The Complete Guide: 2009-2010 College Bowl Game Predictions
After a season in which we've all been reminded of why we love college football so much, it's almost time to kick off the 2009-2010 bowl games.
So as the holidays begin, we fanatics will be enjoying college football for a couple more weeks until we're without our best friend for eight months.
I've gone through all 34 of them, (yes, 34) in this feature and formulated a score for each matchup.
Take a look inside to see how I think your team will do. (All times Central).
New Mexico Bowl
1. New Mexico Bowl-Albuquerque, N.M.
December 19, 2009, on ESPN @ 3:30 p.m.
Wyoming vs. Fresno State:
To kick off the 2009-2010 bowl season, the New Mexico Bowl features America’s top rusher Ryan Mathews and the Fresno State Bulldogs (8-4, 6-2) versus a Wyoming team that hasn’t been to a bowl game in five years.
Fresno State averaged over 34 points a game this year and reeled off an impressive 7-1 record to end the regular season, while the Cowboys of Wyoming struggled through three shutouts in 2009 and beat Colorado State by just one point in their final regular season game to become bowl-eligible.
The six game series between these foes is split at three, but the teams have never played at a neutral site.
Fresno State wins the first neutral game between the ‘Dogs and Cowboys and takes the series lead:
Fresno State 31 Wyoming 20
St. Petersburg Bowl
2. St. Petersburg Bowl-St. Petersburg, Fla.
December 19, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
Rutgers vs. UCF:
Rutgers (8-4, 3-4) will go for its fourth straight bowl win when they take on the UCF Knights for the first time in program history in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Although some Rutgers fans are whining about the Scarlet Knights’ mediocrity in years of late, they might want to take a look at their program’s history.
From 1979-2004, Rutgers didn’t qualify for a bowl at all, a stat head coach Greg Schiano has long wiped from memories, since his time in Piscataway.
The other knights, UCF’s Knights (8-4, 6-2), will be playing about 100 miles from home and should be helped by a fan base that’s hungry for the program’s first bowl win.
Rutgers wins in a close one:
Rutgers 21 UCF 17
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
3. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl-New Orleans, La.
December 20, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
Middle Tennessee State vs. Southern Miss:
Southern Miss (7-5, 5-3) makes its second straight appearance in the New Orleans Bowl after winning last year’s overtime thriller over Troy.
The Golden Eagles are again picked as the favorite in this year’s game, but they best not take MTSU (9-3, 7-1) lightly.
Much of the Blue Raiders’ success this year can be attributed to offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, hired this year after being fired from Auburn last season.
Franklin has helped the Blue Raiders to nine wins this season, and he’ll look to help them pick up their first 10-win season since 1992 with a victory in New Orleans.
However, Southern Miss has a stellar offense of its own, and I just don’t think MTSU can stop them:
Southern Miss 30 Middle Tennessee State 27
Maaco Las Vegas Bowl
4. Maaco Las Vegas Bowl-Las Vegas, Nev.
December 22, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 18 Oregon State vs. No. 14 BYU:
Can going to Las Vegas ever get old?
Well, it can if you’re a BYU (10-2, 7-1) fan, as the Cougars make their fifth straight appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl this year.
This season’s edition will mark the first time in the bowl’s history that both teams have been ranked and will be the first time that these two teams have ever met in the postseason.
However, Oregon State (8-4, 6-3) has a 5-3 advantage over the Cougars in other games.
As a consolation prize, and after missing out on a Rose Bowl appearance after losing to Oregon, they’ll add another win to that record Tuesday:
No. 18 Oregon State 33 No. 14 BYU 28
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
5. San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl-San Diego, Calif.
December 23, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 23 Utah vs. California:
Utah (9-3, 6-2) has won eight straight bowl appearances, including a shocker in last year’s Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama.
Meanwhile, California (8-4, 5-4) had a decent outing in 2009 before being embarrassed at Washington in their regular season finale.
Despite the unfortunate ending to the regular season, the Golden Bears clinched a bowl appearance for the seventh consecutive season—the longest streak in school history.
Cal bounces back with a win in its home state:
California 29 No. 23 Utah 26
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
6. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl-Honolulu, Hawaii
December 24, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
Nevada vs. SMU:
June Jones makes his return to Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium on Christmas Eve as the head coach of a new team—the SMU Mustangs.
