Let’s take an early glance at the five BCS games. We’re not going to pick then until later. it’s a long time before they play and much can change. I will give you an early thought of where I’m leaning:
BCS championship: Alabama (13-0) vs. Texas (13-0), Jan. 7: Based on the last game of the two teams Alabama, the SEC champ, is going to be about a touchdown favorite over the Big 12 champs, who needed some fortune and a 46-yard field goal at the buzzer to beat Nebraska for the Big 12 championship. Alabama was a supremely well-coached and confident team when it beat Florida 32-13 for the SEC title. The game will come down to Alabama’s ability to press and stress Texas QB Colt McCoy. That’s why I’m leaning to the Crimson Tide.
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech (11-2) vs Iowa (10-2), Jan. 5: This will match an irresistible force, Georgia Tech’s rushing offense, against an immovable object, an Iowa defense that has given opponents problems all season and allows only 11.5 ppg. Remember that some teams are able to use the extra preparation for bowl games to really teach their teams how to defend it. That extra time certainly helped LSU before beating Tech soundly in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last season. Still I’m leaning towards Georgia Tech.
Sugar Bowl: Florida (12-1) vs. Cincinnati (12-0), Jan. 1: A year ago Alabama faced an undefeated team from outside the Big Conferences in Utah. The Utes simply outplayed Alabama, who had not gotten over losing in the SEC championship game just a month before. The little guys get geeked up when they play one of the big boys because they have something to prove. What the Bearcats don’t have to prove is that Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard can throw and catch the ball with great precision. I like Florida in this one if the Gators show up to play. Looks like Tim Tebow has to have one more good pregame speech in him.
Fiesta Bowl: TCU (12-0) vs. Boise State (13-0), Jan. 4: Some of the media boys and girls out there have been trashing this matchup because these two teams are matched against each other instead of one of the big boys. But when you walk through the selection process this was the best game for the Fiesta. The bowl took TCU with its first pick. The Orange then took Iowa off the table. The Fiesta’s choices were the Big East champ (Cincinnati) or Boise. Both were undefeated. Neither is a great TV draw. Boise had already proven it will travel to Glendale, Ariz. The Fiesta took the best bowl for them. I like TCU in this game because the Horned Frogs have the nation’s No. 1 defense (233.5 ypg)
Rose Bowl: Oregon (10-2) vs. Ohio State (10-2), Jan.1 : I like the Ducks for a couple of reasons. The first is quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is playing as well as any dual-threat quarterback in the country. They can beat you with the run or the pass. Ohio State will be out to break a six-game losing streak by the Big Ten in BCS games. Ohio State, which played its last game on Nov. 21, has traditionally not handled the long layoff well if the opponent is pretty good. I’m giving a definite early lean to Oregon.
We’ll take a look at the SEC and ACC Bowls later.
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