Bowl Preview Part III



Man, holidays are a production killer.  Here’s some quick updates for the games today and tomorrow. It might just be Max doing the picks today.  Then we’ll try to post two per day leading up to next week’s championship.

JAN 2nd, NOON, ESPN, Dallas, TX
Houston by 7.5
O/U: 57

Quick Analysis:  Houston missed a BCS bowl by laying an egg in the last game.  Penn State shouldn’t even be playing for a bowl game.  The nation’s highest powered offense vs. one of the better defenses in the battle of who cares.

MAX:  I love Houston.  I hate Penn State, and not for the Sanduskys of the world, but because they are a Big Ten rival to my boys. I am pleased that Houston can showcase its talent against a decent opponent, but I really wish Penn State would have passed on this opportunity.  I know it’s been said that and I agree, the players didn’t do anything.  But when someone shits the bed this uncontrollably, you have to really wash the sheets, and sometimes you just burn the son of a bitch and buy a new one.

I want Houston in this game.  They cover, but take the under.  28-13.

GREG:  Penn State has a good defense (ranked #5), but Houston is a juggernaut on offense (1st in points per game and passing), with a decent defense (#35).  I think Houston rolls in this one, covers, but take the under.  The Nittany Lions have a very important coaching hire coming up, but I don’t think anything is settled by this game.

ERIC: Wow, Penn State made it into a bowl game. Against a team from Texas. In a game held in Texas. There are exactly two things from Texas: steers and people who repress their Sandusky-like feelings. They will sympathize with Penn State, because they are Texans, but Houston will win and beat the spread. Take the under. Final score: 31-24.

Jan 2nd, 1 PM, ABC, Tampa, FL
Georgia by 3
O/U:  51

QUICK ANALYSIS:  Two pretty even teams that put it together after a somewhat rocky start.  Both teams made it to their respective conference championship games, but Michigan State showed up way more than Georgia did.  This should be a gutter fight.

MAX: Michigan State has great senior leadership.  Georgia is the fourth best team in the SEC, regardless of record.  There really isn’t anything else to say.  If Michigan State’s defense shows up, this game will be close and I think Michigan State will pull it out.  I want Michigan State in the upset, and take the over.  They win it 38-34.

GREG:  Michigan State, although hated, is a pretty good team.  They have enough running backs to grind out a win, plus a seasoned vet at QB.  They have a salty defense (ranked #10 nationally).  But I think Georgia, coming out of the SEC and winning the East division, will prevail here.  They are more balanced offensively and have the war wounds from a season in a tougher conference.  Give me Georgia to cover, and take the over.

ERIC: I think Jeremy from is a part-time Michigan State fan, but I’ll tell you who’s a Georgia fan: Rack ‘Em Willie. Watch him sing about the Georgia Bulldogs here: Sorry, Jeremy, I side with Willie on this one, with Georgia covering the spread. Take the over. Final score: 34-31.

JAN 2nd, 1 PM, ESPN, Orlando, FL
South Carolina by 3

Max:  Here’s where I ran out of time.  South Carolina is a really fast, really good team.  Nebraska is a sore disappointment this year.  South Carolina has some of the best players in the SEC, and Nebraska’s QB isn’t even the best QB on their team.  (Burkhead).  On the other hand, Nebraska did show some flashes of pure brilliance this season.  As much as I love Nebraska as the underdog pick, I think South Carolina is going to take this one.  They cover, winning 26-17.  That’s the under.

GREG:  South Carolina would l0ok a little better to me if they had played LSU or Alabama.  Alas, they did not.  They do have the better offense in this one and a better defense.  Give me South Carolina to cover and the under.

ERIC: Fuck Nebraska. They oughta join the whole state of Texas in a burning hell. Take South Carolina, 28-21. GATOR BOWL
Jan 2nd, 1PM, ESPN 2, Jacksonville, FL
Florida by 2
O/U: 44

MAX:  I love this Photoshop.  I think this game is garbage for the first quarter, and then I think it turns into a track meet.  I look for OSU to win a wild one, 48-45.  That’s way over.

On a side note, I really wish Iowa would have taken it’s chance to win when they had.  Now with Nebraska on the up and come, Michigan on the up and come, OSU hiring Urban Meyer, it’s going to be way tougher to win in the Big Ten.  In fact, from top to bottom, I think the Big Ten was the toughest conference this year, and it’s going to be harder and harder for anyone to come out of there and play for a title when everyone sucks the SEC’s dick.  Seriously, the SEC is garbage after the first four teams.  Yet everyone in the Big Ten beats the piss out of each other.  Then they go to bowl games and do pretty well.  Although this year, not so much, in year’s past you have seen a “lackluster” Big Ten take SEC and Big 12 teams to task in bowl games.  There’s some word that describes what we need, and I just can’t place it…some way to do this so it’s fair, I just don’t know what that would be.

