I've seen a fair number of Bowl Preview articles here on B/R, many of which contain the writer's picks for the various bowl games. While I have not written such an article myself, I have filled out an entry in ESPN.com's "Bowl Mania" challenge.
Therefore, I decided to start a group solely for members of the B/R community. You can access the group by clicking here. If that link does not work, you can go here and search for the group yourself—the group name is "Bleacher Report."
I hope many of you will join. After all, it's free! Remember, the Bowl Mania challenge works on a confidence scale, so you should assign 34 points to the game you are most confident in and one point to the game you are least confident in.
Also, here's a preview of some of my picks, for those who are interested.
High Confidence Games
Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas
By now you all know Texas' story. The Longhorns went 11-1, including a win over then- and current-No. 1 Oklahoma on a neutral field, yet got robbed of a spot in the Big 12 Title game. Texas fans are still irate that the Sooners, and not their boys, are playing in the National Championship.
Hopefully the players don't feel that way, though, and as long as they come out fired up, they should easily handle an Ohio State team whose best win was...at Michigan State?
Alamo Bowl: Missouri vs. Northwestern
Another Big 12-Big Ten matchup, and once again I favor the Big 12. Missouri has three losses, but all have come to, quite frankly, superior Big 12 South teams.
Northwestern has had a nice season, but let's face it, the Wildcats simply don't have the firepower to stay with a Missouri offense that averaged 43 points per game.
Motor City Bowl: Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
I give the edge to superstar quarterback Dan LeFevour and the Chippewas, who will try to win their second Motor City Bowl in three years.
Playing close to home, I think the high-powered Central Michigan offense will light up the Ford Field scoreboard (something the Detroit Lions have not been able to do this year). They'll need to, too, as Florida Atlantic's quarterback, Rusty Smith, led his conference in passing. Should be a shootout, but I give the edge to Central Michigan.
Low Confidence Games
EagleBank Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Navy
Back in September, Navy shocked the Demon Deacons, 24-17. Even so, Wake is favored in the rematch and should be hungry for revenge. Navy, on the other hand, probably isn't too happy to be playing a team it already beat. Motivation is a huge factor in bowl games, and while I give the edge to the Deacs in that regard, this game is still too close to call.
Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. TCU
At 12-0, Boise State feels it belongs in the BCS. No time to sulk though, as the Broncos face a very tough TCU team.
Boise's best win was at Oregon, while TCU has played a much harder schedule, losing only at Oklahoma and in the last minute at Utah. Routing the rest of its competition, it's clear that TCU is a quality team.
This should be a great matchup of two non-BCS conference schools.
Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Arizona
It's no secret that it was a down year for the Pac-10. BYU faced two Pac-10 schools and beat them both, including a 59-0 pummeling of UCLA.
The Cougars did lose their last game, though, falling to Utah in the Holy War. Arizona, on the other hand, is coming off a 31-10 victory over in-state rival Arizona State. Going 5-4 in the Pac-10 probably means the Wildcats are slightly inferior to a quality Mountain West team like BYU, but motivation is a big factor: This is BYU's fourth straight trip to this bowl, while 'Zona hasn't been bowling since 1998.
It will be interesting to see if the Cougars can make it three consecutive Las Vegas Bowl victories over a Pac-10 school, or if Arizona can help its conference restore some pride by winning this matchup.
Good luck to everyone with their picks! My entry name is "UM's Bowl 2 Exclusive 4 U" in case you want to check that out once the games begin!
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