2010 Bowl Matchups: Picks and Predictions for All Remaining Bowls

Joseph ChasanCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2010

2010 Bowl Matchups: Picks and Predictions for All Remaining Bowls

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  The BCS National Championship trophy which was won by the Alabama Crimson Tide after winning the Citi BCS National Championship game over the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crim
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    We know what you're thinking.  You watched the New Mexico Bowl, the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl with rapt attention and are already itching for more bowl goodness.

    "Playoff system?" you cry.  "Who needs a silly ol' playoff system when we already have such a perfectly functional, efficient, non-controversial system in place right here where we get to watch classic, historic games named after such cultural cornerstones as Little Caesar's and Chick-Fil-A?"

    Well, look no further, my friends.  Here we'll run down the schedule for all the remaining FBS bowl games, so you can get the pronunciations just right.  Especially the one you're looking forward to the most, the SD County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

    And just to be complete, we also throw in that other little known bowl, the one that doesn't take place until January 10th (?!?!)—the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game.

Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Louisville

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    Austin Davis
    Austin DavisChris Graythen/Getty Images

    When: Tuesday 12/21, 8:00 PM ET

    Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

    Matchup: Southern Miss, 8-4, second place in Conference USA East vs. Louisville, 6-6, sixth place in the Big East

    Notes: The Big East was really down on its luck this year, with only West Virginia able to crack the top 25 of the BCS rankings, at lowly 22.  Louisville boasts the ground game of RB Bilal Powell, who averaged over 120 rushing yards per game, but they just squeaked into being bowl eligible with a final game defeat of lowly Rutgers.  And they haven't won back-to-back games all year.  It won't happen now.

    Southern Miss has talent, including junior QB Austin Davis, who threw 18 touchdowns this year against just 6 interceptions, and led the Golden Eagles with 10 rushing touchdowns as well.  Their firepower will be more than enough to get the job done.

    Prediction: Southern Miss 37, Louisville 24

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Boise State

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    Kyle Brotzman
    Kyle BrotzmanOtto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    When: Wednesday 12/22, 8:00 PM ET

    Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

    Matchup: Utah, 10-2, second place in the Mountain West vs. Boise State, 11-1, second place in the WAC

    Notes: And thus, with a single loss, you are hereby banished to obscurity.  That must be what it feels like for Boise State, and especially kicker Kyle Brotzman, whose two missed field goals a few weeks ago unfortunately led Boise here.

    Well, they're here now, and the bottom line is, they're better than this.  Utah outwardly will say that they're relishing the challenge, but inside, they have to be thinking that they got unlucky here.  Remember how they fared against TCU?  Yeah...

    Prediction: Boise State 45, Utah 17

SD County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. San Diego State

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    Brady DeMell
    Brady DeMellHunter Martin/Getty Images

    When: Thursday 12/23, 8:00 PM ET

    Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

    Matchup: Navy, 9-3, Independent vs. San Diego State, 8-4, fourth place in the Mountain West

    Notes: Navy is riding high off of their recent defeat of Army, a victory that has become an annual tradition for them of late.  It's still a deeply meaningful game for the Midshipmen, and they'll be carrying that momentum into this game.  They had a big win over Notre Dame earlier in the year, and have won four in a row.

    San Diego State will have a tall task trying to counter that momentum, even though this amounts to a home game for the Aztecs.  They come into this game having lost two of their last three.

    Navy QB Ricky Dobbs runs the tried and true (dare I say stale?) triple option offense as well as you can run it, and he continues to be a difference maker here.

    Prediction: Navy 28, San Diego State 20

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Tulsa

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    HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 02: Fans cheer during first half action at Aloha Stadium September 2, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
    Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

    When: Friday 12/24, 8:00 PM ET

    Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI

    Matchup: Hawaii, 10-3, third place in the WAC vs. Tulsa, 9-3, first place in Conference USA West

    Notes: Yay - it's the Pro Bowl, and it's back in Hawaii!  Oh, wait, not quite.  Another bowl game that amounts to a home game for one of the teams (can you guess which one it is?), Tulsa this time gets the excuse to take a trip to paradise.

