2011 College Bowl Picks
It’s time for me to do my annual bowl picks, which I do every year, in order to invite cynical comments and snide remarks about how inaccurate my picks are. I don’t pretend to be any good at this.
Without further adieu:
- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Ohio vs. Utah State: I am so dang happy that Utah State is in a bowl game that I definitely have to pick them to win, which as a loyal Aggie I would do even if they were playing Alabama. I will not be watching the game live, though, because both times I did that this year they had dramatic meltdowns against Auburn and BYU and ended up losing in the final seconds of the game. Pick: USU
- Maaco Las Vegas Bowl – Arizona State vs. Boise State: Boise State gets reamed again this year, with one loss costing them millions of dollars in bowl payouts just like last year. Arizona State had a losing record playing in the PAC-12 South where the best team was UCLA. Boise will walk all over ASU, but it won’t be enough to assuage the pains of what might have been. Pick: Boise State
- Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl – Cal vs. Texas: Tough pick for a pair of teams with subpar seasons for their programs. Going out on a limb here and picking Cal.
- Champs Sports Bowl – Florida State vs. Notre Dame: Florida State started pretty hot and then kinda had a meltdown, but I still think they are a better team than Notre Dame. Pick: Florida State
- Valero Alamo Bowl – Washington vs. Baylor: Robert Griffin III deserved, and won, the Heisman Trophy this year because I think, more than the other candidates, he had the most to do with the success of the team he plays for. I think this is enough to push Baylor past Washington this year. Plus, one of my youngest son’s best friends is named Baylor, so he’ll definitely be pulling for them for the 5 minutes he pays attention to the game. Pick: Baylor
- Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – BYU vs. Tulsa: I don’t really care, but things will go much more swimmingly for me in my neighborhood if I simply capitulate and pick BYU.
- Insight Bowl – Iowa vs. Oklahoma: If Oklahoma is really as bad as they looked against Oklahoma State, they are in big trouble. Plus, every time I pick against Iowa I end up getting burned. They’re a bunch of brawling wrestlers there in Iowa, I guess that makes them pretty bad dudes. Pick: Iowa
- Hyundai Sun Bowl – Georgia Tech vs. Utah: Things will go much more swimmingly for me in my neighborhood if I simply capitulate and pick Utah. Although, I think they’d better watch out in this one. Pick: Utah
- Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Illinois vs. UCLA: Ah, what might have been – Utah was so close to getting to go to this bowl instead of the Sun Bowl. They must be wringing their hands in grief that they only get to play in the Sun Bowl instead of the “Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.” Yes, that is SO MUCH more prestigious! Anyway, on to this pick: Well, UCLA pretty much reeks. Pick: Illinois
- Chick-fil-A Bowl – Virginia vs. Auburn: I have to pick Auburn of course, but in fairness I actually think they should be able to win this one. They did beat USU after all. Pick: Auburn
- Ticketcity Bowl – Houston vs. Penn State: Here’s a chance for us to see if Houston, who nearly went undefeated this year, is as good as we all think they might be. Penn State is still being punished for their crimes of years past. Pick: Houston
- Outback Bowl – Michigan State vs. Georgia: Now’s when the picks really start to get tough. Georgia won the SEC East this year, somehow, but I really don’t think they are that good, or truly even the best team in the SEC East (this year that would be South Carolina). Pick: Michigan State
- Capitol One Bowl – Nebraska vs. South Carolina: Speaking of South Carolina, I also think they are better than Nebraska, but this is a close one. Pick: South Carolina
- Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl – Ohio State vs. Florida: One of my favorite holiday traditions is when Ohio State travels down to the south and gets pounded on by an SEC team in a bowl game. Jim Tressel used to be part of the reason to despise Ohio State. Now he’s gone, but I’ve still had more than I can stand of their pro-football-playing alumni declaring their alma mater as “THE Ohio State University.” Clearly English is not one of Ohio State’s best subjects. Anyway, I hope Florida makes THE Ohio State University bawl their little buckeyes out. Pick: Florida
- Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Oregon: Nike founder Phil Knight proved that you can buy a pretty sweet college football team if you are willing to pay enough. I’m not exactly a big Oregon fan, but I don’t think Wisconsin can hang with them. Pick: Oregon
- Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – Stanford vs. Oklahoma State: If Stanford is close going into the fourth quarter, they are the team to bet on. Problem is, I have to make my pick now, not in the fourth quarter, and my guess is that Stanford won’t be close in the fourth quarter. Winning the Fiesta Bowl won’t be quite the same as playing for the national title for Oklahoma State, but unfortunately that’s about the best they can hope for this year, other than perhaps to beat out Boise State for the “most ripped off by the system” award. Pick: Oklahoma State
- Allstate Sugar Bowl – Michigan vs. Virginia Tech: This has been a good year for Michigan thusfar, surprisingly so given the new coaching changes. I’d love to see them win this one, but I think Beamerball carries the day. Pick: Virginia Tech
- Discover Orange Bowl – West Virginia vs. Clemson: I think Clemson has superior athletes and a superior team. Pick: Clemson
- AT&T Cotton Bowl – Kansas State vs. Arkansas: Two losses in the SEC West are not nearly the black mark that are two losses in the Big 12 North, especially when those two SEC losses came to Alabama and LSU. Pick: Arkansas
- Allstate BCS Championship – Alabama vs. LSU: LSU somehow ends up winning games even if they are outplayed the entire time. When Alabama played them during the regular season, Alabama was clearly the better team, but LSU somehow found a way to win anyway. Alabama’s discipline starts with Nick Saban and permeates the organization. It’s the same thing for LSU, except instead of discipline flowing downward it is arrogance and air-headedness. Alabama’s discipline will pay big dividends with over a month of preparation time in hand. Plus, if LSU wins the national title, I am going to have to stop going to church for a while, or something, in rebellion. Pick: Alabama
- Knudsen-B-Gon Toilet Bowl – Akron vs. North Dakota Culinary & Drama College: Akron’s only win this season was to VMI, who themselves only had two wins against Charleston Southern and Gardner-Webb. If I keep digging I’m going to get into high school teams and neighborhood pick-up leagues, so let’s just say that Akron is pretty awful, much like how USU used to be (shudder). ND C&D will wipe their, uh, er, noses with Akron (ah, the puns simply abound in this one). Pick: ND C&D
One other thing that needs to be said here: As much as I would like to see Alabama win the national title (or, really, almost anyone else besides LSU), Alabama does not deserve to play in that game. Why? Two reasons:
- They already played LSU this year, and lost (annoyingly)
- They didn’t win their conference title game, and in fact didn’t even PLAY in their conference title game
The fact that some BCS conferences don’t have a title game is a separate, bothersome issue. They need to fix this also. But it simply doesn’t make sense to the that Alabama can become the national champion having split wins with the runner-up, when Oklahoma State doesn’t even get a chance to compete for it. That just seems wrong to me.