NCAA BOWL PREVIEW: Part II

WRITTEN BY STAFF
PHOTOFUN BY MAX

Here’s part two of the Bowl Breakdown.  So far I think we are off to a bloody start, at least Max is.  0-3.  Stick with your day job, fool.
Anyway, no changes to the layout.  Here’s just a few notes, again:

Thanks to Eric from Stunt Granny for contributing his picks.  Go check out their website!  It’s a pro wrestling extravaganza.

1. I figured out turnovers not by taking each turnover and each takeaway and counting the total sum, but I took only the ones that mattered.  For example, if Team A had three turnovers and three takeaways, it was a zero sum game.  If they had four turnovers and two takeaways, they had a net score of -2 for that game.  If they lost more than they took, it’s a negative score.  If they won more than they lost, it’s positive.  It’s also broken down by wins and losses.

2. 3rd down % is figured in wins and losses, respectively.

3. All of our picks are against the spread.

4. The stats we didn’t figure out ourselves are from ESPN.com

MILITARY BOWL – Presented by Northrup Grumman
DEC 28th – 4:30 EST – ESPN – Washington, DC
Line: Toledo by 3
O/U: 71

Battle of the Looks Like Something Else Mascots

QUICK ANALYSIS:  If you would merge these two teams, you would have one pretty good team that puts up about 250 yards in the air and 300 on the ground.  Unfortunately, it is to separate teams, and they both blow.  Realistically, this is a great match up, because aside from a discrepancy in style, these are mirror images of each other.

MAX:  I want to like Air Force in this game but something tells me that Toledo will end up doing it to them.  I really wish it was the Toledo Mud Hens.  I’ll take the White Walls to cover.  Taking the under.  Toledo 34-27.

GREG:  I almost have to go with Toledo in this one.  The Rockets have a nice little offense, ranking 29th in passing and 14th in rushing.  Their scoring is #8.  Air Force does present a unique offense to a Rocket defense ranked 89th in all the land, but the balance Toledo has shown all year (and especially down the stretch) should be enough to win this game.

ERIC:  I contemplated writing my picks in the style of my mom, who is from Fort Dodge and addicted to her laptop. So I imagine the picks would look something like this: “Big Bird?!?! LOLOLOL!!! That big yellow guy help’d my son learn how ta READ GOD DAMN CAps lock key!!!” But that’s a one-note joke, so let’s just call it Toledo over Air Force in a game named after the Air Force’s parent organization. They cover the spread, but not with that many damn points, so take the under. Final score: 31-24.

BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION HOLIDAY BOWL
Dec 28 – 8 PM – ESPN – San Diego, CA
Line: Texas by 3
O/U:47

Perry vs. Arnold, Vague Fatty Bear vs. Americow

QUICK ANALYSIS:  Texas disappointing this year.  Cal was underwhelming.  A bowl game to appease fans from each team, and an interesting match up.  Cal is really strong at creating turnovers.  Texas loves to turn it over.  If Texas and control the ball, both by hanging on and running off clock, it could be a breeze.  If Cal creates turnovers, you can chalk another win up for the PAC 27.

MAX: Both of these teams are both worse and better than their records.  Neither conference was top heavy, and they both lost games they should have won and won games they should have loss.  I really think I like Texas in this game, even though they let me down a bunch this year.  California just isn’t that great of a team, and if they win, whatever, Texas let me down a final time.  I like Mack Brown with five weeks of prep.  Texas covers.  42-28.  Taking the over.

GREG:   I remember when the Holiday bowl actually pitted 2 quality teams against each other.  Not so much the case with the 2011 edition.  Texas probably has the better losses, losing to the Oklahoma schools, Missouri, K-State, and Baylor.  Somehow, Cal lost to UCLA and went o-for against their brethren from the Golden State.  Texas has the better overall rushing attack and defense, so I’ll lean their way to cover the 3 points and take the over.

ERIC: Education, holidays and Texas don’t go together at all. Why do you think so many people get executed down there? Because they’re all stupid and nobody is happy. Since all they know is football, I take Texas to beat the spread with the over. Final score: 37-17.

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
Dec 29th – 5:30 PM – ESPN – Orlando, FL
Line: FSU by 3
O/U: 48

Lou Diamond Phillips Disapproves.