    The Warriors, as usual, boast an explosive offense that has scored 59 points in each of their last two games.  QB Bryant Moniz has multiple deep threats, including Greg Salas, who has caught 106 passes this year for 1,675 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    Tulsa will do its best to try to keep up, but will ultimately fail.

    Prediction: Hawaii 51, Tulsa 38

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Florida International vs. Toledo

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    DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29:  An exterior view of Ford Field taken before the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions on September 29, 2002 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions won 26-21. (Photo by Darron R. Silva/ Getty Images)
    Darron R. Silva/Getty Images

    When: Sunday 12/26, 8:30 PM ET

    Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI

    Matchup: Florida International, 6-6, second place in the Sun Belt vs. Toledo, 8-4, second place in Mid American West

    Notes: FIU featured a tough early season non-conference schedule that left them in an 0-4 hole.  But they rebounded nicely, finishing 6-2 to make themselves bowl eligible.

    Toledo, meanwhile, had an up-and-down season, but was mostly successful, thanks largely to sophomore WR Eric Page, who caught 94 passes for over 1,000 yards, and was even 3-for-4 on pass attempts.

    Despite another (almost) home field advantage game, I'm calling this one for the Golden Panthers.

    Prediction: FIU 30, Toledo 27

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech

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    Asher Clark
    Asher ClarkEthan Miller/Getty Images

    When: Monday 12/27, 5:00 PM ET

    Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA

    Matchup: Air Force, 8-4, third place in the Mountain West vs. Georgia Tech, 6-6, fourth place in the ACC Coastal

    Notes: Air Force is another service academy coming into their bowl on a bit of a streak, having won each of their last three games by at least 15 points.  RB Asher Clark just managed to break 1,000 yards this season, but he did it while averaging nearly 6 yards a carry.

    Georgia Tech, meanwhile, lies at the opposite end of the spectrum, having lost four of their last five.  Like Air Force, they don't feature much of a passing game to speak of, and I don't think they can get the points they need against the Falcons with such a one-dimensional attack.

    Prediction: Air Force 20, Georgia Tech 13

Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia vs. NC State

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    Russell Wilson
    Russell WilsonStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    When: Tuesday 12/28, 6:30 PM ET

    Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL

    Matchup: West Virginia, 9-3, first place in the Big East vs. NC State, 8-4, third place in the ACC Atlantic

    Notes: As I noted earlier, the Mountaineers were the best of a down-on-its-luck Big East this season, winning the conference crown, even with three losses.  But, they have won their last four in pretty convincing fashion.

    As for the Wolfpack, they feature a do-everything quarterback, junior Russell Wilson, who threw for 3,288 yards and 26 touchdowns, while also running for nine touchdowns.  He can, and will be, a difference maker, as the down year continues for the Big East.

    Prediction: NC State 37, West Virginia 28

Insight Bowl: Missouri vs. Iowa

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    Blaine Gabbert
    Blaine GabbertJamie Squire/Getty Images

    When: Tuesday 12/28, 10:00 PM ET

    Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ

    Matchup: Missouri, 10-2, first place in the Big 12 North vs. Iowa, 7-5, fourth place in the Big Ten

    Notes: At first glance, this one seems to be a bit of a mismatch.  While Iowa is no slouch and QB Ricky Stanzi threw for 25 TDs against just 4 INTs this year, they've lost their last three in a row.

    Meanwhile, Mizzou started 7-0 en route to winning the Big 12 North.  They don't have any individual player who bowls you over with his stats, but they do have a solid core that wears you out.  Count on it happening again here.

