Cotton Bowl Preview

January 7, 2011

I want to know who scheduled the Cotton Bowl for tonight. Seriously. This game is usually one of the premier games of the bowl season, but since it’s on a Friday night, only those with a college football obsession (K. Becks) or someone with nothing better to do on a Friday night (again, K. Becks) even care. Many people are probably unaware that the game was even being played tonight. I don’t think that any bowls that aren’t the national title game should be played after January 1st. Even the national title game should be played by January 4th at the latest.

Here is my pick for the January 7th bowl game.

AT&T Cotton Bowl

LSU vs. Texas A&M

Since this has the potential to be a really good game, it’s disappointing that not very many people are likely to watch. Try telling people that not only is there a college football game tonight, but that it’s on FOX. They’ll probably say something like “the weekend hasn’t really started yet, man. Slow down on the drinks.”

LSU has relied heavily on their defense all season in order to win games. It is a very tough defense, giving up just over 300 yards per game, but doesn’t always get a lot of help from the offense. In fact, LSU has the second worst offense in the entire SEC, ahead of only Vanderbilt. This is due in large part to the fact that Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson has had trouble throwing the ball, which makes the LSU offense one dimensional. The Tigers will have to hope that running back Stevan Ridley can gash a Texas A&M defense that has been very tough against the run if they want to have success tonight.

Texas A&M comes into this game as one of the hottest teams in the nation. Ever since quarterback Ryan Tannehill took over the starting job from Jerrod Johnson, the Aggie offense has been clicking. Thanks to Tannehill’s good vision (11 touchdowns thrown to only 3 interceptions), the running game has opened up for running back Cyrus Gray, who is only 12 yards away from breaking the 1000 yard barrier for the season. The offense finding their groove is a big reason why the Aggies were able to finish the season on a six game winning streak, with wins over Oklahoma and Nebraska during that streak.

Both LSU and Texas A&M have respective defenses, and I think that it will be a relatively low scoring affair. However, I seriously question LSU’s ability to move the football effectively with Jefferson running the offense. Unless the Tigers find a way to score on an Aggie defense is the best in the Big 12 against the run, I think that Texas A&M’s balanced offensive attack will be the difference.

I have Texas A&M for 1 point in the College Bowl Mania game. I need this win, or else I mathematically have no chance to win my group.

Final Score: 24-21 Texas A&M

– K. Becks

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