Tony's Tip Sheet
By Tony Gerdeman
Bowl season is here! That means watching games that you don't care about simply because of your bowl pool! You disgust me!
Why can't BYU and UTEP interest you simply for their football prowess?
Are we so jaded as a society that two crap teams can't even elicit a modicum of interest without some prioritized bracket getting involved?
I'm almost leery of writing this for the simple fear that some of you may actually use it to fill out your brackets. However, I have come up with a brilliant way to thwart your plans. I am picking some of these games INTENTIONALLY wrong, but you will never know which ones they are until after the fact.
Happy picking, jerks!
Saturday December 18
New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM)
Teams: BYU (6-6) vs UTEP (6-6)
Time (TV): 2:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: BYU
We're cheering for BYU because we like the fact that once they found out Boise State was coming to their neighborhood, they immediately put a For Sale sign in their yard and moved out. They remind me of every neighbor I've ever had. This game will feature two mediocre offenses against two mediocre defenses. Nothing has got to give! UTEP has lost five of their last six games, which means that they're just happy to be here. BYU isn't happy with their season, and with them leaving for independence following this game, you'd think they would just like to get this season over and get on to the next chapter of their lives. I'm going with UTEP, even though they've lost 25 of their last 27 games against BYU. UTEP 24 – BYU 23.
Humanitarian Bowl (Boise, ID)
Teams: Northern Illinois (10-3) vs Fresno State (8-4)
Time (TV): 5:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Northern Illinois
We're gonna go ahead and cheer for Northern Illinois because we feel bad for them. It's no fun losing a coach. (Though sometimes it's no fun KEEPING one either. Am I right, Michigan?!) Sometimes, in wiener bowls like this one, a team's mental state can be as important as their talent, and this game could be a perfect example of that. Not only did the Huskies lose their coach, they were upset in their conference championship game just a few weeks ago. They could simply be going through the motions this week. However, they have a couple of things going in their favor to keep that from happening: 1) they can run the ball very well, and that's not usually a trait that just disappears; and 2) Boise is pretty much exactly like Dekalb, it just doesn't have the nightlife and culture—which should actually be a plus! Fresno State will also be playing in familiar surroundings—albeit painfully blue ones. The Bulldogs are the easy answer in this game, so let's not make this anymore difficult than we already have. Though I must say, even though I'm picking Fresno, this is one of those games that you look back on after you're wrong and say, “Gosh, how did I miss that?” (Well, at least I say “gosh”.) Fresno State 27 – Northern Illinois 23.
New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans, LA)
Teams: Ohio (8-4) vs Troy (7-5)
Time (TV): 9:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Ohio
Well, if you had plans for Saturday night, you better cancel them! For instance, if your plan was to watch this game, I would change it. Troy 31 – Ohio 24.
Tuesday December 21
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (St. Petersburg, FL)
Teams: Southern Miss (8-4) vs Louisville (6-6)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Southern Miss
We're rooting against Louisville because we get tired of people propping up the Big East's bowl record. I'm not sure if they still do, but they used to, and it was because of games against teams like this. Congrats on your impressive bowl record, you really showed Ear, Nose and Throat U who's boss! Rather than try to analyze this game using a bunch of statistics, there's only one set of numbers I need to use in picking the winner. Louisville was 3-4 in the Big East this year. Next. Southern Miss 24 – Louisville 21.
Wednesday December 22
Maaco Bowl (Las Vegas, NV)
Teams: #19 Utah (10-2) vs #10 Boise State (11-1)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Utah
Here is a great example of a game where everybody is going to pick Boise State because they are obviously the better team, but they are so disappointed to be in this game that it's almost sad. Michigan looks forward to games against Ohio State more than the Broncos are looking forward to this game! If you follow any type of formula that states you should always avoid the team that is disappointed to be there, then this game certainly falls into that category, but I'm still going with Boise. They hopefully know their place now. Besides, they love beating up on lesser teams, and Utah certainly resembles that remark. Boise may use this game to prove a point. I'm not sure to whom they would be proving it, though. Maybe Nevada? Boise State 41 – Utah 21.
Thursday December 23
Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego, CA)
Teams: Navy (9-3) vs San Diego State (8-4)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: San Diego State
The Poinsettia Bowl is named after the 3rd-leading cause of cat death by plant-eating. Pretty grim, huh? It's still a better name than it used to be—The San Diego County Credit Union Cat Leukemia Bowl. I don't get their hang-up on cats though. We're rooting for San Diego State because we want to see head coach Brady Hoke have as much success as possible while he's waiting for Michigan to call. But Michigan will never call, and eventually he will become SO successful that he will land a job in the Big Ten and torture the Wolverines every time they play. Don't be surprised when the Aztecs put on a show on their homefield. They have a tremendous offense—two 1,100-yard receivers and a 1,300-yard rusher, so they'll be able to keep up with Navy's offense pretty easily. Any time you can get three weeks to prepare for the flexbone, you're going to be better off for it. San Diego State 34 – Navy 24.
