College Football: Baby's Losers of the Bowls, Stage Two, Dec. 31–Jan.8
It's not often we see a national title game like the 1978 season Sugar Bowl (pictured above), where the game can be decided on the one-foot line in the fourth quarter.
The bowls of the 2008 season have been a wild ride to this point, and very few experts, fans, or even coaches have a true handle on what has played out.
We now move to Stage Two of the Bowls, the final 17 games, to be played from New Year's Eve through the first week of the the New Year. Prepare yourself for the final installment of Baby's Losers and match wits with the Bleacher Report writers.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
1) Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Oregon State
The Beavers have been a staple on the Losers series this season, but they could be in a let–down mode and the Panthers are looking strong. Baby's Loser: Pittsburgh.
2) Music City Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Boston College
The Eagles are sent to Nashville, where they face the hometown Commodores. BC is glad to have a reasonable trip, Vandy is happy to be there. Baby's Loser: Vanderbilt.
3) Insight Bowl: Minnesota vs. Kansas
Another favorite on the Losers series this season has been the Golden Gophers. At the risk of giving some Jayhawk fans fuel to claim they are No. 1, Baby's Loser: Minnesota.
4) Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force vs. Houston
The Cougars haven't won a bowl game since 1980. The Air Force executes well and defeated Houston earlier this year. Uh, oh. Baby's Loser: Air Force.
5) Peach Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. LSU
Throwback match–up to old SEC battles in the 1960s. This could be the best game of the bowl season. Let's go with the hometown Yellow Jackets. Baby's Loser: LSU.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
6) Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Iowa
The Gamecocks limp into Tampa to take on the red–hot Hawkeyes. Burned this year by close losses to LSU and Georgia, look for Spurrier to pull a shocker. Baby's Loser: Iowa.
7) Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Nebraska
The Cornhuskers are on the road back. But, in this rematch of the 1981 National Championship game, look for the Tigers to be too talented. Baby's Loser: Nebraska.
8) Citrus Bowl: Michigan State vs. Georgia
The Spartans will be able to run on the Bulldogs in Orlando, but Georgia has superior athletes and should be ready to play. Baby's Loser: Michigan State.
9) Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
For decades, this great bowl in Miami was the best of them all. It settled so many National Titles, it was often called the Championship Bowl. Baby's Loser: Cincinnati.
10) Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Southern California
The Granddaddy of them all could have the best game of all with these two titans. For the first time this season, you will read this statement...Baby's Loser: Penn State.
11) Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah
The bad news for the Tide is that Utah is a lot better than the team Hawaii brought to New Orleans last year, and Alabama doesn't blow out opponents. Baby's Loser: Utah.
12) Cotton Bowl: Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
This grand old Bowl will be the setting of the mad–cap Houston Nutt's "score however you can" Rebels and the Red Raider offensive locomotive. Baby's Loser: Mississippi.
13) Liberty Bowl: Kentucky vs. East Carolina
Now fifty years old, this fine old Bowl with its great setting in Memphis provides a fun vacation for everyone. Skip Holtz is ready for the big–time. Baby's Loser, Kentucky.
14) International Bowl: UConn vs. Buffalo
A trip to Toronto in January is the reward for the Huskies as they blew the Big East title despite destroying Cincinnati, 40–16. Turner Gill goes down. Baby's Loser: Buffalo.
15) Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas
So tempting to take Ohio State in this match, as the Longhorns haven't seen a defense like the Buckeyes this year. Skill over execution in the end. Baby's Loser: Ohio State.
16) General Motors Bowl: Tulsa vs. Ball State
Quite a contest. Both of these teams rumbled about going to a BCS Bowl this season. And then the clock struck midnight for both. A close game. Baby's Loser: Ball State.
17) BCS Title Game: Florida vs. Oklahoma
On the surface, this could be one of the best championship games, ranking up there with Ohio State–Miami and Texas–Southern Cal. Let's hope so. Baby's Loser: Oklahoma.
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