The craziest football season maybe in all history has ended (at least the regular season) and now the bowls are chosen, including those coveted BCS games. So now that the BCS Bowls are all set up, what are the match ups and who do they favor? Here’s the full preview of the upcoming BCS games.
Rose Bowl: USC vs. Illinois. This one was a little bit of a surprise. While the Rose Bowl traditionally pits Big Ten against Pac Ten, there are still plenty of people who wonder if Illinois was really the best pick over Arizona State. Still, this is the match up, and the Rose Bowl is no small prize.
Illinois has an impressive running game that helped lead to a 9-3 record and second place in the Big Ten conference. Juice Williams is an explosive athlete who will be exciting to watch. This is a young team coached by Ron Zook, and they will be hungry. The reports of USC’s demise might have been a bit exaggerated. Pete Carroll’s team is playing great, and as of right now, might be one of the best teams in the country. The offense is finally clicking on all cylinders, and the defense has been tested against stiff competition.
What does it mean? USC should be the overwhelming favorite in this one. They are faster and stronger than Illinois, and coaching and experience goes strongly to USC. They’re clicking on all cylinders, and will have two less weeks of rust to shake off come bowl time. These players won’t be wide eyed, and it would take a stunning super human effort by Illinois, and a perfect game, to win. USC has been there before, and won’t be caught unmotivated.
Expect USC to win and win big. Prediction: USC 45, Illinois 20
Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia. This should be an excellent game. Hawaii has a nearly unstoppable offense, that can put up nearly 40 points on anyone. Georgia is probably feeling glum after being shut out of the title game, but they don’t have time to fret. Hawaii is too good a team to overlook. June Jones has his team psyched, and Colt Brennan is a legitimate NFL caliber QB. Their offense is a nightmare for any defensive coordinator, and their defense has been much improved over recent seasons.
Georgia plays in the toughest conference in football in the SEC, and they are not only battle proven, but this is a team that is very solid on both offense and defense. That will be the key in this game, as Hawaii is going to score, but a very good defense could limit the damage. Georgia’s offense should outmatch Hawaii’s defense, but Hawaii’s defense is a wild card that can’t be written off.
This may be the hardest of the games to predict, but I’m going to go with Georgia barely edging out an excited Hawaii team. Prediction: Georgia 38-Hawaii 35.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia. This game is a toss up. It could be an exciting shoot out that goes down to the wire, or it could be a woodshed beating. West Virginia is hard to pin. It’s fair to say that Pat White’s injury changed the game against Pitt, but while West Virginia’s offense has been very good this year, they haven’t consistently blown out opponents at the same level as last year. West Virginia’s defense is much better, and is respectable enough to give their offense enough time to get on track.
Oklahoma, along with USC, is playing the best football of anyone out there right now. If it wasn’t for Sam Bradford’s injury against Texas Tech, Oklahoma would be in the national title game right now. This team is extremely strong on both sides of the ball, and will be the most formidable defensive team the Mountaineers have yet to face. West Virginia needs to be at full strength to have a chance at this game.
While West Virginia is a great team, they simply don’t have the ability to handle Oklahoma’s defense, and Oklahoma will hang over 35 on them. While nothing should be taken away from West Virginia’s season, the Big 12 has proven it’s a strong conference now, and Oklahoma will simply be too much. The defense is the key here, and that’s why the nod has to go to the Sooners.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48, West Virginia 27
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas. While a little bit of a surprise that Kansas was taken over Missouri, the match up of V-Tech against Kansas is one that will pit two top notch defenses against each other. Kansas was definitely one of the surprise stories of this season, while Virginia Tech is a long established program. This match up looks like it’ll be a defensive battle on paper, but both teams can put up points in a hurry when necessary.
The biggest thing to look for in this game is how a young Kansas team will fare against a strong experienced Virginia Tech team. Kansas didn’t really play anyone impressive, and they lost their game to Missouri. Virginia Tech has beaten some proven teams. Both have good defenses, and statistically Kansas has the better offense, but that’s hard to back up because of the weak schedule.
Kansas will be thrilled, while Virginia Tech has had success before. It’s hard to compare the two, but Boston College is a talented team that V-Tech handled easily the last time. It’s hard to believe Kansas can beat that Tech team.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 37, Kansas 20
All State BCS Championship: #1 Ohio State vs. #2 LSU. Four weeks ago, who would have thought it? As much as a week ago, who’d have thought it? The best of the Big Ten gets a second chance at the national title as they face an LSU team that has struggled with massive injuries in the always tough SEC.
Ohio State is still a strong running team, but the biggest surprise is the efficiency of their passing game. After losing both starting WRs and QB Troy Smith, no one expected them to be efficient passers, but they’ve surprised everyone with a surprisingly balanced offense to go with their always formidable defense.
LSU is one of the best teams in the country, and though DT Glen Dorsey’s injury brought that defense down to earth, they are still one of the best offenses and defenses in the country, with a two quarterback system and exceptional athletes on both sides of the ball. The biggest question for LSU is whether all their injured players recover fully or not.
Both are good teams, and both will be looking to establish a hard fought running game. These are teams built in a very similar fashion, and this will be a game that comes down to turnovers and the trenches.
Prediction: LSU 31, OSU 24