College football fans have had a lot of free time on their hands as they wait for the bowl season to begin. They’ve had two weeks worth of free time, to be exact.
So how have you spent those two weeks? Did you lose your ass on the NFL, NHL, NBA or a combination of all three? Perhaps you polished off that DVD box set of “Matlock” you got for your birthday. Or maybe you’ve been spending time with your family because they’re better than any reality show on MTV?
What did I do during this lull in the action? I prepared to put a little money on the bowls, that’s what I do! And I do just that by playing in a bowl pick ‘em.
Many of you that work in an office loaded with football fans already know what I’m talking about. If you’re familiar with this setup, don’t fret as it’s fairly simple: there are 35 bowl games on the slate and all you need to do is pick the winners.
There is one catch to picking the winners. You must place a point value to each of your selections. That means your “lock of the century” will be getting 35 points, while the coin flip of the group will get just one point. The rest of the list comes down to whatever floats your boat.
So now you know how this all works. It’s time to unveil the list that I’ll be using for this year’s bowl games.
My biggest play on the board is Ohio State beating the Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl. Nobody needs to remind me about the Buckeyes and their issues in playing SEC teams in bowl games seeing as most of those hillbilly zealots will point it out. This is Arkansas’ first trip to a BCS bowl, but Bobby Petrino’s second (took Louisville to the 2007 Orange Bowl). Ryan Mallett is already familiar with Bucks’ defense in his days playing at Michigan. Well, that’s kind of true since he completed 1-of-3 passes in a 14-3 loss in ‘07. The Buckeyes have been extremely good on offense and defense to close out the season. Plus, Ohio State has plenty of BCS experience to go along with a need to beat an SEC school on this platform. This is the time for the Scarlet and Gray to win against the “best” conference in America.
I fully admit that I’m a fan of the Big Ten and like them to do well. Yet you won’t find them get too much love from me in this list. Out of the eight teams coming from that league in bowl games, only three of them are getting love from me. The Nittany Lions are a good risk at 17 points to drop Florida in Urban Meyer’s final game as head coach at the Outback Bowl.
I’m using my one-pointer on Northwestern against Texas Tech in the newly minted TicketCity Bowl. I like the Wildcats to win the game, but I’ve been screwed by Pat Fitzgerald’s crew on more than one occasion. Having said that, I still think they can upend a Red Raiders team that has not been all that consistent in Tommy Tuberville’s first year.
The Big XII is the exact opposite of the Big Ten in my eyes this bowl season as I’ve taken five of their teams to win out of eight chances. A lot of the meetings just look like easy wins, the biggest being Oklahoma getting UConn in the Fiesta Bowl. But Missouri is the next closest team in the list since they’re getting the Hawkeyes without some big players on offense. Plus, Nebraska is getting a lousy Washington side in the Holiday Bowl. Those games look like great spots to pick up points in your office pool.