By Trevor Enerson, CF Blogger, (AKA, yaman3)
First of all, this has nothing to do with anything in this blog. If you are thinking of donating money to a charity and are undecided, please think about the Jimmy V Foundation. We hear about it every year at this time. This is a foundation based on a man that, in my opinion, was one of the greatest coaches in terms of outlook and what he did outside of basketball. I was not old enough to realize what he did while it was going on, but I am old enough to realize the things done in his name are huge for the curing of cancer. If you don’t know his story, I would urge you to read up on everything about him. You will be impressed.
Now to the meat. As I originally looked at the 2009/2010 bowl schedule, I was very underwhelmed. Besides, obviously ISU game and the National Championship game, I only saw a couple contests that I am excited for. I don’t know if this is because of a disappointing season, or if it just how things aligned.
I think there are two games that were lost because of a cop-out by the BCS. The BCS basically went into chaos mitigation mode when it was decided that TCU and Boise would play each other in a bowl game. I am outraged by this decision. I think it is an action taken by the BCS to ensure that the audience cannot put either team on the same level, as what we will call the National Champion. No matter who wins, they will have beaten a non-BCS team and therefore will not get the proper credit for they did this season. I would have rather seen each team play a squad that would give them a chance to show they were serious contenders. Of course, the BCS will disagree with me on that as they would like to see “big conferences” controlling the National Championship each and every year. My decision would have been to switch Cincinnati and TCU. Let TCU play what is probably the best team out there that is not taken in conference affiliation. Let BSU and Cincinnati go head-to-head, well because, that is probably the best opportunity for both. Instead we get two match-ups that do mean something, yet, mean nothing on a large scope.
Off my soapbox. Okay, here are the 10 bowl games that mean something to me either inside or outside of the game.
1. Texas vs. Alabama Citi BCS National Championship Jan. 7th 7 p.m. ABC This should be a great game. The media will try to spin this as a David vs. Goliath match-up like they always do but in my mind, this game is going to be close. Nick Saban will have a chance to win his second National Championship with a different school and Mack Brown will have a opportunity to win his second with Texas. Colt McCoy will have his chance to further pad his body of work as a Longhorn and solidify himself as perhaps the winningest quarterback that college football has ever seen. Alabama will be favored, but give me Texas and I will take the 7 or so they want to give me.
2. Minnesota vs. Iowa State Insight Bowl Dec. 31st 5 p.m. NFL Network
I am very interested to see this game. I want to see how the Iowa State offense progresses from the final game of the regular season. I expect that we will see a glimpse of next year on that side of the ball. I look for ARob and Austen to have huge days. The key to this game will be the Gophers passing game. If ISU can contain the air attack, I think they win this one going away. I think that the Gophers are possibly a little underrated. They have been competitive against some decent teams in the Big Ten but however, I think the Cyclones are actually better than the world thinks. I will take ISU and give 14.
3. Boise State vs. Texas Christian Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl Jan. 4th 7p.m. FOX
Which team will finish undefeated? That is what this game is all about. There are two teams here who would like to prove that they deserve a shot at a championship. It is so very sad that they do not have this chance in this game. The only way they get a little credit is if the obliterate the other team and even that may not get them much credit. I think TCU is too much for Boise. I also think TCU may be too much for Bama or Texas. I think it is a shame they are not able to prove it. I will take TCU and give BSU 14. 4. Florida vs. Cincinnati Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1st 7:30 p.m. FOX
Will Tebow finish off his superhero life by losing two in a row? Will Brian Kelly even be at the game? Those are two things we don’t know yet. I will say that the answer to both questions is the same. Yes or No. If Kelly is there, I think that Cincinnati is able to pull off the “upset.” If he is not then, I think it causes enough disruption so that Florida is able to win. This game will come down to Brian Kelly being there and the ability of Florida to score points. Florida was pathetic on offense against Alabama. I do not see that happening against a mediocre Cinci defense, but I also see the Bearcats being able to throw some points up. I actually think Cinci may be the best offense, with the exception of Alabama, that Florida has seen all year. If Kelly is there then I will take Cinci and take the points Vegas gives. If he is not, then I will take Florida and give the points.
