College Football – What to Watch (Bowl Season)


Welcome to a very special episode of Blossom…er…What to Watch. This week, we’ve roided it up, supersized our fries, and maximized our analysis. We’re going all out and predicting the outcome of every single bowl game.

Warning: Scores are chosen using heavily biased, less-than-scientific methods which include reading tea leaves, picking based on uniforms designs, pulling names from a hat, only remembering the statistics we like, and purely guessing. Use our predictions at your own peril. Basically, it’s not recommend you ever listen to us when it comes to scores.

The bowl season is still another week away, but why not start now? Joining me are two frequent contributors to The Bull Gator – KP and One-Eyed Willy – who frequently agree with me and are therefore my friends. Why would I be friends with people I don’t agree with? Here’s a piece of advice kiddies: surround yourself with people who think your opinion is the right one. It makes you seem and feel much smarter than you actually are.

You might learn a few things by reading this. First of all, yes I actually convinced a woman to agree to marry me. Shocking, I know. Second, one of One-Eyed Willy’s heroes is a former Abercrombie model (and it’s not a female). And finally, as stated before, we rarely know what we’re talking about. On to the games…

Note: All sponsor names have been removed where possible because let’s face it, trying to keep up with who sponsors what bowl is like trying to figure out who Paris Hilton hasn’t slept with at this point. Unfortunately a couple of the bowls are actually named by only their sponsor, so sadly they must remain.

EagleBank – Wake Forest vs. Navy
KP: The over/under on when this bowl will change its name and/or get cancelled for next season: December 21, 2008. This is one – in a long list of bowls – that has one team ridiculously close to home. The Midshipmen may have jogged to RFK had this been held in warmer months.
Wake Forest 25 – Navy 17

New Mexico – Colorado State vs. Fresno State
One-Eyed Willy: The battle of the state schools. Where is the state of Fresno by the way? I just read something on ESPN that said “the showcase matchup in this game will be at tight end, where both CSU’s Kory Sperry and FSU’s Bear Pascoe are NFL prospects.” This game deserves no further analysis.
Fresno State 29 – Colorado State 25 (with no points scored by either TE)

St. Petersburg – Memphis vs. South Florida

The Bull Gator: Not getting the chance to travel for bowl season is like a kick to the jubblies. The Bulls are playing a home game in a stadium built for…well; no one really knows what the hell Tropicana Field was built for. USF has to win this one if they hope to have any reason to even talk to recruits during the offseason.

USF 31 – Memphis 14

Las Vegas – BYU vs. Arizona
One-Eyed Willy: This is kind of ironic, but apparently the Mormons love Las Vegas. At least that’s what it seems like as BYU has gone to the last three Las Vegas Bowls, having racked up wins over UCLA in 2008 and Oregon in 2007, and losing to Cal in 2006. Arizona, on the other hand, is playing in its first bowl game since Next’s “Too Close” was bumping on my detachable-face car stereo. Although I really like Mike Stoops, I‘m going with BYU and Max Hall’s 3,600 passing yards, 70% completion rate, and 34:13 TD-to-INT ratio.
BYU 38 – Arizona 31

New Orleans – Southern Miss vs. Troy
KP: This one dates back to 2001 and these teams have made three prior combined trips to the Superdome for the “Fill in Sponsor” New Orleans Bowl – both were winners each time. While the sponsors sell this one as a classic matchup, if these schools weren’t within a short distance, this could be held at the local high school and struggle to sell out. Hopefully you have your Bowl Pick ‘Em done to keep you even remotely caring about this one. The streak ends for Southern Miss.
Troy 37 – Southern Miss 23

Poinsettia – Boise State vs. TCU
One-Eyed Willy: If you just looked at the names of the two teams playing in this game you may think it was going to be a snoozer but, no tan rapido mi amigo! Undefeated and BCS-snubbed Boise State takes on what many believe is the best 2-loss team in the nation, TCU. And who did TCU lose to I ask you? At #1 Oklahoma and at #5 Utah. It’s the WAC versus the MWC. It’s the nation’s #12 scoring offense versus the nation’s #2 scoring defense. It’s Coach Petersen versus Coach Patterson. What more could you ask for?
Boise State 31 – TCU 17

Hawaii – Hawaii vs. Notre Dame
The Bull Gator: You think Hawaii ever gets sick of going to the Hawaii Bowl? You think Notre Dame ever gets sick of going to bowl games period? How far has ND fallen? The following schools have been chosen to play the Warriors in this bowl: Tulane, Houston, UAB, and Arizona State.
Hawaii 0 – Notre Dame 0 (That’s right a tie. This could be the bowl I’m least likely to watch.)

