Picking the big-boy bowls

By From page B1 | December 28, 2012

Now that the junior varsity bowl games have finally run their course, it’s time to look into the crystal ball to provide guidance to our town’s college football fans.

I mean, there was the Directional Bowl between Central Michigan and Western Kentucky. And the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl between Sour Cream State and Bacon Bits A&M. And who can forget the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl between two forgettable foes who may or may not have had winning records?

It’s time now for the big boys of the game to take center stage. No more directional schools. No more schools with hyphenated names. No more asking “Is that really a university?” as some no-name outfit runs onto the field of play.

A word of warning to those who do not wish to have their viewing pleasure ruined by knowing ahead of time who will win this season’s big bowl games. For you, it’s best to read no further.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL: Virginia Tech 37, Rutgers 14 … this is one sorry bunch of Hokies, but not so sorry they can’t handle the Big Ten’s newest member.

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL: Texas Tech 41, Minnesota 28 … more properly, this one should be called the Meineke Who Cares Bowl, featuring a Gopher outfit that struggled to finish 6-6.

ARMED FORCES BOWL: Air Force 31, Rice 30 … Falcons fly faster than Owls.

PINSTRIPE BOWL: West Virginia 70, Syracuse 14 … the Mountaineers are loaded for Bear.

FIGHT HUNGER BOWL: Arizona State 56, Navy 21 … the Midshipmen do a great job protecting our waters. They’re less successful protecting the football.

ALAMO BOWL: Oregon State 35, Texas 34 … two programs headed in opposite directions.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL: Texas Christian 21, Michigan State 16 … the Spartans had trouble winning intrasquad games as the season wore on.

MUSIC CITY BOWL: Vanderbilt 28, North Carolina State 17 … hail to the Commodores.

SUN BOWL: USC 62, Georgia Tech 0 … the Trojans finally put all that five-star talent to use. At 6-7, no wonder they call Tech a Ramblin’ Wreck.

LIBERTY BOWL: Iowa State 31, Tulsa 28 … Cyclones are more powerful than Hurricanes.

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL: LSU 35, Clemson 31 … one of the best matchups on New Year’s Eve.

GATOR BOWL: Northwestern 24, Mississippi State 21 … the Wildcats are mildcats no more.

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL: Oklahoma State 49, Purdue 31 … Cowboys have too much firepower.

OUTBACK BOWL: South Carolina 20, Michigan 12 … the Ol’ Ball Coach does it again.

CAPITAL ONE BOWL: Georgia 27, Nebraska 7 … the Bulldogs are still suffering from that heartbreaking loss to Alabama, while the Huskers are still trying to figure out how they got steamrolled by Wisconsin.

ROSE BOWL: Wisconsin 17, Stanford 14 … the Badgers are finally playing like the Badgers of old. A rugged, old-fashioned slugfest. May be the best bowl game out there.

ORANGE BOWL: Florida State 40, Northern Illinois 12 … fans of NIU bristle when folks say their team doesn’t have a chance. Bristle away. NIU doesn’t have a chance.

SUGAR BOWL: Florida 32, Louisville 7 … (see “NIU” above).

FIESTA BOWL: Oregon 42, Kansas State 38 … the good news for both these schools is that they’re finally meeting in a BCS bowl. The bad news for both schools is that it’s not for the national championship.

COTTON BOWL: Oklahoma 31, Texas A&M 29 … the Heisman jinx hits Johnny Football.

COMPASS BOWL: Pittsburgh 27, Mississippi 24 … a pair of 6-6 teams square off because no one else was bowl-eligible.

GODADDY.COM BOWL: Arkansas State 22, Kent State 14 … at least six people are interested in the outcome of this one.

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP: Notre Dame 20, Alabama 17 … the SEC stranglehold on the national title finally comes to an end as the Irish kick an 80-yard field goal on the game’s final play, straight through the outstretched arms of Touchdown Jesus.

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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