QUICK ANALYSIS: Notre Dame has a chance to put the cherry on a decent season.  This might be one of the last years they have to bask in glory, what with OSU bringing it strong by hiring Urban Meyer, and with Michigan and Michigan State on the grown with great coaching and recruiting.  Florida State really laid some eggs, with many people picking them as a preseason darling.  realistically, they are one or two years away, but the scales are definitely tipping in FSU’s favor in regards to potential.

MAX:  I hate Notre Dame.  They spoil for me all the time.  I don’t like FSU either, but I think that FSU just has more pride.  I actually think Notre Dame played a tougher schedule this year.  I’m going with the speed of FSU to cover, but it’s low scoring.  24-17.  Take under.

GREG:  This should be a decent game, with FSU having the superior defense (#4), although Notre Dame’s D is fairly good too (#28).  I like the Seminoles in this one, particularly since they have a game in Florida and can lean more on their defense.  They will have to run the ball a little more proficiently than #99 in the NCAA to do it.  Take FSU and the points, plus the under.

ERIC:  I accidentally read Max’s caption for this one as “Lou Diamond WordPress” and thought he was making a political statement about the Internet or some shit. Let’s see, the team we all got stuck watching on NBC vs. the team former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons played for (and where his No. 50 jersey was retired)? I’m taking FSU to smolder Notre Dame with a big over. Final score: 36-20.

VALERMO ALAMO BOWL
Dec 29th – 9 PM – ESPN – San Antonio, TX
Line: Baylor by 9.5
O/U: 76.5

This game is like falling into the Sarlacc Pit.

QUICK ANALYSIS:  Washington isn’t in the same class as Baylor.

MAX:  The Baylor RG3s are, up to this point on paper and on the field, superior to Washington in almost every facet of the game.  If Washington wins this game, I would be shocked.  Baylor scores on these guys the way I town your mom, final score 38-21.  Take the under, but Baylor covers easily.

GREG:  Baylor’s only knock is they have a horrid defense when it comes to points allowed, ranking 109th.  Washington’s defense is not much better, ranking 99th in the land.  With Robert Griffin III and Terrance Ganaway headlining one of the top offenses in the nation, Baylor should have no problem winning this one and covering while doing so.  I’m leary of the 76.5 O/U, so taking the under.

ERIC:  Baylor, huh? They’re an interesting college and an interesting program. They’re from Texas (and, P.S., the game is in Texas, too), yet they don’t have the word “Texas” in their team name. You’d think that would make them a crowd nonfavorite, as these stupid Texans wouldn’t know their own kind if they weren’t chewing on hay and wearing a dinner platter for a belt buckle. Yet, because the team is in Texas, they’re damn good. So I pick them to beat the spread, with a raucous home crowd of 1,200 idiots who realize who the home team is. Take the under. Final score: 48-22.

BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL
Dec 30th – Noon – ESPN – Dallas, TX
Line: BYU by 5
O/U: 55.5

What a great afternoon it was!

QUICK ANALYSIS:  Both teams put together nice seasons.  BYU is great on third down but when they can’t get a ground game going, they are in trouble.  Tulsa exceeded expectations and managed to stay pretty balanced in all their games, but they really were prone to turnovers in their 4 loses.

MAX: The Fighting Mormons are fucking gunblaster on 3rd down.  Plus, they take multiple wives (which I don’t know why, I don’t even have one wife.  Who would want multiple wives?  There’s only soooo many dishes, amiright?)

I’m taking Tulsa because I think they played a tougher schedule and are a better team.  Sorry Mit, Tulsa wins it 40-10.  Take the under.

GREG:  Nice match-up here.  BYU, in its first year as an independent, went 9-3 and has a very good defense and a balanced offense.  Tulsa lost 4 games but went through the gauntlet in doing so (ranks are at-the-time-they-played):  #1 Oklahoma, #8 Oklahoma State, #4 Boise State, #8 Houston.  The Golden Hurricane are a little better at running the ball and have a slightly easier time putting the ball in the end zone, so give me Tulsa in this one to win straight up and the under.

ERIC:  Another bowl game in Texas, another picture full of undertones. No coincidence here. Let’s pick the underdog and say Tulsa, from Oklahoma, beats the spread in dirt-bowl country. Take the over. Final score: 42-21.

NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
Dec 30, 3:20 PM – ESPN – Bronx, NY
Line: Rutgers by 2
O/U: 44.5

I hate everything in this photo. Except Big Poppa. Revere him.

QUICK ANALYSIS:  This appears, despite ISU’s 6-6 record, to be a pretty good matchup.  ISU battled turnovers all year, but has a great defense.  Rutgers won some good games, but can have trouble staying balanced.  New York in December, huh?  Lots of great vacation packages, for sure.

