Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sportz' OFFICIAL Bowl Predictions....Pt 2

MATCHUP:  Georgia Tech v Utah
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  Hardly any GT fans as another western bowl game leaves fans restless. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:   Tech WR Calvin Johnson.  ACC fans know all about this guy....and hopefully the rest of the nation will know soon. 
FACTS:  In the last five years...Tech has played bowls in San Francisco, Fresno, Seattle and Boise. 
SPORTZ PICK:   Georgia Tech.  It will be a squeaker...but the better team will win.  Remember, Tech has played Miami, Georgia, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Clemson and NC State this year....and won 3 of those games.

MATCHUP:  Oklahoma v Oregon
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:   The 5th ranked team in the BCS playing before New Year's Eve.  And you'll see a team that was in the National Championship game the last two years.  The Holiday Bowl is routinely one of the most entertaining bowls to watch.  NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:    Ducks' wideout Demetrius Williams. 
FACTS:  These two are scheduled to meet again next September.  Oregon has never beaten the Sooners [0-5].
SPORTZ PICK:  Oregon.  I don't think the Ducks will fold when dumped from the BCS prom down to the Holiday Bowl.  They might be just angry enough to dominate.

MATCHUP:  Minnesota v Virginia
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  A solid defense [Virginia] trying to hold back one of the best run games [Minnesota]. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:  Gopher back Laurence Maroney was a name that was in the Heisman running early in the year.   He averaged 135 yards per game.   
FACTS:  Minnesota is in this bowl for the 3rd time in four years. 
SPORTZ PICK:  Minnesota.  They are the #2 team in the nation in rushing yards and will work on a defense that lost their defensive coordinator [and offensive coordinator].

MATCHUP:  Northwestern v UCLA
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  Maybe the highest scoring bowl game of all time.  Both teams have great offenses and horrific defenses [N'western are rated the worst defense in the nation]. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:  UCLA's QB Drew Olson will be a name to know in draft circles this spring.  He threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 TDs and only 3 picks. 
FACTS:  Wildcats' QB Brett Basanez has thrown for over 10,000 yards.  The only other active player to make that claim is Matt Leinart .
SPORTZ PICK:  UCLA.  Both teams will score...but there is a small outside chance that the Bruins can actually force a punt.  At least one. 

MATCHUP:  Missouri v South Carolina
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  An increasingly better SoCarolina defense against one of the top QBs in the country.  And Steve Spurrier in a lower-tier bowl [hey, it is still better than Tennessee].
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:   Mizz QB Brad Smith could be playing on Sundays next year. 
FACTS:  The Gamecocks have the 104th ranked offense.  Eesh.
SPORTZ PICK:  South Carolina.  The Gamecocks played Georgia and Clemson tough...and beat Florida.  Missouri couldn't stay on the field with either Texas or Colorado and padded their 6-5 record with wins over Arkansas St and Troy. 

WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  The anti-Sun Bowl.  This will be a defensive struggle as both are ranked in the top 5 in total defense. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:  Peach.  This is the last time the game will be known as the Peach Bowl.  Next year, it will be the Chik-fil-A Bowl.  Chik-fil-A [which is based in Atlanta and a favorite of my wife] has been a title sponsor for 9 years now. 
FACTS:  A few weeks ago...this could've been a Sugar or Orange Bowl game.  But the state of Georgia [Tech and those Dawgs] knocked them to....irony.....Atlanta.  Oh, and Atlanta was the site of the SEC title game which LSU lost.  LSU has won 14 of their last 18 games decided by a TD or less. 
SPORTZ PICK:  Miami.  Miami's defense has played very well all year long...even in their two losses.  And with LSU having QB issues, the Canes should roll. 

MATCHUP:  NC State v South Florida
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  Another defensive struggle.  Not just because they are great defenses...but because the offenses aren't very good. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:  Andre Hall.  The USF back led the Big East in rushing. 
FACTS:  This was the Continental Tire Bowl the past couple of seasons.  And the game is in Charlotte....my hometown. 
SPORTZ PICK:  NC State.  Well, South Florida was an also ran in the C-USA last year.  And the game is right down the road. 

MATCHUP:  Fresno State v Tulsa
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  Offense.  Fresno has the 5th best offense in the nation.  Tulsa averages over 33 ppg.....and have scored at least 38 in their last four games. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:  Canes QB Paul Hill has turned in a whale of a sophomore season.  Over 2,600 yards and 19 TDs. 
FACTS:  Fresno gave up just 96 points in their 8 wins.  However, they gave up 165 in their 4 losses....including an average of 42.7 pts during their three-game skid. 
SPORTZ PICK:  Fresno State.  Despite their losing streak, the Bulldogs are usually one of the most lethal non-BCS conference teams. 

MATCHUP:  Iowa State v TCU
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:  The best non-BCS conference team.  And a clean fight.  Both teams value the ball and don't commit many turnovers.  So if someone makes one...it'll be huge. 
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:  You will hear TCU's Corey Rogers' name quite a bit here. 
FACTS:  This will be a great game for the bowl...as TCU will bring a local flair to the game with ISU not too far away. 
SPORTZ PICK:  TCU.  The Frogs offense has gotten better as the year has progressed and the defense did a number on that offensive minded MWC.

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