Lotta games today, so we'll go shotgun style. Analysis will return for the big ones tomorrow and later in the week......
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Houston V. Air Force- Air Force beat Houston earlier in the season, but this is a very different Cougar team. Houston is one of the best offenses in the nation. They score over 40 points a game and will rebound from a season ending loss to Rice. Air Force can also put points on the board, but not with the ferocity that Houston can. The Pick: Houston
Sun Bowl: Oregon State v #20 Pittsburgh- I saw a lot of Pittsburgh this year because of a good friend of mine, loyal reader/ Pittsburgh backer Sam V is a high flying member of the Panther army. Pitt is a hard team to figure out. The first big win came when they beat number 10 South Florida on October 2nd. In early November, Pitt beat a Notre Dame team that was clicking on all cylinders for the majority of the game and, as I've written about, effectively ended their season. They came from behind in impressive fashion to knock a good West Virginia team out of BCS contention on the day after Thanksgiving. But then their are games where you scratch your head and wonder why Dave Wanstadt is so safe. The aforementioned Sam V could barley speak when I spoke to her after the Panthers loss at home to Rutgers. By the way, Pitt let up 54 points at home in that game to a Rutgers team that no one thought was any good. They also laid up an absolute dud against Cincinnati in a game that they needed to win to keep any hopes of playing in a BCS game alive. Also, does anyone remember that Bowling Green beat them in week one?Oregon State's big win came when they beat number one USC on September 25th. I am still perplexed at the reason why USC didn't bounce back in the polls after this one. Nevertheless, Oregon State is the reason why USC will not win a national championship this year because I still think they can beat anyone in the country. The Beavers lost to the other three ranked opponents they played. The key to this game will be the running game. Lesean McCoy had over 1400 yards and 21 touchdowns this season for Pitt. Oregon States' Jacquizz Rodgers only had 1253 yards and 11 tds, but was banged up for a portion of the year. I have a real hard time picking this one, but I think Rodgers will have more success running against the Pitt defense then McCoy will running against the Oregon State defense. Despite only allowing ten points in their final win over UCONN on December 6th, Pitt let the Huskies Donald Brown run for 189 yards. If that happens against Oregon State, it might be a long day for Dave Wanstadt, Sam V, and the rest of the Pitt army. The Pick: Oregon State
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl- Number 24 Boston College V. Vanderbilt- Vanderbilt isn't very good. Plain and simple. They lost six of their last seven after starting out strong. In their first year with Matt Ryan, this was supposed to be a tough year for BC. It wasn't. They won nine games and finished in the top 25. While they were never in the national championship conversation like they were in 2007, they did play good enough defense to win games. It wasn't great for BC this year, but no one expected it to be. I like them fairly easily. The Pick: Boston College.
Insight Bowl: Kansas V Minnesota- Kansas did not take off the way I thought they would this year. But they still have an outstanding offense. Minnesota was a bit of a surprise in a weak Big Ten. But will Minnesota's defense be strong enough to contain the Kansas offense that can explode at any time? I don't think so. The one thing going for Minnesota is that they are good at forcing turnovers. If Todd Reesing can control the pace for Kansas and not turn the ball over, the Jayhawks should come away with it. The Pick: Kansas
Chick-Fill-A Bowl- LSU V #14 Georgia Tech- The Pick: Georgia Tech
Bowl Mania Record: 9-8