For those of you who followed CornBlight and I this season with our prognostications, you all know that we both generally sucked this season. Schedules didn't permit us to do this for the bowl games, but I'll throw out my predictions on the bigger games remaining on the schedule.
Sun Bowl: Oregon State (-2.5) vs. Pitt
OK, I'll admit it... I'll be rooting hard for the Beavers, as I'm not a fan of Dave Wannstadt (and especially his boss). I'm still not sure how the Beavers lost to Stanford and beat USC. I guess it depends on which Oregon State shows up.
Oregon State 31, Pitt 21
Insight Bowl: Kansas (-9) vs. Minnesota
Gophers fell off the face of the earth in November, losing to putrid Michigoon, awful Wisconsin, and getting blown out 55-0 by Iowa. In contrast, Kansas finished strong by upsetting Missouri in Kansas City. Oh, and the Big 11 is already 0-2 in bowls this season. Make that 0-3. Fortunately for Big 11 fans, this game is on the NFL Network, so nobody's watching.
Kansas 45, Minnesota 21
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Georgia Tech (-4) vs. LSU
LSU is still reeling from the loss of Bo Pelini, and will be replacing Pelini's replacements with Tennessee's John Chavis. But wait...shouldn't the Tigers be focusing on the Yellow Jackets instead?
Georgia Tech 38, LSU 14
Outback Bowl: Iowa (-4) vs. South Carolina
Iowa had a strong finish to the season by sparing the college football world from another of a Big 11 team in the BCS title game, then shutting out Minnesota. Spurrier's team ended the season reeling in a blowout loss to Florida and then a loss to Clemson. Looks like the Big 11 gets off the schneid in Tampa.
Iowa 31, South Carolina 17
Citrus Bowl: Georgia (-7.5) vs. Michigan State
Spartans best win appears to be a 37-20 victory over Northwestern. Georgia started the season #1, and ended the season losing to Georgia Tech. Not a very compelling matchup at all.
Georgia 35, Michigan State 9
Rose Bowel: USC (-9) vs. Penn State
Recipe for a blowout: Big 11 team in a BCS game. Very talented USC team. In California. Add in endless gratuitous ESPN promotion.
USC 42, Penn State 10
Orange Bowl: Cincinatti (-2.5) vs. Virginia Tech
The price Miami pays for hosting the national championship game? Getting this matchup in the Orange Bowl.
Virginia Tech 24, Cincinatti 20
Cotton Bowl: Texas Tech (-4) vs. Ole Miss
After getting blown out by Oklahoma, the Raiders struggled against Baylor. Ole Miss showed signs of life under Houston Nutt. At first, this looked like a mismatch, but this might be a good matchup.
Texas Tech 42, Ole Miss 35
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (-9.5) vs. Utah
Utah makes their second appearance in a BCS bowl game, but it won't be a home game, and it's against a very good SEC team. It won't be as ugly as Hawai'i last season.
Alabama 31, Utah 17
Fiesta Bowl: Texas (-8) vs. Ohio State
Oh no! Not the Buckeyes again!
Texas 49, Ohio State 13
BCS National Championship: Florida (-3) vs. Oklahoma
Not a lot of commonality in opponents, so this is a tough one to evaluate. Sooners are missing a couple of key pieces, and also need to fear the Heisman jinx. I might change my mind after the other Big XII/SEC bowl games.
Florida 45, Oklahoma 42
Gator Bowl: Clemson (-2.5) vs. Nebraska
OK, which is it. Are ACC defenses that good, or are ACC offenses that bad? Likewise, are Big XII defenses that bad or are Big XII offenses that good. My personal take is that Big XII offenses are for real. Looking at Clemson's schedule, I don't see a lot of great teams on there. Somehow Jeff Sagarin likes them though. To me, it comes down to Nebraska has gotten burned by mobile quarterbacks who exploit the NU secondary. That's not Clemson. Clemson has a couple of great running backs, and some OK receivers. With the way the NU defensive line has played as of late, and if Phillip Dillard is pretty close to back, I think NU can stuff the Clemson backs. On offense, Nebraska just needs to continue their ball-control attack that was so effective the last half of the season. This might be the best defense Nebraska's faced outside of Oklahoma's (who they ended up scoring 28 on anyway).
Nebraska 34, Clemson 21