(It’s a playoff.)

GREG:  Ohio State won’t win this game.  Flat out.  Florida isn’t all that great, but went through the ringer when it came to the schedule.  Both squads sport a Top 30 defense and Ohio State runs it better than Florida, but they are a one-trick pony with a new coach only having 3 weeks to practice.  Florida covers, take the under.

ERIC: I’ve never been a fan of either team, but I’ve always appreciated a squad that begat the phrase “Buck the Fuckeyes.” I don’t know what that means for their talent or ability, but I give them merch sales props. Take Ohio State to beat the spread, but only by one extra point. And with a tiny O/U like 44 in a shitty game like college football, where mostly talentless players blindly throw until someone catches it, you kinda have to take the over. Final score: 41-38.

Jan 2nd, 5 PM, ESPN, Pasadena, CA
Oregon by 6
O/U: 72

MAX: I know, because they lost to Michigan State once, and then to a down Ohio State, that people think Wisconsin isn’t capable of beating a good team.  I still think Wisconsin is a top 5 team in the nation.  I think they are one of three teams that could beat LSU.  I do not feel the Ducks are in that category.  I think the Ducks can be Wisconsin, but I don’t think, if they got a second shot at LSU, the outcome would be any different.  So what happens today in the Rose Bowl?  I think Wisconsin comes out hard and punches Oregon in the mouth for the first half.  Then in the second half I think Oregon jukes their way back into it.  I think this game could go into overtime.  I look for a score around 48-45, 49-42.  Something high.  I think Wisconsin pulls it out.  Take the over.

GREG:  Wisconsin has the most speed in the Big Ten, but Oregon is on a whole ‘nother level.  Wisconsin has a Top 15 defense, but haven’t faced anyone like the Ducks.  Oregon has played (and beaten) teams like Wisco, so I’m inclined to take Oregon to cover and the under.

ERIC: Here’s another place where I’m torn: My brother Danny and Dusty from currently reside in Wisconsin, a beautiful state full of bluffs and wonderful scenery. But I’ve vacationed in Oregon twice in the past two years, and all of the filthy hippies in Portland have given me months of jokes. I guess I’ll choose a winner based on actual talent. But since I’d rather chew off my toenails than watch college football, I don’t know who’s more talented. This is where the wise default to what they know, and that’s that Wisconsin is the Cinderella story of the season and will pull this out, 45-44.

Jan 2nd, 8:30 PM, ESPN, Tempe, AZ
Oklahoma State by 4
O/U: 76

MAX:  Oklahoma State has a really shitty defense, but their offense has been so good, it has bailed them out of a couple of tough jams.  And throw out that ISU loss already.  ISU is a great team parading around as a loser, as seen by the way they handed Rutgers their bowl game.  Plus, Oklahoma State had a very tragic death(s) the night before.  And I don’t care what you say, that affected them.  So if you discount the ISU loss as a fluke by a team that is way better than anyone gives them credit and the mental anguish or just uncertainty of losing friends and colleagues, then Oklahoma State should be playing LSU, and they would get killed.  But they aren’t playing LSU.  They are playing Stanford.  Stanford is really good, but all season long, I just sort of felt like they were soft.  I can’t explain why.  They won impressively most of the season, and their one loss is way better on paper than Oklahoma’s.  Still, I can’t shake the feeling that Stanford is kind of like Oklahoma, in that they are both paper champs.  And Oklahoma State’s defense finally showed up at the end of the season against, you guessed it, Oklahoma.  So I have no idea who to go with in this one.  Gut says Oklahoma State, head says Stanford.  I’ll take my gut this time, but if Oklahoma State covers they do it really late.  I think they win it 32-30.  Take the under.

GREG:  I was kind of shocked to see how balanced Stanford is…ranked 22nd in passing, 19th in rushing, 7th in PPG, and 30th defensively.  The Cowboys have the #2 passing offense in all the land, but they did get beaten by Iowa State.  Give me Stanford and the under.

ERIC: I would rather eat Tostitos than make this last pick, especially since it once was a lock that the Indianapolis Colts would pick up Andrew Luck in the draft and now, after a couple of Colts wins, I’m more emotionally invested in these chips and this salsa than I am Stanford. However, I must pick a winner, and that winner, in my mind, is Stanford. Take the under. Final score: 34-31.

~ by maxaverage on January 2, 2012.

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