BCS Bowl Breakdown
Virginia Tech v. Cincinnati (-2)
Most people hate the BCS because it does not give us, the fans, a fair way of determining who should play for the National Championship. I hate it because it gives us “big” bowl games with Virginia Tech facing Cincinnati. Who is going to watch this game outside of Blacksburg, VA and Cincinnati, OH!? To make matters worse, the line is 2 so it isn’t even worth betting on. I will breakdown the game for you in one sentence:
Betting against Frank Beamer rarely makes sense.
Pick: Virginia Tech +2
(That was painful)
Penn St. v. USC (-10)
How in the world is this line just 10 points!?! USC has proven year after year after year that they always show up for the big game and they usually run up the score when they feel they have been cheated by the BCS “system”. Furthermore, Pete Carroll knows that the Rose Bowl is one of the biggest recruiting events for him. All the recruits from cold weather states either watch the game on TV or go to Pasadena to watch USC kill their inferior Big Ten appointment. What 18 year old recruit would choose a cold weather school over 4 years in LA playing for a team that is always in the top 10? The only thing that could change their mind is a USC loss to Penn St. Pete Carroll is not about to let that happen and you can bet (get it) that he will not take his foot off the accelerator when the Trojans are up 21.
Pick: USC -25 (I mean … -10)
This is the lock of the bowl season.
Utah v. Alabama (-10.5)
The pick to win this game is easy … Alabama. However, the line makes this game interesting. Alabama should push Utah around with relative ease and their speed should be overwhelming but is it enough to beat an undefeated team by 11? Asking John Parker Wilson to beat a team by essentially two touchdowns makes me really nervous. When you couple that with Utah’s motivation to prove they can beat an SEC team, I have to go with the underdog.
Pick: Utah +10.5
Ohio St. v. Texas (-10)
Boise St. has killed almost every team they have played this year and NOBODY wants to play them on the big stage. This year is no different. Texas misses out on the National Championship game and now they have to try and get up for a game where they have nothing to gain. You have to love Boise St. in this …
Wait a second, Texas is playing Ohio St.!! Last time I checked, Terrell Pryor cannot complete a pass against a good, not great, Penn St. team and Texas is full of talented players on defense that are lead by one of the best coordinators in the game. Did I forget to mention that Texas is really bitter about how the Big 12 screwed them out of the National Championship and McCoy got shafted in the Heisman voting?
This game is a blowout!
Pick: Texas -10
(The only reason that this game is not the lock of the bowl season is the remote chance McCoy gets hurt and Texas wins 7-0. I would argue that Boise St. deserves to be in this game more than Texas deserves to be in the National Championship game and that is saying something)
Oklahoma v. Florida (-3)
The National Championship game is going to require a little more detail because it is (A) the game most of us care about and (B) it allows me to prove how much I know about both teams.
Oklahoma: If there has been one constant for OU all year it has been the stellar play of the offense. They can seemingly score at will and Bradford has been nothing short of amazing. While I believe McCoy was more deserving, Bradford has had a special year and is very much worthy of the Heisman. Similar to Texas and Vince Young in the 2006 National Championship game, OU’s chance to win this game rides almost solely on Bradford’s ability to dominate the game the way Young did three years ago.
Bradford must shoulder most of the responsibility because Oklahoma does not have a good defense and Bob Stoops is far from a big game coach. Texas and Oklahoma State scored at will on the Sooners and their offenses are very much inferior to Floridas. There is no reason to believe OU will be able to stop Tim Tebow and the Florida offense. Furthermore, Bob Stoops is not a big game coach. I know you have heard this from countless other people but you need to hear it again. Pete Carroll always has USC ready to play in the big games and Bob Stoops is the exact opposite. There are too many examples to name so you need not look any farther than last year’s Fiesta bowl where the Sooners looked disinterested at best. The defense and Stoops are HUGE question marks for the Sooners.
Florida: The strengths of the Gators are speed and Tim Tebow. The Gators are stacked with 5 star recruits that are faster and quicker than any other team in the NCAA. Besides their brain fart against Ole Miss, the Gators have won every game by just being faster to the ball than their opponents. It is hard to believe that the story will be any different on Jan. 8th. Of course, speed is not enough to win a National Championship. You need a leader and the Gators have one of the best leaders in college football history in Tim Tebow. His unselfish play is the reason the Gators are in this game. He could have put up the numbers he did last year but he knew that would not lead to more wins. He changed his game and the results speak for themselves.
The only weakness that can be seen in the Gators game is that they can be pushed around. Alabama was poised for the upset until the real John Parker Wilson emerged and the Crimson Tide offense slowed to one yard in the fourth quarter. Florida will not have that same luxury on Jan. 8th because the Sooners do have an above average offensive line and a supremely talented quarterback. Florida will have to mix-up their defensive play calls in-order to keep the Sooners from turning this game into a shootout which does not benefit the Gators.
Conclusion: Florida has too much speed on both sides of the ball for the Sooners. Bradford has not faced a team with the talent and quickness of the Gators and the lack of a true big play receiver is going to hurt them in the end. Furthermore, Tebow and Percy Harvin will run all over the OU defense just like Texas and Oklahoma State did. After the Georgia-Florida game I said I would take Florida minus 5 over any team in the country and I have no reason to think any differently.
Pick: Florida -3