Alright its that time, and what an AWESOME time it is. Super busy with college football the next two days. I just got done watching a highly entertaining Syracuse/Kansas State game. I’m currently watching Tennessee and North Carolina. So I have Bowls on the brain!

Lets break down the next week’s worth of games.

Friday December 31

Meineke Bowl 12:00pm
South Florida(7-5) vs. Clemson (6-6)

South Florida went 7-5 in the Big East. Clemson’s 6-6 in the ACC is definitely more impressive. This game will take place pretty close to Clemson’s home turf, and looking at Clemson’s losses, one stands out. 27-24 to Auburn. SO this team hung with AUBURN. South Florida will have to rely on its defense to stay in this game.

Sun Bowl 2:00pm
Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Miami (7-5)

For those that don’t know? I’m a huge Notre Dame fan. I’ve been out to South Bend each of the last 3 years (Including this year’s loss to Tulsa). I liked what I saw from the Irish the last third of the season, it helps when they beat a highly ranked opponent AND USC. This is the story for Notre Dame… Miami has better athletes. Miami is favored. Miami just changed coaches. Notre Dame will start a freshman quarterback. Can Notre Dame’s defense continue to show the improvement they showed those last 4-5 games? A neat side note is next year these teams start a series of regular season games. First time since they broke off their heated rivalry in the 80’s that some dubbed “The Criminals vs. The Catholics”. — NO brainer this is my game to watch.

LIberty Bowl 3:30
UCF (10-3) vs. Georgia (6-6)

Its a busy day for the state of Florida. Every game today has a team from the Sunshine State. Despite the much better record, Georgia is favored in this game. A great opportunity for a “mid major” (UCF are the Conference USA Champions) to take on a school from what most consider the best conference in all sportdom. I’m interested to see if they can hang with the big dogs… pun intended.

Chick-fil-A Bowl 7:30
19 South Carolina vs. 23 Florida State

SEC vs. ACC. But I think the more interesting subtext to this game? “The Ole Ball Coach”, Steve Spurrier battling his former interstate nemesis, Florida State. Sad that Bobby Bowden couldn’t be on the other sideline for one more matchup between the two coaching legends. Spurrier is 0-2 in Bowls since coming to South Carolina. Florida State will try to get first year coach, Jimbo Fischer his first bowl win. Game I’m second most interested in seeing on Friday!

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Saturday January 1, 2011
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Welcome to the 2011 NCAA Football Year. 6 games on Saturday. Means? I’m busy today.

TicketCity Bowl 12:00pm
Northwestern (7-5) vs. Texas Tech(7-5)

Not exactly a marquee matchup. Northwestern limped to the finish of the 2010 campaign, in large part because their starting QB went down with an injury. Texas Tech has to deal with rumors of their coach being considered for the Miami job. Good news… he didn’t get the job. Now they’ll bring their passing attack to the Wildcats, who haven’t won a Bowl game since 1949.

Outback Bowl 1:00pm
Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5)

If you told me Urban Meyer would announce his leaving football TWICE before Joe Paterno would do it ONCE? I’d have laughed in your face. But? That’s what’s happened. Two straight years Urban has announced that he’s leaving Florida and football… though this time it looks like its for real. Joe Paterno on the other hand? Continues to man the Nittany Lion sideline like clock work. Paterno is an institution, and each and every year for the last DECADE there has been rumbling about his retirement. Well? I’ll believe it when the season kicks off in September and I don’t see those coke bottle glasses pacing the sideline. Both these programs are young and in a transition/rebuilding stage. Young QBs. Will be the last time we see at least one of these coaching greats man a sideline for a while… may be the last time we BOTH! Keep that in mind.

Capital One Bowl 1:00pm
15 Alabama (9-3) vs. 7 Michigan State (11-1)

Don’t like the timing of this game. I’d like to watch Florida/Penn State, but this game is more interesting for me. Alabama won a National Title last season. Returned a majority of that team. Preseason #1. Lots of people’s favorite to go back to the BCS championship game… and they went 9-3. How hard is the SEC? THAT HARD. Michigan State suprised a lot of people, myself included… remember they BARELY beat Notre Dame on a gutsy fake field goal at the end of the game? Some felt they deserved a BCS spot, but here they are, in a matchup better than at least 3 BCS games, maybe 4. They run the ball very well. Play good defense. I’m intrigued to see how the Big Ten matches up with the SEC. MSU isn’t just playing for themselves here. They’re playing for their conference who has been a bowl whipping boy the last few years. — Game I’m most interested in.

