- There are too many #@@@&# bowl games. If you are playing in something called the Meineke Car Care Bowl, you really need something better to do. And given the participants in the game this year (noted football powerhouses Wake Forest and Connecticut), if you actually watch something like that, you definitely need something better to do. A Wake-UConn basketball game would be worth watching. Football, not so much.
- Any game that takes place prior to New Year's Day is not worth thinking about. Especially when they are named after muffler shops or websites devoted to pizza delivery. And most of these bowls are.
- Games that take place in Boise, Shreveport or Mobile are not worth thinking about. If you wouldn't consider the destination for a vacation, it's not a serious bowl.
Anyway, let's get on with the picks.
OUTBACK BOWL: WISCONSIN BADGERS 31, TENNESSEE 27. Of course I'm going to pick my beloved Badgers, but there's good reason for it. Tennessee is a middling SEC team and the Badgers have shown a propensity to beat even well-regarded SEC teams in recent years. If Bucky's defense holds up and they aren't blinded by the garish orange uniforms of their opponents, the Badgers should be able to wear down the Vols.
COTTON BOWL: MISSOURI 34, ARKANSAS 24. This should be a good game. Mizzou has a good team for the first time in about 40 years and the Razorbacks have probably the best player in college football in Darren "Pimp My Ride" McFadden. Since it's on at the same time as the Badgers, I won't see it, but it should be fun.
CAPITAL ONE BOWL: FLORIDA 31, MEESHEEGAN 27. The Gators should win this pretty easily, but I suspect that Go Blue will have one more good effort left for ol' Lloyd Carr. Despite their stumbles, the Wolverines have a lot of talent. Tim Tebow is a good quarterback, but he got more hype than he deserved.
GATOR BOWL: TEXAS TECH 44, VIRGINIA 37. This one should be fun. The Red Raiders can score, and will. Virginia is a solid team but I suspect the ACC was overrated this year.
ROSE BOWL: USC 34, ILLINOIS 21. The Illini are no fluke - Ron Zook has done a real nice job with this team. But USC might have the best talent in college football. And in the end, talent will out.
SUGAR BOWL: GEORGIA 41, HAWAII 38. Colt Brennan, the Hawaii quarterback, put up comic opera numbers again this year. But he hasn't played anyone like Georgia. The Bulldogs can score and defend. They'll need to to do both, but I suspect they'll be able to do just enough of both to win this one.
FIESTA BOWL: OKLAHOMA 31, WEST VIRGINIA 30. If the Mountaineers hadn't lost their coach, I'd pick them. But they have. By the way, can you think of a potential matchup that has less desirable demographics than this one?
ORANGE BOWL: VIRGINIA TECH 31, KANSAS 21. I'd like to claim this pick is based on sentiment, but it's not. It's based on experience. And in my experience, Virginia Tech is a long-time powerhouse. Kansas is a nice story, but they won't have enough firepower to win this game. And Mark Mangino needs to lose some weight. I do too, but he looks like he's going to keel over every time I see him on television.
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: LSU 34, OHIO STATE 28. If the game were in Pasadena, or Glendale, AZ, or Miami, or just about anyplace else, I would pick the Buckeyes. But this may as well be an LSU home game.