2010 Bowl Matchups: Projections For BCS Title Game and All 35 Bowls
2010 Bowl matchups have been set and there are plenty of intriguing games ahead for college football fans.
I know that everyone is looking ahead to Auburn and Oregon playing in the BCS National Championship, but we shouldn't be quick to overlook the other 34 games.
After all, this is bowl season. It's the most wonderful time of the year!
So let's take a quick look at my predictions for every game.
Here we go...
35. New Mexico Bowl: BYU Vs. UTEP
Both teams are 6-6, but UTEP enters this matchup having lost five of its last six games.
BYU allows only about 21 points per game. They'll take care of business here.
Prediction: BYU 34, UTEP 24
34. Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois Vs. Fresno State
Fresno State lost 35-34 to Nevada but got blasted by Boise State, 51-0.
Which team will show up? I'm guessing somewhere in between, but it won't be enough to take down Northern Illinois which boasts a top 20 scoring offense and scoring defense.
Prediction: NIU 35, Fresno State 21
33. New Orleans Bowl: Ohio Vs. Troy
In its last game of the regular season, Ohio lost by 22 points to a Kent State team that finished 5-7.
Troy, on the other hand, won its final two games and has the nation's No. 12 passing attack.
Prediction: Troy 31, Ohio 20
32. Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Southern Miss Vs. Louisville
Louisville's offense leaves a lot to be desired, but the Cardinals do allow just 18.7 points per game.
It'll be interesting to see whether offense or defense wins out in this one--Southern Miss scores 37.6 points per game.
But I just don't see the Cardinals putting enough points on the board.
Prediction: Southern Miss 34, Louisville 24
31. Las Vegas Bowl: Utah Vs. Boise State
Once upon a time, these two teams were ranked in the top five.
They've both fallen out of the top ten since then...and Boise State is pissed.
Prediction: Boise State 45, Utah 21
30: Poinsettia Bowl: Navy Vs. San Diego State
San Diego State relies on the throw, but can get it done on the ground as well.
But Navy lives and dies by the run, which could hurt the Midshipmen if they fall behind early.
Prediction: San Diego State 35, Navy 27
29. Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii Vs. Tulsa
It seems like Hawaii plays in this bowl every year.
Anyway, if you want to see two teams air it out all game long, then this is the bowl game for you.
I like the Warriors though because they have the nation's No. 1 passing offense and home field advantage.
Prediction: Hawaii 48, Tulsa 38
28. Little Caesars Bowl: Florida International Vs. Toledo
Neither of these teams' resumes are going to blow you away.
But Toledo is 8-4 and from the MAC, and Florida International is 6-6 and from the Sun Belt.
Prediction: Toledo 28, FIU 24
27. Independence Bowl: Air Force Vs. Georgia Tech
This game certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it does feature the nation's top two rushing attacks.
It'll be probably come down to whichever team controls the clock, and that will be...
Prediction: Air Force 31, Georgia Tech 27
26. Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia Vs. NC State
NC State has a nice passing attack, led by Russell Wilson, but the Wolfpack will struggle to put points on the board in this one.
West Virginia has the nation's No. 2 scoring defense, allowing a staggering 12.9 points per game.
Prediction: West Virginia 27, NC State 21
25. Insight Bowl: Missouri Vs. Iowa
Missouri has won three straight games and has the nation's No. 6 scoring defense.
Iowa has lost three straight games and averaged just 19 point over its last four contests.
I'll go with the hot team here.
Prediction: Missouri 34, Iowa 20
24, Military Bowl: East Carolina Vs. Maryland
East Carolina scores a ton of points, but the Pirates have lost four of their last five games.
Oh yeah, they also rank 118th in points allowed at 43.4 per game--that's not going to fly against Maryland.
Prediction: Maryland 41, ECU 35
23. Texas Bowl: Illinois Vs. Baylor
This game won't really feature too much defense, so it's all about which team steps up with a better offensive performance.
Will it be Illinois' Mikel Leshoure or Baylor's Robert Griffin who shows up?
I think Baylor's waited too long to get here to leave this game with anything but a victory.
Prediction: Baylor 45, Illinois 31
22. Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State Vs. Arizona
Arizona's lost four straight games and hasn't looked too good in the process.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has Brandon Weeden, Kendall Hunter and Justin Blackmon.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 42, Arizona 24
21. Armed Forces Bowl: Army Vs. SMU
Army has the nation's No. 9 rushing attack, but the Black Knights have looked less than impressive lately, losing three of their last five games.
SMU has also struggled as of late, losing four of its last seven games.
So on a whim, I'll go with...
Prediction: SMU 35, Army 27
20. Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State Vs. Syracuse
Sorry, Syracuse, but I'm not really expecting any Big East teams to win their bowl games this year.
Kansas State's battle-tested, so the Wildcats should roll here.
Prediction: Kansas State 31, Syracuse 21
19. Music City Bowl: North Carolina Vs. Tennessee
North Carolina hasn't looked great all season, but Derek Dooley's Tennessee Team is hot right now — the Volunteers have won four straight games.
They may be young, but they'll be focused for this one.
Prediction: Tennessee 28, UNC 24
18. Holiday Bowl: Nebraska Vs. Washington
If Washington doesn't have Jake Locker, the 6-6 Huskies probably aren't even in this game.
But Nebraska was three points away from a BCS bowl berth and already beat Washington by 35 points earlier this season.
This one's a no-brainer.
Prediction: Nebraska 49, Washington 24
17. Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida Vs. Clemson
Clemson's been pretty disappointing this season, struggling to a 6-6 record.
But the Tigers have the nation's No. 9 scoring defense, and South Florida was 3-4 in the Big East.