5. Ohio State vs. Oregon Rose Bowl Jan 1st 3:30 p.m. ABC
Can the Big Ten please just win a big bowl game? This is getting embarrassing. Ohio State will face one of the best offenses in the country in this contest. It will be an offense similar to that of Michigan, which, until the Wolverines sent the ball back to them actually faired pretty well. We will see if Jim Tressel can work that out. Terrell Pryor needs to be let loose to win this game. I think he will be. I expect some new wrinkles and some more runs from him. I think the Sweater Vest Magic shows up and I will take OSU and take whatever points are given.
6. Iowa vs. Georgia Tech Fed Ex. Orange Bowl Jan 5th 7 p.m. FOX
I am going to go out on a limb here and say there will not be a large amount of offensive production in this game. All of that is due to Iowa’s fantastic defense and anemic offense. Georgia Tech will run the option and try to hit big to get their points. I think Iowa controls that pretty well in the game. The question will be whether or not Iowa can score. This is another chance for the Big Ten to win a big game and get some respect back. I think Iowa does that in an ugly fashion. I will take Iowa and give three.
7. Penn State vs. LSU Capital One Bowl Jan 1st. 12 p.m. ABC
Big Ten vs. SEC. I see this as a pretty even match-up. Both teams have pretty strong defenses as well as offenses that really struggle at times. This game will fall on the offenses. Which team is able to move the ball and when they don’t score, win field position battle? Daryl Clark is probably the best player on either offense and it will be up to him to decide this game. If he plays like he did against Iowa, they lose. If he plays like he did against Michigan, they win. I think he goes to the latter and adds yet another tally on that ridiculous win total for Joe Pa. I will take PSU and give five.
8. West Virginia vs. Florida State Konica Minolta Gator Bowl Jan. 1st 12 p.m. CBS
Bobby Bowden’s last hurrah. That is why this game interests me. This will be the last game for one of the greatest men and coaches of all-time. This may be one of the more fun games to watch because of the defensive struggles both teams have. West Virginia has a powerhouse of running game with Noel Devine. They will get theirs. I do, however, think that the emotion this FSU team will play with will give them the opportunity to carry Bowden off the field one last time. Give me Florida State.
9. Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee Chick-fil-a Bowl Dec. 31st 6:30 p.m. ESPN
First of all, where’s the “Peach?” What happened to the dam gun Peach Bowl? Every year Virginia Tech is my next year team. I have high hopes and then they dash said hopes in October. Can Lane Kiffin win his first bowl game? What will Lane Kiffin say before and after the game? That is what interests me. This guy is a walking bulletin board for opposing team. You know what though? I like it. He stirs it up and creates some controversy. I think this game comes down to Virginia Tech stopping the run and Tyrod Taylor being the same guy he was at the end of the Nebraska game. The Tennessee defense is stiff. Eric Berry is a boss at safety, but in the end I just don’t see the Vols being able to score enough with that anemic offense to overcome the tough positions that Beamer seems to put teams in. Virginia Tech by seven.
10. Boston College vs. USC Emerald Bowl Dec 26th 7 p.m. ESPN
I would have loved to see the look on Petey’s face if you would have told him at the beginning of the season that he will be playing in the Emerald Bowl. Could this be the beginning of Pete looking to the NFL? Does he see that the talent in his conference is catching him and that he can no longer win on talent alone? I have long said that Carroll does less with more than anyone in college football. He has more talent than any team he has played. I sort of give him a pass this year as he sent nine guys to the NFL. There is no excuse, however for losing to Boston College. They are not even on the same planet. If they somehow lose this game, I think that Pete possibly entertains the idea of an NFL job in the right situation. Stanford, Oregon, Cal, Oregon State, and even Washington are catching him. There is a certain time frame for coaches at one school. Some frames are larger (Bowden, Paterno), some are smaller (Carr, Coker). I think this season may, and I said may, be the beginning of the end of Pete’s tenure. USC is in no way sliding out of contention; I just think Pete’s ego may lead him to pursue the NFL. Having said that, I’ll take USC by 20.