    Prediction: Missouri 44, Iowa 21

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman: East Carolina vs. Maryland

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    Ralph Friedgen
    Ralph FriedgenJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    When: Wednesday 12/29, 2:30 PM ET

    Where: RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

    Matchup: East Carolina, 6-6, third place in Conference USA East vs. Maryland, 8-4, second place in the ACC Atlantic

    Notes: Another game that, to me, seems poised to be somewhat lopsided.  East Carolina barely managed to salvage its bowl eligibility after finishing the season losing four of five.

    Maryland went through some turmoil this year, with coach Ralph Friedgen recently being told he will not be asked to come back next year, despite being named ACC coach of the year, and turning around a program that went 2-10 last season.

    Despite those off the field issues, Maryland is a more talented team, especially on defense, and should cruise to the W.

    Prediction: Maryland 55, East Carolina 27

Texas Bowl: Illinois vs. Baylor

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    Nathan Scheelhaase
    Nathan ScheelhaaseJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    When: Wednesday 12/29, 6:00 PM ET

    Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

    Matchup: Illinois, 6-6, sixth place in the Big 10 vs. Baylor, 7-5, fourth place in the Big 12 South

    Notes: The Texas Bowl features a team from Texas (shocking), and two teams that can best be described as middling talent-wise, but can nonetheless be exciting to watch.

    The Illini have lost 3 of 4, while the Bears have lost 3 in a row.  Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase has been a revelation as a freshman, pointing to better times ahead in Champaign.  Baylor's Robert Griffin, meanwhile, completed two-thirds of his passes, while compiling nearly 3,200 yards through the air.

    Baylor has the more explosive offense, but Illinois has a more well rounded roster that just gives them the edge.

    Prediction: Illinois 29, Baylor 21

Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Arizona

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    Kendall Hunter
    Kendall HunterJamie Squire/Getty Images

    When: Wednesday 12/29, 9:15 PM ET

    Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

    Matchup: Oklahoma State, 10-2, second place in the Big 12 South vs. Arizona, 7-5, fifth place in the Pac-10

    Notes: Hey, lookit what we have here—another mismatch.  Oklahoma State is loaded, impressive numbers everywhere you look. QB Brandon Weedon has thrown for over 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns, RB Kendall Hunter has rushed for over 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns and WR Justin Blackmon has caught over 100 passes and scored 19 total touchdowns.

    Arizona has its merits.  They started 7-1, and their defense can keep them in games at times, but I think they'll be overwhelmed here.  Oklahoma State with points to spare.

    Prediction: Oklahoma State 42, Arizona 30

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 11: An Army cadet sits on the Army mule during a game against the Navy Midshipmen on December 11, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Midshipmen won 31-17. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    When: Thursday 12/30, 12:00 PM ET

    Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX

    Matchup: Army, 6-6, Independent vs. SMU, 7-6, second place in Conference USA West

    Notes: This was a red letter year for the service academies, as all three (Navy, Air Force, and Army) were bowl eligible.  That hasn't happened in a while at Army, where it's almost hard to fathom that they used to be a perennial national title contender back in the 40's.

    The Mustangs of Southern Methodist will give them a good test, to be sure.  They line up with a strong, balanced offense that is night-and-day to Army's single-play attack.  The Black Knights seem to have hit their peak earlier in the year, and might struggle to keep up.  Their defense keeps them in the game for a while, but ultimately, runs out of gas.

    Prediction: SMU 26, Army 13

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State vs. Syracuse

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    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20: A general view of the kickoff during the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Army Black Knights at Yankee Stadium on November 20, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    When: Thursday 12/30, 3:20 PM ET

    Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

    Matchup: Kansas State, 7-5, third place in the Big 12 North vs. Syracuse, 7-5, fourth place in the Big East

    Notes: This game is intriguing mostly because of where it's being played.  The new Yankee Stadium hosted a game earlier this season between Army and Notre Dame, but it wasn't quite as cold then as it's going to be right before New Year's.