Prediction: Clemson 28, South Florida 17
16. Sun Bowl: Notre Dame Vs. Miami
If you're Brian Kelly, finishing 8-5 looks a hell of a lot better than finishing 7-6.
And the Fighting Irish will be taking on a 7-5 Miami team that's transitioning out of the Randy Shannon era.
That should work to their advantage.
Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Miami 28
15. Liberty Bowl: Georgia Vs. UCF
UCF ranks in the top 25 in scoring offense and scoring defense, but the Knights lost arguably their three toughest games this season.
I like Georgia in this one because of the maturation of quarterback Aaron Murray and some guy named A.J. Green at the wide receiver position who's pretty good.
Prediction: Georgia 31, UCF 28
14. Chick-Fil-A Bowl: South Carolina Vs. Florida State
Is Christian Ponder playing in this one? I don't think we know yet.
But if he does, this game should stay close because these two teams are pretty evenly matched.
So what'll be the difference? Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore.
Prediction: South Carolina 34, Florida State 31
13. TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern Vs. Texas Tech
Texas Tech doesn't play a whole lot of defense, but Northwestern has looked damn near awful in recent weeks.
The Wildcats give up more points than they score, they've allowed 118 points over the last two games, and they have lost five of their last seven games.
Prediction: Texas Tech 38, Northwestern 24
12. Outback Bowl: Florida Vs. Penn State
Both of these teams have been disappointing this season, but no one's more disappointed right now than Florida fans after the abrupt departure of Urban Meyer.
I'm just not sure the Gators' heads will be in this one to pull out the victory, although Penn State isn't a good enough team to run away with this win.
Prediction: Penn State 28, Florida 24
11. Capital One: Alabama Vs. Michigan State
I don't know about you, but this is one of those games I really want to see.
Michigan State's worthy of a spot in a BCS game, and Alabama is still one of the nation's most talented teams despite the three losses.
I like the Spartans, but the Crimson Tide just has too many weapons.
Prediction: Alabama 38, Michigan State 28
10. Gator Bowl: Mississippi State Vs. Michigan
The forgotten Denard Robinson is still one of the nation's best dual-threat quarterbacks, but Michigan plays very little, if any, defense.
On the other hand, Dan Mullen's Mississippi State team can step the run and run the football.
That bodes well for the Bulldogs.
Prediction: Mississippi State 38, Michigan 27
9. Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Vs. TCU
Wisconsin has looked unstoppable in recent weeks—dropping at least 70 points in two of its last three games—and has one of the nation's best rushing attacks to go along with a very good defense.
TCU is much of the same.
The Horned Frogs have the nation's No. 4 scoring offense and and No. 1 scoring defense.
I can't decide if this will be a defensive struggle or a shootout, but I guess I'll go somewhere in between.
Prediction: Wisconsin 31, TCU 24
8. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut Vs. Oklahoma
Connecticut running back Jordan Todman ranks fourth in the NCAA in rushing yards, but that's about all the Huskies have going for them.
Plain and simple, Oklahoma's a much more talented team than UConn.
If the Huskies pulled off the win here, it would be a bigger upset than Boise State beating the Sooners in that epic game a few years ago.
Prediction: Oklahoma 42, UConn 20
7. Orange Bowl: Stanford Vs. Virginia Tech
Stanford's lone loss is to Oregon while Virginia Tech has won 11 straight games.
Translation: these two teams are on fire right now.
This is probably the biggest toss-up for me, but I'll go with the team that has the better quarterback.
Prediction: Stanford 35, Virginia Tech 31
6. Sugar Bowl: Ohio State Vs. Arkansas
What a quarterback battle we have here between two big-time recruits whose playing styles couldn't be more different.
Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor will have the better defense backing him up, but Arkansas's Ryan Mallett has the better supporting cast on offense.
This game will stay close, but Mallett wins out in the end.
Prediction: Arkansas 34, Ohio State 27
5. GoDaddy.com Bowl: Middle Tennessee Vs. Miami (OH)
Miami (OH) has won five straight games, but the Redhawks score a measly 20.5 points per game.
Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee finished 6-6 playing in the Sun Belt conference.
Conclusion: There are too many bowl games.
Prediction: Miami (OH) 31, Middle Tennessee 21
4. Cotton Bowl: LSU Vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M has had great quarterback play since Ryan Tannehill took over behind center.
LSU's quarterback situation? Ugh. It's shaky at the absolute best.
The Tigers' No. 9 scoring defense will go a long way in determining the outcome of this game, but the Aggies should play well enough to avoid the loss.
Prediction: Texas A&M 31, LSU 24
3. Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh Vs. Kentucky
Pittsburgh allows just 19.8 points per game, but Dave Wannstedt is out as head coach.
The Panthers will either rise up to the occasion or fall flat.
I'll go with the former because Kentucky has lost three of five games and six of its last nine overall.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 28, Kentucky 21
2. Kraft Fight Hunger: Nevada Vs. Boston College
You have to be rooting for Boston College's Mark Herzlich in this one.
But his team has the unfortunate task of facing Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, who--along with Tim Tebow and Cam Newton—is one of just three quarterbacks in history to throw for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 more in a single season.
The Wolfpack will take this game without a doubt.
Prediction: Nevada 42, Boston College 24
1. BCS National Championship: Auburn Vs. Oregon
You know all the storylines.
It's a battle of two of the nation's top offenses and the top two players in all of college football, LaMichael James and Cam Newton.
The main difference I see between these two teams, however, is their resumes.
Auburn has knocked off five top-20 opponents—four of which were ranked in the top 12 at the time—and they've won eight of their 13 games after trailing early on.
The Tigers will win this one...but not by much.
Prediction: Auburn 45, Oregon 41