In his nine seasons at Hawaii, Jones led his team to a BCS bowl appearance and put the Warriors on the map as one of the most explosive passing offenses in the nation.
In just his second season at Southern Methodist, he’ll lead the Mustangs into their first bowl game since 1984 when they take on the Wolfpack of Nevada (8-4, 7-1) in Hawaii.
After a 1-11 campaign in his first year, Jones led the team to the biggest turnaround in the FBS as the Mustangs posted a 7-5 record this year en route to its first bowl bid in 25 years.
Can Jones and SMU (7-5, 6-2) stop the best rushing team in the country?
Maybe next year, coach:
Nevada 40 SMU 30
Little Caesars Bowl
7. Little Caesars Bowl-Detroit, Mich.
December 26, 2009, on ESPN @ 12:00 p.m.
Marshall vs. Ohio:
If you don’t like the color green, don’t even bother watching this one.
Ohio and Marshall, both clad in the color of the Irish, come into the newly named Little Caesars Bowl with lots to prove.
Ohio (9-4, 7-1) has never won a bowl game, but they did manage to win their first MAC division title since 2006, before falling to Central Michigan 20-10 in the MAC Championship on the same field they’ll play on against Marshall.
Marshall (6-6, 4-4) enters this game hoping to avoid its fifth straight losing season, while Ohio hopes to halt a four game losing streak to the Thundering Herd.
Who proves more on the day after Christmas?
Ohio 23 Marshall 20
Meineke Car Care Bowl
8. Meineke Car Care Bowl-Charlotte, N.C.
December 26, 2009, on ESPN @ 3:00 p.m.
North Carolina vs. No. 17 Pittsburgh:
The Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3, 5-2) showed America why their claims of being “underrated” all season are, in fact, true.
Trouncing Sugar Bowl-bound Cincinnati for the majority of the Big East championship game, the Panthers saw Cincinnati come back in the closing seconds to grab the one-point win in freezing Pittsburgh.
Facing a familiar opponent—in basketball, anyway—Pitt hopes to pick up its first ten win season since the days of Dan Marino in 1981.
However, that task won’t be easy.
Facing the nation’s sixth-ranked defense and a hostile NC crowd, look for North Carolina (8-4, 4-4) to come out firing on all cylinders and make this one close:
No. 17 Pittsburgh 23 North Carolina 20
9. Emerald Bowl-San Francisco, Calif.
December 26, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:30 p.m.
Boston College vs. No. 24 USC:
For the first time since 2001, USC (8-4, 5-4) won’t be going to a BCS bowl.
Instead, they’ll face Boston College (8-4, 5-3) on the day after Christmas as a consolation prize for what’s been a disappointing season.
But hey, at least they get to stay in their home state.
After losing three of their last five games, the Trojans dropped out of the top 25 rankings in the AP Poll for the first time since the end of the 2001 season, barely clinging onto a 24th place ranking in the BCS standings.
Facing a team that has made 11 straight bowl appearances, expect yet another lackadaisical effort by the Trojans:
No. 24 USC 24 Boston College 20
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
10. Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl-Nashville, Tenn.
December 27, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:15 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Clemson:
After playing in the ACC Championship on Dec. 5, Clemson (8-5, 6-2) surely expected a better bowl bid than this.
However, they’ll have to deal with the cards they’ve been dealt, facing another team that had higher postseason expectations for their season—the Kentucky Wildcats.
This meeting will mark the second time in four years these two teams have met in Nashville’s Music City Bowl and will be the Wildcats’ third trip there in four years.
Kentucky (7-5, 3-5) had quite an impressive 2009 campaign, knocking off Auburn and Georgia in huge road wins, but failed to capitalize at the end of the season by losing 30-24 in overtime to rival Tennessee.
The ‘Cats currently have a three-game postseason winning streak, but look for Clemson and star senior tailback C.J. Spiller to stop that streak dead in its tracks:
Clemson 29 Kentucky 24
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
11. AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl-Shreveport, La.
December 28, 2009, on ESPN @ 4:00 p.m.
Texas A&M vs. Georgia:
Expect this game to be rather high scoring, as a Big 12 defense faces a Georgia (7-5. 4-4) defense that is without three assistant coaches.
The Bulldogs have the most losses in the Mark Richt era, and they gave up more than 40 points in three different games this season.
After Richt went on a firing spree, the only remaining defensive coach is Rodney Garner, the ‘Dogs defensive line coach.
