Lay Your Money Down!
My predictions for the first 12 bowl games were not too in depth. They were basic "give and takes" referenced through regular season play, competition and gut instinct.
For this second set of predictions I may do a little more explanation on some matchups over others but don't expect too much until the January 1st bowls.
In chronological order of TV appearance:
Texas Bowl: Baylor vs. Illinois
Baylor comes into this game with an exciting offense (for their standards), ranked 12th in the nation. Robert Griffin III has been a passing machine for Baylor and scrambles when necessary. Zook's running game will have to be successful over the Bears' weak rush defense. A tough game to call, but I gotta say Illinois will pull this one out for a winning season.
Alamo Bowl: Arizona vs. Oklahoma State
How many bowl games are in Texas? This is almost a no-brainer. The Cowboys have a had phenomenal season. They are not going to let a 7-5 Arizona team stop the No. 1 offense in the nation.
Who wins the BCSNC?
Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU
The Pony Exce$$ rides again! Not really. But, I do see an SMU team that played in the conference championship rallying this time for a win. The Ponies will key in on the Army rushing game and force the pass. I think SMU is just a little bit more balanced.
Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State vs. Syracuse
I don't know what to say about this one. I am baffled. K-State lost to who? Syracuse beat what division schools? I gotta say straight up the 'Cats take this one. I know Kansas State doesn't have much run defense but Syracuse doesn't have a rushing game. One pathetic offense against one partially pathetic defense equals a win for K-State.
Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee
Didn't UT back out of this game at the beginning of the year? Unfortunately, the Vols can't back out of this contract. How Ironic. A virtual home game for UT, they have been playing lights out against some of the top...okay, their last four wins were against losing programs except one team, Kentucky, who they have beaten for 26 years straight. This will be a passing attack by each team. However, UNC has too much defense and Derek Dooley is still learning.
Who wins the Rose Bowl
Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. Washington
Didn't we already see this game once? I'm not even going to go into it. Nebraska does what it did before.
Car Care Bowl: Clemson vs. South Florida
I may actually be caring for my car during this bowl. South Florida has a very soft offense but makes up for it with a little bit firmer defense. Clemson has about the same scenario. Clemson's front seven will outshine USF's front seven, however, look for a close game.
Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Notre Dame
Will ND continue their end-of-the-season winning streak? The Fighting Irish have come a long way during the season, and Miami has been more down than up. Oh, and Randy Shannon being fired doesn't help Miami either. Jacory Harris is still a little rusty from his injury as well. I would like to say that Miami will surprise me but every time I do it becomes a letdown.
Liberty Bowl: Central Florida vs. Georgia
With wide receiver A.J. Green on your offense you can easily create a run game on certain teams. UCF is not one of them. With a mediocre passing game the Knights will have to pound the rock against a sometimes suspect 'Dawg rush defense. UGA is going to have to play four quarters to win this game and utilize their kicking game, plus some turnovers for field position. And they will.
I know that taking off several weeks can change the dynamics of some teams. And, there are a couple of these games that could go either way. But, for the most part they should be straightforward. The next section of game predictions may not be as straightforward. We shall see.