Monday, December 8, 2008

Some Initial Thoughts on the Bowl Matchups

The bowl pairings have been announced and the final tally for the ACC is 10 bowls while the SEC has 8 teams playing. Two games will feature ACC vs SEC matchups with Georgia Tech taking on LSU in the Chick Fil A Bowl and Vandy vs Boston College in the Music City Bowl. Some knee jerk reaction to these pairings is needed as we begin the 4 week march to the BCS Championship.

BCS Games

BCS Championship
Florida vs Oklahoma

Good offense, Good defense meets their mirror image. Oh wait, sorry, I thought Texas was in this game. I mean they did win 45-35, but that doesn’t matter. So we have very powerful offense and very suspect defense meets good offense, good defense. I think I changed my imaginary Heisman vote for Tim Tebow over the weekend. Though I hope he doesn’t win it because winners usually play pretty crappy in their bowl game. So here’s to Sam Bradford for Heisman!

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati

The Orange Bowl was where the national title used to be decided most every year from about 1983-1995. Now it is relegated to ACC vs Big East. The ACC is really strong from top to bottom, but lacks that dynamite team at the top. The Big East is the same, but does not have near the depth of the ACC. This game could be real ugly with two sub par offenses.

Sugar Bowl
Alabama vs Utah

I think the Sugar Bowl would rather have had Utah facing their old coach in Urban Meyer, but this should still be intriguing with Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. This matchup will finally give Utah the chance to go up against a “big boy”.

Rose Bowl
USC vs Penn State

I have to wonder about USC’s motivation here with their 4th straight trip to the Rose Bowl. But if they can get up for playing Illinois then they should get up for playing a 1 loss Penn State team. This is still of one of my favorite games to watch. The backdrop of the mountains, the painted sidelines, the parade all still have magic in my opinion.

Fiesta Bowl
Texas vs Ohio State

Ohio State gets their chance at BCS bowl redemption after two straight flops. Mack Brown will have to fight hard with his team to get over the disappointment of not playing in Miami. If you are Texas fan, maybe you want Tebow or Bradford to win the Heisman looking at the track record of past winners.

Capitol One Bowl
Georgia vs Michigan State

This is not where UGA fans anticipated their team playing back in August. Surprisingly, the Big 10 has won the last four games in this bowl. Could be the last game for Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno is a Bulldog uniform. Michigan State has beaten every team they should have and lost the teams that were better.

Chick Fil A Bowl
Georgia Tech vs LSU

Two teams headed in opposite directions will be playing in this game. Could LSU really finish 7-6 a year after winning the BCS Championship? They will be underdogs against an unusually strong ACC opponent in this game. Georgia Tech will be playing just a few blocks from their campus and should have a good crowd on hand.

Cotton Bowl
Texas Tech vs Ole Miss

A game of contrasting styles as Texas Tech is spread you out and Ole Miss is beat you down. Did you know Ole Miss has the third best bowl winning percentage of all time?

Gator Bowl
Clemson vs Nebraska

How did a 7-5 Clemson team get into the Gator Bowl over an 8 win FSU and a 9 win Boston College? Easy, Clemson will bring a ton of fans. Nebraska likely will too.

Outback Bowl
South Carolina vs Iowa

Another 7-5 team on New Years Day. South Carolina in this bowl game shows how down the SEC is this year. After the top 4 teams there just isn’t a whole lot there. Iowa really came on strong at the end of the year, including beating Penn State.

Champs Sports Bowl
FSU vs Wisconsin

This bowl is an upgrade for the Seminoles after the last couple of years. I think Wisconsin is solely here because of their traveling fan base. The Badgers were two missed extra points away from losing to a FCS team at home.

Liberty Bowl
Kentucky vs East Carolina

Quite an accomplishment for Rich Brooks and Kentucky as for the first time the Wildcats are going to three straight bowls. East Carolina had an up and down year and their coach is rumored to be interviewing for other jobs. You have to wonder what the Pirates psyche will be in this one.

Music City Bowl
Boston College vs Vanderbilt

Although Kentucky brought huge numbers of fans to Nashville the last two years, the Music City folks were hard pressed to bring them back a third year. BC and their lack of a traveling fan base (and a loss to VT) landed them in this game over some more attractive bowls. Could Chris Crane be healed up for this game? Sure would help Jags get another 10 win season.

Humanitarian Bowl
Maryland vs Nevada

Now the Terps get to feel the sting of the blue turf bowl. This is the last season for this bowl in the ACC's selection and shockingly not 1 school from the state of North Carolina ever played here (sarcasm). Nevada has one of the best rushing offenses in the country.

Papajohns.com Bowl
NC State vs Rutgers

Winner gets the dipping sauce from the pizza! Actually this bowl lucked out with two of the hottest teams in the country at the end of the season.

Emerald Bowl
Miami vs Cal

Please tell me this game is not still played in a baseball stadium! Oh god it is. Is the Oakland Raiders or San Francisco 49ers stadium too much to ask?

Meineke Car Care Bowl
West Virginia vs North Carolina

One last time to see Pat White playing QB. White is the all time leading rusher for QBs in NCAA history. This may be the best bowl the Mountaineers play in a while. Something about losing White and having Bill Stewart as your head coach do not exude confidence.

Eagle Bank Bowl
Wake Forest vs Navy

A rematch of an early season game where Navy defeated Wake in Winston Salem. I think they could do it again. Navy should have a lot of fans with the game in DC.

Last Week: 0-2 ATS, 1-1 SU
Season: 31-30-3 ATS, 41-23 SU

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