My performance in my first set of bowl picks having been predictably poor, I turn now to my next installment of postseason prognostications with more than my usual level of trepidation, which makes it all the more imperative that I reiterate, and you take to heart, my oft-repeated admonition: Don’t Bet On It!
These are the next five bowl games to be coming your way:
Insight Bowl: Kansas v. Minnesota (December 31): It’s the battle of the cupcake-scarfing parvenu programs previously coached by Glen Mason! (As a Georgia fan, I naturally have a deep-seated disdain for Coach Mason, for two reasons. First of all, his eleventh-hour defection produced the Jim Donnan
era error at Georgia. Secondly, if your choice of places to live is between Lawrence, Kans.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Athens, Ga., and the Classic City is your third choice, you’re a moron.) This is the game that separates the pretenders from the even bigger pretenders, which makes it tough to call, but, in the end, the Big 12 simply is better than the Big Ten, so I’m going with the Jayhawks to beat the Gophers in perhaps the silliest mascot battle this side of the Orange Bowl.
I mean, really, what the heck is a Bearcat? And don’t even get me started on that whole Hokie nonsense. . . .
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Georgia Tech v. Louisiana State (December 31): I’m siding with the Tigers. Yeah, I know. The Yellow Jackets shredded our defense and L.S.U.’s defense is even worse than ours, so this is purely wishful thinking on my part. Even though Les Miles’s teams have posted some pretty impressive bowl wins and the Pelican State Prowlers have been weak primarily against the pass rather than against the run, I can’t back up this prediction with anything more than my own heartfelt desire to see the Golden Tornado faithful given some reason---any reason---to shut the heck up after a solid month of posturing and crowing. Such is the distinction between one Peach State program that considers 9-3 cause for celebration and another that deems it a dismal failure.
Outback Bowl: Iowa v. South Carolina (January 1): It’s funny how the passage of time can change your whole attitude towards the past. Well, the passage of time and the advent of intervening S.O.B.s who make previous S.O.B.s seem slightly less bad. Readers of my Red and Black columns during the 1990s know that I was no fan of Charles B. Knapp, but certain subsequent University of Georgia presidents I could name have tempered my disdain for Dr. Knapp. Likewise, the arrival of Urban Meyer in Gainesville has made me appreciate just how relatively low Steve Spurrier scored on the obnoxiometer. Heck, I’ve even gotten to where I almost sort of border a little bit on something vaguely resembling kind of not altogether hating the Evil Genius, which makes it much easier for me to pick the Gamecocks to beat the Hawkeyes in what may or may not be a clash of avian mascots.
Ah, who am I kidding; I still can’t stand the pompous jerk, but I’m rooting for his team in the bowl game. If I’m going to have to put up with trash talk from other fan bases, I at least want it coming from people who don’t talk with a funny accent.
Capital One Bowl: Georgia v. Michigan State (January 1): Shades of Andre Rison! It’s the 1989 Gator Bowl all over again . . . with a similar result. I’ll get back to you on the details next week, but you didn’t think I’d be picking against the ’Dawgs, did you?
Gator Bowl: Clemson v. Nebraska (January 1): Shades of Danny Ford! It’s the 1982 Orange Bowl all over again . . . except for there not being a national championship implication in sight, of course. I understand that the pregame introductions ("Bo, Dabo . . . Dabo, Bo") will be conducted by Eiffel 65. (Honestly, I spent more time on that last joke than I did on this entire pick, as I nearly went with the coaches’ surnames and a Scritti Politti reference for the "pregame introductions" joke.) The Country Gentlemen have been a new team since Tommy Bowden’s ouster and I look for that trend to continue in Jacksonville, a city in which it usually is a good bet to pick the team wearing orange to beat the team wearing red. The question isn’t whether the Tigers will win, but whether Bo Pelini will punch a Clemson defender after the game-sealing interception.
Oh, don’t act like it would surprise you in the slightest if he totally blew a head-gasket on live T.V. (Photograph from Reuters Pictures.)
We’re now all the way to New Year’s Day, with a couple of more January 1 tilts to go before we get into the historically anomalous January 2 showdowns. (Don’t worry; we’ll be getting to your January 3 International Bowl and January 6 GMAC Bowl soon enough. Patience, grasshopper.)
I’ll be back with the next five bowl prognostications shortly, but, in the meantime, take a look at how lousy a job I did with my first set of forecasts and follow the only responsible course of action; namely . . . Don’t Bet On It!