Richt says he’ll rely on Garner and graduate assistants to prepare his defense for the Independence Bowl against Texas A&M (6-6, 3-5).
Despite the defensive difficulties, Georgia will win this one:
Georgia 38 Texas A&M 33
12. EagleBank Bowl-Washington, D.C.
December 29, 2009, on ESPN @ 3:30 p.m.
UCLA vs. Temple:
UCLA (6-5, 3-5) squeaked into this one after Navy came back to beat Army in America’s game last Saturday to launch the Bruins into the postseason..
Meanwhile, the Temple Owls (9-3, 7-1) have impressed the nation this season, winning nine games and appearing in their third bowl in program history, and first since 1979.
Statistically, these two teams are about as even as you can get, with Temple holding the nation’s 89th best offense to UCLA’s 88th ranking and the nation’s 36th defense compared to UCLA’s ranking of 38.
Look for a close game with the favored team to pull out a victory in America's capital city:
UCLA 26 Temple 20
Champs Sports Bowl
13. Champs Sports Bowl-Orlando, Fla.
December 29, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 15 Miami vs. No. 25 Wisconsin:
As I told a friend earlier this season, the “U” is back.
Miami (9-3, 5-3) has bounced back strong after a couple years of disappointment, but they’ll face stiff competition in Orlando.
Wisconsin, from the Big Ten conference, has plenty of experience stopping the run, so Miami will have to rely on quarterback Jacory Harris to exploit the Badger defense if they want a shot at a bowl win.
Both these teams are quickly on the rise, but expect Miami to edge out Wisconsin (9-3, 5-3) and send them back to icy Madison, Wisconsin with a loss:
No. 15 Miami 33 No. 25 Wisconsin 26
Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
14. Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl-Boise, Idaho
December 30, 2009, on ESPN @ 3:30 p.m.
Idaho vs. Bowling Green:
If there’s a bowl game I fail to watch this bowl season, it will be this one.
Personally, watching games at Boise’s blue field just gives me a headache.
But now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s get to the game.
The blue field will play host to two of the nation’s top scoring offenses, with Idaho (7-5, 4-4) averaging 32 points a game to Bowling Green’s 27.
But Bowling Green (7-5, 6-2) has the nation’s best receiver in Freddie Barnes and should do just enough to pull out a close one in Boise:
Bowling Green 37 Idaho 34
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
15. Pacific Life Holiday Bowl-San Diego, Calif.
December 30, 2009, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 20 Arizona vs. No. 22 Nebraska:
Arizona (8-4, 6-3) just knocked off the USC Trojans to wrap up a share of second place in the Pac-10, while Nebraska (9-4, 6-2) lost a 13-12 heartbreaker to Texas in the Big 12 Championship.
These two teams last met in the 1998 Holiday Bowl, a game that saw the Cornhuskers lead the whole way until the Wildcats rallied late to take home the 23-20 victory.
Expect another close game this year, as Arizona head coach Mike Stoops and the ‘Cats will be looking to prove that their 21-17 victory over USC a couple weeks ago wasn’t just a fluke:
No. 20 Arizona 24 No. 22 Nebraska 21
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
16. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl-Fort Worth, Texas
December 31, 2009, on ESPN @ 11:00 a.m.
Air Force vs. Houston:
This year’s Armed Forces Bowl is a rematch of last year’s, which Houston won 34-28.
This year’s version features the nation’s top passing attack vs. the nation’s best pass defense.
Houstin quarterback Case Keenum averages 450 passing yards a game, while the Falcons defense gives up an average of only 149.
Since Houston (10-3, 6-2) allows 29 points per game on defense, look for the crazy running attack of Air Force (7-5, 5-3) to pick up plenty of yards and points in this one, too.
Expect an offensive shootout with Houston winning another close one:
Houston 34 Air Force 33
Brut Sun Bowl
17. Brut Sun Bowl-El Paso, Texas
December 31, 2009, on CBS @ 11:00 a.m.
No. 21 Stanford vs. Oklahoma:
For the first time in eight years, the Stanford Cardinal (8-4, 6-3) will appear in a bowl game.
The Cardinal have appeared in the Sun Bowl three times in program history, beating LSU in 1977 and Michigan State in 1996.
They have not played in a bowl game since losing the Seattle Bowl to Georgia Tech in 2001.
