(16) Alabama (9-3) vs. (9) Michigan State (11-1) (+10)
I realize it would just be more money for the rich among the college football teams, but isn’t one of the fundamental flaws in the BCS that UConn gets to play a BCS game while these two teams are in Orlando? Sure, it’s a New Year’s Day bowl, so things aren’t all bad, but just winning a conference shouldn’t earn a team millions of extra dollars when they’re clearly worse than like 40 teams.
Anyway, at least we get one more quality bowl game since that Oklahoma/UConn game is a stinker.
Alabama and Michigan State are very, very similar, which makes sense since Mark Dantonio worked for Nick Saban when he was at Michigan State back in the day. Everyone is going to try to run the ball and play the defense while not relying too much on the quarterback.
Or at least that’s what everyone thought Alabama would do when they played Auburn. That’s still the most inexplicable game management decision of the last five years or so. Why Saban would go away from the formula that has always worked for him and why he would let Auburn play its own game is going to be a subject of debate for a hell of a long time. Maybe he knew the game will one day have never happened according to the NCAA since Cam Newton is sketchy as hell.
Alabama’s talent should carry the day since both coaches already know what the other is going to do. There’s no way Saban leaves the game in Greg McElroy’s hands again. I have too much faith in the evil genius. Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram should get 18-25 carries each plus some receptions and the Tide should have no problem scoring the 24 or so points necessary to beat MSU.
Michigan State has accomplished an amazing season and placed themselves among the elite in the Big Ten, but they’re no Wisconsin when it comes to power football. And as good a coach as Dantonio is, he can’t run the plays too. The styles these teams use will keep the game relatively close, but Michigan State doesn’t have the weapons to overtake Alabama.
Pick: Alabama wins but doesn’t cover