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Sunday, December 5, 2010

College Football Bowl Schedule

The regular season of College Football has been decided and we are now approaching Bowl Season. The complete schedule of games can be viewed here, but I wanted to give a quick prediction on the BCS Games.

BCS National Championship #1 Auburn Tigers v #2 Oregon Ducks

After 13 games, this game is what the college football landscape tries to get to. During the college season, I have written a few times about the ease of schedule Boise St and TCU had to get to the championship game, but at the end of the season it did not matter because Auburn and Oregon posted undefeated seasons to get to the big game. Here is the tale of the tape...

Auburn is led by probable Heisman Trophy winner Cameron Newton. Cam has put up one of the best single seasons statistically in the history of the FBS, rivaling Tim Tebow of 2007. Newton has accounted for over 2500 passing yards, 1400 rushing yards and 20+ touchdowns both passing and running. Clearly offense will not be a problem for the Auburn Tigers, but defense maybe. The Auburn Defensive Secondary gave 3256 yards of passing offense this season, which put the Tigers in a few holes they had to dig themselves out of. Notably against Alabama who put up 377 yards and the first meeting against South Carolina who gave them 305 yards in the air. To me this begs of an offensive shootout, but I will get to that in a moment.

Oregon has a Heisman hopeful in LaMichael James, who led the Ducks in rushing with 1682 yards and 22 touchdowns. QB Darron Thomas wasn't too shabby either, accounting for 28 touchdowns and 2518 through the air. The Oregon offense was notorious for fast starts and then pulling away in the 4th quarter while the defense held its opponents to next to nothing. Honorable mention to the Oregon Duck mascot for doing as many push-ups as the scoreboard dictates.

Anyway, my prediction is Auburn in close offensive game. I think Cam Newton is going to have a Vince Young type moment, by winning the game in the final seconds.

Rose Bowl #5 Wisconsin Badgers v #3 TCU Horned Frogs

This game TCU has a chance to prove why they belong in the elite of college football this season. Their schedule was a tad weak, but they did what they were supposed to do and run right through it. TCU is transferring to the Big 12, so if they keep up their pace, they will get automatic bowl bids anyway, but a win against Wisconsin would do wonders for the resume.

Wisconsin won the Big 10 by virtue of a higher BCS ranking than Ohio State and Michigan State. They put up gaudy offensive numbers, scoring 82 against Indiana and 70 against Northwestern. A 3 headed rushing attack was the staple of the offense. Each running back had 10+ touchdowns and over 800 yards on the ground, amazing sharing the load like that.

My prediction is Wisconsin by at least 10 points. As good as TCU is, I think they will run into a culture shock against this Badger team.

Fiesta Bowl UCONN Huskies v #7 Oklahoma Sooners

This is one of those trap games for Oklahoma. The Sooners are in a position of if they win people will say, "They were supposed to take care of the Huskies...". If they lose, they will be the talk of the sports world, like they were when the Adrian Peterson led Sooners lost to Boise St. I do not envy the position the Sooners are in, but I think they will find a way to take care of business this year...

Orange Bowl #4 Stanford Cardinals v #13 Virgina Tech Hokies

Potential #1 NFL draft pick, QB Andrew Luck had a 3000 yard passing season and also threw 28 touchdowns for the Cardinals. In this day of the athletic QB who is run first/pass maybe, Luck proved that you can win in college football passing first and running as an option. I think that will be key, as the Hokies have proven to be vulnerable in the secondary when the bright lights are on. I respect what the Hokies have done, winning 11 in a row after a horrendous start, but I don't think Tyrod Taylor will be able to keep the points flowing against the Stanford defense. Prediction - Stanford Cardinals by 13+

Sugar Bowl #6 Ohio State Buckeyes v #8 Arkansas Razorbacks

Razorback QB Ryan Mallet as been another good NFL prospect this season, and I think he will perform well at the next level. In this game, however, I see the swarming Buckeye defense getting a hold of him and providing Terrelle Pryor and the offense with good field position enough times to get the win.

Well there it is...

- @lostherod is the Twitter handle, feel free to follow and debate on any sports topic

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