    These are two teams whose seasons went somewhat downhill after more promising starts.  Even though K-State will try to take it to the Orange on the ground, Syracuse will be able to score points on the Wildcats D, and will enjoy a bit of a home field advantage, in an old fashioned battle.

    Prediction: Syracuse 21, Kansas State 17

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 13:  The mascot of the North Carolina Tar Heels watches on during their game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Kenan Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    When: Thursday 12/30, 6:40 PM ET

    Where: LP Field, Nashville, TN

    Matchup: North Carolina, 7-5, third place in the ACC Coastal vs. Tennessee, 6-6, fourth place in the SEC East

    Notes: All right, a top notch hardwood showdown in the mid-Atlantic...oh wait, wrong sport.  Sorry about that.

    Tennessee has had its moments this season (notably its near upset at LSU), and has won its last four to reach bowl eligibility.  But it's yet to truly recover from the whole Lane Kiffin saga.

    North Carolina won't blow you away, but QB T.J. Yates won't hurt himself, and will do just enough to eke this virtual road game out.

    Prediction: North Carolina 27, Tennessee 24

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. Washington

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    Bo Pelini
    Bo PeliniTom Pennington/Getty Images

    When: Thursday 12/30, 10:00 PM ET

    Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

    Matchup: Nebraska, 10-3, second place in the Big 12 North vs. Washington, 6-6, fourth place in the Pac-10

    Notes: Haven't we seen this game before?  Yes, in fact, we have—on September 18th, when Nebraska trounced Washington, 56-21.

    Washington's been playing better of late, but still...Nebraska's three losses this year have been by a combined 13 points.  This one is a no brainer.

    Prediction: Nebraska 44, Washington 23

Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida vs. Clemson

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    Demetris Murray
    Demetris MurraySam Greenwood/Getty Images

    When: Friday 12/31, 12:00 PM ET

    Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

    Matchup: South Florida, 7-5, fifth place in the Big East vs. Clemson, 6-6, fifth place in the ACC Atlantic

    Notes: I bet everyone's on the edge of their seat about this one, huh?  Ok, everyone not from Florida or South Carolina, put your hands down.

    South Florida wins by virtue of defense, but they've lost two of their last three.  Clemson hasn't really been able to find its identity yet, and is coming off a disheartening loss to South Carolina, 29-7

    Neither team stands out, but I think South Florida has the weapons to put out a bit of an upset in the end.

    Prediction: South Florida 22, Clemson 19

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Miami

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    Tommy Rees
    Tommy ReesStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    When: Friday 12/31, 2:00 PM ET

    Where: Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX

    Matchup: Notre Dame, 7-5, Independent vs. Miami, 7-5, second place in the ACC Coastal

    Notes: Twenty years ago, this matchup would've been worthy of a national title game.  Now, both teams have been trying for a while to recapture some of their past glory.

    It's not that either team doesn't have talent.  They've just each had a bit of an identity crisis in recent years.  Notre Dame played its usual killer schedule, and rebounded from a tough 1-3 start.  They've won their last three, including the latest, a morale-boosting triumph over rival USC.

    Miami has lost its last two, and seems a bit lost in general as of late.  Notre Dame prevails in this nostalgic affair.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 33, Miami 16

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. UCF

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    Ronnie Weaver
    Ronnie WeaverElsa/Getty Images

    When: Friday 12/31, 3:30 PM ET

    Where: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN

    Matchup: Georgia, 6-6, third place in the SEC East vs. UCF, 10-3, first place in Conference USA East

    Notes: Just looking at these teams respective records might give the impression that this game is more of a mismatch than it really is.  As Alabama can attest this year, the SEC can humble even the best programs.  Not that Georgia is comparable to Alabama.  But I digress...After starting 1-4, Georgia finished 5-2 to clamber back up to .500.

    UCF's Conference USA schedule didn't quite compare, but nonetheless, they made their competition look pretty pedestrian most of the time and reached 10 victories rather easily.  They should be able to force some turnovers and get just enough offense to get the job done.

