Monthly Archives: November 2007

This Weekend in College Football: Week 14

Last week of the regular season! As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

11:00: Central Michigan vs. Miami (@Detroit; ESPN2): It’s MAC-tastic! Miami won’t make a bowl game if they lose, so they’re going to have to win this to go anywhere. That said, they probably won’t.


  • Army vs. Navy (@Baltimore; CBS): My allegiance here, if it can be called that, is to the Black Knights. Unfortunately, I don’t really think they’ll have much of a chance against bowl-bound Navy.
  • Tulsa @ Central Florida (ESPN): Both these teams have been the toast of Conference-USA this year, though UCF has one less conference loss, helped by the fact they won the first meeting between these two teams 44-23. Thought it may be closer this time around, it’s a home game for the Knights and I expect them to earn the trip to Memphis.

1:00: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech (@Jacksonville; ABC): And here we go again, a rematch of the rainy night in Blacksburg featuring a miracle come back for the Eagles that kept them in national title contention (at the time). No rain is expected tomorrow, for better or worse for these teams. Of course, since that night, VPI is 5-0 and won in convincing fashion, whereas BC is 2-2 with losses to moribund FSU and Maryland and an unconvincing margin over Miami (though the win at Clemson is good). That said, VPI seems to have found something of an offense and reversed their usual November swoon. I expect them to take the lead and hold it this time around, and get themselves some oranges in the process.

4:00: Louisiana State vs. Tennessee (@Atlanta; CBS): This game is of greatly diminished importance for all the obvious reasons. Tennessee has also been lucky (though not the luckiest team) since their loss to Alabama, beating Kentucky and Vanderbilt by a combined 3 points. LSU is also facing plenty of distractions, as not one but two of their coaches are rumored to be heading elsewhere. That said, Tennessee has no weapons like McFadden, and I still think LSU wins this one handily.


  • California-Los Angeles @ Southern California (ABC): Last year, USC was on their way to another shot at the national title when all of a sudden they got, shall we say, Dorrell’d. The plucky coach of UCLA probably needs to do it again if he wants to save his job. I’d say there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to need some new work come Monday. That said, would it not spectacularly sum up this season if UCLA and Arizona win, thus sending the Bruins to the Rose Bowl? (Ugh. I hate quoting Bill Simmons-isms, but I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.)
  • Oregon State @ Oregon (ESPN2): Alas, poor Oregon. If there was an award in college football for “a player that individually makes a huge impact in the performance of his team“, Dennis Dixon would have to win it (and maybe there is, I think there are two “best player” trophies). The Oregon offense was offensive last weekend and put up a mighty zero against noted non-juggernaut UCLA. They are just completely boned without Dixon, and I don’t see that changing here. Beavers win.

7:00: California @ Stanford (Versus): Not only is it on Versus, it’s on Versus HD. Aw yeah, you know we’ll all be up for some Big Game action. Okay, well, not really, Cal should roll here.

7:45: Pittsburgh @ West Virginia (ESPN): Backyard brawl time! Does Pitt stand a chance? Not really! Many couches will lose their lives in Morgantown tonight.


  • Oklahoma vs. Missouri (@San Antonio, ABC): I feel conflicted about this. I want to like Missouri, I really do, but for whatever reason I still think Oklahoma is a better team. It also doesn’t help the Sooners won their previous meeting. Yet, in my bowl predictions, I took Mizzou because figuring out the Oklahoma winning scenario would be complicated. Of course, I’ll change the predictions after the games anyway before the bowls are announced in Sunday, but still. I’ll go with the #1 team in the country to pull off the upset here.
  • Arizona @ Arizona State (ESPN2): ASU better not screw this one up, that’s all I can say. Sun Devils should win.

11:30: Washington @ Hawaii (ESPN2): You’d think this is an easy victory for the Warriors, but Washington played Boise State earlier this year and won, getting them one of their four victories. Of course, Hawaii took care of Boise pretty well, but still. That said, that was a long time ago, and I like Hawaii here, but it could be closer than many on the islands would like to think.