This game marks the fifth time these teams have met on the field, with Oklahoma (7-5, 5-3) holding the 3-1 advantage.
Despite Stanford having Heisman candidate workhorse Toby Gerhart in its stable, Oklahoma does just enough to tranquilize them:
Oklahoma 30 No. 21 Stanford 26
18. Texas Bowl-Houston, Texas
December 31, 2009, on ESPN @ 2:30 p.m.
Missouri vs. Navy:
In a game that pits America’s third best running attack in Navy (9-4, 3-3 away) against the nation’s 13th best passing attack in Missouri (8-4, 4-4), expect some offensive fireworks in this one.
These two teams last met in the 1961 Orange Bowl, a game the Tigers won 21-14.
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo led his Midshipmen back from behind last week to beat Army, but don’t expect the Mids to have as much luck when they suit up against the Big 12’s Missouri Tigers:
Missouri 27 Navy 24
19. Insight Bowl-Tempe, Ariz.
December 31, 2009, on NFL Network @ 5:00 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Iowa State:
For the first time since 2005, the Cyclones head to a bowl game.
Meanwhile, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota (6-6, 3-5) will appear in the Tempe-based bowl for the third time in the last four seasons.
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhodes, in his first season in Ames, turned a program around that went 2-10 and was winless in eight Big 12 games in 2008.
The Cyclones’ last bowl appearance came in the 2005 Houston Bowl, a game they lost 27-24 to TCU.
Iowa State (6-6, 3-5) should continue to do well next season, but they won’t get a bowl win this year:
Minnesota 24 Iowa State 21
20. Chick-fil-A Bowl-Atlanta, Ga.
December 31, 2009, on ESPN @ 6:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. No. 11 Virginia Tech:
Since the Outback Bowl passed on handing Tennessee (7-5, 4-4) a bid, the Volunteers will face Virginia Tech (9-3, 6-2) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
The last time these two teams met was in the 1994 Gator Bowl, which saw the Vols thrash the Hokies 45-23.
The Hokies will make their fourth all-time visit to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, with their last appearance coming in a 2006 loss to Georgia.
Meanwhile, the last trip to Atlanta for Tennessee came in a 2004 loss to Clemson.
Well, one of the two has to win this time, and I think it’ll be Tech:
No. 11 Virginia Tech 31 Tennessee 23
21. Outback Bowl-Tampa, Fla.
January 1, 2010, on ESPN @ 10:00 a.m.
Northwestern vs. Auburn:
For the first time in history, Northwestern (8-4, 5-3) will meet Auburn (7-5, 3-5) in the Outback Bowl.
Both of these teams finished their respective regular seasons with statement games, as Northwestern knocked off then-No. 16 Wisconsin and Auburn led all but the final two minutes of the Iron Bowl against then-No. 2 Alabama.
Auburn is hoping to keep Northwestern from its first postseason win since the 1949 Rose Bowl, but the Wildcats won’t go down without a clawing fight.
The last time Auburn played in the Outback Bowl was in 1996, a game the Tigers lost 43-14 to Penn State.
Don’t expect another Outback Bowl letdown this year:
Auburn 36 Northwestern 23
Capital One Bowl
22. Capital One Bowl-Orlando, Fla.
January 1, 2010, on ABC @ 12:00 p.m.
No. 13 Penn State vs. No. 12 LSU:
This game is being dubbed as the “Extra BCS Bowl” by college football experts nationwide.
Penn State (10-2, 6-2) half expected to jump Iowa as the pick to go to the Orange Bowl, but all that changed when the bowl selections came out last Sunday.
In the last couple of years, the Big Ten has struggled with the SEC’s agility and quickness in big bowl games.
Don’t expect this one to be any different, as LSU boasts an offense that is just as capable as in years past.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who leads all FBS coaches in all-time wins with 393, will have to wait until 2010 to add number 394:
No. 12 LSU 18 No. 13 Penn State 15
Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
23. Konica Minolta Gator Bowl-Jacksonville, Fla.
January 1, 2010, on CBS @ 12:00 p.m.
Florida State vs. No. 16 West Virginia:
Recognizing Bobby Bowden’s finale, officials of the Gator Bowl have called in extra temporary bleachers for the showdown between WVU and FSU.
Facing his former team, Bowden will coach in his final game on New Year’s Day, and it won’t be easy.
