I was thinking of something to write about today on my day off and what better than running through the BCS Bowls? As the Rose Bowl starts as I speak, I will run through the BCS matchups while giving you constant updates.
First, as they sing the National Anthem, the Rose Bowl:
#5 USC vs. #8 Penn State. We finally have a great matchup for the Grand Daddy of them all. There are many times were the winner of the Pac10 or Big10 are playing in the BCS National Championship, but this year both teams will meet in the Rose Bowl.
Make no mistake about it, besides the Championship game; this might easily be the best matchup of all the bowls. Both teams are very similar. While having on-and-off offenses, both teams’ defenses are unbelievable. Both teams rank in the top-15 in all major defensive statistical categories.
You know Joe Pa is looking at the Oregon State game and what they did to get USC into the 4th quarter. Penn State will try to spread things out and throw the ball. Penn State must avoid the linebacking crew, however. Those three will destroy you if you let them.
As I am watching the game right now, USC is already showing that they will be firing down field all game. That being the only breaking point in the Penn State D... the pass defense. USC will lull you to sleep with running it to the outside, and then Sanchez will gun it downfield.
IF Penn State is with USC in the 4th quarter, I think that they will have a shot with an arguably better offense.
Jay’s Prediction: USC- 23, Penn State- 17
USC strikes first, 7-0. Now let’s look at the Orange Bowl:
#12 Cincinnati vs. #19 Virginia Tech. In another battle of Conference Champs, the Big East will take on the ACC. While those Conferences may not be the best all-around in the BCS, both of these teams have had impressive victories and deserve their spot here.
This will be a very interesting matchup in what is, honestly, not the most hyped-up BCS bowl this season. The high-powered Bearcats’ offense (led by Junior QB Tony Pike), will take on the stout Hokies’ defense. One has to give and I, personally, will be excited to see which one does.
The Hokies will have to get some serious production from Tyrod Taylor if they expect to keep up with Cincinnati. Turnovers have been a big problem for the Bearcats. VT will also have to force some interceptions, fumbles, etc. to hang around. With Tech only averaging 175 passing yards per game, they will have to find a way to move the ball.
Cincinnati simply has to do exactly what they have done throughout the season. Move the ball and score. If they can consistently move the ball, they will not have a problem with the Hokies’ shaky offense. Just take it to them and it will be all good. Let’s not forget to mention the Bearcat defense. The D-Line is what has done it for the Cats this season. They have led the Big East in sacks all season long.
Jay’s Prediction: Cincinnati- 24, Virginia Tech- 13
USC in control and driving, 17-7. How about some Sugar?
#4 Alabama vs. #6 Utah. The Crimson Tide will take on an undefeated Utah Utes team that dominated the MWC this year. They will be doing it without, arguably, their best player. An offensive lineman, Andre Smith was suspended for violating the team’s weight-control rule.
The guy will likely be the #2 pick in the NFL Draft, so this makes a huge impact on the game. John Parker Wilson will be forced to get rid of the ball quickly and make smarter, more accurate throws.
Smith will not affect Alabama’s MO, their defense. The Tide has dominated on that side of the ball all year, ranking in the top-6 in both total defense and total scoring defense. This matchup is very similar to the Florida game. The Utes have an extremely similar offensive attack to the Gators, led by star Quarterback Brian Johnson (2700 yards, 24 TDs).
To win, Utah will have to shun all doubters and defeat ‘Bama’s defense. Not to mention, shut down star WR Julio Jones, and put pressure on Wilson.
Alabama just has to keep their cool and don’t let the “heavy favorite” title hurt them. Utah is coming to play, so do not let a Boise State-upset occur. They need to contain Johnson while on defense and make smart plays on the other end. Hand the ball off, and then launch it to one of my favorites… Julio Jones.
Andre Smith won’t completely derail Alabama’s train.
Jay’s Prediction: Alabama- 30, Utah- 21
At the half, it is ALL USC, 31-7. Now a peek at the Fiesta Bowl.
#3 Texas vs. #10 Ohio State. For the 5th time in the past eight seasons, the Buckeyes are going to be hanging around Glendale, Arizona.
