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article imageOp-Ed: Time to Go Bowling with College Football

By Michael Bearak     Dec 6, 2009 in Sports
It's beginning to look a lot like college bowl season. Yes, it is both with a sense of depression and excitement that we get to this point of the year.
I am entering the last phase of the truly great part of my year. I start to look at the glass half empty rather than half full, sorry to say that but it is true. In August I get all excited suddenly we kick the women and their petty gossip away from the watercooler so the real discussion of football can begin! That is so great I look forward to it from the end of the Super Bowl through the spring games for college, then to when the pros report and lastly when the professionals and the collegiates take the field in last August. That is about how my year of sports runs. I think I pass the time watching bocci-ball and lawn darts with a sprinkling of NHL and NBA, until that ends then it is just baseball, baseball, baseball. I guess we have NASCAR, which helps, but it isn't enough.
This is the 2nd wind of the football season, the college bowl season. While I can't post and comment on every game I wanted to take a look at a few of them. Some are high profile games while others are not, but should prove interesting just the same. Bowl season starts on December 19th with two games and then runs all the way through January 7, 2010. ESPN has the full list of 2009-2010 bowl games.
December 22nd: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon State vs. BYU--Both teams played incredible seasons. Oregon State played an incredible game for the PAC-10 title and were just a matter of a possession from playing in the Rose Bowl. BYU lost to Florida State and BCS' TCU. This is going to be a head knocker from start to finish. Either team is capible of running away with the game but I just don't see it happening. BYU jumped onto the scene this year when they literally knocked out Sam Bradford and Oklahoma. This is a game that shouldn't be over looked.
December 26th: Meineke CarCare Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina--Both of these teams are very good. I really am hoping that I will be covering this game for Digital Journal. Again two evenly matched up teams. This is really going to be almost a home game for UNC and their fans are plentiful in Charlotte. Both coaches understand how to win bowl games, but I really think the coaching edge goes to UNC and Butch Davis. Just the same the tallent edge is in favor of Pitt. I don't see Pitt losing 3 straight and they were a possession away from beating Cincinatti and being in the Sugar Bowl. I see Pitt leaving all of North Carolina blue.
December 30th: Pacific Life Holiday Bowl: Arizona vs. Nebraska--Again another head knocker. Arizona had a shot at the Pac-10 and gave Oregon everything they could handle and then some. Nebraska lost to Texas for the Big-12 on a last second field goal. Look for a high scoring contest. The game really could come down again to the team with the ball last, or the play of special teams. Don't over look some big kick returns as playing with a short field can alter posession count in a game.
December 31: Brut Sun Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Stanford--This is going to be a coming out party for Stanford and coach Mike Harbaugh. Welcome to post season play Stanford and you are being served a lame duck Oklahoma who has been hurting since week 1. Oklahoma's season has been a mess since BYU first injure Sam Bradford. I think coach Stoops just wants to get the season over and start to focus on recruiting and next year. Stanford leaves it all on the field and run the Sooners packing in their covered wagon back north out of El Paso and across the Red River back home.
December 31: Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee--Pride and tradition vs a big mouth first year coach. I don't know what Lane Kifflin has in mind but I would advise he keeps his thoughts to himself. Florida made sure he couldn't back up his talk this year and Frank Beamer is too classy of a guy for Kifflin to go after. Kifflin's problem is that if the chance exists he won't be able to resist and he will run his mouth. Beamer won't shoot back, he will shoot holes in the Tennessee defense and shut down their offense. Don't tick off Frank.
January 1: Capital One Bowl: Penn State vs. LSU--Two great programs, one great game. I am not sure this will be the best game of the bowl season but it might be one of the top 3 or 5 games easily. The problem I see is that you don't always know exactly who you get out of Penn State. LSU is very good in bowl games. If Penn State brings their best game against LSU I see it being a low scoring afair. I am not sure Penn State has enough weapons to match up with LSU, but they play well enough as a team. I think LSU pulls this out, it will definately be over in 60 minutes though.
January 1: Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon--Oregon historically is not a good bowl team, but in recent years they have had a great deal of success against the Big-10. Oregon has been in a number of tight games this year especially the last two against Arizona and Oregon State and being in Pasedena it is almost a home game for the Ducks. The Ducks destroyed USC who in turn beat-up Ohio State at the Horseshoe. If the Ducks offense gets hot and the defense can control the run look for the Duck to run it up and get Chip Kelly a Rose Bowl ring to go along with his Pac-10 ring all in his first year. A big win by the Ducks you could be seeing the start of a new dynasty. If the defense can't control the run it will be a shootout.
January 1: Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Cincinnati--Cincinnati will make this interesting but Urban Meyer isn't going to lose two in a row and he and the Gators will take out their frustration at missing out on another Championship Ring on the Bearcats. Florida will pull away in the second half.
January 2: AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss--Two fairly evenly matched teams. It is just always interesting when the SEC goes up against the Big-12. Look for overtime in a thriller in Dallas.
January 4: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. TCU--To me this is the most intriguing match-up of the year. Boise State only played one very good team in Oregon in week 1. TCU has played a good tough schedule and truly deserves to be here. Boise mixes things up really well and basically played a practice schedule all season to get the to a BCS game. If the TCU defense finds rhythm and keeps their feet under them look for them to control and beat-up the high flying Broncos. Otherwise you are going to have another shootout to resemble that of the OK-Corral in Glendale.
January 5: FedEx Orange Bowl: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech-- This is going to be a great game. Iowa is a very good team and could play against a lot of the teams in the BCS games. Georgia Tech has gotten better and better every week this year and they showed it against Clemson. Depending on who is at quarterback for Iowa will tell the possible success they could have in the game. Look for Iowa to pull this out one way or another.
January 7: BCS Championship Game: Texas vs. Alabama--Texas is going up against a team that has history on their side. There aren't a lot of teams much better than Alabama in the World, 12 National Championships, 56 bowl appearances, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Gene Stallings. Most people thought that Nick Saban had bitten off more than he could chew by taking this job in 2007. Each season has subsequently gotten better and better for the Tide. Texas comes in this Mack Brown and Colt McCoy. Texas' history while not as prestigious as 'Bama's, but nothing to scoff at with 48 bowl appearances and 4 National Championships. I think the fans are getting what they deserve here. This is a night to sit back with some really great snacks, drink(s) of your choice, family and/or friends and watch what will be a very exciting game.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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