Bowl season is my favorite part of the year. Twenty-one days of a daily, glorious, bad-college-football orgy, punctuated only by empty Sundays when none of the purest form of football is played. This week is the orgiest of them all, too, since every day contains multiple games between teams that are trying to convince themselves that a 5-loss season really isn't as bad as it sounds.
Kyle, MaconDawg, and Spears have done a yeoman's job of steering you through the MACtion and SUN BELT-ion portion of bowl season, but I am the lucky one that drew the honor of tackling the crown jewel. No, not the National Championship Game. We all know that Nick Saban is already gone to the Penn State job, and LSU is going to pound the Crimson Tide into merely a crimson trickle on January 9.
No, the crown jewel of the bowl season is, and always has been, New Year's Day*, my friends. Since the beginning of (college football) time, teams have always striven to be good enough to be invited to a New Year's Day* bowl game. It is the one day a year when there is college football on the TV all day and fans are free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the reverie without the distraction of turkey and dressing or distributing gifts amongst your various friends and family members.
So without further ado, I bring you the following previews and picks for 5 of the 6 New Year's Day* bowls, and the traditional SEC** crown jewel, the Sugar Bowl. I hope you enjoy the following analysis, but please, Don't Bet On It!
We'll be ensconced in no-college-football wasteland pretty soon, so enjoy these bowls while you have them! (This picture has been lawya'd)
* - This season, the term "New Year's Day" has been legally changed to refer to January 2, 2012. "Legally" in the sense that "it's legal at Dawg Sports," that is.
** - For the 2011-2012 bowl season, the term "SEC" has been expanded to include games featuring the Virginia Tech Hokies, who are really too good of a program to be considered part of the ACC.
Listed in chronological order by kickoff time (all times Eastern), and all lines are from vegasinsider.com:
- The Capitol One Presents "What's in your wallet besides a ticket to indentured servitude and slavery to a big bank that extended you too much credit?" Bowl - #20 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. #9 South Castlevania Gamecocks
Yes, I know Spears already covered this game, but I'd already written most of this post before he posted his article, and it kind of ruins my "New Year's Day" motif to exclude it. Besides, I hate credit cards almost as much as I hate Florida, and I wanted to get a dig in at the Viking pillagers of the credit card world. Also, I wanted to reinforce the new EDSBS-created meme of calling them "South Castlevania." I don't know if this will piss off fans of the Fighting Simon Belcocks, but I sure hope so.
And by the way, Spears is right. Our neighbors to the northeast will whip the
vampires Huskers into submission, primarily with their superior defense.
Prediction: South Castlevania 27, Nebraska 17 (SCAR -2.5)
You know, a company implying that you can legally do something that is inherently illegal is a perfect sponsor for this game between teams that have tried to do just that in recent years. Ohio State is firmly entrenched in "look ahead to next season" mode, with Urban Meyer already hired but serving as a glorified cheerleader until about 5 minutes after the conclusion of this game. Florida, conversely, is in "stop the bleeding" mode of a disappointing season punctuated by the loss of their decided schematic offensive coordinator to the Kansas head coaching job. (And speaking of which, damn Kansas, do you love you some fat football coaches or what?)
I'm actually not sure who will win this game, because both teams have horribad offenses and reasonably solid defenses. I'm also sorely conflicted between wanting to extend Ohio State's 0-9 record (ok, *-9) against the SEC all-time in bowl games and hating Florida with the fire of a thousand suns being fueled by the fire of an additional thousand suns. Aw, who am I kidding. I know which side is going to win the battle of my heart.
DBOI Prediction: Tattooed Nuts 28, Sunshine State Saurians 9 (OSU +2)***
Wisconsin, always being a victim of the LOLBIGANDSLOW nature of the B1G, has shown what can happen if a top-level B1G team could recruit even one athlete with southern-type speed (and only ACC-caliber talent). Oregon, on the other hand, is a legitimate Pac-12 power with players that could dominate virtually any team from any conference not named "the SEC," even if they can't take a little Disneyland ride.
DBOI Prediction: Oregon 42, Wisconsin 35 (Oregon -5.5)
I actually like thinking of this bowl as an actual physical bowl of microwaved Velveeta and New-York-City salsa, accompanied by a poorly-handled (read:standard) bag of Tostitos chips that have been collectively broken into pieces too small to be useful in scooping up any dip. And in this metaphor, Oklahoma State is the Velveeta (except more orange), Stanford is the expensive salsa that's exactly the same quality as the cheap stuff but for 8x the price because of the brand name, and the broken and useless tortilla chips are both teams' defenses.
You need to watch this game, because this is going to be the most entertaining BCS game of the season. Defense is optional, and many, many points will be scored. It's sort of like MAC-tion, except the teams actually have good offenses. First to 50 wins!
DBOI Prediction: Oklahoma State 50, Stanford 45 (OKST -4)
January 3, 2012
What? Why didn't I use a cutesy-name like I did for the other bowls? Well, to be honest, this bowl is going to be exactly as boring as you think it's going to be. In spite of both teams' reputation for traveling well, both have struggled to sell their allotment of 17,500 tickets. In truth, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome crowd might look a lot like this, except with a dome on top:
I suppose somebody has to win, though... so I'll choose the honorary SEC Sugar Bowl representative.
DBOI Prediction: Va. Tech 24, Michigan 21 (VPI +2.5)
Enjoy your last gasp of college football! It must sustain you through the long offseason! Even the VPI/Michigan game can serve as fuel to feed our collective long spring and summer hibernation! Just remember... Don't Bet On It! And...
*** - You should probably do the exact opposite of this, even though you shouldn't bet on it. I just hate Florida so much that I can't pick them to win any game ever, even against a B1G team that has never officially beaten an SEC team in a bowl game.