    Prediction: UCF 24, Georgia 21

Chick-fil-A Bowl: South Carolina vs. Florida State

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    Steve Spurrier
    Steve SpurrierStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    When: Friday 12/31, 7:30 PM ET

    Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

    Matchup: South Carolina, 9-4, first place in the SEC East vs. Florida State, 9-4, first place in the ACC Atlantic

    Notes: South Carolina is on the verge of becoming a team that really has to be taken seriously on the national stage.  Steve Spurrier has built the program into a team that the more traditional powerhouses of the SEC don't want to be caught sleeping against.

    Florida State had a nice season of its own, in its first under new head coach Jimbo Fisher.  But they don't have enough defense to consistently stop the Gamecocks attack.  Count on Marcus Lattimore to find the end zone a couple of times en route to victory.

    Prediction: South Carolina 37, Florida State 20

TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech

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    Taylor Potts
    Taylor PottsRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, 1/1, 12:00 PM ET

    Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX

    Matchup: Northwestern, 7-5, eighth place in the Big 10 vs. Texas Tech, 7-5, fifth place in the Big 12 South

    Notes: I would expect better for a game taking place in such a famous and historic venue, even if the game that made the venue famous has moved to greener pastures.

    Northwestern was a heartwarming story this season, a traditionally sad-sack program with just one bowl win in its history.  They jumped out to a 5-0 start, and did just enough down the stretch to earn this bid.

    Unfortunately for them, they'll still have only one bowl win after this game, as QB Taylor Potts and Texas Tech will swarm the Wildcats overmatched defense.  Hey, at least they'll always have the 1948 Rose Bowl.

    Prediction: Texas Tech 34, Northwestern 13

Outback Bowl: Florida vs. Penn State

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    Joe Paterno
    Joe PaternoHunter Martin/Getty Images

    When: Saturday 1/1, 1:00 PM ET

    Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

    Matchup: Florida, 7-5, second place in the SEC East vs. Penn State, 7-5, fifth place in the Big Ten

    Notes: Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Thems the breaks in the college game, where you don't get to keep your stars for more than a few years.  Credit to Tim Tebow for staying as long as he could, but in the end, he had to move on, and a new era has begun.

    John Brantley has taken the reins and performed admirably, but Penn State, still led by the seemingly ageless Joe Paterno, is a focused, disciplined team that won't let mistakes be their undoing.  And that will make a difference in this close one.

    Prediction: Penn State 20, Florida 14

Capital One Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Julio Jones #8 and Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after Jones' touchdown against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Im
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    When: Saturday 1/1, 1:00 PM ET

    Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL

    Matchup: Alabama, 9-3, fourth place in the SEC West vs. Michigan State, 11-1, tied for first place in the Big Ten

    Notes: Ah, now we have a juicy matchup.  It finally feels like bowl season.  New Year's Day, a game at the Citrus Bowl, and last year's champion against an upstart team that surprised many this year.

    I think Michigan State will be super motivated to show their worthiness on the national stage, while Alabama will be suffering from a bit of post title letdown.

    Nonetheless, this remains a Crimson Tide team that began the season as No. 1 has a superlative ground game, and just lost to the current number 1 by a single point.  'Bama gets to double figures.

    Prediction: Alabama 26, Michigan State 17

Progressive Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Michigan

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    Denard Robinson
    Denard RobinsonJamie Sabau/Getty Images

    When: Saturday 1/1, 1:30 PM ET

    Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL

    Matchup: Mississippi State, 8-4, fifth place in the SEC West vs. Michigan, 7-5, seventh place in the Big 10

    Notes: Another SEC/Big 10 matchup in Florida.  This won't be a replay of Alabama-Michigan St., however.

    Denard Robinson has made Michigan look better all season long, and he will step up to the challenge here.  The key will be the Wolverines' defense stopping the Bulldogs.  I think they'll be able to slow them down enough to take this one back to Ann Arbor.

