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The OFD 2010 Bowl Preview Part III- The Big Finish

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I have to get this last bowl preview post up before I get too busy. In a couple of hours we will be kicking off our Sun Bowl pre-party and tomorrow will be a full day of Notre Dame vs. Miami Sun Bowl mania. When I emerge from the glorious haze on Saturday morning only 13 bowl games will stand between us and the dreaded off season.

Let's take a look.

Saturday 1 January

Ticket City
Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
12:00pm ESPNU

This game was created to replace the Cotton Bowl after the classic high tailed it across town to the starry confines of Jerrydome. As a substitute we get a new January 1 game in the old Cotton Bowl Stadium still featuring a Big 12 Team. Get your guns up! Texas Tech DC James Willis is leaving to pursue "other opportunities" but their D wasn’t that good to begin with. I’m still going with the home state Red Raiders over a suspect Northwestern squad.

Outback
Florida vs. Penn State
1:00pm ABC

The last stand of Urban Meyer and his immortals. Penn State is not good. Florida rolls. I wonder if Muschamp will be on the Gator sidelines just to scream at the officials and chest bump Gator players? The Coach and I will have to put this one on a secondary TV with no sound. The inevitable Urban love might be more than I can bear.

Capital One
Alabama vs. Michigan State
1:00pm ESPN

Interesting draw here. Little Nicky gets a crack at the school where he first really made a name for himself. Michigan State finished 11-1 which makes this game look competitive on paper but I don't think it is necessarily going to play out that way though. Sparty is going to need more than a fake field goal to beat Bama. The Big Ten might end up with a black eye here if the #4 team in the SEC West spanks one of their three 11-1 teams. Roll Tide.

Gator Bowl
Mississippi State vs. Michigan
1:30pm ESPN2

Did Dick Rod get fired yet? Can Shoelace run with the SEC? This is actually kind of interesting but the fact that Michigan is essentially defenseless makes me think that Dan Mullen and his crew run away with this one.

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
Wisconsin vs. TCU
5:00pm ABC

This might actually be the best game of the bowl season. If you haven’t been over to the Tortilla Retort to read Dedfischer’s post on Gary Patterson you should take a few minutes to do so. It is a must read before watching this game. Take the time to check it out and get yourself a better feel for Patterson's defensive philosophy. It is extremely interesting, especially for those of you that like the X's and O's.

The talking heads meanwhile, make it sound like the Badgers are just going to line up and run over TCU. I don't personally believe it is going to go down like that. Look for Patterson's 4-2-5 to cause Wiscy a lot more problems than anyone expects. This is going to be a really interesting game. I'll take TCU in a close one.

Tostitos Fiesta
Connecticut vs. Oklahoma
8:30 ESPN

This is just a poor matchup. I have tickets to this game every year and opted not to go due to the Irish playing the day prior in El Paso. I could have pulled off going to both but why bother? This game does not look good and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. I couldn’t give my tickets away, literally. Oh well. Oklahoma should win by 40 so they’ll probably screw around and let UCONN make a game of it. After all the Sooners do have a history of letting underdogs slap them around in this game. Even with a lackluster effort I think the Sooners dispose of UCONN with relative ease.

Monday 3 January

Discover Orange
Stanford vs. Virginia Tech
8:30pm ESPN

This is also another very interesting matchup. VT rolled to yet another ACC title after an ugly 0-2 start that included losses to Boise State and James Madison. Stanford plays a physical brand of football that I can appreciate and I am looking forward to watching that Stanford offense trade punches with Bud Foster’s D.

Both teams have some interesting coaching rumors swirling around the game. Could this be Harbaugh's last game at Stanford? Could this be Brian Stinespring's last game as the VT offensive coordinator? I hear Beamer is talking to Ralph Friedgen as a potential replacement. Much to the dismay of my Hokie fanatic brother-in-law the Deer Hunter, I like Stanford in a close one.

Tuesday 4 January

Allstate Sugar
Ohio State vs. Arkansas
8:30pm ESPN

It wasn’t until the exact second that I decided to pick Arkansas in this game that I realized I had picked exactly ZERO Big Ten teams to win a bowl game. Dig it. I honestly didn't set out to do that, it just worked out that way when I looked at the individual matchups. Needless to say I am now very interested to see how that works out for me. TPeezy2 and his crew of memorabilia salesmen will be allowed to play but it might not matter. Petrino's boys will show up ready to play. Sooooooeeeeeeee!

Thursday 6 January

GoDaddy.com
Middle Tennessee vs. Miami (OH)
8:00pm ESPN

OK, I can absolutely tune into a craptastic bowl game that is in the first third of the bowl lineup, but these little gems that they sneak in amongst the BCS games kill me. I’m going with Dwight Dasher and the Blue Raiders over Miami (OH) and their interim coach. I went 2-0 picking Sun Belt > MAC in December, let’s see if that logic holds in January. I’ll check the score because even I probably won’t be able to bring myself to watch this one.

Friday 7 January

AT&T Cotton
LSU vs. Texas A&M
8:00pm FOX

The Cotton Bowl is stealthily positioning itself to be the next addition to the BCS lineup. Nice work. As for this game it is a bit of a toss up but I’ll go with the Hat. TaMU finished the season on a hot streak but the Hat has a knack for making completely illogical decisions that result in W's. I see no reason why this game should be any different. LSU will win a thriller as time expires with a fake field goal quadruple reverse pass that goes for six despite the fact that they only needed 2.

Saturday 8 January

BBVA Compass Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky
12:00pm ESPN

See the GoDaddy.com bowl above. Total crapfest. I’ll take Pitt in a rallying cry for the Stache.

Sunday 9 January

Kraft Fight Hunger
Nevada vs. Boston College
9:00pm ESPN

Colin Kaepernick and the Nevada Pistol Offense vs. Luke Kuechly and Mark Herzlich. This would have been pretty interesting somewhere around December 20th. But on January 9th not so much. Again, stop it with these cruddy games in January!

Monday 10 Januray

Citi BCS National Championship Game
Oregon vs. Auburn
8:30pm ESPN

Heisman winner Cam Newton and his family are shrouded in controversy. Oregon wears 857 different uniform combinations. Welcome to the BCS Championship. The talking heads keep making comments about how Auburn is just a little to athletic for the Ducks. This the same Duck offense that ESPN has been hyping like maniacs all season.

No one seems to be mentioning the fact that Auburn's pass defense is ranked #105 in the country. Yeah, 105. Color me unimpressed. The Ducks on the other hand have a defense that has quietly been very solid throughout the season. They live in the media shadow of their high powered offense but I think the unsung Duck D is going to be the difference in this game. Heisman jinx for the controversial Newton + the Duck D = Quack Attack National Title.