Week Fourteen

Note: I will no longer include pictures in these posts, because formatting them with captions in Blogger is tedious.

The college football season is way too short. Fans are offered only fourteen out of fifty-two weeks to enjoy the greatest sport in the world (unless you count the bowl season). I say that’s not enough. If it were up to me, college football would be played in the spring, too. Each team would play a total of twenty-four games. The doubled air time would be well worth the exponential spike in player injuries that would occur. As an added bonus, baseball would get much less attention from the sports media.

Anyway, you probably didn’t direct your browser to this note in order to read me whine. LSU dropped another triple-overtime thriller to Arkansas. The upset may have led to Nutt’s contact extension (which he turned down for a lucrative position at Ole Miss [!?]). It also destroyed the Tigers’ championship hopes, in all likelihood. LSU can still secure a trip to the Sugar Bowl with a win over Tennessee (4, CBS), but the title game is now a very long shot.

In contrast, some other Tigers are one win away from a trip to New Orleans. Thanks to their 36-28 victory over rising star Kansas, Missouri is scheduled to face Oklahoma this Saturday for the Big 12 title (8, ABC). Chase Daniel vaulted his team over West Virginia to the No. 1 spot in the BCS. The Mountaineers attempted to prevent the coup with a 66-21 slaughter of Connecticut. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, the BCS realized that crushing a team in New England means about as much as lapping a baby in a mile race.

Ohio State benefited the most from this week’s shakeup. A loss by Missouri or West Virginia gives the Buckeyes a chance to redeem their embarrassment at the hands of the Florida Gators. It is unlikely that 4-7 Pittsburgh will topple the Mountaineers (7:45, ESPN), so Jim Tressel should start praying now for the Sooners to overwhelm the Tiger defense. Georgia and Virginia Tech, who each took care of their in-state rivals, need both of the top two to lose to have a shot. (The Hokies would also have to overcome Boston College (1, ABC).)

In other news, Nebraska demonstrated defensive ineptitude once more and allowed Colorado to drop 65 points on them. Bill Callahan, the Alec Baldwin doppleganger of Division I-A, was fired soon after the game. Boston College defeated Miami for the first time since the Flutie miracle, and Tennessee rode another SEC East overtime matchup to a win.

Their backup 11 of 39 passing, Oregon was unable to score against UCLA. Surprisingly, the Bruin quarterbacks were even worse, completing 4 of 17. Like much of the Pac-10, both teams are active this Saturday. Oregon hopes to save face in the Civil War against Oregon State (4:30, ESPN2), and UCLA looks to taint another Trojan season (4:30, ABC).

And now, some coverage of the little guys. Florida Atlantic and Troy are going to duke it out for the Sun Belt (the “Best of the Worst” title), Miami (OH) and Central Michigan for the MAC, and Tulsa and Central Florida for Conference USA (what a presumptious name). Florida International, the only winless team at this point, hosts North Texas in hopes of avoiding an ultimate disgrace.

Hotshot Hawaii defeated Boise State to claim the WAC Championship (doesn’t the name of their conference say it all?) and a #12 BCS ranking. The Warriors host Washington, who at 4-8 don’t look very threatening. Apparently the Huskies knew in advance they wouldn’t make a bowl and scheduled a trip to the island (like Alabama did a few years ago).

Speaking of Alabama, did anyone watch their game a few nights ago? I think they lost to their in-state rival for the sixth year in a row. That’s what I read, anyway. Oh wait, I did see that game in person. Witnessing another Iron Bowl victory by Auburn from the 25-yard line was well worth the five hours I spent at the stadium before the game. I’d like to thank my fiancee Laura for waiting with me; it was truly an act of love.

Finally, this hilarious quote by writer Ivan Maisel: “…as for the theory that Nick Saban is whipping Alabama into shape, Tuberville just continues to whip Alabama.” War Eagle!

Bowl Predictions, Week 7

This is the last week before the major conference bids are finalized, so I’ll walk through every conference picture like I did for Week 1. Look for a post later on Tech’s coaching changes and the ACC/Big Ten challenge, which got underway tonight.

So let’s do this.

