With bowl season starting tomorrow, it’s time to make some predictions. Here we go:
Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech
This is a match up of two quarterbacks with very different styles. It’s looking more and more like Stanford’s Andrew Luck could be the first pick in the NFL Draft next year while Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor has been under the radar ever since the Hokies crushing loss to James Madison in week two of the season. However, Taylor has thrown for over 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns this year, and is coming into this game with a passer rating of 159.o4. That’s not too shabby. Meanwhile Luck has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. The key to this game comes down to which defense can make the first stop, and I think it will be Stanford’s.
Stanford 31, Virginia Tech 27
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Connecticut
Everyone in the country is picking Oklahoma to blow UConn out, and I’m no different. UConn has a great coach in Randy Edsall and a star running back in Jordan Todman but that’s pretty much all they’ve got. I just don’t think that the Huskies have enough to keep up with the Sooners for four quarters. Todman will run for over 100 yards, but the defense will struggle to keep Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles in check.
Oklahoma 34, UConn 13.
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs. Ohio State
I really wish Boise State had gone undefeated so that either they or TCU would have a shot at shoving E. Gordon Gee’s words down his throat, but Nevada thwarted that plan. This is another game with an interesting quarterback match up. Ryan Mallett will have success in this game as long as he stays patient (see the game against LSU) and doesn’t try to do too much (see the game against Alabama). Terell Pryor has been a force all year, and Arkansas’ defense has a tendency to get burned by a dual-threat quarterback. Cam Newton threw for a TD and ran for three more when Auburn came storming back to beat the Hogs 65-43 back in October. I think this is a shoot-out with the Hogs ending up on top.
Arkansas 42, Ohio State 38
The Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO: TCU vs. Wisconsin
By far the most interesting match up of any bowl. Classic immovable object (Frog’s D) lining up against the unstoppable force (Wisconsin’s running game). My main concern for the Frogs in this game is the fact that Wisconsin tends to run downhill, and the Frogs have been somewhat vulnerable to that. SMU’s Zach Line ran for 139 yards on 17 carries against TCU with a very similar rushing style. However I do believe that our defense is good enough to force Wisconsin into long 3rd down situations often enough to keep them one-dimensional and forcing Tolzein to throw. He’s very good, but he has yet to attempt more than 26 passes in a game this year. Meanwhile, I think the Frog’s offense is more dynamic than people give them credit for and will have no problem scoring on Wisconsin’s slow Big Ten defense.
TCU 31, Wisconsin 21
Tostitos BCS National Championship: Auburn vs. Oregon
This one will be slow out of the gate, as both teams seemed to struggle pretty consistently in the first half of games this year. Expect the second half to be a full on shootout though, with Cam Newton and LaMichael James both racking up yards and TDs. I’m very excited to watch how well these defenses will hold up against arguably the top two players in college football this year. I’ll be cheering for Oregon, but I’ve got to stop betting against Cam Newton.
Auburn 49, Oregon 45