We've made it through the first week and a half of exhibition games and I couldn't be more excited for more action!
Where's that sarcasm font?
Here's a way to make these bowl games more interesting...
Let's just play them in May or June.
We'll have our 4 or 6-team playoff after the regular season in December, spring practices a few months later, and then a series of exhibition bowl games in early summer.
We'd be starved of football (thus automatically making the games more appealing) and it would be an interesting look at team's as they try to prepare for the next season. Plus, since they've been moved to the summer, there's less urgency and it makes the games more exhibition-like and fun---which they are now anyway.
Are you telling me you wouldn't want to see a possible Goldrix QB matching up against Florida State in June?
Think about it.
Quick recap and picks after the jump.
Phase One: 3-7 (yikes)
Disclaimer: In order to promote the healthy and vitality of these bowl games, I think it's best to publish their attendance figures. And remember, the announced attendance is always massively inflated. For example:
They must have really jammed lot of people on the other side of the stadium at the Independence Bowl.
*Temple put a big hurting on Wyoming out west in the New Mexico Bowl. That's 26 wins over the past three seasons for the Owls---not too bad. ATTENDANCE: 25,762
*Kellen Moore and Boise State went out with a bang, destroying Arizona State 56-24. Is this the beginning of the end of this Boise dynasty? ATTENDANCE: 35,720
*Southern Miss was just barely able to cover in an unusual defensive battle against Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl. That's a school-record 12 wins for the Golden Eagles---and now their coach is gone. ATTENDANCE: 32,630
*Ohio slipped past Utah State in a "thriller" that came down to the wire. I put thriller in quotes because this was essentially like watching AA baseball. That's a 10-win season for Ohio, their first since 1968. ATTENDANCE: 28,076
*Keeping the snarky attitude going, Louisana-Lafayette upset San Diego State in front of a half-full Superdome crowd heavily in the Ragin' Cajuns favor. There were so many fans there you guys! Like, almost D-1 levels! ATTENDANCE: 42,841
*Another upset occurred as Marshall took out Florida International 20-10. I knew I shouldn't have jumped on that mini-FIU bandwagon. ATTENDANCE: 20,072
*TCU was able to beat a sneaky good Louisiana Tech team, but they didn't cover. That was a very quiet 11-win season from the Frogs, right? ATTENDANCE: 24,607
*I was way off on the Independence Bowl as Missouri unleashed an offensive artillery that left North Carolina befuddled and confused. I wonder if a pro-style offense could do that to the Tar Heels? ATTENDANCE: 41,728
*Purdue had control of the Little Caesar's Bowl but let Western Michigan hang around. Ultimately the Boilers took the victory and ended up with a somewhat shocking 7-win season giving where that program was in October. ATTENDANCE: 46,177
*In a game full of too much red and not a single player you can name, two BCS teams in NC State and Louisville battled with the Wolfpack coming out on top. Charlie Strong finishes his second season at 7-6. ATTENDANCE: 58,427
Now on to Phase Two of bowl games:
Toledo (-3) at Air Force
We got to see Air Force's defense first hand this year, and Notre Dame looked like it was playing a middle school team. Toledo has enough offensive firepower to take this and cover.
California (+3) at Texas
During the times I've caught Cal on the tube, I'm not even sure how they ever pick up first downs on offense. I think the Horns are going to dominate this game physically and really force Cal out of their comfort zone. Texas might not score many themselves, but a solid 10-point victory sounds about right.
Florida State (-3) at Notre Dame
Pick: Florida State
See post, Irish Seek Third Straight Bowl Win
Washington (+9.5) at Baylor
In atypical fashion, I didn't get the chance to see a whole lot of Washington this year. I guess that's what happens when Jake Locker leaves Seattle. Something inside of me is telling me this is too many points, but I can't turn away from RG3 in possibly his last game.
BYU (-1) at Tulsa
I have nothing to add to this pick, other than I'm picking the Golden Hurricane.
Iowa State (+1.5) at Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights quietly rebounded nicely from their disastrous 2010 season and come into this with 8 wins. Since everyone knows that New York City is Rutgers turf (insert wanking motion here) I like the Knights to play with much spirit and gusto.
Mississippi State (-6.5) at Wake Forest
Pick: Wake Forest
This spread is way too big, and I'm honestly shocked that Mississippi State even got bowl eligible. The Bulldogs are getting far too much love for simply playing in the SEC. I think Wake Forest is good enough to keep this very close and possibly even win.
Iowa (+13.5) at Oklahoma
I had alarm bells going off with this game. Oklahoma just hasn't looked the same since Broyles went down with his knee injury, and Iowa is tough enough to hang around all night. This isn't a great Sooners team, and Iowa isn't that bad---I'll take the points.
Texas A&M (-10) at Northwestern
Pick: Texas A&M
Remember when Northwestern was getting B1G championship love in the preseason and Dan Persa was a Heisman candidate? Man, their season didn't go as planned. I think the Aggies are just far too talented not to rough up the Wildcats.
Georgia Tech (-2.5) at Utah
Pick: Georgia Tech
The Utes were kind of stinky this year. Georgia Tech started the season on fire and then cooled off enormously, but I bet their option gives Utah fits. Will it snow this year in El Paso?
Illinois (-2.5) at UCLA
That is all. Nothing more needs to be said about this abomination.
Cincinnati (+1.5) at Vanderbilt
The Commodores favored in a bowl game? Say what? Hell no I'm not taking them.
Virginia (+3) at Auburn
I didn't check, but this has to be one of the worst Chick Fil-A Bowls in quite a long time. Auburn is going through a lot right now with Malzahn leaving and Dyer suspended and possibly transferring---let's go with the Cavaliers and the points.
Enjoy the bowl games...if you dare.