West Virginia (9-3, 5-2) enters the game with the nation’s second best running attack, which will be countered by Florida State’s struggling defense.
In an emotional game, expect FSU (6-6, 4-4) to keep this one close for their beloved coach, but the West Virginia Mountaineers probably couldn’t care less:
No. 16 West Virginia 31 Florida State 28
The Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi
24. The Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi-Pasadena, Calif.
January 1, 2010, on ABC @ 3:30 p.m.
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Oregon:
Ohio State hasn’t made it to the Rose Bowl since 1997, while their counterparts from Oregon haven’t been to the Pasadena-based bowl since 1995.
Ohio State holds the all-time series advantage, winning all seven previous contests.
However, the programs haven’t met since 1987.
When asked about playing in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” Oregon head coach Chip Kelly seemed fired up.
"This football team is going to finish this thing the right way,” said Kelly. “We are not going to play in a bowl game, we are going to win a bowl game."
I have to agree:
No. 7 Oregon 27 No. 8 Ohio State 24
Allstate Sugar Bowl
25. Allstate Sugar Bowl-New Orleans, La.
January 1, 2010, on FOX @ 7:30 p.m.
No. 5 Florida vs. No. 3 Cincinnati:
Tim Tebow will play in his final college football game on New Year’s Day when he and his Florida Gators (12-1, 8-1) take on the Big East’s best—the Cincinnati Bearcats.
After Brian Kelly announced he was leaving Cincinnati (12-0, 7-0) to become the next head coach at Notre Dame, the Bearcats have been left with nothing but question marks.
Florida head coach Urban Meyer will beat his alma mater, and Tim Tebow will have a halfway decent storybook ending to his college football career in New Orleans:
No. 5 Florida 34 No. 3 Cincinnati 24
26. International Bowl-Toronto, Canada
January 2, 2010, on ESPN2 @ 11:00 a.m.
South Florida vs. Northern Illinois:
After starting off the 2009 season 5-0, the USF Bulls (7-5, 3-4) struggled through a mid-season stretch and finished the regular season 7-5.
Traveling out of the country, they’ll take on the Northern Illinois Huskies (7-5, 5-3) in this year’s International Bowl.
On paper, USF should get the easy win in Toronto, but you never know what to expect when the Bulls take the field.
They’ll run into the nation’s 27th best defense on Jan. 2, but USF should do enough to prevail and keep the Big East’s undefeated streak in the three-year-old International Bowl alive:
South Florida 25 Northern Illinois 19
27. Papajohns.com Bowl-Birmingham, Ala.
January 2, 2010, on ESPN @ 1:00 p.m.
Connecticut vs. South Carolina:
After cornerback Jasper Howard’s untimely death in October, the UConn Huskies (7-5, 3-4) undoubtedly became America’s team.
After losing five games by a total of 15 points, the Huskies bounced back to win their final three regular season contests.
Meanwhile, Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks (7-5, 3-5) dropped four of their last six but managed to knock off in-state rival Clemson in resounding fashion at home to end the regular season.
In another emotion filled game, South Carolina turns on the backburners late to take the win from the Huskies:
South Carolina 27 Connecticut 24
AT&T Cotton Bowl
28. AT&T Cotton Bowl-Arlington, Texas
January 2, 2010, on FOX @ 1:00 p.m.
No. 19 Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss:
Both of these teams started the season in the top 10 with high expectations.
Both lost a game early, and both got back on track again before losing to their rivals in two disappointing performances.
The last and only time these teams have met was in the 2004 Cotton Bowl, which the Rebels won 31-28.
The Cowboys boast the Big 12’s best rushing attack, averaging 192 yards per game, but Dexter McCluster and the Ole Miss Rebels have had tons of success on the ground themselves.
McCluster looks to become the first SEC player in history to rush for 1,000 yards and have 500 yards receiving in the same season, which won’t be easy against the nation’s 6th best run defense.
Ole Miss picks up the win, but I’m not sure about any broken records:
Ole Miss 24 No. 19 Oklahoma State 21
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
29. AutoZone Liberty Bowl-Memphis, Tenn.
January 2, 2010, on ESPN @ 4:30 p.m.
East Carolina vs. Arkansas:
Bobby Petrino makes his return to the Liberty Bowl on Jan. 2 as head coach of, not the Louisville Cardinals, but the SEC’s Arkansas Razorbacks.