    Prediction: Michigan 31, Mississippi State 27

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio: Wisconsin vs. TCU

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    ALBUQUERQUE, NM - NOVEMBER 27: TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Andy Dalton #14, center Jake Kirkpatrick #76 and wide receiver Alonzo Adams #81 celebrate their 66-17 win over the University of New Mexico Lobos on November 27, 2010 at University Stadium in Alb
    Eric Draper/Getty Images

    When: Saturday 1/1, 5:00 PM ET

    Where: Rosa Bowl, Pasadena, CA

    Matchup: Wisconsin, 11-1, tied for first place in the Big Ten vs. TCU, 12-0, first place in the Mountain West

    Notes: Ah, the granddaddy of them all gets a great matchup this year.

    TCU can look to take out their frustrations over being the odd one out in the national championship picture by triumphing over a stellar Wisconsin team here in southern California.

    Led by James White and an NFL-sized offensive line, the Badgers push people around with a superior running attack, but TCU's defense is for real.  Over one six game stretch this year, the Horned Frogs gave up a total of 23 points.

    It's not easy, but the team with one of the best nicknames in sports is able to keep Wisconsin in check just enough to put the coda on their perfect season.

    Prediction: TCU 27, Wisconsin 24

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut vs. Oklahoma

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    Landry Jones
    Landry JonesRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    When: Saturday 1/1, 8:30 PM ET

    Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

    Matchup: Connecticut, 8-4, second place in the Big East vs. Oklahoma, 11-2, first place in the Big 12 South

    Notes: Unfortunately for UConn fans, this isn't the women's basketball team.  While these Huskies have won five in a row to assert themselves in the Big East, Oklahoma is not from the Big East.

    The Sooners have stoically rolled through the stretch run of their schedule with gut-check wins over Oklahoma State and Nebraska, and they'll find that after those battles, this one will come a bit more easily.

    Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Connecticut 19

Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech

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    PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    When: Monday 1/3, 8:30 PM ET

    Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

    Matchup: Stanford, 11-1, second place in the Pac-10 vs. Virginia Tech, 11-2, first place in the ACC Coastal

    Notes: Sure, Stanford had to fly across the country to play in the Orange Bowl, rather than be able to stay closer to home in the Rose Bowl, due to the vagaries of the BCS system, but that shouldn't do much to diminish their effectiveness.

    QB Andrew Luck has led the Cardinal to a tremendous season, with their only blemish a poor second half at undefeated Oregon.  The Hokies should not be taken lightly in this one, but look to the team with the best mascot in sports to "luck" it out. (See what I did there?)

    Prediction: Stanford 35, Virginia Tech 31

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. Arkansas

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    Terrelle Williams
    Terrelle WilliamsStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    When: Tuesday 1/4, 8:30 PM ET

    Where: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

    Matchup: Ohio State, 11-1, tied for first place in the Big Ten vs. Arkansas, 10-2, tied for second place in the SEC West

    Notes: We're getting down to the nitty gritty now, and this is another appealing matchup.  Arkansas always seem to be playing spoilers in the SEC, and are always difficult to play against, especially at (or close) to home.

    Ohio State has a loss to Wisconsin as its only blemish, and QB Terrelle Pryor has been phenomenal, throwing for 25 touchdowns and leading an offense that, while imperfect, is still extremely effective.  But this game is in SEC country, and Ohio State has had trouble winning bowls of late.  That doesn't change here.

    Prediction: Arkansas 34, Ohio State 28

GoDaddy.com Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. Miami (Ohio)

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    Armand Robinson
    Armand RobinsonSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    When: Thursday 1/6, 8:00 PM ET

    Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL

    Matchup: Middle Tennessee State, 6-6, third place in the Sun Belt vs. Miami (Ohio), 9-4, first place in the Mid American East

    Notes: Yay, the Danica Patrick Bowl.  On paper, Middle Tennessee State seems to be the inferior team, and Miami (Ohio) will look to continue its evolution into being "the" Miami, instead of the "other" Miami.