There are two major scenarios for the BCS to worry about at this point: Missouri wins the Big 12 or Oklahoma wins the Big 12. Personally, I think the latter is actually slightly more likely but I went with the Tigers anyway. Recall the selection order this year (Orange, Fiesta, Sugar) and let’s get under way:

  • BCS Championship Game: Missouri vs. West Virginia: This is the simpler scenario. If Mizzou loses (or, less likely, WVU loses, or God forbid, both lose) then the Rose has to find a replacement for the Buckeyes. I honestly don’t know who that’d be unless Illinois sneaks into the top 14 this weekend.
  • Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia: A rematch of last year’s Peach Bowl, but this is somewhat unavoidable. I like VPI to win their rematch against Boston College, but it doesn’t change that the ACC winner will go here. The Orange would love to have a SEC team as an at-large pick, and UGA will automatically qualify since they will finish in the top 4. (Bastards.)
  • Fiesta Bowl: Kansas vs. Arizona State: Kansas will probably rise again slightly, and luckily for them Texas lost last week or else they’d be a shoe-in for at-large selection. Provided Arizona State takes care of business this weekend, the Fiesta would love to have the Sun Devils here.
  • Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Hawaii: LSU goes here provided they beat Tennessee, otherwise the Vols do. Hawaii goes here because they are unlikely to fall out of the top 12 now (being #12 this week), which means they automatically qualify. I doubt any of the BCS bowls want them, though, so the Sugar gets stuck with them since they pick last.
  • Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Southern Cal: Meanwhile, barring another upset this weekend, the Rose gets what it wanted all along.

The main question here is, if Virginia Tech loses to Boston College, will they still get an at-large berth? Probably not, unless there’s more upsets or other such shenanigans. And alas, poor Florida, which will probably be stuck on the outside looking in unless the Fiesta really wants them or something.

The first to bat for the ACC is the Peach. I like them to take the conference runner-up this year. According to their selection blog, BC, UVA, and VPI are their prime targets. Neither the Boston College or Virginia fan bases travel particularly well, and both will be coming off a loss. I still like the Eagles here, though.

Next up is the Gator. I like them to take Clemson’s energized fan base, coming off a big win over their in-state rival. Following the Gator is the Champs Sports, where Virginia makes a soft landing. These could easily end up the other way around.

Now we get to the ACC 5/6/7 cluster: the Music City, Car Care, and Emerald Bowls. All ACC fans know the first two are more desirable, seeing as how they’re played on this side of the country. There are essentially 3 teams competing for these spots: Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Wake Forest. The Car Care has made it known they prefer North Carolina teams, so Wake seems like a shoe-in even with their tiny fan base. Somewhere along the line (not sure where), it was decided FSU fans were suddenly awesome and traveled well and they seem to be the front runner for the Music City. This leaves Georgia Tech for the Emerald.

Or so you think! At least, according to the AJC, which claims that 6-6 Maryland could pass Tech and go to the Emerald. I claim that they are a) wrong, and b) very wrong, despite the quote from the Emerald Bowl guy, who must also be wrong. The NCAA Postseason Handbook makes one thing exceedingly clear. Here’s a quote:

Per NCAA Bylaw an institution with a record of six wins and six losses may be selected for participation in a bowl game if 1) the institution or its conference has a primary contractual affiliation, which existed prior to the first contest of the applicable season, with the sponsoring bowl organization. In the case of a conference contractual affiliation, all conference teams with winning records must be placed in one of the contracted bowl games before any institution with a record of six wins and six losses may be placed in a contracted bowl game.
In the case of a conference contractual affiliation, all conference teams with winning
records must be placed in one of the contracted bowl games before any institution with a record of six wins and six losses may be placed in a contracted bowl game. There shall be no contingency agreements with other sponsoring bowl organizations intended to enable an institution with a record of six wins and six losses to become eligible for those contests.

I have no idea how the Emerald could not be aware of this, since not only is a rule, they say it twice just to make sure. But then again, they think it’s a great idea to have a bowl game in a baseball stadium, so what do I know? (Hey, if 6-6 teams can be selected ahead of 7-5 teams, why can’t Alabama go to the Music City Bowl any more? This makes no freakin’ sense.)