MAX:  ISU is the best 6-6 team in the field.  They should have gone no less than 9-3, and I have to listen to ISU fans bitch all year long about this and that and talk shit, too, saying things like “Oh, we beat Iowa, oh, Iowa sucks.”  Well here is a news flash fucko, Iowa does suck this year, and it’s a way bigger deal when ISU wins than when Iowa wins.  The difference between the fan base is that ISU fans are content with a 6-6 record and a bowl bid against the Rutger whatever the fuck they are called-s, what are they, the Meat Helmets?, and Iowa fans would be calling for their coach’s head if he fielded a team as talented as ISU was this year and went 6-6.  You move this defense to Iowa and I guarantee you Iowa would have been playing for the Big 10 Championship.  So be content, ISU fan, and when you win your precious little Pin Stripe Bowl, just remember, your team pissed away a 9-3 season, and if you were any other school that had a tradition of winning, you would be looking for a new coach.

ISU wins outright, 31-17. Take the over.

GREG:  I agree with Max wholeheartedly.  This will be a good, fun game to watch for the casual fan though.  Rutgers has a putrid rush offense (ranking 115th), but counters that with a Top 15 defense.  Granted, they came out of the Big East and lost 3 games in that joke of a conference, so take that stat with a heaping helping of sodium chloride.

Iowa State has shown flashes of brilliance on offense, surrounded by mediocrity.  A full practice schedule for freshman QB Jared Barnett will make a world of difference and allow the Clowns to win in NYC…oh, and take the over.

ERIC:  Now we’re talking, pro wrestlers representing college football teams, including the washed-up red-and-yellow Hulkster listening real hard to the fans of those 6-6 Cyclones! It just warms my heart knowing that an average but scrappy team can make .500 and still stumble their way into a bowl game. Gotta love college football! Take Rutgers, take the spread, take the over. Please. Final score: 28-19 (somewhere, some Paul Rhoades trick play is going to backfire.)

FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL
Dec 30 – 6:40 PM – ESPN – Nashville, TN
Line: Mississippi State by 7
O/U: 48

Deacon Cat approves.

QUICK ANALYSIS: These teams look pretty even on paper.  This game will come down to speed.

MAX: I think that even though Mississippi State is a terrible team, they played way tougher teams than the crappy Big East, ACC and MAC teams that Wake Forest played.  So I think their 6-6 is a little less dumb.  While I do love me some Deacon Cat, I’m going with Miss. State to cover, 24-10.  Take the under.

GREG:  Mississippi State embodies the dregs of the SEC, which are in far greater number than any media outlet would have you believe.  But, in this case, the hype might be right.  The Bulldogs ran the ball with some proficiency in a conference known for run-stuffing teams, and they themselves were a relative stalwart on D (ranking 18th).  Wake had some very damning losses in the ACC, plus they lost to Syracuse and Vandy (huge) in the non-conference.  I think Mississippi State will eke one out, not cover, and take the under.

ERIC:  Jesus, these things never end, do they? I could ask Max to make his bold predictions for WrestleMania 28 and it would take him about 12 minutes. I’ve been working for weeks on these bowl picks, all because a bunch of god damn 6-6 teams fumble-fuck their ways into these not-the-least-bit-prestigious bowl games. Ugh. Mississippi State? They can barely think down there, so I’m assuming that means they thrash in football. Take them to beat the spread, and take the over. Final score: 38-14.

INSIGHT BOWL
Dec 30 – 10 PM – ESPN – Tempe, AZ
Line: Oklahoma by 14
O/U: 58

Captain Ameri-Herk will destroy you in a battle royale! USA! USA! PS: Where's the blow?

QUICK ANALYSIS:  You can’t even bet on this game now.

MAX:  Fuck.  Two years in a row Iowa gets slammed with legal trouble.  I have no idea if they can pull off another big win in a bowl game.  I have complete faith in Kirk Ferentz, but I have no idea how they will stack up against Oklahoma.  Oklahoma, on the other hand, is a paper champion and I have been saying this all year.  I think they are soft on the offensive line, and I think they are susceptible to the play action, but with no real threats (Iowa’s backup running backs have carried the ball 45 times this year) it’s going to be a very one dimensional game.  It’s basically going to come down to Iowa’s receivers making catches or the Oklahoma DBs picking it off.  And can Oklahoma go deep against Iowa.  This has all the makings of a shootout, so it will probably end 10-7.  I’m going to pick Oklahoma to win, but Iowa to spoil the cover on the spread that was given before Coker shit the bed.  I am going to hope hope hope that Iowa can pull it out, but I have no expectations.  Final score, 34-32, Oklahoma.  Take the over, if you can still gamble.

