Meineke Car Care Bowl, Sun Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and Chik-fil-A Bowl Previews

December 31, 2011

Currently, I’m still in second place in my College Bowl Mania group. However, because I have seven losses and have lost over 80 points already, I’m not feeling all that great about where I am at this point.

Today is going to be a big day for me because of the potential for others to lose big points as opposed to me picking up a lot of points.

Here is the preview for today’s games. They are much shorter than previous ones this bowl season, but that is because the games start in less than an hour and I don’t have much time. I’m sure most of you only look to see what my final score prediction is anyway.

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl

Texas A&M vs. Northwestern

The Aggies had a very disappointing season, but they did show flashes of a team that could’ve been in the Top 10 all year. No lead is big enough to sit on for Texas A&M, but I think that they are capable of outscoring a tough Northwestern squad led by Dan Persa.

I have the Aggies for 29 points in the College Bowl Mania game.

Final Score: 42-31 Texas A&M

Hyundai Sun Bowl

Georgia Tech vs. Utah

Utah had a tough stretch to start the season, but played pretty good football to end it. The Utes, who have the Pac-12’s second best run defense, will look to stifle a powerful Georgia Tech rushing attack that has made some changes in personnel throughout the season. Expect this game to come down to the final few possessions.

Before suffering a loss to Colorado in their final regular season game, the Utes had found their stride on the offensive side of the ball. I believe Utah will squeak out a close one, so I have them for 8 points.

Final Score: 27-24 Utah

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt

This might be the most interesting matchup of the day. Cincinnati will have Zach Collaros back, so the Bearcats offense should be in good shape. However, they are going up against a tough Vanderbilt squad that is very excited to be back in the postseason. This is essentially a home game for the Commodores, and I think that will help contribute to what is going to be a very close game.

Cincinnati has the talent to win, but I don’t know if they have the motivation. I have Vanderbilt in a slight upset for 5 points in the College Bowl Mania game.

Final Score: 31-27 Vanderbilt

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Illinois vs. UCLA

This could accurately be renamed the “Battle of the Interim Coaches”. Both UCLA and Illinois are without the head coach that they started the year with, so strategy could play a factor in this game. UCLA is the only bowl team with a losing record, although they did get their 6th win before losing to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game which put them under .500. This game could be excruciatingly difficult to watch, due to Illinois’ ineffectiveness to move the football at times.

This one is essentially a tossup, so I went with what I believe is the better conference. I have Illinois for 9 points in this game.

Final Score: 30-24 Illinois

Chik-fil-A Bowl

Virginia vs. Auburn

Finishing off what was a great year of college football will be last season’s national champions, the Auburn Tigers. Without Michael Dyer and issues on the defense, not to mention offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn leaving for Arkansas State, the Tigers may have problems all night. Virginia has an opportunistic defense and a good offensive line that does not give up many sacks. They may have gotten flattened by Virginia Tech last time they played, but that probably won’t happen tonight.

Without Dyer, Auburn is going to have major problems moving the ball. I have Virginia in this one for 7 points.

Final Score: 27-13 Virginia

As this is the last post for the year, I want to take the time to thank everyone who has read my blog in the past 365 days. Bowl season is one of my favorite times of the year, and is actually one of the reasons that I started the blog in the first place. However, it is because of the readers that I continue to write on it, and hopefully you aren’t just reading it because I write it. Either way, though, I’m glad that you do.

I hope that everyone has a Happy New Year’s Eve, a Happy New Year, and success in keeping your New Year’s Resolution if you do that kind of thing. Enjoy the people, and enjoy the football!

– K. Becks

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