Good morning, fellow college football fans! It’s one of the most exciting days of the year, New Years Day. Which, to us fans, means we can watch football from 11 a.m. until probably 11 p.m.
Today has five games on the table, all of which appear to be exciting games. I know, most people are saying the Orange Bowl won’t be exciting, but it could turn out to prove some people wrong!
Yesterday the ACC stunk it up. ACC teams looked HORRIBLE; BC lost to a team that was said to be the bottom-feeder of the SEC in Vanderbilt, and then Georgia Tech got hammered in the Chick-fil-A bowl when LSU made Paul Johnson’s triple option look like a bunch of high school kids trying to run against an NFL team. Anyway, I did horrible in my predictions for those games, but here are some more (hopefully better) predictions for today's slate of games:
Outback Bowl [Jan. 1, 11 a.m. — Tampa, Fl.] Iowa (8-4) vs. South Carolina (7-5) — Neither team has more than eight wins or a national ranking, but there should be some intrigue in Tampa with Shonn Greene, a hot Iowa squad, and the Head Ball Coach. Iowa won five of its final six games, including an upset of Penn State, to reach its fifth January bowl game since 2002. South Carolina ranks 11th nationally in total defense, one spot ahead of Iowa. —
My Prediction: Iowa 17 – South Carolina 24
Capital One Bowl [Jan. 1, 1 p.m. — Orlando, Fl.] #15 Georgia (9-3) vs. #18 Michigan State (9-3) — It might be the year of the quarterback in college football, but two of the nation's finest running backs square off in Orlando. Doak Walker Award finalists Javon Ringer of Michigan State and Knowshon Moreno of Georgia rank third and 16th nationally in rushing average. An MSU team that admittedly has overachieved faces the preseason No. 1 Bulldogs, who didn't expect to be here. — Adam Rittenberg
My Prediction: Georgia 38 – Michigan State 31
Gator Bowl [Jan. 1, 1 p.m. — Jacksonville, Fl.] Clemson (7-5) vs. Nebraska (8-4) — Clemson players and coaches need to thank their fans mightily for getting them to a New Year’s Day Bowl. This is the same Clemson team who started the season #9 and fell the hardest of all teams in the country. Granted, after getting rid of Tommy Bowden and putting Dabo Swinney in, they recovered well and pulled out the critical wins to become bowl eligible. But the Gator Bowl? Really?
FSU fans were horrified to learn that the glorious in-state bowl game passed over them, and have since sworn off watching the game. Funniest comment on an ESPN message board I saw from an FSU fan: “The Gator Bowl is dead to me.” Perhaps a bit harsh considering the economic times and the fact that they simply wanted fans in the seats, and knew Clemson would fill the stadium.
Anyway, this game is going to be an exciting one. Virginia Tech traveled to Lincoln, Neb. and came out a winner against the Cornhuskers, and Clem should be able to as well (doesn’t count as official prediction, does it?). Nebraska ranks #11 in total offense and #18 in points scored. Clemson, on the other hand, ranks 77th and 71st. I know that doesn’t sound like a competitive game, but Clemson’s defense is better than a lot of the Big 12 teams Nebraska faces, and will keep the score manageable. Should be a game to remember.
My Prediction: Clemson 24 – Nebraska 31
Rose Bowl [Jan. 1, 4:20 p.m. — Pasedana, California] #5 Southern Cal (11-1) vs. #8 Penn State (11-1) — Featuring two one-loss teams that probably think they have been underestimated, the Rose Bowl is an intriguing matchup of the nation's marquee new-school and old-school coaches. The Trojans have won eight straight against the Big Ten by an average of 25 points, and they and their fans likely expect another easy win. That sounds like a trap, because this Big Ten team has productive talent on both sides of the ball. — Ted Miller
My Prediction: Southern Cal 35 – Penn State 21
Orange Bowl [Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. — Miami, Fl.] #19 Virginia Tech (9-4) vs.#12 Cincinatti (11-2) — Most ACC fans would agree that if there is one team they are hoping can pull off a bowl victory this season, it’s the Hokies. The ACC desperately needs a BCS win, having gone 0-8 since FSU’s National Championship over none other than VT.
It’s time for Frank Beamer to get his boys ready and ignore the media comments about how boring of a game this will be. Cincy looked sluggish in the season finale vs. Hawaii and had to rely on some late scores to overcome what could have been a devastating crush of confidence to end the season.
The key to this game will be which teams offense can get it going first and get a lead. The Hokies' offense has been like a Jekyll and Hyde all season. Meanwhile, Cincy coaches, players and fans will be having nightmares about Bud Foster’s defense attacking them. If Cincy can catch the Hokies off guard and get some quick slants and/or screens off, they can put up some huge plays against Virginia Tech.
This game has already gotten the tag of ‘most likely not to be watched’ of the BCS games, but could really be interesting. There are two teams fighting very hard for respect in this game. Cincy has never appeared in a BCS game and VT has lost both times they’ve shown up, including a loss to undefeated Auburn in the 2005 Sugar Bowl, and a crushing 24-21 loss to Kansas last year.
My Prediction: Virginia Tech 17 – Cincinatti 10
Record Last night: 1-4
Bowl Record Overall: 6-9