Emerald Bowl: Florida State vs. UCLA
December 27th, 8:00 PM, ESPN
This may constitute the earliest FSU has played a bowl game since I have been paying attention to such things. FSU limps in following a 30-0 trouncing at home to the eventual ACC champion Wake Forest and a tough loss to Florida. UCLA played BCS spoiler and sent USC to the Rose Bowl instead of Glendale. I think the edge goes to a UCLA team who beat the Trojans and came very close to knocking off Notre Dame in South Bend.
UCLA 24 FSU 10
Music City Bowl: Clemson vs Kentucky
December 29th, 1:00 PM, ESPN
When Clemson knocked off Georgia Tech 30-7 everyone assumed they were the real deal then they lost three of their final four games including one to rival South Carolina. Kentucky is a suprise team out of the SEC who usually flounders at 4-7 but turned it around for a bowl season. Clemson should still have too much offensive firepower for the Wildcats.
Clemson 35 UK 21
Champs Sports Bowl: Maryland vs. Purdue
December 29th, 8:00 PM, ESPN
Maryland went from an allegedly weak team with unimpressive wins over some cupcakes to playing Wake Forest for a spot in the ACC title game. The Terps finished 8-4 but benefited from having a host of veteran players. Purdue went 5-3 it was has been called a weak Big Ten which is all I know about the Boilermakers. I think the Terps can gut a tough one out here.
Maryland 20 Purdue 19
Car Care Bowl: Boston College vs. Navy
December 30th, 1:00 PM, ESPN
Boston College will go into this game without head coach Tom O’Brien who is now at NC State. As far as we know Paul Johnson is still at Navy unless he loses all semblance of sanity and takes the Alabama job between now and Saturday. The interesting thing about these two teams is both are very disicplined as well as having a tendency to grind the ball. It should be a low scoring affair and BC’s defense should handle the Midshipmen running attack.
BC 28 Navy 20
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
December 30th, 8:00 PM, ESPN
I think if we look at the ACC teams honestly, VT by season’s end was the best in the conference, particularly the way they handled Wake Forest. Had they been playing like that against GT and BC they would have been in Jacksonville. VT is playing excellent defense and I think Georgia is having a bit of a down year. The VT offense is also much improved since early season. Look for a Frank Beamer special teams TD somewhere in this game to turn the tide.
VT 31 Georgia 14
MPC Computers Bowl: Miami vs Nevada
December 31st, 7:30 PM, ESPN
Probably an appropriate end to the Miami season to be exiled to Boise for their bowl game. In many ways it is will be a merciful end to a year which has included very little good and lots of bad and ugly. Larry Coker gets one more shot at the sideline and lean very heavily on a defense coached by his already name successor. Nevada never really registered a win over anyone significant and when they played anyone of notoriety it ended rather badly. Coker goes out a winner.
Miami 30 Nevada 10
Gator Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia
January 1st, 1:00 PM, CBS
Georgia Tech lost Reggie Ball for the bowl game because the fifth year senior was declared academically ineligible. How do you get declared academically ineligible in your fifth year? Shouldn’t you be taking like one class in the PE department at that point? Of course Steve Logan on 620 called him a “USDA certified dumb***” Can’t say I disagree with that. Of course given Ball’s tendency to throw the ball away it might work out for the Jackets. This game comes down to whether or not the GT defense can stop the WV offense. I just do not see that happening.
West Virginia 41 GT 21
Orange Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Louisville
January 2nd, 8:00 PM, Fox
Yeah, I am gringing at watching this game on Fox. What Wake Forest has done this season is incredible and I think watching the tricks Jim Grobe will pull out of the bag for the Cardinals. Considering what Rutgers did to close down L’ville I would not count Wake Forest out of this one. I am also bound to pick Wake because I promised never to pick against them again.
Wake Forest 34 Lousiville 33