Although we may feel there are better ways to settle this whole National Championship deal (as outlined here at the bottom), we would be remiss in not looking at this slate of BCS games. Never have we had such variety in the BCS. We have a WAC team (Boise State), MWC team (TCU), a team that runs the option (Georgia Tech), a team with the kind of athlete you can only dream of having (Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor), and 3 different takes on the spread attack. Oh and we have Iowa who is really none of those, but is that classic meat and potatoes Big Ten team that usually has about as much success as Michael Cera‘s characters with women. That is not to say they cannot have success, but lately the Big Ten has needed a bit more of a finesse approach mixed in with their trademark strength to hang with teams from the Big 12 and SEC. Granted the Ramblin’ Wreck is an ACC team, but they have speed and the only time they were really shut down was by teams with exceptional speed (Miami (FL) and Georgia). I would much rather see the two underdogs (TCU and Boise) play against the so-called big boys, but alas I have no control over the BCS. So let’s pick these shall we?
The Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon
I really like USC in this game. Oh, wait… You are telling me USC isn’t playing in the Rose Bowl? Since when? Oh, Oregon
is playing? Which one of their 1004 uniforms are they wearing? Ok, enough joking around, but I am really looking forward to seeing a team other than USC in the Rose Bowl. Oregon plays a really entertaining brand of football and is far less hate-able than their So Cal rivals. Ohio State, on the other hand, has been known for its PJ Carlesimo-esque choking on the big stages and really needs this one in order to avoid being written off completely against elite competition. So where do we look for a pick? Any time you have a great great rushing offense like Oregon’s vs. a great rushing defense like Ohio State’s, it always seems to come down to the opposite. How well can Ohio State move and control the ball against Oregon? If they can I like their chances to upend Bill Plaschke’s lovechild, Oregon, but if they cannot keep the Oregon offense off the field by possessing the ball it could be a very long night for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes need that one special guy who can get that key first down and move the chains when it is crunch time, and that man is Terrelle Pryor. I know Ohio State has not won a bowl game in a while, but they were seconds from defeating a Texas team that many thought should be playing for the National Championship last year and have been stellar against Big Ten teams, who have actually been doing very well this bowl season despite a few choke-tastic losses. I do not think Oregon’s speed will run them out of the building and I think Ohio State can do just enough to quell the tempestuous Oregon running game. Ohio State 26, Oregon 24.
Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida
First off, I refuse to call it the Allstate Sugar Bowl. I understand sponsorship helps keep these games going, but to be honest I don’t care about Allstate or its college football affiliation, I just care about the football. To my estimation
Cincinnati did not have a ton of support before Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame, but now that he is gone it can go one of three ways. Either the players rally and absolutely demolish Florida (I don’t think so), they will be a little lost without their head coach (possible), or they will come out pumped up but simply find that Florida is faster and stronger than they are, thus nullifying any emotional edge they might think they have (yeah, sounds about right). Marshawn Gilyard is awesome, and Tony Pike is a great story, but when you mix their story and talent together, you still do not match Tim Tebow. There is a 0% chance that possibly the greatest player in college football history goes out on a two game losing streak. Sorry, not happening. Tim Tebow walks off into the sunset with a victory. Florida 34, Cincinnati 20.
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. TCU
Raise your hand if you would have rather seen TCU vs. Iowa and Boise State vs. Georgia Tech. (Raises hand). Ok, that’s what I thought. As far as this game is concerned, I am not entirely sure where to look. TCU is SEC fast and Boise has a track record matched by few, and oh yeah, remember their opening game of the season where they dominated that one team and left them frustrated and throwing punches? That was Oregon. Yes, the same Oregon we talked about earlier. Chris Peterson and Gary Patterson are clearly great coaches and I would trust my program to either of them almost unconditionally, but someone has to lose. I tend to lean toward TCU, but I am not sure why. Maybe it is the horned frog, maybe it is Boise not on the smurf turf, maybe it is my love for MWC football’s talent. i don’t know, but I do know that TCU, if it were to play Iowa, would run them out of the building in the first half alone. Keep in mind I am from the midwest and enjoy Big Ten football thoroughly, and I think TCU would do this to Iowa. If you didn’t click, your loss. However, TCU is playing Boise, a team who never gets beaten, let alone by any considerable margin, so I can’t just write off the Broncos. Can I pick a tie? No? Ok I will take TCU 31, Boise State 30.
Orange Bowl: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
I enjoy watching Paul Johnson’s teams. I enjoy watching the option. I enjoy the Big Ten. I will not enjoy watching this game. What a boring matchup. They could have put contrasting styles on display with TCU vs. Georgia Tech or they could have put Iowa vs. TCU or really they could have combined those two bowl games any way they wanted and gotten a better game. BUT Tempe is too far away for Georgia Tech and Iowa’s fans so they game them Miami instead. As a result the game will not be as good but wallets will be fatter. Great, just what we needed. I will boo the television while watching this game. naturally this means it will be a great game with how my bowl picking has gone thus far, but what an unappealing matchup. It will either be Iowa pushing Georgia Tech around, or Georgia Tech exposing Iowa’s defense as not having dealt with real speed thus far. I tend to think its the latter, but the ultimate verdict is that I do not care. You got this one wrong for football, BCS. Georgia Tech 24, Iowa 16. If both teams are in the teens, Iowa wins, but not otherwise.Oh, and consider this a vote against Kirk Ferentz as an elite head coach.
BCS National Championship
I am going to leave this one as a teaser, but we will be back to look at it later in the week. Just in case you thought about not coming back, I will make you an offer you cannot refuse. Position by position breakdown and a look at all three phases. You heard me. Come back in a few days and you will get more breakdown than you ever thought you could get from a college kid.
Happy Holidays to all and a Merry Bowl Season.