Friday December 24
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu, HI)
Teams: #24 Hawaii (10-3) vs Tulsa (9-3)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Overtime!
This game features two of the top ten offenses in the nation in both yardage and scoring, and not very much in the ways of defense. Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz, who is more commonly known as “America's Quarterback” after the way he led BOTH of my fantasy teams to league championships this year, has thrown for 4,629 yards and 36 touchdowns this season. For the first time in...EVER...the Rainbows actually have a running back. Alex Green rushed for 1,168 yards this season on just 133 carries. He had double-digit carries in just seven of the team's thirteen games, and finished strong with 463 yards rushing in his final two regular season games. Basically, Hawaii can beat you any way you want them to on offense. Tulsa is much the same way. They average 39.7 points per game and can throw the ball as well as run it. Their 503.5 yards per game is the fifth-best number in the nation, but since this game is in Hawaii, everybody knows we're playing with Hawaiian rules. Hawaii 44 – Tulsa 38.
Sunday December 26
Little Caesars Bowl (Detroit, MI)
Teams: Florida International (6-6) vs Toledo (8-4)
Time (TV): 8:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Toledo
Congratulations on your tremendous season, Florida International! Here are your tickets to Detroit, along with 48 ounces of hand sanitizer, which can either be used to kill germs, or be passed off as “drinky jelly” to any bum you wanna jackroll. Maybe I'm sick, but I'm actually looking forward to this game. I like watching the Rockets. There's definitely something good going on in Toledo, and it's only going to get better. I'll go ahead and take the Rockets because there's no way Florida International is going to be able to concentrate on the game when their main focus will instead be on worrying about their bus getting stolen. Keep an eye on Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens, who is a former Glenville Tarblooder and has played well stepping in due to injury this season. He has all of the makings of a productive MAC quarterback. Toledo 31 – Florida International 29.
Monday December 27
Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA)
Teams: Air Force (8-4) vs Georgia Tech (6-6)
Time (TV): 5:00 pm (ESPN2)
Cheer For: Air Force
We're cheering for Air Force because it's fun to watch other BCS conference teams lose to non-BCS teams. This will be a fun game to watch for the obvious reason that it features two option teams. Air Force is 2-0 in the Independence Bowl, but hasn't been their since 1984. Wow, talk about a meaningless note, eh? Tech coach Paul Johnson is 2-4 in bowl games, his only wins coming at Navy against New Mexico and Colorado State. Basically, when teams have time to prepare for his offense, they can contain it. Since Air Force sees a similar philosophy every day in practice, you'd think they'd have to have an edge. I have to believe Tech is actually more talented than an opponent for once, and regardless of scheme, the talent will win out. Georgia Tech 24 – Air Force 22.
Tuesday December 28
Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando, FL)
Teams: #22 West Virginia (9-3) vs North Carolina State (8-4)
Time (TV): 6:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: West Virginia
I sort of get the feeling that with the whole lame duck coach dealy going on with the Mountaineers that the players are going to absolutely pour it all out for coach Bill Stewart. Combine this fact with my number one rule of picking college football games: always dismiss the ACC, and I like West Virginia in this one. West Virginia 34 – North Carolina State 21.
Insight Bowl (Glendale, AZ)
Teams: #12 Missouri (10-2) vs Iowa (7-5)
Time (TV): 10:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Iowa
Rumors began swirling a while ago that upwards of two dozen Hawkeyes might be out for this game, but magically only a few have actually been scratched. Running back Jewel Hampton has transferred, fellow tailback Adam Robinson has been suspended for this game, and receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is...exploring other options. The Hawkeyes have lost their two best playmakers, so it will be no surprise that everybody is jumping immediately on Missouri's bandwagon. But there is still talent on this Iowa roster, and don't be fooled by their regular season—they always have weak regular seasons when they're at their most talented. In a one-off game, they can still hang with anything the Big XII has to offer. Plus, they have Ricky Stanzi! I haven't bought into Missouri since before the Corby Jones days and I'm not about to start now. I'll take the Hawkeyes' defense in this one. Watch for freshman running back Marcus Coker to have a big game against the Tigers. Iowa 27 – Missouri 17.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.