Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Bowl predictions, part 1

OK, I've drifted away from the discussion of college football lately, and that ends today. The following is my first installment of my thoughts on Bowl Season. I'll briefly breakdown each game and make my predictions. Here we go.....

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Northern Illinois (7-5) vs. Texas Christian (10-2)

Let me get this out of the way now. Who the fuck allowed this bowl to be named? OK, now on to the breakdown....

Most people will look at the teams' records and declare a 10-2 TCU the winner over a 7-5 NIU....not so fast. TCU may be the better team, but there is an deeper quality to both teams that will make this one a good game.

Both teams have great offenses. TCU is ranked 17th in total offense, NIU 24th. Both are due to prolific rushing attacks. Most of the pre-game discussion will focus around Huskies' RB Garrett Wolfe, who will likely break 2,000 yards for the season sometime during the game.

After viewing the schedules of each team, I'm not convinced that a clear winner will emerge until the final minutes of the game.

NIU's losses came to quality opponents (with the exception of a close defeat to 5-7 Toledo), including the #1 ranked Buckeyes. Their only quality win is a 3-touchdown destruction over MAC champion Central Michigan.

TCU had only three quality opponents all year. They lost to Mountain West champion BYU 31-17, and the MWC's 3rd-place team Utah 20-7. They did knock off Texas Tech 12-3, who was ranked at the time, but TT finished 7-5 on the year. They have looked good lately, winning their final five games by an average of 37-12. But those five games were against the worst five teams in a horrible conference. That stat also helps foster TCU's defense stats, which put them at #4 in the NCAA. But I'm just not impressed.

Garrett Wolfe will be the difference.

Northern Illinois 34
Texas Christian 24
Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl
BYU (10-2) vs. Oregon (7-5)

BYU is on a 9-game winning streak, mostly against below-average teams. But that streak does include a win over 10-2 TCU (in Texas) and their biggest rival Utah (at Salt Lake City). Their only losses are to ranked Boston College 30-23, and at Arizona 16-13.

Oregon is on a 3-game losing streak, getting demolished by USC 35-10, losing to rival Oregon State 30-28, and getting crushed by Arizona 37-10.

Oregon should not be in a bowl game. Their 7 wins came against teams that are 1-11, 4-8, 7-5, 7-5, 5-7, a Division 1-AA Portland State, and Oklahoma....and we all remember how they beat Oklahoma. Had the Oklahoma game been reviewed properly, the Sooners would have won and Oregon would have only had 5 wins against 1-A schools, rendering them unqualified.

Furthermore, that Arizona team will show the difference in the two schools. Both lost to the Cats, but BYU lost by 3. Oregon lost by 27.

Plus, Oregon sucks in bowl games.

BYU 28
Oregon 17

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