Bowl Preview Part II--Games thru Dec. 31st!!!

Tony George
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by - 12/27/2008 4:09 PM Share
Dec. 27th Meineke Car Care Bowl West Va. vs. UNC

This should be a very competitive game as both teams have pretty solid units on both sides of the ball. Special Teams could be huge in this one and with Brandon Tate out for the year I'll give the special teams edge to West Virginia. Pat White has had a great career at WVU and his bowl performances have been very good. This West Virginia team has won a Sugar, Gator and Fiesta Bowl all during White's time at QB. I just have a hunch that the run comes to an end here though because I like Butch Davis with this much time to prepare and the UNC performance earlier this year against Rutgers makes me think they could be too much for the Mountaineers. I'll stay away from this game myself because I hate betting against a guy that has won every bowl game he has started, but I'll say UNC wins 27-24!

Dec. 27th Champs Sports Bowl Wisconsin vs. Florida St

Wisconsin is another team that seems to play better than expected in bowls and Bobby Bowden after winning nearly every bowl he was invited to has only gone 5-7 the past 12 appearances. This year at least he'll have a couple of edges with the game being in Orlando and 45 guys not suspended. There has been a lot of talk about how the ACC has been disappointing this year, but I was equally unimpressed by the Big 10. I expect Wisconsin to be ready after their disastrous last game where they nearly lost AT HOME to Cal Poly. Check back with me early Saturday morning because I will have a play on this game!

Dec. 27th Emerald Bowl Miami Fla. vs. California

I really like this game for what could be considered a minor bowl. Miami is on the rise and Cal really played well down the stretch as they gave USC all they could handle and beat Oregon and Stanford very handily. Miami would like to get a big win on television because there big chances against Florida and Georgia Tech didn't come out very well. Shannon knows that a win here could really help him in the recruiting wars and Cal is a team that can match up with Miami's speed pretty well. I will also have a 5 STAR PLAY on this one so check back on the 27th!

Dec. 28th Independence Bowl Nothern Illinois vs. La. Tech

They should call this the who gives a crap bowl because this game is not only uninteresting but it now gets to go up against a winner take all NFL game at the same time. Just because it's not exciting or has no big names in it doesn't mean you shouldn't bet on it. I do like it in terms of spending my own cash on it and I will with another 5 STAR PLAY!!!

Dec. 29th PapaJohn's.com Bowl NC State vs. Rutgers

I really believe this could be one of the better bowl games of the year. Rutgers made a remarkable turnaround at the end of the year and quite frankly there the best team in the Big East as I write this. NC State has made me some serious dough this year as I had them on the money line against UNC and also won plays with or against them in their matchups with Wake, So. Florida and Miami. Russell Wilson is a big time talent and next year don't be surprised if O'brien has this team in position to win the ACC Championship, so the Rutgers defense is going to have there hands full. Mike Teel's season mirrored that of the Rutgers team. Early on he turned the ball over and his team was getting embarrassed. After going to Pitt and throwing up 54 against the Panthers he played as good as anyone in the country and I mean anyone even some of the ones invited to New York for the Heisman. I'm not even hinting that he belongs in that company but he wants to go out a winner for the 3rd straight year in a bowl game and I think he will in a very tight game. Rutgers wins 31-27!

Dec. 29th Alamo Bowl Northwestern vs. Missouri

These are two teams that run the spread offense and one just does it alot better than the other. Missouri really should have no problem in this game as Chase Daniel will go out in style for the Tigers. The Wildcats have had a year to proud of but when they have ventured up against the bigger competition they've been beaten pretty badly. Ohio St. just throttled them and Mich. St. did a pretty good number on them at home. I expect that Missouri having had to play teams like Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma St. and Kansas has seen plenty of what a slower and less skilled Northwestern has to offer. I'm not betting on this game except possibly a first half play but I do like Missouri to win 45-24!

Dec. 30th Humanitarian Bowl Nevada vs. Maryland

Nevada is heading into this bowl game after a great comeback win at Louisiana Tech and Maryland comes in after letting a chance at getting to the ACC Championship game slip away. Nevada has an offense that is tough to stop just ask teams like Fresno and Boise St. and even Texas Tech knows they were outplayed earlier this year by the Wolf Pack. Colin Kapernick is a QB that can make plays with his arm or his legs and he'll be able to do that against Maryland, but this is a pretty good defense he will be facing. I like the Terps offensive matchup against Nevada and they'll be able to score but I see this game as a toss up that Maryland only wins if they come out ready from the opening kickoff. If they travel to Boise as some of the other ACC teams have they'll lose because they feel there facing an inferior conference. Too tough for me take a side worth wagering on, but I'll lean with Freidgen here and say that Turner and the Terps get it done 34-31!

