Bowl Prognostication 101: From Now to New Year’s Eve

Talk about a lump of coal in the ol’ stocking, how about this: SMU 45 Nevada 10.

Which means I failed to adhere to Rule #24: Don’t bet on a team journeying to Hawaii, unless the team knows how to play in Hawaii. Thus, I ignored the June Jones factor. Much to my chagrin.

And I forgot to take into account that Joey the Vig and his smarmy associates always spend Christmas in Hawaii. Taking care of business. Much to my chagrin.

Plus I woke up on this Christmas morn to these two other weird realities: 1) Bob Dylan singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and 2) The observation that Gil Thorpe has had major plastic surgery.

Whatever is the world coming to?

But we got plenty o’ football between now and the day when the ball drops on Dick Clark’s head, so here’s who I got. (Except in the Emerald and Eagle Bank Bowls, which I’ve decided not to play. Thanks for the reprieve, Joey.)

Kaplan U is now in session.

Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl: Ohio vs. Marshall. Didn’t this used to be the Motor City Bowl? Yes. And I was there once when U of L played Marshall in that other dome they just sold in Pontiac. It was easily the ugliest place I’ve ever been. This game may match that lack of aesthetics. The crowd at Ford Field will be somewhat less than at the Final Four. Ohio is playing its second in a row at the place. It lost the last one to Central Michigan in the league title game. Here’s what I know about Marshall: Nuttin’ honey. Except there was that movie about the program’s resurgence starring the cloying, mush mouthed Matthew McConaughey For some reason, I believe the Bobcats will plunder the Thundering Herd, evening their record in Motown.

Meineke Car Care Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina. The Panthers went Wannstedt at the end of the regular season, losing to West Virginia and Cincy at the buzzer. Until then, it looked like Steeltown Davey Boy might really be turning the corner there, getting full value from his stellar recruiting classes. Butch Davis baby blue Tar Heels also finished the season on a sour note, losing to the rival Wolfpack. These coaches are familiar with each other, having toiled together under Jimmy Johnson at The U and Dallas. I’m sticking with the BEast here, though I fret I’ll rue the day I put hard earned dough on Dave Wannstedt.

Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Clemson. Isn’t this a deja vu all over again? Why yes, Seedy, it is. The Cats, a 10 point dog, whupped up on the Tigers in ’06 in NashVegas. The Cats are missing some pieces on both sides of the ball. Not a good thing. The Orange come in off of 2 straight losses. UK’s history against teams in Orange is less than boffo. But my heart is ruling here over my head. Brooksie wins another bowl game then retires, turning the reigns over to Joker.

Independence Bowl: Georgia vs. Texas A & M. This one will always be the Poulan Weedeater Bowl to me, I don’t care what the blazers in charge want to call it. Nothing says success quite like the holidaze in Shreveport. Will Lucinda be the halftime show? These teams are one game over .500 between them. Go ahead say it: Wow! All other factors canceling each other out, I think the Bulldogs really want to win this one for UGA, who will be cheering on the Athenians from the Great Kennel in the Sky. But I’m going for the 12th man in a uniform to come through for the Aggies.

Champs Sports Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin. I finally watched the ESPN movie about The U the other day. I’d forgotten what a dominating cultural factor and force on the football field the Canes were, starting with the regime of He Who Would Be The Schnell. Randy Shannon is trying to resurrect the program. And he’s doing it. Jacory Harris may be my favorite player in college football these days. He’s eerily calm in the pocket. Methinks this is one of those games when plodding Big 11ers learn the importance of moving swiftly. Speed kills. Miami runs past the Badgers.

Humanitarian Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Idaho. Call it charming if you must, but I say Boise’s blue field is more than a might disconcerting. The charm, to be charitable, has worn off. Oh to holiday in Idaho. At least the Vandals will be close to home, even if they were drawn and quartered when they visited the Broncos earlier this season. Let’s hope Bowling Green finds its way through the snow to make it to the game. Idaho started strong, finished weak, but is playing in the post season for the first time since ’98. The Vandals have the handle.

Holiday Bowl: Arizona vs. Nebraska. Excuse me, didn’t they already play a bowl game in San Diego? So they did. Well, at least it ain’t Boise. What we have here is a couple of better than average four loss teams, both looking to make a really big jump up the ladder next season. The Wildcats are a slight fave, but here’s why I like the Huskers. Ndakumong Suh. I can’t recall a game where one defensive player dominated like Suh did against Texas. Suh is the best player in college football. Period. Shut up Crimson Tide fans. Ndakumong Suh is why Nebraska wins, even if I have no idea how to pronounce his name and have to double check every time I try to spell it.

– Seedy K

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