Anyway, provided there is any sanity or fairness in this world, Maryland will head to Boise.

Big East:
This is easy. Provided West Virginia doesn’t screw up, they’re in the national title game. The Big East has no specific slot in the BCS so no bowl there gets to replace them.

Well, that part was, at least. Turns out the Gator and Sun Bowls have a confusing (and stupid) agreement to swap picks every once in awhile. Turns out, the Gator has to take 2 Big 12 teams over the next 3 years, so if they don’t do it this year they have to do it each of the next two. Apparently there is also a clause that enables the Gator to select before the Cotton if the Big 12 only qualifies one team for the Big 12, but I don’t think that’ll happen this year (though Kansas may get shafted if Oklahoma wins).

This wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but since Notre Dame is part of the Big East’s bowl package, the Gator probably doesn’t want to be guaranteed to lose on that for the next two years. So they’ll pick a Big 12 team, which I’ll get to in a minute. Meanwhile, the Sun gets the first Big East selection after the BCS, and I like a hot Cincinnati team to get the nod.

Next up is the Car Care Bowl, where I think South Florida will land, followed by the International Bowl. Connecticut is closest and hot, so I like them to go there, relegating Rutgers to the Bowl. There’s an outside shot Louisville make 6-6 if they beat Rutgers this weekend, but even if they do I don’t think it’s likely they get selected to anything.

Big Ten:
The Big Ten is completely done and had 10 of its 11 teams qualified for bowls. It’s mainly waiting to see if Illinois will make the BCS or not. Even if they do, I don’t think they’ll be selected unless Ohio State goes to the title game, sending the Illini to the Rose.

So anyway, first go after that is the Capital One Bowl, where Illinois will probably end up, as a sort of feel-good story. Also, I think Florida will end up there, which will be great for TV coverage (Zook Goes Against School that Spurned Him, etc.). After that, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Penn State will all be competing for the Outback, Alamo, and Champs Sports bowls. I like the schools to go in that order.

The last two Big Ten bowls are the Insight and Music City Bowls. Coming out of the 7-5 morass will probably be Indiana (feel-good story), and Michigan State (fans) in that order, leaving 7-5 Purdue in the cold, not to mention 6-6 Iowa and Northwestern.

Big 12:
Provided Missouri wins Saturday, they will go the BCS title game, which means the Fiesta has first shot of the remaining teams qualified for the BCS. I think they’ll take Kansas, so that’s the scenario I’ll use.

This sends Oklahoma to the Cotton and Texas to the Holiday, but the picture gets murkier after that as the Big 12 descends into a series of unexciting 7-5 and 6-6 teams. Sitting pretty is 8-4 Texas Tech, sending them to the Alamo. Since the Sun took a Big East team, the Gator gets the next pick and goes with Texas A&M in the hopes of getting Notre Dame in the next two years. Oklahoma State and Colorado are both 6-6 and fill out the Insight and Independence Bowls. This leaves the Texas Bowl to its own devices, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Conference USA:
This hasn’t been a great year for C-USA, which hasn’t looked so hot since they were raided by the Big East a couple years ago. Central Florida is its best team, and South Florida wiped the floor with them earlier this year. Anyway, UCF will probably win the title game against Tulsa and head to the Liberty Bowl.

It gets murkier after that, since minor bowls (more than anyone else) are apt to take geographically close teams in order to increase the chances of anyone actually attending the game. The GMAC will probably opt for the runner-up this year, though, which will be Central Florida. The Bowl and the New Orleans bowls have already announced they will take Southern Miss and Memphis. This leaves 7-5 East Carolina to head out to Hawaii. Also, the Texas Bowl has announced they’ll take hometown Houston.

Navy has already accepted a bid to the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. (Try saying that three times fast.) Notre Dame, with a 3-9 record and the worst offense in college football, will not be attending a bowl this year, which saves them the trouble of going to some destination and losing for the 10th straight time.

The MAC has three bids, and to the relief of everyone running a bowl, will only have 3 teams with 7-5 records or better. I would imagine the Motor City would love to have the winner of the title game, which should probably be Central Michigan. This sends Miami (OH) to the GMAC Bowl and Ball State to the International.

Mountain West:
The Mountain West gets 4 bids, which I’m only partially sure of the order of. Provided I’m right, BYU has clinched the MWC title and will head to Las Vegas, Utah will head to the Poinsettia, and New Mexico will head to…New Mexico. Air Force has already accepted a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl.

Yes, I know there is a scenario that could occur were UCLA qualifies for the Rose Bowl, and I hope that it does not come to pass. Provided sanity prevails (knock on wood), USC and ASU should make BCS games to their logical destinations.

I am pretty sure that bowl officials have noticed that Oregon really, really, really sucks without Dennis Dixon, and this will hurt them quite severely come selection time. Provided Oregon State beats them (and since they got shut out by UCLA, I don’t see why they won’t), OSU will get the Holiday Bowl spot. Cal logically then goes to the Sun, provided they win the Big Game this weekend, which means Oregon crash lands into the Las Vegas Bowl and puts a (hopefully) 6-6 UCLA in the Emerald. This leaves the Pac-10 unable to fulfill its obligation to the Armed Forces Bowl.

Much like the Big Ten, the SEC qualifies 10 teams this year. Unlike the Big Ten, the SEC is assured of putting two teams in the BCS.

Florida will be an attractive selection for the Capital One, especially if it also gets Illinois. Now we hit the infamous SEC 3/4/5 cluster of the Peach, Outback, and Cotton Bowls. The latter two are supposed to get their picks of the SEC West and East first. So I see Tennessee landing in the Outback and Arkansas (yes, Arkansas) heading to the Cotton, which their fans will love (since it reminds them of the good ole SWC days). The Peach will be perfectly happy taking Auburn at this point.

This is followed by the Music City and Liberty Bowls. Since Kentucky went to the Music City last year, I see them going to the Liberty and therefore sending Mississippi State to Nashville. The Independence gets its pick of 6-6 teams: Alabama or South Carolina. I could see them going either way, but for now I’m putting ‘Bama.

Sun Belt:
Provided Troy takes care of business against Florida Atlantic, it will be the Sun Belt champion and thus earn a bid in the New Orleans Bowl. Fun fact about Troy: they have outscored their Sun Belt opponents by a combined 155 points.

Last, but not least, is the WAC. Hawaii will probably qualify for the BCS. Of the 3 WAC bowl berths, two of them exist pretty much to provide their top teams with a well-attended game: the Humanitarian Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl. Boise State will go to the former, but now the latter needs a team, and so does the New Mexico Bowl. I like Fresno State to go the former, and the winner of the Nevada-Louisiana Tech game to the latter.

At-large bids:
This all leaves two bowls without a team: the Texas and Armed Forces Bowl. TCU and Purdue should/will finish 7-5, and thus according to the NCAA Postseason Handbook must be picked before any available 6-6 teams. Since TCU is in the MWC, they won’t play Air Force again, and thus go to the Texas Bowl, sending Purdue to the Armed Forces.

And that’s all folks. Please forgive any spelling/grammar mistakes, as it’s late, but please feel free to pick apart my logic. Later!

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

A special Turkey Day edition for Week 13!

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

8:00: Southern California @ Arizona State (ESPN): Not sure I need state what’s at stake here. To sum it up, Arizona State controls its own destiny in the Pac-10. USC needs a win and an Oregon loss to clinch a Rose Bowl berth. Will they? I’m thinking no.

Noon: Nebraska @ Colorado (ABC): All that’s on the line here is a possible bowl berth, which the Big 12 will need because it likely won’t fill all its bids. The Buffs come in off a loss to Iowa State; their opponent comes off a bye week after shellacking Kansas. This game is basically a tossup, and I’m probably picking a minor upset by taking the Cornhuskers.

