Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 College Bowl Preview

Guest Post by Michael S. Hit him up on Twitter: @SteelersTide74

Of course, I (Ian) couldn't resist adding my personal predictions in beside Michael's picks. Hope yinz enjoy his article!

With a slew of bowl games on tap for this bowl season featuring many mediocre teams. I thought it would be better to focus on the ten best bowl games of the season. I hope you enjoy the preview.

1. BCS Championship game

This one’s a no-brainer. This should be one of the better match ups in BCS history. You have the unstoppable Cam Newton against LaMichael James and an equally explosive offensive in Oregon. Cam Newton is simply the best football player I have seen play in 15 years. In fact he reminds me a lot of one Big Ben with his escapability. Alabama had the best chance to beat Newton and Auburn and was really the only team in conference play to hold him in the running game. But as Newton showed in the SEC championship game he is equally adept at beating you with his Arm. Look for Darvin Adams as well, he’s the featured man in Auburn’s passing attack. Former QB Kodi Burns is also a serviceable receiver. Onterrio McCaleb  is a key cog in the running game. Auburn has a bend or break defense. Ted Roof’s unit has gotten stronger as the season progressed. Nick Fairley is an absolute beast at the point of attack. As for Oregon they have a very explosive player in LaMichael James. James and the running game will be key because the only way to beat Auburn is to have balance. As the Alabama game showed, you have to maximize your opportunities in big games. I think this will be a great game but I think Newton and company will be too much. 

Michael's Pick: Auburn 45- Ducks 31
Ian's Pick: Auburn 27, Oregon 21

2. Allstate Sugar Bowl

I really like this game because it features two of the best QB’s in the land and one of the top receiving corps in the nation. Ryan Mallett has a cannon for an arm and he has all the tools that scouts covet. He’s a big kid at 6’8 and that helps him deliver his cannon shots to the receivers. Terrelle Pryor is also a fun QB to watch, he is Mr. Versatile.  Much like Newton he can beat you with his arm or his legs. The thing to watch for is if Ohio State can stop Arkansas passing attack. When Arkansas is on, they are very difficult to stop. The Ohio State defense will be a good test for Mallett and company. While Arkansas is dominant on offense they still struggle on the other side of the ball and that is why I think it will be a closer game than some might suggest. I think Ohio State keeps it close and they win.

Michael's Pick: OSU 21 Pig Sooooeeeeee 17
Ian's Pick: Ohio St 24, Arkansas 20

3. Rose Bowl

I like this game because I think TCU is one of the more underrated teams out there. Andy Dalton is a terrific playmaker and the TCU offense is prolific. They will be matched against a tough Wisconsin squad led by steamroller John Clay. While Wisconsin might be the trendy and safe pick here I am going to go with Dalton and TCU. I think they have the edge offensively and I think they are one of the more underrated defensive teams.

Michael's Pick: TCU 27-Wisconsin 20
Ian's Pick: Wisconsin 34, TCU 13

4.  Capital One Bowl.

I really like this match-up because it pits two quality teams against each other. The Capitol One Bowl is easily the best of the non BCS bowls. Alabama had a bit of a down year finishing the season at 9-3 while Michigan State is co-big 10 champs at 11-1. This game will feature explosive performers Julio Jones and Mark Ingram against Kirk Cousins and Greg Jones. While I think Michigan State has a legitimate shot at pulling the upset I think if Alabama comes prepared they will win the game. I think the combination of Julio Jones and Mark Ingram will prove to be too much for Michigan State. One area where the Tide will suffer is in the secondary where Safety Mark Barron will be out for the game. I look for this to be a highly entertaining contest and a much closer game than is being forecasted by the national media.

Michael's Pick: Bama 27- MSU 23
Ian's Pick: Alabama 31, Michigan St 17

5. Gator Bowl

This game is a big deal for the folks at Mississippi State. They have not been to a New Years day game in quite a long time. On the same hand it’s a big game for Michigan and for Rich Rod since his teams have been disappointing in his tenure. The Michigan people demand excellence and anything less could prove fatal to rich rod. Call me crazy but I am going with Miss State in this game. The underlying factor is the Michigan defense and how poor it has been this year. I think this game will be a shootout. I have State winning by a TD

Michael's Pick: MSU 42- UM 35
Ian's Pick: Mississippi St 17, Michigan 13

6. Valero Alamo Bowl

Year in and Year out this is one of the better bowls to watch as it usually goes down to the wire. This game will pit Oklahoma State and their high flying offense against Arizona. As with the Gator Bowl I think this game could be a shootout and it will come down to who makes the most stops on the defensive side of the ball. I think Oklahoma State will have enough on offense and just enough on defense to get the win. But don’t be surprised if Zona wins this game.

Michael's Pick: OSU-42 Zona 38
Ian's Pick: Oklahoma St 35, Arizona 13

7.  The Cotton Bowl

This game features two former rivals. Texas A&M and LSU used to meet each other in the regular season so the two fan-bases are no strangers to each other. The Question in this game will be which LSU offense will show up. Texas A&M finished the season on a very strong note by beating both Texas and Nebraska. Don’t expect a lot of points in this game, expect stout defenses and at least one trick play from the mad hatter.

Michael's Pick: LSU 17- A&M 14
Ian's Pick: Texas A&M 24, LSU 20

8. Holiday Bowl

I put the Holiday bowl in this list because it has featured some of the most entertaining games in the bowl season. This year’s match-up might seem less than appealing but it features some pro prospects in Jared Crick and Jake Locker that we should keep our eyes on. Overall I think Martinez and company will be too much for the Huskies. They are still steamed at losing that Big 12 game and they take their frustrations out on the Huskies.

Michael's Pick: Big Red 42 U-Dub 17
Ian's Pick: Black Shirts 31, Washington 10

9. Hyundai Sun Bowl

Catholics vs. Convicts all over again, I can remember vividly the 88 Irish win over Miami which was fraught with bitter controversy in a 31-30 Irish win. Notre Dame and Miami might not be the powers they used to be but the Sun Bowl usually provides a pretty entertaining match-up  I think the Hurricane defense will be the difference in this game and I see the canes winning.

Michael's Pick: UM 24 ND 10
Ian's Pick: The U 21, Touchdown Jesus 17

10. Outback Bowl.

This is the end of the Urban Meyer era, the man who brought the spread and Tim Tebow to the SEC is taking some time off and leaving the Florida program, On the other side of the field you have the indomitable will that is Joe Paterno, one of the greatest coaches to walk the sideline. This game will be fraught with emotion for the Florida players as they will want to send Meyer out with a win. I think they will do that but it’s going to be very close. 

Michael's Pick: UF 21- PSU 17
Ian's Pick: Penn St 84, Florida -7

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