By Josh Kramer
Please somebody explain to me why it is called “Capital One Bowl Week?” We are now entering Week 3 of bowl season. Why isn’t it “Capital One Bowl Month?” I would love to hear the reasoning. 12 bowls down, and 23 to go. 19 games will be played between now and next Thursday. Strap in, because the beat will not stop until January 9th as we start to hit the “real” bowl games.
Florida State vs Notre Dame (CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL)
-Fighting Irish by 3
Headline: Brian Kelly brings home a second straight bowl game victory to South Bend.
-Let’s just call this the “Year Away Bowl.” Both of these teams had lofty expectations to play in BCS Bowl games this year. Neither was ready. Notre Dame is slightly closer to being ready in my opinion though.
Washington vs Baylor (VALERO ALAMO BOWL)
-Bears by 14
Headline: RGIII ignores the Heisman hangover and finishes off a magical year on a high note.
-Washington has demonstrated time and time again that they cannot stop any team that has a mediocre or better offensive unit. Well RGIII is not exactly the ideal matchup for the Huskies.
Brigham Young vs Tulsa (BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL)
-Cougars by 1
Headline: BYU ends their first full year as an independent football program with a big W in thrilling fashion.
-Both of these teams can run the football. Both of these teams are hot. The only difference is BYU is hotter. Tulsa took a vicious beating the last time they took the field against Houston.
Rutgers vs Iowa State (NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL)
-Scarlet Knights by 3
Headline: Mohamed Sanu goes “insane” at Yankee Stadium.
-Rutgers features a very stingy defense while Iowa State does not really excel in any facet of the game. Plus the Cyclones have lost two straight heading into this showdown at Yankee Stadium. Expect this to resemble a home game for the Scarlet Knights.
Mississippi State vs Wake Forest (FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL)
-Bulldogs by 7
Headline: The Bulldogs relish in the country music atmosphere on their way to a victory.
-Both of these schools went 6 and 6. The difference is the Bulldogs went 6 and 6 while playing in the SEC (Wake Forest did in the ACC). There is a major difference between the caliber of play in these two conferences.
Iowa vs Oklahoma (INSIGHT BOWL)
-Sooners by 21
Headline: Despite a very disappointing season, the Sooners save face in what could be Landry Jones last collegiate hurrah.
-Not too many people saw the Oklahoma Sooners playing in the Insight Bowl back in September. Things happen. Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) is a great coach, but on this day, he simply will not have the talent to keep up with a “much-better-than-their-record” Sooners group.
Texas A&M vs Northwestern (MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS)
-Aggies by 7
Headline: Aggies take full advantage of the friendly Longhorn State amenities.
-Northwestern finally seemed to have things figured out until their season finale against Michigan State. Though the Aggies have a very less than stellar defensive group, this game is being played in Texas. Home field advantage will reign supreme.
Georgia Tech vs Utah (HYUNDAI SUN BOWL)
-Utes by 3
Headline: The Utes continue their hot postseason play of late with another bowl victory.
-Georgia Tech’s elite rushing attack versus Utah’s very stout defense. Will offense or defense reign supreme? I will take my chances on some hard-nosed defense in this one. Plus, Utah is 6 and 1 in their last seven bowl games, while the Yellow Jackets have not won a postseason game since 2004.
Illinois vs UCLA (KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL)
-Bruins by 3
Headline: Mike Johnson reigns supreme in the “Battle of Interim Coaches.”
-There are not too many bowl games that pit two teams with a combined losing record (Illinois 6 and 6, UCLA 6 and 7). But that is just the system we live in today. The Illini have lost six straight games. Expect number seven on the 31st.
Cincinnati vs Vanderbilt (AutoZone LIBERTY BOWL)
-Bearcats by 10
Headline: The lethal combination of Collaros and Pead goes out with a bang in Memphis.
-Anybody who has followed the Bearcats this year knows that this team had Orange Bowl written all over it until a devastating injury to star quarterback, Zach Collaros. Well good news Bearcats fans, Collaros will be back for his senior year finale.
Virginia vs Auburn (Chick-fil-A BOWL)
-Tigers by 3
Headline: The defending champs save face in SEC country despite the absence of star running back Michael Dyer.
-So this is a bit different from what Auburn fans experienced last year at this time. It is still a big game, against a tough opponent, in the Georgia Dome. Even without their star running back, the Tigers should reign supreme against an overmatched ACC foe.
Houston vs Penn State (TICKETCITY BOWL)
-Cougars by 10
Headline: Case Keenum refuses to lose in his final collegiate game.
-Houston had their hearts ripped out in the Conference USA Championship Game. Case Keenum has had one of the greatest careers ever for a collegiate quarterback. Do not expect this guy to go out with back to back losses against “The-Not-So-Happy” Nittany Lions.
Nebraska vs South Carolina (CAPITAL ONE BOWL)
-Gamecocks by 3
Headline: South Carolina puts a bow on the school’s winningest season in its illustrious history.
-These are both great teams that can really run the ball. The difference though lies in the outstanding Gamecocks defense. Great things are on the way for South Carolina.
Michigan State vs Georgia (OUTBACK BOWL)
-Bulldogs by 3
Headline: Georgia puts the expression “Speed Kills” into full effect against a very tough Spartans squad.
-Both of these storied programs have played great football during the second half of the season. Sadly for both, neither could capture their conference championship. Georgia had won 10 straight until their date with LSU at the Georgia Dome though. In the SEC, that is no easy task.
Ohio State vs Florida (TAXSLAYER.com GATOR BOWL)
-Buckeyes by 3
Headline: The “Urban Meyer Bowl” goes to his new employer.
-This will not be a re-enactment of the 2006 National Championship Game. These are two very different groups. Ohio State, despite dealing with some sanctions from the NCAA, will be back in the thick of things in the very near future. Plus, Braxton Miller is really starting to put things together.
Wisconsin vs Oregon (ROSE BOWL GAME PRESENTED BY VIZIO)
-Badgers by 7
Headline: The Ducks come up just short in a third-consecutive BCS Game.
-This will without question be a great game. The “Russell Wilson Experiment” in Madison nearly resulted in a National Championship berth if it wasn’t for a couple of “Hail Mary’s.” Well there will be no “Hail Mary’s” on this day. I like Wisconsin’s size to outdo Oregon’s amazing team speed.
Stanford vs Oklahoma State (TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL)
-Cardinal by 3
Headline: Andrew Luck finishes his collegiate year with a remarkable shootout victory.
-If there is a bowl game, outside of the National Championship Game, that you want to watch, this is it. Two amazing offenses going head to head on the major Fiesta Bowl stage. It does not get much better. Stanford has two things that give them the edge in this game. Andrew Luck and their defense.
Michigan vs Virginia Tech (ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL)
-Wolverines by 3
Headline: The “How did these two teams get into a BCS Bowl Game” results in a Wolverines victory.
-In recent history, Virginia Tech has not exactly thrived in BCS Bowl games. In addition, the last time they took the field, they were embarrassed. Michigan on the other hand is coming off of a huge victory against the rival Buckeyes. Michigan is far more balanced than the Hokies and it will show at the Superdome.
West Virginia vs Clemson (DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL)
-Tigers by 10
Headline: The very Jekyll and Hyde Tigers put together an outstanding 60 minute performance to cap off a record-setting season.
-Points, points, and more points. Neither of these teams are exactly “defensive-minded” groups. It will show in Miami. The only difference is Clemson has defeated some worthy opponents this year. West Virginia really does not have any big-time wins.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.