Saturday, August 7, 2010

Joel's Daring College Bowl Picks

There are 35 bowl games scheduled for the 2010-2011 college football season, which means that 70 out of 120 of FBS schools will qualify for a bowl game. I'm not sure how this is going to work, since, in order to qualify for a bowl game, a team must have won at least 6 games, or, roughly, 50 percent of their games. So if there's a reasonable way for more than half of the teams to win at least half of their games, well, then the NCAA is better at math than I am.

A few of the new bowl games this season include the "Pinstripe Bowl", played at Yankee Stadium... :P.... the "Dallas Football Classic," which will be played at the old Cotton Bowl, even though the Cotton Bowl game will now be played at the brand new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX, and, my favorite, the "Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl" in San Francisco. I'm wondering how long it will be before we just shorten that down to the "Hunger Bowl." So the absurdity continues.

Here are my predictions for all 35 bowl games, from BCS Championship to the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl:

1) New Mexico Bowl: San Diego State (6-6) vs Idaho (9-4)
I like this game because it would pit the Aztecs against the Vandals. On a related note, shouldn't Michigan State always beat USC?

2) Humanitarian Bowl: Miami (OH) (6-6) vs Hawaii (8-5)

3) New Orleans Bowl: East Carolina (8-4) vs North Texas (8-4)
Nobody ever seems to notice that neither East Carolina nor North Texas are real places.

4) St. Petersburg Bowl: Rutgers (8-4) vs UAB (6-6)

5) Las Vegas Bowl: #17 TCU (10-2) vs Stanford (8-4)
The first bowl game that matters. Lots of people are picking TCU to bust the BCS again this year. But even if they beat Oregon State in their opener, they still have to play at Utah in November. I think they'll lose both of those games.

6) Poinsettia Bowl: #19 BYU (10-2) vs Navy (7-5)
The Poinsettia Bowl is obligated to select Navy this year, if they qualify. I think they will. Brigham Young will just be happy to playing somewhere other than Las Vegas for the first time since 2004.

7) Hawaii Bowl: Tulsa (7-5) vs Nevada (6-7)

8) Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl: Purdue (6-6) vs Ohio (8-4)

9) Independence Bowl: Boston College (6-6) vs Wyoming (6-6)
We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

10) Champs Sports Bowl: Clemson (8-5) vs Michigan State (7-5)
The ACC is in a tough spot, because most of its good teams are in the Coastal Division. So it's very possible that a team like Clemson could make it all the way to the ACC championship game; if they win, they go to the Orange Bowl, but if they lose, they fall all the way to the Champs Sports Bowl.

11) Insight Bowl: #24 Northwestern (9-3) vs #20 Oklahoma State (10-2)
The first match-up between two top 25 teams. The Big Ten is scheduled to send seven teams to non-BCS bowl games this year. That means that eight or nine of the eleven Big Ten teams have spots reserved for them in bowl games. I do not think that it is mathematically possible for eight out of 11 teams to finish at .500 or better. But what do I know.

12) EagleBank Bowl: Louisville (7-5) vs SMU (8-4)

13) Texas Bowl: Ball State (8-4) vs #23 Texas Tech (9-3)
This is supposed to be a Big Ten vs. Big 12 match-up. I'm subbing in Ball State because I've heard of them.

14) Alamo Bowl: Missouri (8-4) vs Arizona (7-5)
The Tigers and the Wildcats. The two most ubiquitous names in all of college sports.

15) Armed Forces Bowl: UTEP (8-4) vs Air Force (8-4)

16) Pinstripe Bowl: Texas A&M (7-5) vs USF (7-5)
The Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 30th. New York City has been working hard to get football to come to the city - the 2014 Super Bowl will be at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. It's a good idea in theory, but this will be a cold game, especially with a team from the Houston-area playing a team from Tampa.

17) Music City Bowl: Maryland (8-4) vs Mississippi St. (6-6)

18) Holiday Bowl: #18 Oregon (9-3) vs #15 Nebraska (10-3)
Although this match-up may have been better last year, when we could have seen Ndamukong Suh chase Jeremiah Masoli all over the field, I still like the idea of the Pac-10's top offense taking on the Big 12's top defense.

19) Meineke Car Care Bowl: Florida State (7-5) vs West Virginia (8-4)
This is the first New Year's Eve day bowl. Some smaller bowl will benefit from having two big name programs that will both under-perform; it might as well be the Car Care Bowl.

20) Sun Bowl: #12 Virginia Tech (10-2) vs California (8-4)

21) Liberty Bowl: Houston (8-4) vs Arkansas (7-5)

22) Chick-fil-A Bowl: #21 Georgia Tech (9-3) vs #25 Auburn (8-4)
This game was once the Peach Bowl. Then it was the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Now it's just the Chick-fil-A Bowl. What gives?

23) Dallas Football Classic: Kansas (8-4) vs Temple (8-4)
This will be the first game played on New Year's Day, 2011. A few questions: Why not just call it the Dallas Bowl? Can the first ever of something really be a "classic"? And how confident are you in its success when you're only going to air it on ESPNU?

24) Outback Bowl: Iowa (8-4) vs Ole Miss (7-5)
Masoli gets the last laugh after all when all of his old teammates and coaches are at home in Eugene watching him start for Ole Miss on New Year's Day.

25) Capital One Bowl: #16 Wisconsin (10-2) vs #8 Florida (11-2)
The Capital One Bowl used to the Citrus Bowl, but this name change doesn't bother me as much as the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Maybe it's because this game consistently has excellent match-ups. Or maybe because their mascots aren't a group of eco-terrorist cattle.

26) Gator Bowl: Michigan (7-5) vs Tennessee (6-6)
The Gator Bowl is the third New Year's match-up between the Big Ten and the SEC. At least one of these games will include mediocre or sub-par teams. But don't doubt for a second that any one of these bowls would jump at the chance to feature a crappy Tennessee take on a so-so Michigan.

27) GMAC Bowl: Kent State (6-6) vs Troy (8-4)
Most redundant name in college football? The Troy Trojans.

28) Cotton Bowl: #11 Oklahoma (10-2) vs #14 Georgia (10-2)
Why is the Cotton Bowl being played on January 7? Why is it not being played in the Cotton Bowl? Why is it the only game being aired on Fox? Ah, the mysterious universe that is college football.

29) Bowl: #22 Pittsburgh (9-3) vs South Carolina (6-6)
Ah, that revered rivalry between the Bowl and the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl continues....

30) Kraft Cheese Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington (7-5) vs Fresno State (7-5)
I appreciate Kraft trying to send a good message with the name of their new bowl game, but how long will it be until we shorten this to "Hunger Bowl"? I keep wanting to call it the "Hungry Bowl." Makes me want some f-ing mac n cheese right now. I think that the Huskies are being overrated in the preseason, but not so overrated that they won't beat Fresno State in the Hungry Bowl.

Next up.... BCS Games!!

No comments: