Sunday, December 03, 2006

BCS Breakdown

Tostitos BCS National Championship
Ohio State vs. Florida

I predicted this match up just before it was announced. Ohio State will have not played in 51 days when they take the field in Glendale, Ariz. Florida will be ready, but it most likely won't be enough.

My pick: Ohio State

Florida is a great team, but the perception has been whoever received the bid to the title game would be simply looking for a claim to "second place." Ohio State and the likely Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith will be tough to beat, and I don't think it'll happen.
FedEx Orange Bowl
Wake Forest vs. Louisville

This is the game that matters only to people on the East coast. The Big Easy, *cough* I mean Big East champion Cardinals made it to their first BCS bowl after both Rutgers and West Virginia fell off toward the end of the season. Wake Forest plays in a conference that collectively has fewer national championships and Heisman Trophies than USC alone.

No one had Wake Forest in a BCS Bowl at the start of the season - and if someone tells you they did, they're lying. Wake's run was impressive, and they deserve their shot after capturing the ACC title.

My pick: Louisville

Louisville won a big game in West Virginia earlier this year, and they kept it close with Rutgers. The Cardinals seem to be on the brink of becoming a big-time program. Earlier this season, they held the No. 3 spot in the BCS.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Louisiana State vs. Notre Dame

LSU thought they were going to the Rose Bowl - and if USC hadn't lost to UCLA (and no, I still don't want to talk about it) the Tigers would be heading to Pasadena. The Sugar Bowl isn't the worst consolation prize a team could get. The Tigers have had a remarkable season, losing only to Auburn and Florida.

The Fighting Irish were last seen getting whipped in the Coliseum. While I feel Notre Dame is perenially overhyped, there is no denying they have talent. Brady Quinn and the gang will be ready, as coach Charlie Weis will look for a strong performance to rebound from a crushing loss to the Trojans.

My pick: LSU

If the Irish thought it was tough to play the Trojans in Los Angeles, they are in for a world of hurt when it comes to taking on Louisiana State just 80 miles from campus. Whatever is in the water down in "Nawlins" that the NFL's Saints have been drinking all season might serve the LSU Tigers will. I know Notre Dame travels well, but that won't be enough to out-number the entire state of Louisiana.

I know that doesn't translate directly onto the field, but keep this in mind: LSU ain't that bad. The Tigers are the second team in the tough SEC to get a BCS bowl bid (the other being Florida). The problem: Notre Dame is ready for another let-down. After getting themselves so hyped up to play USC only to lose by 20, don't be surpised if the Irish come out flat.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Boise State

The Oklahoma Sooners have had an amazing season. They were essentially one blown call in Eugene, Ore., away from being in the conversation for a shot at Ohio State. They've overcome so much this season after losing would-be quarterback Rhett Bomar before the season and losing Heisman Trophy candidate Adrian Peterson half way through the season.

Boise State will be playing on behalf of every other Mid-Major in the country. They have an opportunity to legitimize any school that isn't in one of the six BCS conferences. Ian Johnson and Co. are a talented bunch, and they've done it under a first-year head coach.

My pick: Oklahoma

This match up is essentially the University of Oklahoma against Boise State, TCU, Utah, Hawaii, and every other college that doesn't play in the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac-10 or SEC. But if OU can overcome all that they have this season, they can overcome the Broncos. Sorry, Boise State, but they play the Fiest Bowl on a green field, not "smurf turf."

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Southern California vs. Michigan

The Rose Bowl. The Granddaddy of them all. The most prestigious bowl game in the nation played in front of one of the largest crowds in the nation. And neither team could care less.

The Gators just barely squeeked by the Wolverines, ending any rematch hopes in Ann Arbor. Michigan will travel to Pasadena after more than six weeks since their last game.

The Trojans of USC - as my friend Jeff said leaving the Rose Bowl after Saturday's loss - "will be right the [expletive] back here!" They will go back to Pasadena for their record 31st Rose Bowl. Pete Carroll has led his squad to a fifth straight Pac-10 title - and USC is 3-1 in BCS bowls under Carroll. It's just tough to know that scoring five more points Saturday could have been the difference between their third Rose
Bowl in four years instead of a third straight shot at a BCS title.

This is a rematch of the 2003 Rose Bowl (USC won, 28-14, and captured a share of the national title). Both teams are going to their third Rose Bowl in four
years. Each lost to Texas (Michigan in 2005 at the official Vince Young coming out party, and USC in 2006 at the official Vince Young send-off to the NFL). Considering this stadium has been so unkind to both programs, are either actually looking forward to this?

My pick: a zero-zero tie, as neither team shows up because they are so distraught. As a result, student sections empty as students from both schools take the field to represent for their respective schools. Amidst all the chaos, I - in my own egotistical mind - think I should be on the field helping to represent USC. I go down to play and end up re-injuring my ankle.

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