    One note, WR Armand Robinson needs 19 yards for 1,000 receiving yards on the season.

    Prediction: Miami (Ohio) 33, Middle Tennessee State, 17

AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Texas A&M

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  Head coach Les Miles and the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrate after their 43-36 win over the Ole Miss Rebels at Tiger Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    When: Friday, 1/7, 8:00 PM ET

    Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

    Matchup: LSU, 10-2, tied for second place in the SEC West vs. Texas A&M, 9-3, third place in the Big 12 South

    Notes: And finally, we've reached the Super Bowl...oops, sorry, one month too soon.

    LSU and Texas A&M are both solid teams, but LSU seems to have the leg up in this one.

    Les Miles team has played better of late, and the Tigers can overwhelm teams with their speed and size on defense.

    A&M does its best to hold off the onslaught on pseudo-home turf, but it's not enough.

    Prediction: LSU 36, Texas A&M 23

BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky

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    Randall Cobb
    Randall CobbAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    When: Saturday 1/8, 12:00 PM ET

    Where: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL

    Matchup: Pittsburgh, 7-5, third place in the Big East vs. Kentucky, 6-6, fifth place in the SEC East

    Notes: While not quite the powerhouse they've been in other years, Pittsburgh is still better than their record shows.  They feature a balanced attack and a defense that, while inconsistent, can get stops.

    Kentucky drowned under the weight of the deep SEC, but was able to squeak into bowl eligibility thanks to a 3-0 non-conference start.  Their passing game is more refined than Pittsburgh, with QB Mike Hartline and WR Randall Cobb, but Pitt should be able to smash their way to victory.

    Prediction: Pittsburgh 35, Kentucky 27

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada vs. Boston College

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    montel harris
    montel harrisElsa/Getty Images

    When: Sunday 1/9, 9:00 PM ET

    Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA

    Matchup: Nevada, 12-1, first place in the WAC vs. Boston College, 7-5, fourth place in the ACC Atlantic

    Notes: This year's Nevada team will always be remembered for giving Boise State their lone loss in a 34-31 OT thriller and knocking them out of the national title debate.  Sure, that win was kind of fluky, but the Wolfpack boast a legitimately good team.

    Boston College has seen better days, but has managed to recover nicely from a five game losing streak earlier in the year that had them at 2-5, by winning their last five in a row and becoming bowl eligible.  Their offense is led by RB Montel Harris, who has averaged 113 rushing yards per game.

    Nevada asserts itself in this one though, giving the west coast fans what they want in a game played in a stadium known more for baseball.

    Prediction: Nevada 33, Boston College 19

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: #2 Oregon vs. #1 Auburn

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    LaMichael James
    LaMichael JamesSteve Dykes/Getty Images

    When: Monday 1/10, 8:30 PM ET

    Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

    Matchup: #2 Oregon, 12-0, first place in the Pac-10 vs. #1 Auburn, 13-0, first place in the SEC West

    Notes: These have clearly been the best two major conference teams all season.  Luckily for the BCS, the records sorted themselves out and we were left with only two undefeated AQ schools.  At this point, the warranted complaints from places like TCU can be left for another day.

    This should be an exciting game, packed with offense.  Everyone knows Auburn QB, and recently crowned Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton brings to the table both with his arm and his legs.  He's college football's best all-around threat since...well, since Tim Tebow, which wasn't all that long ago, but you get my point.

    On the other sideline, Oregon is stacked with talent, and their hurry-up offense has been turning defenses inside out.  Look what they did in the second half of their game against Stanford.  In the end, I have to give the edge, slightly, to the Ducks.  They can just beat you in so many ways.

    Prediction: Oregon 41, Auburn 31