12:30: Mississippi @ Mississippi State (LF/Gameplan): Miss State will bring plenty of Cowbell as they try to guarantee themselves a bowl berth in a crowded SEC picture. Ole Miss is, of course, the only SEC team that has no shot at a bowl, and I don’t think they’ll suddenly start playing well in this contest. Miss State wins.

2:30: Arkansas @ Louisiana State (CBS): Houston Nutt is probably gone after the year and, oh yeah, LSU is really good. Tigers win the Battle for the Golden Boot.

3:30: Texas @ Texas Agricultural & Mechanical (ABC): Speaking of coaches likely to lose their jobs, Texas rolls into Kyle and should win. They desperately need help from the boys in Stillwater to play in Kansas City next week, though.

9:00: Boise State @ Hawaii (ESPN2): This is also a game worth watching, provided your turkey leftovers haven’t put you to sleep. This is Hawaii’s second real test all season, against by far their best opponent. A win here gets Hawaii ranked in all computer polls and will vault them into the top 14 of the BCS, which this year would just about guarantee them a bid. Boise is also right up there with Hawaii in the rankings, though, and is more well-liked by the computers. Neither team has beaten anyone from a BCS conference this year, and will play the same BCS team – Washington. I would say both teams would beat Washington handily at this point of the year – after their victory over Boise, the Huskies lost 6 straight and are 4-7 on the year. Honestly, I think Boise State could very easily pull the upset here, especially if Colt Brennan is still having issues related to the concussion he suffered during the Fresno State. That said, I’ll take the Warriors at home.


  • Miami (FL) @ Boston College (ESPN): BC has clinched a spot in Jacksonville next week, and their opponent will be playing at the same time over on ESPN2. If this were an NFL team, they’d probably rest their starters, but they’ll probably get a chance to anyway as they should beat Miami handily. Unless the Canes pull off the upset, this will the first time they have not made a bowl since 1997.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ESPN2): For the past few weeks, we knew this is what the ACC Coastal title would hinge on. I am still not sold on Virginia, unless you’re trying to sell me on the idea that they’re incredibly lucky. In other words, I’m going to say the Hokies win this one.
  • Maryland @ North Carolina State (Raycom/Gameplan): One again, a bowl berth is on the line, the destination Boise. Both these teams have shocked at some point this season. Maryland by upsetting Boston College and then losing to FSU last week. NCSU won 4 straight games, and then lost by 20 to Wake. Whoops. At any rate, I’m taking Maryland here.

1:30: Tennessee @ Kentucky (CBS): Kentucky hasn’t played all that well away from home, a fact that’s brought them down from the high of beating LSU there. Tennessee should’ve lost to Vandy last week, the Vols got all the calls. Can UK pull off the upset at this point? Probably not. I hope not.


  • Oregon @ California-Los Angeles (ABC/Gameplan): Will Dixon-less Oregon be able to beat UCLA? Normally, this is kind of game Karl Dorrell would pull out, but without Dixon they have a realistic shot to win. Which is why they will lose.
  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (Gameplan/ESPN2/ABC): To Hell With Georgia.
  • Connecticut @ West Virginia (Gameplan/ESPN2/ABC): Ladies and Gentlemen, your Big East Championship Game! Of course, I don’t think anyone planned it out that way, but hey, I guess those round-robin schedules produce some interesting late season matchups anyway. That said, I can’t really fathom any way WVU loses this game. This season hasn’t helped me believe that all, but I can’t in good conscience predict an upset here.
  • Kansas State @ Fresno State (ESPN2/Gameplan): Why is this taking up space on ESPN? The mind boggles. The mind also boggles at why K-State is going to Fresno. Anyway, the only reason I can think of to watch this is that one of my cousins is blocking TE for K-State. Fresno should win, though.
  • Notre Dame @ Stanford (ESPN): After subjecting us to Duke last week, ESPN for some reason opts to show us this contest. I cannot fathom why. Just for the hell of it, I’m going to say the Cardinal prevails and move on.
  • Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (FSN): It’s Bedlam, baby! I’ve always liked watching this rivalry. And you don’t need to go too far back to find an upset by the Cowboys in a situation where Oklahoma desperately needed a win: a 12-1 Oklahoma team came into Stillwater in 2002 and lost 38-28. An 11-1 OU team lost by 3 a year before. The 2000 OU team that won the national title only beat a 3-8 OU squad by a 12-7 score. Last year, the Sooners only won by 6. However, these upsets will stay just that, upsets. Despite the loss next week, Oklahoma gets it done here.