Motor City – Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
KP: If congress can’t bail out Detroit, this is the next best thing! I can’t think of anything more appealing than traveling to Detroit in the winter. Especially when you go to school in South Florida! Something is drastically wrong with this picture. Those intimidating Owls win.
FAU 30 – CMU 23

Meineke Car Care – West Virginia vs. North Carolina

The Bull Gator: Only a few weeks ago, both of these teams had conference title aspirations. They then went on to crap the proverbial bed.

Pat White’s

heroics in his final game (probably ever) beat out

Butch Davis’

mad coaching skills.

WVU 28 – UNC 10

Champs Sports – Wisconsin vs. Florida State
One-Eyed Willy: Here’s hoping FSU doesn’t suspend half of its team due to an academic cheating scandal before this year’s bowl game. And here’s hoping The Bull Gator’s fiancée doesn’t have a cardiac infarction watching her two beloved teams face off against each other in the Capital One Ugly Stepsister Bowl. Side note: Having been to the Citrus Bowl before, that dump shouldn’t be allowed to host A bowl game, let alone TWO bowl games. In the end, FSU’s speed on both sides of the ball should be able to handle those big slow whiteys of the Big Ten (11).
FSU 27 – Wisconsin 10

Emerald – Miami (Fla.) vs. California
KP: At least we get two teams people have seen on television before. Miami doesn’t travel well within the city of Miami. Given that this is in state, Cal should have a home game. Aside from no hippies in the trees stealing from the paying fans, Cal should be able to hang and test the Canes. Canes win to show that they are truly up and coming.
Miami 33 – Cal 20

Independence – Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
The Bull Gator: At the moment, NIU’s best pro player is Michael Turner. La Tech’s is Matt Stover. A kicker? Really? Huskies win.
NIU 1 – La Tech 0 – NC State vs. Rutgers
One-Eyed Willy: Rutgers started the season 1-5. NC State started the season 2-6. Neither has lost a game since. What does that tell you? These teams were better at the end of the year than at the beginning. Did you think I had something profound to say? Mike Teel and an army of RBs have led the Rutgers to an average of 46 points over the last 5 weeks and in the process crushed the likes of Pittsburgh, USF, and Louisville. This could be a close game, but in the end I think the offense of Rutgers is too tough for NC State to handle.
Rutgers 42 – NC State 28

Alamo – Missouri vs. Northwestern

KP: Last time Northwestern made this trip in 2000, they went home on the losing end of a 66-17 drubbing by Nebraska. Good thing the Wildcats are a smart bunch because this one won’t be going on the resume. Missouri tries to out-do the Huskers but fall just short.

Missouri 52 – Northwestern 22

Humanitarian – Maryland vs. Nevada
The Bull Gator: How’s this for in-depth analysis? Josh Portis transferred from Florida because his mommy didn’t think he should be riding the bench behind Chris Leak. Around these parts, we aren’t too fond of Portis or his mama. Nevada wins.
Nevada 0 – Maryland 1 (As in the number of Florida transfers each school has. We’re going with lowest score wins. Think golf, people.)

Texas – Western Michigan vs. Rice
One-Eyed Willy: When dividing these bowl games, TBG so graciously decided to give me a game pitting (9-3) Western Michigan vs. (9-3) Rice. Thanks buddy! I just returned your Christmas gift!!! Amazingly enough, being the avid college football fan that I am, I have watched both of these teams play live this year (and by live I mean on my TV). Any who, Rice is the 12th best passing team in the nation, led by stud WR Jarrett Dillard (if you watch this game for any reason, watch it for him) and Western Michigan is the 84th best passing defense in the league. I smell a blowout! Sorry, that was my daughter’s diaper exploding!
Rice 99 – Western Michigan 6