Dec. 30th Texas Bowl Western Michigan vs. Rice

This one has shootout written all over it as you have two explosive offenses and two very mediocre to poor defenses. I would actually give the defensive edge to WMU, but I also would give an offensive edge to Chase Clement and the Rice Owls. Clement is another guy who can run and throw and he makes very good decisions. Rice will have a significant home field edge with the game being played in Houston, but that could actually hurt them here. This is one of those games where the team that has the ball last will win, but I do have another 5 STAR PLAY ready for this game as well!

Dec. 30th Holiday Bowl Oregon vs. Oklahoma St.

When the bowl matchups came out this was one of the most entertaining matchups on paper. These are two teams with great rushing attacks and they both have somewhat questionable defenses. The Cowboys defense actually played pretty well against great offenses in Texas and Missouri, but they were shredded by Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Oregon has been just brutalized at the QB position for more than a year, but they finally found someone who has made the offense move and now they may have a few healthy QB's in this game. It would not surprise me if we see some sort of rotation out of Belotti, but that will only happen if they can't move the ball through the air early in the game. I expect the Cowboys to sell out early versus the run and force Belotti's hand. This is another game that I will have a 5 STAR PLAY on!

Dec. 31st Armed Forces Bowl Air Force vs. Houston

Thes two teams played earlier in the year with Houston winning in a fairly high scoring game. I expect the same in this matchup, but Air Force has a good shot to turn the tables. Houston's defense has been awful lately and if Air Force can play keepaway and go on 12 and 13 play drives that result in TD's they'll win this game. You can never go to wrong playing one of the service academies, but in a game called the armed forces bowl how can you not. Case Keenum will be able to make some big plays, but I do think that Air Force will keep things in front of them and force a couple of turnovers that ultimately lead them to a 34-31 win!

Dec. 31st Sun Bowl Pittsburgh vs. Oregon St

A month ago I would have said blowout win here for OSU, but with both Rodgers brothers on the shelf it will be difficult for the Beavers to move the ball as effectively as they have for the majority of the year. There is no question that they have the better head coach in Mike Riley and because of that I still lean with the Beavers slightly. Pitt was a bit up and down at the end of the year with losses to Rutgers and Cincy, but victories over West Virginia and UConn. The embarrassment that the OSU defense suffered at the hands of Oregon I think will be a huge motivational factor for the Beavers and that is why I feel they'll win this game 27-20!

Dec. 31st Music City Bowl Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt was the great early season story of College Football but that all came crashing down after the first 5 weeks. As a matter of fact they were still lucky to qualify for a bowl because I feel an unexpected win at Kentucky got them to 6 wins. BC has been a great bowl team for the past decade, but if they want to keep their win streak alive they'll have to do it in Vandy's backyard where their defense has shutdown some pretty solid teams. This is my ABSOLUTE Biggest Game of the Bowl Year so check back with me on the night of the 30th as I will have a big play here!

Dec. 31st Insight Bowl Minnesota vs. Kansas

This is a tale of two teams. Minnesota didn't finish strong but they have had a big turnaround season. I think Kansas has to be disappointed with their showing this year. They were throttled by the good teams on their schedule like Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. They did finish the year with a huge win in their rivalry game over Missouri, but for the most part after about Week 4 their defense was non-existent. Todd Reesing is a very good college QB and he has the edge at that position in this game and after watching Minnesota struggle with Northwestern's spread offense with a backup QB I would bet that Kansas scores a lot of points in this game. Minnesota will try to keep pace but Kansas should have enough to win 38-27!

Dec. 31st Chick-Fil-A Bowl LSU vs. Georgia Tech

This should be the who would of thunk it bowl. LSU has fallen off the radar and Georgia Tech has defied what the ACC prognosticators thought would be a long year. How many people would have bet that Georgia Tech would be a favorite over LSU when this season started in a bowl. Paul Johnson has proven that he is about as a good a coach as there is in this country. Tech can't throw the ball a lick and still they dominate teams every week. This could be a very interesting matchup because LSU's biggest problems are against the pass so Tech is going to need to make big plays there somehow. LSU's speed on defense may offset those option plays to the outside so there could be a lot of Jonathon Dwyer up the middle in this game. I have a hard time believing LSU won't be ready for this game and they are going to try to pound it at the Tech defense. Charles Scott has a big game and the Tigers come close but Johnson out coaches Myles for a 20-17 win!


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