I’ll probably prepare a preview of next year in the coming weeks, just as I’ll do my annual look back on my predictions and how the season shook out. (That should rattle the cage enough to get some of you clowns to chime in.) But in the end, this blog is on life support, and a mysterious ghostly guy with a flowing black robe and unrecognizable face just knocked on the door, holding a large sickle.
So with that being said, lets fast forward through the Creighton basketball losses and the national news stories of politicians who are (gasp) crooked. Let’s take a quick look at the Big 12’s unimpressive seven bowl games. As I claim during my annual August predictions, please remember these are for entertainment purposes only.
ALAMO BOWL - #25 Missouri vs. #22 Northwestern
*I’ve heard Missouri’s season described as disastrous, disappointing and a complete failure. With that being said, 2 of their losses were to 2 of the best 3 teams in the nation, while the other 2 were against bowl teams…one on the last play and one on the last drive. Northwestern brings a bit of a different wrinkle to stereotypical Big 10 speed or lack thereof. Because Northwestern runs the spread, look for the Tiger defense to continue to struggle. Collin Cowherd said today on air that picking bowls is easy, because you always want to decide based on who wants to be there and who doesn’t. I’m guessing Missouri would rather sit through a live taping of Deal or no Deal than be in San Antonio. Northwestern should come out fired up and pissed off due to Iowa’s selection over the Cats. Even then, Mizzou’s superior speed should be more than NU can handle….barely.
BEL prediction: Missouri 54 - Northwestern 41
HOLIDAY BOWL - #13 Oklahoma State vs. #15 Oregon
* As I’ve stated before, I have always loved the Holiday Bowl. Not sure why, but the matchups were always good and there is no city on earth cooler than San Diego. This might be one of the best matchups of the bowl season. Oregon hasn’t exactly blown people away in recent weeks, although they did look very good vs. Oregon State. Okie State has weapons galore, but I’m not sure they’ve seen a running team like Oregon. I haven’t seen the Vegas lines as of yet, but I can’t imagine they would be too far apart. Both teams had lopsided victories in mid level bowls last year. I’d be shocked if they separate that much this year. But…since Okie State is a bit more battle tested….
BEL prediction: Oklahoma State 45 - Oregon 38
INSIGHT BOWL – Kansas vs. Minnesota
* Yeesh. With the exception of their loss in Lincoln, KU at least can claim their losses have come to some pretty good opponents. As we saw in Kansas City 2 weeks ago, the Jayhawks’ potential rides squarely on how hard Todd Reesing plays. Whether Sodd gets excited over the JV scrimmage of Phoenix area bowl games is another story. The Gophers have parlayed a 7-1 record into a 7-5 nosedive that would make Greg Norman proud…including a 55 point home drubbing to a very mediocre Iowa team just before Thanksgiving. Not that KU is that much of a talent-laden superpower, but they certainly have more weapons than anything Minnesota has seen since they stepped off the field in Columbus. I hate to say this…but the KU bowl win streak against pathetic bowl competition looks to continue, and the redleggers will continue to pound their sweater vests in search of respect.
BEL prediction: Kansas 51 - Minnesota 17
GATOR BOWL - Nebraska vs. Clemson
* I’m not going to lie to you…I don’t know that many Clemson fans. However I do know a few things: They hate South Carolina, Their baseball team is good, They fired a Bowden and their education rankings are one of the lowest in the nation. How else can you explain fans in orange swarming to a shitty city to watch their 5 loss underachieving team take on a mediocre former champion? Well, for one they’ve won their last three games…granted they were against a rival and two horrible ACC teams in Duke and Virginia. (not Tech). I do know they also have some pretty good athletes on defense. They also have to be salivating over your crappy 5 walk-on playing ass on the defensive side of the ball as well. Despite the fact that Nebraska sucks balls, this is a pretty good matchup for a Clemson team that was supposed to turn a corner this year. Revenge for 1982 my ass.
BEL Prediction: Clemson 31 - Nebraska 17
COTTON BOWL - # 20 Mississippi vs. #8 Texas Tech
* Another pretty good matchup that doesn’t look that good at first glance. Everybody points to Tech’s insane offense and 11-1 record. And yes, they were the only team to beat Texas…pretty much anywhere. But Tech has a bad habit of playing down to the competition, especially when there isn’t much to play for. (See Baylor 2 weeks ago or the hicks last month.) Ole Miss is another one of those SEC teams that plays defense like a mother, but has trouble scoring points…well, at least against good teams. But they’ve scored 31 or more points in three straight games. Something tells me the Rebs will have something to prove, and Texas Tech will be more worried about fielding Mike Leach questions.
BEL Prediction: Mississippi 42 - Texas Tech 38
FIESTA BOWL - #3 Texas vs. #10 Ohio State
* Texas is really really really pissed off. Usually when teams get slighted..or feel they get slighted, they tend to slink off to their bowl game, and continue to wonder what might have been. But I’ve spoken to quite a few UT fans in recent weeks, and if their players are 1/100th as pissed off as their fans…then you may as well get ready now to click over to the History Channel after the first quarter. OSU was destroyed by USC, and I’d argue to say Texas isn’t that far away from USC, if they’re even behind them at all. This is to me, the most lopsided of all the BCS games.
BEL Prediction: Texas 41 - Ohio State 21
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP - #2 Oklahoma vs. #1 Florida
* If Nice guys finish last, Bob Stoops should be favored by triple digits in this one. I saw with my own eyes the offensive power that Oklahoma has in its arsenal, and I’m not exactly sure what Florida has to match it. Granted, Tim Tebow is unlike anybody OU has ever seen, I have trouble thinking they’ll be able to keep up with the pace that OU runs with. The key is Florida putting pressure on Sam Bradford…who let’s face it..we don’t know how he does under pressure, because he never comes under pressure. Florida is good but not great in sacks and tackles for loss. Not nearly good enough to get to Bradford as Texas did way back when. This should be close, but I’d be shocked if OU was challenged past the 3rd quarter.
BEL Prediction: Oklahoma 41 - Florida 27