5:00: Florida State @ Florida (CBS): Florida needs a win to stay in contention for a possible BCS bid. FSU needs a win to solidify their bowl position (though they’ll probably end up on this side of the country anyway, see below). Florida has been rolling since Tebow got a little healthier, and I see no reason for that trend to stop against a mediocre-to-terrible FSU squad.


  • Clemson @ South Carolina (ESPN2): Definitely the more interesting of the state rivalries at this time slot. Clemson had better not screw this up, but South Carolina has to know they’re probably playing for a bowl berth here.
  • Washington State @ Washington (FSN): Yawn. U-Dub wins. Next.


  • Missouri vs. Kansas (@Kansas City; ABC): Can you say “national title implications”? I thought so. Anyway, this is seriously the first real test for the Jawhawks all season long. I think Mizzou is slightly better, honestly. They’ve played an infinitely better OOC schedule and their only loss is to Oklahoma. Whatever the outcome, don’t expect a blowout, but probably a lot of points. I think this is a tossup to be completely honest, and I’ll take the safe but less ballsy pick of Kansas.
  • Alabama @ Auburn (ESPN): If I need cheering up at this point, the only thing that would do it would see Auburn beat the ever-living daylights of Alabama. Again. Both squads are mistake prone, but Auburn is simply a better football team right now in all respects. And I really just hate Alabama.

Anyway, enjoy your turkey and I’ll be back on Sunday to analyze the new bowl situation, whatever it is.

Bowl Predictions, Week 6

Not entirely lucid? Perhaps. But hey, they’re up and I’m ready to discuss them as proceed on Hate Week here at asimsports.

  • The BCS announced the other day that if there are not enough teams in the top 14 that can be selected, then the field can be expanded to the top 18. So, uh, hi there, Illinois? How are you doing?
  • We’ll see after this weekend how Hawaii fares, as their matchup against Boise State Friday night will at least get them into the top 14 with a victory. Either would probably qualify via “the Pitt rule” UConn upsets West Virginia. The likely destination for either would probably be the Sugar Bowl, which selects last this year.
  • As people who know me, well, know, I despise the so-called “University” of Alabama and everything it stands for. When they play Georgia I usually hope for the Earth to swallow them both whole or a local, but devastating, meteor impact. They did not do me any favors Saturday in their stupid loss to Louisiana-Monroe. The Music City Bowl wanted the loser of the Alabama-Auburn, and since FSU played ‘Bama this year this made Georgia Tech an attractive pick for the spot. Now at 6-6, Alabama can’t be picked ahead of any SEC team that finishes 7-5 or better, except in the off-chance they somehow beat Auburn Saturday. The ideal situation for me is that Auburn wins, we win, and end up there anyway. But FSU went to the Emerald last year and so it’s not looking good for the White and Gold. This week’s predictions “keep the faith”, as it were, but I’m not optimistic.
  • The SEC and Big Ten bowl picture is crowded. 10 of 11 Big Ten qualify, and 10 of 12 SEC teams already have and 5-6 Vandy meets Wake Forest Saturday. Because of NCAA rules, 6-6 won’t be good enough in these conferences, and even 7 wins may not be enough for some teams. I see Purdue, TCU, and Ball State getting 7 wins but being left out of their conference’s bowl picture. I see Iowa, Northwestern, and South Carolina finishing 6-6 and staying at home.
  • The predictions are a mixture of reality and attempts to see into the future. As you can see, I see USC and ASU getting at-large BCS bids, implying that USC beats Arizona State tomorrow and Oregon loses another game (which they have to, as they win any three-team tiebreaker with USC and ASU).

We’ve got at least two more weeks of predictions. We may see some bowls featuring smaller conferences start to announce their bids after this weekend, though. So stay tuned!