The last time that Ohio State was in Glendale, they got shackled 41-14 in the National Championship against the Florida Gators two years ago. It wasn’t the last time that the Bucks were embarrassed. In the only big games that Ohio State played this year, they were smacked around. The USC game looked like it was over before it began, and Penn State looked like the ’85 Bears.
Ohio State will be out to prove their self in another big game. The Ohio State/Texas matchup has always seemed to be a good one and, hopefully, Ohio State will look for some redemption. I am anxious to see how they respond to being the underdog.
The Buckeyes will need to score early and often in order to stay around. Nobody honestly expects the Buckeyes to win this game so why not open up the playbook and look to score, score, score.
They need to score a ton to win this game, but do not be fooled… Scoring 45 points does not necessarily mean you will win against this Texas team. The ‘Horns have a stellar offense anchored by Heisman-runner up Colt McCoy. Does anyone remember the last time a Longhorn was runner up for the Heisman? Do you remember what he did in his respective bowl game? Yeah.
Ohio State is going to be focused on Colt McCoy, and why not? Colt shattered the Comp % record with his 79% completion percentage to beat Daunte Culpepper (if my memory serves me right). The QB is amazing, we all know that… Texas needs to use some play action plays. The Buckeyes are going to be so focused on McCoy, they will get so confused when you throw some play action at them. Plays of that nature are used to get the defense sold on the run when, actually, the QB has it. Ohio State may be anticipating that too much and it, in a way, counteracts itself.
Ohio State will play great, they will play amazing in fact… but a few late turnovers doom the Buckeyes and Texas will sneak out of it with a W.
Jay’s Prediction: Texas- 31, Ohio State- 27
As USC continues to dominate the Nittany Lions, 38-17, here comes my outlook on the BCS National Championship.
#1 Oklahoma vs. #2 Florida. Every single year there are people whining about the BCS and I have expressed my thoughts on that, but this is the system they choose to use and this is the Championship. End of story. So let’s sit down and enjoy the game, because it will be a good one.
The College Football world hasn’t seen as much hype and buildup media-wise since 2005 when, my man, Vince Young squared off against Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. You can only hope that this year’s game is anywhere close to the ’05 game.
Although Oklahoma is the #1 team in the nation according to rankings, history and the numbers show Florida as the favorite. First let’s look at the Heisman. Sam Bradford won it and numbers show that the Heisman winner, in most cases, do not win their bowl game. Heisman trophy winners are 2-6 in their respective bowl games since 2000, including 1-5 in the National Championship game.
We can talk about the Heisman “curse” all we want, and some people say it is irrelevant all considering, but check out Bob Stoops. Oklahoma’s head coach straight up struggles when it comes to winning BCS Bowl games. Since taking over in 2000, Stoops is 4-4 in bowl games. More importantly, he is 2-4 in BCS Bowl games and 1-2 in the National Championship.
The Sooners are statistically the underdog but if they are going to win, they need to keep to Sooner-football this season and what they did to win. Let’s be honest, there isn’t a decent defense in the entire B12 Conference. Bobby, I’m not going to tell you to not worry about defense… but do not think you are going to have a good defensive game because you won’t. This is going to be a showdown. A very high-scoring affair. Just do what you did to my Mizzou, Oklahoma State, etc, etc, etc and run up that scoreboard like no other. Just let Bradford do his thing. Your star RB is out but maybe it isn’t a bad thing.
Florida, obvious, MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST stop one of the best offenses in NCAA history (if not the best). They need to buckle down on defense and get to work. You have watched the tape, prepared, done whatever you need to do; you know what needs to be done to win. All you got to do now is execute. On the other end, don’t you worry… Oklahoma is going to score. Hopefully not 60+ like usual, but they will score, and you will have to match that.
Wow, it is going to be a good one. Oklahoma is just going to do their thing. Florida will put up a fight, but won’t keep up.
Jay’s Prediction: Oklahoma- 42 (nope, not 62), Florida- 35
Oh, what perfect timing. USC denies a Penn State comeback and continues Trojan tradition, 38-24.
Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Please feel free to fill the board up, I appreciate them all.