Having already sparked disagreement and risked incurring the wrath of Dr. Saturday with my first set of picks, I now turn to the next installment of my postseason prognostications, with respect to all of which my regular disclaimer remains very much in effect: Don’t Bet On It!
These are the next five bowl games, which take us up to and beyond Christmas:
Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State v. Texas Christian (December 23): This actually may be the best bowl matchup prior to the Holiday Bowl; it certainly is the best coaching matchup in the initial portion of the college football postseason. Honestly, I wouldn’t have given you odds two weeks ago on both Gary Patterson and Chris Petersen still being employed at mid-major institutions at kickoff. (Hey . . . Patterson . . . Petersen . . . weird.) I generally go with the Horned Frogs to stage the upset whenever they face an opponent with a higher profile but not necessarily a better football program, but there’s a reason why T.C.U. is the best mid-major never to have made a B.C.S. bowl game. The Broncos will trample the Frogs beneath their hooves and eat the flora that are the namesake of this postseason affair.
Not really, though, because poinsettias are poisonous. Boise State will win the game, though. I was serious about that part.
Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii v. Notre Dame (December 24): What do the Fighting Irish, the Warriors, and marijuana have in common? They all get smoked in a bowl. This game should be billed as "The Battle of the Bogus Sugar Bowl Bid Recipients," since neither of these teams has done anything to deserve a B.C.S. bowl bid since there was such a thing as a B.C.S. bowl bid, yet the rest of us have had to suffer through seeing such arguments play out in the inevitable manner. (Playoff advocates, be warned . . . we’d have been better off just voting Hawaii and Notre Dame out of contention rather than having to endure the blowouts that came when we settled it on the field.) It wasn’t too many years ago that the Golden Domers deemed themselves too good to participate in postseason play, but any pretense of superiority evaporated somewhere around the time of the 1997 Independence Bowl. I’m really not happy with the fact that I have to pick the Irish in this one, but Charlie Weis finally has figured out what Georgia fans realized when it dawned on them that Vince Dooley was 8-10-2, and Jim Donnan was 4-0, in bowl games; namely, that, if you lose all the games that matter during the regular season, you’ll get to go to a bowl game that’s crummy enough to offer an opponent so lousy you’ll be able to beat them.
Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan v. Florida Atlantic (December 26): I believe the combination of a powerful offense and a strong contingent of local fans on hand in Detroit will earn the Chippewas the win at Ford Field. Sorry, no joke for this game; F.A.U. fans are sensitive souls.
Yeah, Florida Atlantic is the one with Howard Schnellenberger. By the way, you can order a laminated 4’ x 25’ team group shot of the 2007 New Orleans Bowl champion Owls for just $2,700 by clicking here! (You’re welcome.)
Meineke Car Care Bowl: North Carolina v. West Virginia (December 27): Charlotte plays host to this showdown of steppingstone programs, as the school from which Mack Brown bolted for Texas faces the team Rich Rodriguez ditched for Michigan. Despite the fact that both universities have lost elite coaches to big-name institutions, though, the Tar Heels have something the Mountaineers don’t: a head coach other teams would actually want to hire. The turnaround Butch Davis has engineered in Chapel Hill is nearly as remarkable as the one Bill Stewart has wrought in Morgantown in the opposite direction. North Carolina will save its home state couches from being ignited by interlopers.
Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State v. Wisconsin (December 27): Honestly, I’d actually kind of be looking forward to a postseason meeting between the Badgers and the Seminoles if it took place in a bowl game named for an agricultural product rather than mass-produced apparel (of the sort you may purchase as a Christmas gift for that special Bulldog fan in your life by clicking here!), but this venue just seems a little bit sad for both contestants. I think F.S.U. has the talent, and has shown sufficient signs of life, to close the deal against Wiscy, but, really, this game is beneath both of these programs, isn’t it?
Well, now we have ten bowl picks beneath our belts. That just leaves 97 remaining! I’ll be back before long with the next five forecasts, which will carry us as far as the day before the day before New Year’s Day! In the meantime, remember, whatever you do . . . Don’t Bet On It!