m going with my gut and taking Texas in a close one.
Champs Sports Bowl (Florida State vs. Notre Dame): Florida State had four losses, but three of them came against then No. 1 Oklahoma (by five), Clemson (who won ten games), and 8-4 Virginia. The fact that the game is in Florida should also help the Seminoles and they’re my pick in this game.
Valero Alamo Bowl (Washington vs. Baylor): The Bears have had an amazing year with wins over Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, and Missouri and have come out on top in five in a row. With Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, leading the way, I think they win this one pretty easily over a mediocre Huskies team.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (BYU vs. Tulsa): Tulsa has lots of weapons on offense, but has struggled mightily in every game this year when they’ve played anyone of consequence. BYU is a sound defensive program and gives up only about 20 points a game. Because of that, I’m taking them to win their tenth game of the season.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Rutgers vs. Iowa State): Tough game to call here. Rutgers gets home field with the game in New York and has an excellent defense, but probably has some inflated numbers from playing in the Big East. Iowa State struggled this year, but faced seven ranked teams and won a home thriller against No. 2 Oklahoma State near the end of the season. I literally just flipped a coin and it came up with Iowa State. Scratch that – I’m picking Rutgers.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Mississippi State vs. Wake Forest): Another difficult one to pick, but I’ll go with Wake Forest here. They’ve played really well at times, beating Florida State and playing well in close losses to Clemson and Notre Dame. This one could come down to the play of quarterback Tanner Price. In Wake Forest’s six wins, he’s thrown 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions and never completed fewer than 60% of his passes. In their six losses, he’s had eight touchdowns and four picks, completing less than 60% of his attempts four times.
Insight Bowl (Iowa vs. Oklahoma): Hard not to like Oklahoma in this one. The Sooners have several impressive wins on the season and a few tight losses. They also bring in a top ten offense and a respectable defense. Iowa’s really been up and down all season and doesn’t have the firepower offensively to keep up against Oklahoma.
Check back next week for Part III of our look at College Football’s Bowl Games.