I have to say this, and if you're not a Georgia Bulldog fan, you may throw up....HOW 'BOUT THEM DAWGS??!! Well, they laid an egg before getting on the board with two td's in a span of sixty seconds just two minutes before the first half ended on an 81 yard kickoff return by Brandon Boykin (his 3rd for a TD this year), and a blocked punt that led to a quick score from two yards out. They went on to crush Texas A&M 44-20 yesterday in the Independence Bowl. This is a good thing for the Original Retro Brand staffers involved in the 12 BOWLS OF CHRISTMAS CONTEST. This was one of only 2 games out of the 26 Bowl games in the contest, that was picked unanimously by all (Oregon over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl is the other). Thus the standings are as follows after all picked up a W:
Andy 7-1 Marc 4-4 Cassidy 4-4 Rick 4-4
(In case you missed yesterday's post, click here to see my predictions for tonight's UCLA-Temple, & Miami-Wisconsin games, plus tomorrow's Arizona-Nebraska)
Am I one of those SEC snobs who believes no other conference really stacks up? I shouldn't be, but I am. A good case in point is my belief that the Tennessee Vols will nip the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl. The Vols routed the Georgia Bulldogs, kept things close with Florida when it was supposed to be a rout, and nearly beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I'll give VT credit for knocking off ranked teams in back-to-back weeks (Nebraska & Miami), but they were supposed to win the ACC this year, and fizzled when they ran into Georgia Tech and North Carolina. VOLS - 24, VT - 21 (Marc, Rick & Cassidy all picking VT)
The Oklahoma Sooners are an inconsistent team that I just can't count on either way. Are they the team that shut out # 12 Oklahoma State to end the regular season, or the team that got whooped by a sub-par Texas Tech team the week before 41-13? I actually don't think it matters either way, as they take on a superior Stanford Cardinal team in the Sun Bowl. Toby Gerhart scored 26 touchdowns this season - 26!! The Cardinal are an offensive juggernaut, putting up 50+ points against PAC -10 tough guys Oregon & USC on consecutive weekends. The Stanford D may give up 30, but they will match their 36 pts per game average to win. Stanford - 36, Oklahoma - 30. (Pac-10 lovers Marc. Rick, & Cassidy all picked Oklahoma?)
NAVY quarterback Ricky Dobbs will be carrying the weight for the Midshipmen (led team in passing AND rushing) as they take on the Missouri Tigers and Blaine Gabbert, in the Texas Bowl. NAVY nearly knocked off Ohio State to open the season, and beat Notre Dame for the second time in three years enroute to their 7th straight season with at least 8 wins. Mizzou stormed out to a 5-0 start before dropping 3 straight to ranked fellow Big 12 teams. They even dropped one to a horrible Baylor Bears team, before righting the ship to win their last 3 games. Former NAVY and current Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson left a positive mark on the academy program, and that still reverberates to this day. NAVY - 31, Missouri - 27. (Marc is with me on this one, while Rick and Cassidy are going with the Tigers)
I can't think of any game on the Bowl schedule that matches up more identical teams than the Minnesota Gophers and the Iowa State Cyclones in the Insight Bowl. Both have 6-6 overall records, and both were 3-5 in their respective conferences. Both have identical records at home (4-3) and on the road (2-3). More? The Gophers scored 259 points...just 6 more than the Cyclones. A little more? The Gophers gave up 295 points...just 24 more than the Cyclones. What does this all mean? It means it will be a close game and I'm picking the Gophers because I like Goldy the Minnesota mascot better than the cardinal mascot of Iowa State. Gophers - 23, Cyclones - 20. (Marc is lone staffer picking Iowa State on this one.)
Enjoy the action tonight, and be sure to check out my next batch of picks tomorrow.