The outcome of this afternoon’s Army-Navy game finalized the Division I-A postseason lineup, so now we are able to begin (albeit not end; there are a lot of these games, you know) taking a look at this year’s bowl pairings. My 4-3 record in last weekend’s predictions brought me to 69-16 (.812) in SEC forecasts, 35-33 (.515) in non-conference prognostications, and 104-49 (.680) in overall picks for 2009. Perhaps now would be a good time to remind you . . . Don’t Bet On It!
Here are the first four games of the 2009 bowl season, the earliest of which will occur only one week from today (which hopefully will keep tankertoad’s Saturday from sucking):
New Mexico Bowl: Fresno St. Bulldogs v. Wyoming Cowboys (Dec. 19): All right, seriously, this isn’t a rematch of a conference game? I genuinely find that hard to believe. The Cowboys will arrive in Albuquerque fresh from a 6-6 season that included losses to the Texas Longhorns, Colorado Buffaloes, Brigham Young Cougars, and TCU Horned Frogs by margins of 31, 24, 52, and 35 points, respectively. Wyoming simply hasn’t so much as shown up against anyone even passably good. The West Coast Bulldogs are passably good.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl: Central Florida Golden Knights v. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Dec. 19): On a day we all spent watching the Army Black Knights put forth a pretty good first-half effort in an attempt to earn a bowl bid, we now find ourselves confronting the prospect of two more groups of color-coded paladins squaring off in the postseason. It’s almost as though the Nike guys in charge of the Oregon Ducks’ uniforms were digitally enhancing the costumes in "Excalibur." I don’t know whether this one will begin with a coin toss or a jousting tournament, but I’m confident it will end with a Rutgers victory.
New Orleans Bowl: Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders v. Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (Dec. 20): Really, now, you can’t be telling me this isn’t a rematch of a conference game, can you? I mean, I’ve been in Sanford Stadium to see the Georgia Bulldogs up the integer in the left-hand side of their ledger against both of these teams. Then again, I’ve also been in the Classic City to see the Red and Black come up short against one of these teams, so that’s the one I’m picking to win. Southern Miss annually opens the season as the No. 25 team on my BlogPoll ballot in a nod to Matt Hinton and the Golden Eagles will end this season with a win.
Las Vegas Bowl: BYU Cougars v. Oregon St. Beavers (Dec. 22): Two things about this game continue to baffle me. First of all, if the bowl in Nashville is the Music City Bowl and the bowl in Detroit used to be the Motor City Bowl, shouldn’t the bowl in Las Vegas be the Sin City Bowl? Secondly, how strange is it that this bowl keeps playing host to Brigham Young, a school whose student-athletes consider caffeine morally objectionable? I’m not sure whether Oregon State’s presence in this game attests more to the depth of the Pac-10 as a conference or the crummy quality of the league’s postseason tie-ins, but, either way, if what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, then what’s staying in Vegas is a Beaver beatdown of the overrated Cougars.
You know, I know, and the American people know that I’m flying blind on these early predictions, so, even if you find that my forecasts make sense to you in the later games, that should not cause you to place faith in my initial set of prognostications. Simply stated, whatever you do . . . Don’t Bet On It!