Arkansas (7-5, 3-5) lost to Missouri in last year’s Cotton Bowl and failed to make a postseason appearance in Petrino’s first season in Fayetteville two years ago.
East Carolina (9-4, 7-1) has won two consecutive C-USA titles, the first time a C-USA team has done so since the league’s inception of a conference championship game in 2005.
It’s the SEC vs. the C-USA.
Who would you pick?
Arkansas 37 East Carolina 25
Valero Alamo Bowl
30. Valero Alamo Bowl-San Antonio, Texas
January 2, 2010, on ESPN @ 8:00 p.m.
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech:
Michigan State (6-6, 4-4) has been hampered by 11 suspensions stemming from a recent dorm brawl with a fraternity, ranks 96th in pass efficiency defense, 103rd in pass defense, and has allowed 29 touchdown passes in 2009.
Terrible news, considering they’ll take on the pass happy Red Raiders of Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl.
However, in the first meeting between these two teams, expect Michigan State to make this one a ball game.
Despite a terrible pass defense, the Spartans possess the Big Ten’s best passing attack, averaging 271 yards a game.
Will Texas Tech (8-4, 5-3) be ready?
Texas Tech 36 Michigan State 27
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
31. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl-Glendale, Ariz.
January 4, 2010, on FOX @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 6 Boise State vs. No. 4 TCU:
For the first time in BCS bowl history, two undefeated teams will meet in a BCS bowl that is not the national championship game.
TCU (12-0, 8-0) will make its first BCS bowl appearance in school history, while Boise State (13-0, 8-0) makes their second BCS appearance in four years.
These teams know each other well, as the Horned Frogs knocked off the Broncos in last season’s Poinsettia Bowl 17-16 to hand Boise its only loss of the season.
The Broncos bring the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense into Glendale, while TCU boasts America’s No. 1 defense:
No. 4 TCU 34 No. 6 Boise State 29
FedEx Orange Bowl
32. FedEx Orange Bowl-Miami, Fla.
January 5, 2010, on FOX @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech:
Paul Johnson’s triple option attack continues to work at Georgia Tech, as the Yellow Jackets (11-2, 7-1) will make their first Orange Bowl appearance since a 1967 loss to Florida.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is doing well, also, leading the Hawkeyes to their fourth straight ten-win season.
In a year in which Iowa (10-2, 6-2) has won all the close ones, I’m picking them to do just the opposite in this game.
Georgia Tech’s triple option attack will prove to be just too good for Iowa’s defense to stop, and Johnson and the Jackets will pick up the W in warm Miami, Florida:
No. 9 Georgia Tech 28 No. 10 Iowa 23
33. GMAC Bowl-Mobile, Ala.
January 6, 2010, on ESPN @ 6:00 p.m.
Central Michigan vs. Troy:
In the only game featuring two conference champions outside the BCS bowl lineup, the MAC champ takes on the Sun Belt champ in Mobile.
Central Michigan (11-2, 8-0) is led by star quarterback Dan LeFevour, who in his time as a Chippewa has surpassed records set by the likes of Florida’s Tim Tebow and Texas’ Colt McCoy.
The Troy defense, led by the “Killer Bees” Boris Lee and Bear Woods, will have to find a way to stop the shifty senior on the night before the BCS National Championship.
The Trojans (9-3, 8-0) have an NFL-caliber quarterback of their own in Levi Brown, but will the senior from Mt. Juliet, Tenn. be good enough to lead his team to victory in its home state?
Central Michigan 33 Troy 25
Citi BCS National Championship
34. Citi BCS National Championship Game-Pasadena, Calif.
January 7, 2010, on ESPN @ 7:00 p.m.
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 1 Alabama:
For the first time in nearly 30 years, tradition-rich Alabama (13-0, 8-0) will take on tradition-rich Texas (13-0, 8-0).
And this time, it’s for the national championship.
This particular national championship game will mark the first time since 2005 that two undefeated teams have met for the coveted title.
After sophomore tailback Mark Ingram won the school’s first Heisman Trophy last weekend, it’s only fitting that the Tide continues to roll in success.
Texas holds the all-time series advantage over the Tide with a record of 7-0-1, but Alabama will pick up its first win in the series—and its first national championship since 1992—with a win over the Longhorns on Jan. 7:
No. 1 Alabama 26 No. 2 Texas 21