Holiday – Oklahoma State vs. Oregon
KP: We know he’s a man. We know he’s now 41. And we know the dream fell short. Oregon played spoiler for USC by beating the other OSU who wears orange and black (confusing to anyone else?). Ducks won’t be able to hang another OSU out to dry.
Pokes 47 – Oregon 33

Armed Forces – Houston vs. Air Force
The Bull Gator: I don’t care how bowl alliances may or may not work. If there are two bowl eligible military schools, why in the world aren’t the playing each other in the ARMED FORCES BOWL?!? Because of this oversight, Houston wins big and a little piece of every American dies inside. Get it right next year bowl selection people.
Houston 56 – Air Force 17

Sun – Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
One-Eyed Willy: As my old friend who graduated from Pitt might say as he pulls into El Paso to watch this game, “look at all the lights…this place is rich!!!” Congratulations Coach Wannstedt, you finally made it to a bowl! Unfortunately it’s the Sun Bowl and it’s in freakin’ El Paso of all places. This game is all about the RBs. Pitt has LeSean McCoy and OSU has Jacquizz Rodgers. Oregon State is better than most people think and most likely would have won the Pac-10 had Rodgers been able to play the last game against Oregon. I’m going with OSU, if only because they are the Beavers.
Oregon State 28 – Pittsburgh 24

Gaylord Hotels Music City – Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
KP: Stop giggling like a 12-year-old. Done now? These perennial middle of the road teams battle to redeem themselves. While BC can say they are runners up in the ACC, Vandy can claim they would have won it. Don’t even think the Commodores need to hop on the bus to get to this one. With a home game, Vandy wins, but it’s close.
Vandy 28 – BC 24

Insight – Kansas vs. Minnesota
The Bull Gator: Kansas only lost to one opponent that wasn’t ranked at the time. Minnesota only lost to one opponent that was ranked at the time. Kansas was supposed to be better than 7-5. Minnesota was supposed to be worse than 7-5. By these happenings it would appear Kansas is the better team, but whatever should happen, doesn’t. Therefore…
Minnesota 31 – Kansas 28

Chick-fil-A – LSU vs. Georgia Tech
KP: A home game for the Yellow Jackets and a familiar haunt for last year’s SEC champs. The familiar venue will turn into a fast, very fast track. Georgia Tech may not hit 400 yards rushing like they did against UGA, but they’ll be just fine as LSU just won’t have the offensive fire power to pull it off.
GT 38 – LSU 23

Outback – South Carolina vs. Iowa

One-Eyed Willy: The Old Ball Coach used to be one of my heroes (it was him and Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights). That was until he became the only coach in the SEC to put Oklahoma as #1 and Florida #2. So for that, I poo poo USC(east) for the remainder of the year. Meanwhile, I-O-W-A knocked off Penn State earlier this year which opened the backdoor (HAHA – I said backdoor) for the Gators to sneak into the BCS Championship Game. Both defenses are strong with both being ranked in the top 10 in total yards allowed. But I-O-W-A has won 5 out of their last 6 and USC(east) QBs suck a big fatty.

Iowa 24 – South Carolina 21

Capital One – Georgia vs. Michigan State
The Bull Gator: My unhealthy obsession with Javon Ringer makes me want to take Michigan State. My thought that Georgia has to be better than their record makes me want to go with them. Both of these teams blew it against good opponents over the course of the year. In the end – as much as I hate to admit it – the Bulldogs have the better quarterback.
Georgia 34 – Michigan State 20

Gator – Nebraska vs. Clemson
One-Eyed Willy: Remember when Nebraska used to matter? Remember when Clemson was a top 10 team coming into this year (and last year and the year before that)? Well guess what…both of these teams suck! There, I said it. Oh don’t give me that. You know you were thinking it too. I am going to have to pick Clemson to win though for two important reasons: 1) I am still bitter about Nebraska embarrassing UF in the 1995 National Championship game, and B) Clemson’s new coach is named Dabo (long lost brother of Bobo and Little Debbull – look ‘em up if you don’t know who they are).
Clemson 3 – Nebraska 0

Rose – Penn State vs. USC
KP: And now we get what could have been a great game but will turn in to another Big Ten (11) meltdown. Lucky for JoePa, this one is only the Rose Bowl. He’s got to be thanking Iowa he’s not facing OU or Florida in Miami. This is going to be a bad enough defeat. At least he’s not getting his ancient hopes up for a title. Although we would all have rather seen a real game between USC and Texas, welcome to mediocrity.
USC 45 – PSU 19