Gator Bowl 1:30pm
21 Mississippi State (8-4) vs. Michigan (7-5)

The Gator Bowl, AKA, Can Rich Rodriguez save his job bowl? Some have said no. Not if Rich-Rod wins by 200. I think Michigan coming in healthy is important as Denard Robinson at 100% is hard to defense, but he’s not built like Cam Newton so him taking hits over the course of season helped slow him down. Plus defenses got wise to the Wolverines schemes. And Miss. State has a strong run defense, and a really happy coach who signed a fat contract extension earlier today.

Rose Bowl 5:00pm
4 Wisconsin (11-1) vs. 3 TCU (12-0)

Big Ten Champions Wisconsin look to roll their high scoring offense into Pasadena and take it to the Horned Frogs and their staunch defense. I wish they could have kept the traditional Big Ten/Pac Ten matchup by having Stanford in here and then TCU could play Virginia Tech. Which storyline wise would be LIKE Va Tech trying avenge its loss to Boise State. TCU is playing to show “it belongs” as many have questioned the validity of their 12-0 record. Wisconsin, like Penn State and Michigan, and Michigan State is looking to help show Football experts that the Big Ten is a power in the same vein as the SEC.

Fiesta Bowl 8:30pm
25 Connecticut (8-4) vs. 9 Oklahoma

I smell blowout. As much as some might think a school like TCU is out of place? I KNOW UConn is out of place. Big East having an automatic bid is ridiculous, or at least… a school with 4 losses earning an automatic bid is ridiculous. Ask Michigan State, or Boise State. I feel this is a huge mismatch, and so do Oklahoma fans. Today I heard that Oklahoma hadn’t sold its allotment of tickets… probably cuz even though its a BCS game? Its not a very GOOD BCS game. I think the BCS really needs to look into how they place teams. Again you put TCU in here, who is joining the Big East, against UConn and you can get a teaser of how they’ll fair in their new conference. With some shuffling you can get some more interesting and marketable matchups with better stories than what they’ve done.

Monday January 3

5 Stanford (11-1) vs. 12 Virginia Tech (11-2)

Virginia Tech is a great story this season. Lost the opener to Boise, not earth shattering. Lost the next week to James Madison (a Playoff Subdivision School)… THAT’s shocking. Could have imploded starting 0-2. Didn’t. Have won 11 straight. Won the ACC. Got into a BCS game. Stanford has a great coach, Jim Harbaugh (former NFL and Michigan QB). They also have an amazing quarterback, and who many are calling the #1 pick in the draft (assuming he comes out) in Andrew Luck. This may be the last hurrah for both Luck and Harbaugh for the Cardinal. Each one may have Sunday’s in their near future, OR Harbaugh may head to his alma mater, Michigan, if they can Rodriguez.

Tuesday January 4

Sugar Bowl
6 Ohio State (11-1) vs. 8 Arkansas (10-2)

Its hard to do a preview and NOT bring up the ridiculous week in Ohio State. 5 Juniors have been suspended 5 games NEXT season, but not the Bowl game. Clearly a business decision. So you’re gonna tell these kids “You can’t do it for the money”… and then punish them, but not i a way that affects THEIR money?! Hypocrite much? Its absurd. The system sucks. The NCAA is a joke, and is inconsistent as hell. Anyway… Arkansas looks to win on the arm of Ryan Mallett, who is familiar with Ohio State, because he started his NCAA career at Michigan. This is Ohio State’s 6th straight BCS game, but they’ve never beat a SEC team in a bowl.

So that brings the next chunk of games to a close. I didn’t want to finish up with Thursday’s game, the GoDaddy.com Bowl… a much better way to start off, and maybe throw a picture of Danica Patrick into my preview.

Happy New Year, and enjoy the games!!!!


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