College Football Bowl Picks 2012: Predicting Underdogs That Will Deliver Upsets
Upsets during the bowl season of college football are what make this part of the season so great. With neutral environments, weeks between games and mostly uncommon opponents, bowl games can spell trouble for favorites. Teams need to be focused and detailed in order to avoid potential upsets.
There are a number of potential upsets looming as we get deeper into the bowl schedule. Here is a look at a couple games that will see the underdogs come out victorious.
Texas vs. Oregon State
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Oregon State has faltered down the stretch after some big expectations earlier in the season. After starting 6-0, they went 3-3 in the second half of the season, alternating wins and losses. Texas isn't in great form either, losing back-to-back games to TCU and Kansas State.
Texas will pull the upset as touchdown-machine Joe Bergeron scores multiple times to down the Beavers. The Beavers just haven't gotten up for big games down the stretch, and it will show against a Texas team looking to get back in the national picture.
Oregon State flops while Texas gets the upsets and heads into the right direction for next season. This Texas team can put up points, averaging 36.1 points per game, and they shouldn't have a problem doing it against Oregon State.
Prediction: Texas 34, Oregon State 21
Washington vs. Boise State
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Washington Huskies have been one of the most frustratingly inconsistent teams in the country. By beating Stanford, they showed they can play with most teams, but by losing to Washington State, showed the opposite. Boise State, on the other hand, is looking to gain some attention before getting a lot more by joining the Big East.
Washington will be able to get it down on the ground behind Bishop Sankey. Boise State's rush defense was good against weaker competition, but notably struggled against Le'Veon Bell in their season opener. He rushed for 210 yards and two scores on 44 carries. Sankey isn't as talented as Bell, but he should be able to find some running room.
This game should be close, but the good Huskies will come out and win the game. Keith Price may struggle against Boise State's fourth-ranked pass defense, but Sankey will be able to keep the defense honest and allow Price to make some plays.
Prediction: Huskies 32, Boise State 23
West Virginia vs. Syracuse
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
West Virginia has won their last two games, but beating Iowa State and Kansas isn't much to brag about. It's hard to say they are back in a groove after looking lost for much of their five-game losing streak. Syracuse, on the other hand, is playing well, having won five of their last six games.
Geno Smith and the Mountaineers are capable of putting up points in a hurry, but they haven't down so consistently. One week they put up 50-plus points and the next they scramble to put up 14 points. It will be an off-day against Syracuse, who has scored 31-plus in their last five wins.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib will put up huge numbers against the West Virginia defense that gave up 40-plus points in six of their games. West Virginia won't be able to get their offense going quickly enough to hang with the Orange.
Prediction: Syracuse 40, West Virginia 29
Kansas State vs. Oregon
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Kansas State and Oregon both expected to play in the National Championship game, but had to settle for the Fiesta Bowl. This should be one of the most entertaining games of the bowl season as both teams can put up points in a hurry.
While Kansas State has a bunch of players playing in their last game for the school, Oregon features a bunch of players that will be returning to Eugene next season. This could add a little more desperation for Kansas State as they are looking at one game, while Oregon may be thinking about next year already. The Ducks should win this game, but there are too many distractions. The NCAA investigation and rumors of Chip Kelly's future will take a toll on the players and coaching staff.
Oregon has gotten off to a slow start many times this season, but their athleticism, speed and ability to put points on the board quickly has seen them through. Kansas State has a lot of the same qualities, scoring 40.7 points per game this season.
Oregon starts slow and Kansas State makes them pay. They are able to hold off the Ducks attack during the second half for the victory.
Prediction: Kansas State 42, Oregon 38