GREG:  As much as I like the Hawks and their ability to go into a bowl game and play lights out, I think they are going to get killed by Oklahoma in the desert.  Iowa ranks 76th in rushing, and without leading rusher Marcus Coker (#4 rushing season EVER at Iowa and still ranked in last half of all teams), the Hawks are in real trouble.  Landry Jones, a first round talent at QB for the Sooners, lines up across the ball from a defense that just didn’t have it this year.  Oklahoma wins big, covers, and take the over.

ERIC:  I can’t even muster a funny write-up here (not that the rest have been funny, but still.) I’m just glad Max included no less than three pro wrestlers in this picture to brighten my day after making this sad pick. Final score: Oklahoma 50, Iowa 21. Time to swing from the barn. (P.S. Max, how are you going to feature Razor Ramon and Ultimate Warrior in this image and not make a “Coker” reference in your caption?)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Fine.  See above.

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS
Dec 31 – 12 PM – ESPN – Houston, TX
Line: A&M by 10
O/U: 66

Good Boy, Laddie!

QUICK ANALYSIS:  Texas A&M should feel let down by this season.  Their team is better than 6-6, but they gave away a lot of big leads.  They need to set the bar low in the SEC next year.  Northwestern helped spoil Nebraska’s high hopes for a Big Ten title, and put together an okay season despite a rash of injuries throughout the year.  On paper, these teams match up very well.

MAX: Watch out A&M.  Northwestern loves to piss in the milk.  I’m taking Northwestern in the upset, final score 38-35.  Take the over.

GREG:  A&M might be the biggest disappointment this year in college football.  A top 5 team talent-wise, they lost 6 games this season by a combined 33 points.  A top 20 offense in rushing and passing, the Aggies will be a tough draw for a Northwestern team that struggled against good offenses this year.  While the Wildcats are adept at screwing things up and run an unorthodox offense by Big Ten standards, it is nothing new to a Big 12 team.  Sure, Nebraska lost at home to Pat Fitzgerald’s bunch, but I see A&M winning this one, even with a new coach.

Man…10 points is tough, but let the Aggies cover and take the over.

ERIC:  Fucking Laddie, awesome. Texas A&M smokes Northwestern like brisket here, and it’s not even fair. Home field advantage for a bunch of retarded Texans? The story writes, then eats, itself. Final score: 48-24.

HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
Dec 31 – 2 PM – CBS – El Paso, TX
Line: Georgia Tech by 3
O/U: 50.5

El Paso, tourism capital of the world. Great packages on Jet Ski trips, I hear.

QUICK ANALYSIS:  Both teams put together a really nice season.  Utah is still very pesky, Georgia Tech had some nice wins, including spoiling Clemson’s bid for perfection.  GT is insane on 3rd down, and if you give a team a lot of chances, they will beat you.

MAX: I’m a big hater of Georgia Tech.  I sort of like Utah, but Utah can get real one dimensional in their losses, and if Georgia Tech can get that option going, it’ll be lights out meat ball, and Thunderlips will be coming in with the leg drop on the Utes.  Say good night, Tatanka.  Georgia Tech runs left and right and beats up on Utah, easily covering the spread, 32-17.  Take the under.

GREG:  The Yellow Jackets can flat out run the ball (ranked #3 nationally).  And with the Utes losing to Colorado in the season finale, they have no shot in this one, even with a Top 20 defense.  Take Georgia Tech to cover, and to cover big.  The under looks a little sexy in this one at 50.5, and I’ll bite on it.

ERIC:  West Texas, locale of El Paso, host of this bowl game, is the home of Terry Funk, a man among men who would hand you your heart and then salt and pepper it before he shoved it down your throat. This sounds like Georgia Tech’s run game. You will not get anything remotely that manly here out of Utah, which is why I assume Max included images of salsa dancing, show choirs and a bee with his hands on his hips here. Kill me now. Georgia Tech easily covers the spread and trounces the line. Final score: 48-21.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The manly part is the Mexican gangster in the background and the Utah mascot on a jet ski and the gold crusted AK.  You know, El Paso has great lake vacations this time of year.

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~ by maxaverage on December 26, 2011.

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