Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bowl Predictions, Part 2

As I type this, Utah has beaten Georgia Tech and Oregon is leading Oklahoma. Midseason form, I tell ya.

Here are predictions for the Dec. 31 through Jan. 3 games, with the exception of:

Meineke Car Care Bowl -- I refuse to serve any notice to a game with perhaps the worst corporate name in bowl history. Only the MicronPC.com Bowl is even in its league. The matchup is South Florida vs. NC State, and I'm sure they'll both tell you they're glad to be in bowl games at 6-5.

Liberty Bowl -- Fresno State vs. Tulsa -- Two outstanding offenses. Fresno has run theirs against slightly better competition, including the scare it put into USC. Pick: Fresno State.

Houston Bowl -- TCU vs. Iowa State -- TCU would be this year's Utah if not for a bad loss in only their second game of the season, to SMU. But the Frogs beat Oklahoma and won the Mountain West Conference. Iowa State gave away the Big 12 North in their final game of the season. Pick: TCU.

Outback Bowl -- Iowa vs. Florida -- The Hawkeyes, who pulled off the dramatic victory in their bowl last year, played their best football at the end of the regular season, but I think they'll meet their match here. Pick: Florida.

Cotton Bowl -- Texas Tech vs. Alabama -- The ultimate battle of a great offense against a great defense. I have to go with the great defense, despite Alabama's two losses at the end of the season, given that they've had a month to prepare for the game. Pick: Alabama.

Gator Bowl -- Louisville vs. Virginia Tech -- Another team that was in the Top 5 until two late losses is Virginia Tech. The Hokies face a team that scored at least 30 points in all but one game this year. Again, I'll go with the better defense. Pick: Virginia Tech.

Capital One Bowl -- Wisconsin vs. Auburn -- In Barry Alvarez's final game, the Badgers must try to change history. Alvarez is 0-3 against SEC teams in bowls, 7-0 against everyone else. Given the Tigers' great defense and Wisconsin's one-dimensional offense, I see the trend continuing. Pick: Auburn.

Fiesta Bowl -- Notre Dame vs. Ohio State -- A terrific matchup between two of the sport's most popular teams. Let's see how many teams the announcers talk about what a great job Charlie Weis is doing. See Charlie coach. See Charlie teach. See Charlie stop for a restroom break. Then see Charlie get beat by a coach who likes to stay out of the limelight but finds ways to win, Jim Tressel. Pick: Ohio State.

Sugar Bowl -- West Virginia vs. Georgia -- The nighttime matchup after a long day of football puts me to sleep just thinking about it. Go with the virtual home team as the game was moved to Atlanta. Pick: Georgia.

Orange Bowl -- Penn State vs. Florida State -- The battle of the deans of the sport. Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno are equals in their greatness, but their teams are not. A.J. Nicholson's suspension doesn't help the Seminoles. Pick: Penn State.

Coming up later, the pick for the Rose Bowl and the national champion.


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