After three games that left a lot to be desired, though MTSU/Southern Miss wasn’t too bad, we’ve finally made it to three games that absolutely are worth watching. I’m not gonna blow smoke up your ass about these games being so amazing that you can’t miss them, but I promise you will definitely be entertained.
I can also take this moment to complain once again that the BCS put TCU and Boise against each other instead of against major conference teams. Is is a TCU/Georgia Tech and Boise/Iowa matchup really too much to ask if Texas is going to back into the title game anyway? It’s obvious the BCS didn’t want the outsiders taking down any teams who are in the money. After all, the system needs order, no?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
8 pm ET
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
(18) Oregon State (8-4) vs. (14) Brigham Young (10-2) (-3)
I’m not sure what BYU does that makes it favored here. They are fantastic in executing their system and have Max Hall running things, so you know they’re going to make plays. But Oregon State has a significant speed advantage on BYU’s defense which was exposed by TCU and Florida State, who also happen to be BYU’s two losses. I just don’t know what makes BYU a winner here.
I’ll tell you what wins this game for Oregon State, though: The Mike Riley Game. I don’t mean the one where his teams play close with much better teams only to lose painfully in the closing seconds. Oh no. I mean the Mike Riley Game in which his team totally jumps all over their opponent, only to let them back in and win close anyway. Notice how nothing is every comfortable when it involves Mike Riley. That’s what I think happens here.
And by the way, if I asked you who the first-team all-Pac-10 quarterback for this year was, you’d answer Jeremiah Masoli, the pilot of the conference champs, right? Wrong. It’s Oregon State’s Sean Canfield. I really don’t know why he won it, though his stats were good. I think maybe they had the gig saved for Mark Sanchez, but he left school early so they had to give it to some one.
Pick: Oregon State
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
8 pm ET
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
(23) Utah (9-3) vs. California (8-4) (-3.5)
I’m not sure what to say about Utah here. Both the Utes and BYU have possibly a bigger job proving the MWC is legit than TCU does. The Horned Frogs just get to play Boise, who’s from the WAC. But both Utah and BYU have to beat Pac-1o squads that don’t totally suck, which presents something of a problem for the Pac-10 too.
I think the good Utah and the good Cal show up in San Diego on Wednesday. But the good Cal’s defense is really, really porous against spread teams, so I’m sticking with Utah, though their youth and lack of depth is scary. At this point in the season, the freshmen really aren’t young anymore, but bowl games have this weird effect on their psyches.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
8 pm ET
Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl
Nevada (8-4) vs. Southern Methodist (7-5) (-15)
June Jones is coming home to Hawai’i. I’m guessing the reception will be mixed because most Hawai’i fans are aware that the university just couldn’t afford to move the program up a level like he wanted. On the other hand, I think a lot of people probably still feel abandoned by him.
Colin Kaepernick is going to show the Indiana offensive staff (and the country as well) what the pistol offense is supposed to look like. After all, the Wolfpack is the leading rushing offense in the country, not one of the service academies or Georgia Tech. Despite losing their best running back, Nevada is going to run all over SMU’s crap defense. I’m not saying I want to see Ben Chappell running the ball a ton next year. I’m just saying.
In a normal year for a June Jones team, I’d say his team is very likely to light up a defense as forgiving as Nevada’s, but this is an overachieving SMU team, so I’m thinking Nevada has the easier time of it on Thursday. This is your game of the week, folks. I’m telling you. Could be a fantastic shootout.