Big East Bowl Predictions: Six Bowls, Two Wins—How Good Is the Big East?
Yesterday Sportscaster007 and I made the ACC and Big Ten bowl predictions. We continue going conference by conference today with the Big East and Big 12 predictions.
Tomorrow the SEC and Pac-10 previews will be here, followed lastly by the Mountain West and WAC conferences on Thursday. Enjoy, and comment as you like.
Find the Big 12 link at the bottom, as well as a link to SC's profile.
Sugar Bowl (SEC Champ vs. BCS at-large)—Jan. 1, New Orleans, Louisiana
The SEC championship is highly anticipated. I mean, wow, what a game. Florida and Alabama, two huge teams, the best two in the country.
The loser moves here to play Cincinnati. Cincinnati gets the at-large pick as long as they beat Pittsburgh. Otherwise all heck breaks loose, and things could get very messy. So let's assume Tony Pike can round up one more victory.
Florida will lose. Mark my words. I'm assuming by a touchdown to 10 points, but we'll see. Tim Tebow is an outstanding quarterback. His stats don't show it, which is why he shouldn't even be considered for the Heisman. But he gets the job done behind an amazing coach and with the assistance of a great defense.
Cincinnati has a stellar offense as well. I don't care if you put 50 points on the Bearcats, I guarantee you they'll put up 60. That's how good they are. Pike is extraordinary and should've won the Heisman if not for his injury.
That said, their defense isn't all that great. Tebow will seek revenge after losing his final regular season game. He'll go out with a bang, putting Pike to shame.
Florida 38, Cincinnati 21
Gator Bowl (Big East two vs. ACC three)—Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Florida
As stated in the ACC predictions, Virginia Tech makes the No. 3 spot behind Georgia Tech and Clemson.
They've been on a great win streak, making a good name for themselves again after such high preseason ratings. It looks as if they'll finish in the top 15, if not 10, with a win in the Gator Bowl.
That will come against rival West Virginia. While they aren't rivals per se, they do share a border and as intense a rivalry as I've seen.
West Virginia will represent the Big East. They look good, especially with that win over Pittsburgh to give them a chance at the Gator Bowl rather than the Car Care bowl.
West Virginia is good but got in due to an upset. Virginia Tech has a better conference and a stronger team, and it should be a bowl to remember, possibly being one of the best of the bowl season. Look for a great game and possibly a needed overtime.
Virginia Tech 28, West Virginia 26 (OT?)
Meineke Car Care Bowl (Big East three vs. ACC five)—Dec. 26, Charlotte, North Carolina
Again, this is a matchup stated in the ACC predictions. The score and such stay the same.
North Carolina's conspiracy to get home field advantage in a bowl game worked after faking the loss last week. Don't believe they're that bad. Don't.
Pittsburgh lost out on their chances of a better bowl with a loss to West Virginia. It would take a miracle to beat the 11-0 Bearcats, so it's the Car Care bowl for the Panthers.
Pittsburgh will take it to the Tar Heels, making up for their two-loss streak that ended the regular season. It's sweet revenge for the Panthers, and you better believe they'll get it.
Pittsburgh 31, North Carolina 21
Papajohns.com Bowl (Big East four vs. SEC nine)—Jan. 2, Birmingham, Alabama
Rutgers finishes fourth for the Big East, behind Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights have had a rough year but finish in a bowl game behind the arm of the amazing freshman Tom Savage.
He's one of the best freshmen in the nation, I feel, and you better remember his name for the Heisman watch in years to come.
Rutgers will have to take on the ninth-place finisher for the SEC.
In years past, this was pretty even. But this year, it looks to be heavily in Rutgers' favor.
They take on a weak Auburn team. Now they have had their moments. But despite almost beating Alabama in an amazing comeback game, they aren't as good as some may think.
True, the SEC is no picnic. But they have only seven wins, and only three in conference. They did beat West Virginia pretty badly but then went on a three-game losing streak to Arkansas, Kentucky, and LSU.
They scheduled three crap games against Louisiana Tech, Furman (I finally figured out where this is at...), and Ball State. Exactly—three pathetic no-brainer wins for the Tigers.
Excluding those three games, they're 4-3. Not that great. I see Rutgers taking down the Tigers, gaining back some respect for the Knights.
Rutgers 34, Auburn 27
International Bowl (Big East five vs. MAC three)—Jan. 2, Toronto, Canada
Coming in at fifth place are the underachieving South Florida Bulls. What in the world should we expect from these guys?
I mean honestly, this is one of the hardest games to predict. The Bulls are led by a pretty decent freshman quarterback in B.J. Daniels. However, they've had quite a shaky year.
First they played three ridiculous games against two FCS teams—Wofford and Charleston Southern—and Sun Belt bottom-feeder Western Kentucky.
After that they won a couple games against average teams and got blown out by Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Yet they beat West Virginia next week. And the week after that? They were shut out by Rutgers.
The season so far has been finished off by a close victory over Louisville (I don't care what the score says, they almost lost that game) and a humiliating loss to the Hurricanes.
Against them will be an underrated Temple. Temple is led by freshman running back Bernard Pierce, one of the best freshman in the country.
Now, no undue credit here—Temple is a good team. They had a shaky start and ended with a tough loss to conference opponent Ohio. This puts them in third place for the MAC, behind Ohio and Central Michigan, who will play for the MAC title.
Temple knows how to win games, even if it is usually against minor league teams. I think they can pull off the "upset" over South Florida, chalking up another loss for the Big East.
Temple 35, South Florida 31
St. Petersburg Bowl (Big East six/Notre Dame vs. C-USA five/Sun Belt two)—Dec. 19, St. Petersburg, Florida
Coming in sixth place in the Big East is Connecticut, win or lose this weekend. However, Notre Dame can come in at 6-6 as a replacement. But everyone else is predicting them to accept a GMAC replacement bid, so we'll go with Connecticut.
Against them is the fifth place C-USA team, or the second place Sun Belt team if the C-USA can't fill that selection. But they can, and that selection is Southern Mississippi.
The Golden Eagles lost to Kansas, UAB, and Louisville. But then they contended with Houston, taking that game right down to the wire. The year finished with a loss to East Carolina.
All in all, this looks to be a pretty sad bowl game that could go either way. But So Miss' high scoring ways will continue into the bowl season, and they'll come out on top.
Southern Miss 52, Connecticut 42
Again, I want to thank Sportscaster007 for his input, and it's been great working with him. Look for the SEC and Pac-10 picks later today!
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