Orange – Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
The Bull Gator: There has to be something better to watch on TV than this snoozer. If not, I’m sure you own a DVD player, so pop some popcorn, go grab your Collector’s 2-Disc Limited Edition of Dirty Dancing, and cozy up for the night. If you do watch this game, do it for Brian Kelly, he’ll be on to bigger and better things soon, trust me.
Cincinnati 24 – Virginia Tech 23.9

Cotton – Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech
KP: The Rebels are ranked. Mike “Blackbeard” Leach thinks his team is the second best team in the country. Ole Miss beat Florida and LSU on the road. Graham Harrell is one week away from saying that his coach is going to be the next American Idol. The craziness continues as Houston Nutt wins his bowl game and the AD at Ole Miss has to seek medical attention for patting himself on the back so hard he threw out his shoulder.
Ole Miss 35 – Texas Tech 34

Liberty – Kentucky vs. East Carolina
The Bull Gator: Lou Holtz was nice enough to give us his analysis for this one: “My schon Schkip is the moscht underrated coacth in the nathion. He scthould be coacthing in the Big 12 or SCTHEC one day. Mark my wordscth.” Thanks Lou.
ECU 14 – Kentucky 13

Sugar – Utah vs. Alabama

One-Eyed Willy: Alabama goes undefeated in the SEC in the regular season and led UF after three quarters in the title game before finally losing the by 11. What do they get in return? A no-win situation against the Utes. Win and that’s what Bama was supposed to do against the weaker Mountain West opponent. Lose and you were overrated the whole year. Utah is a similar team to what Bama faced in Florida, although with much lesser athletes. They will use their rush defense (13th) to limit Bama’s RBs and if they can contain

Julio “How Can I Possibly Be A Freshman?” Jones

, Utah just might score enough points to preserve a BCS upset.

Utah 28 – Alabama 24

International – Buffalo vs. Connecticut
The Bull Gator: A bowl game in Canada, eh. My northern ass couldn’t be happier. Oh wait, Buffalo and UConn? We get a game across the border and that’s the best there is to offer. Oh well, it’s not like I expected them to relocate the national title game. Oh, a score. Uh, let’s go with…
Buffalo 24 – UConn 17. No, no. UConn 31 – Buffalo 20. Who are we kidding? No one cares.

Fiesta – Ohio State vs. Texas
KP: And here’s the game no one wanted. The BCS folks tried to set up a classic matchup. But it’s one we’ve seen – one no one outside the states of Texas and Ohio will really care about. But they couldn’t put OSU against USC again, so we get this snoozer. Not that JoePa would have been better, but these conference allegiances are garbage. And how did OSU get in ahead of undefeated and higher ranked Boise State? Texas has to be mad. They have to feel slighted by this matchup and they’ll take it out on the Buckeyes,
Texas 55 – OSU 20

GMAC – Ball State vs. Toledo
One-Eyed Willy: You know what Ball State? I had your back all damn year. I stuck up for you. And what did you do to repay me? You layed an egg against Buffalo in the last game of the season. (TBG chuckles maniacally.) But that’s okay, because just when I think you can’t be any worse, you’re totally gonna redeem yourself. This should be an offensive show. The #2 ranked offense led by David Johnson will take on the #14 ranked offense led by Nate Davis. Get ready for some fireworks the likes of Mobile ain’t never seen!
Ball State 77 – Tulsa 76 (Missed extra point at end of the game – idiot kickers!)

Monchhichi /


Gators 44 – Sooners 30

One-Eyed Willy: I truly believe this game has the potential to be one of the best championship games ever played. Two extremely powerful offenses led by who I think will be the top two vote-getters in the Heisman race. Two young and talented coaching staffs that have recent experience playing on the world’s biggest stage. Two explosive special teams units that can take it to the house on any given play. One great defense!!! Sorry Oklahoma, but you haven’t played a D like this in a long, long time!!!
Florida 49 – Oklahoma 35

The Bull Gator: Not much more I can add that my co-contributors didn’t already cover, but it really does all come down to this: both teams can score; only one can stop opponents from scoring.
Florida 45 – Oklahoma 35