Military Bowl, Texas Bowl, and Alamo Bowl Previews

December 29, 2010

What was Blaine Gabbert thinking? If I had a chance to talk to him, I would start with something like this: “Blaine, you’re a good quarterback. A really good one. You’re probably going to be an NFL quarterback some day. So why did you decide to throw across your body, with less than six minutes left in the game, with the lead, right to Iowa’s Micah Hyde? You could have done anything else; throw it away, take a sack, run out of bounds, and you may have won that game.”

There went 31 points down the drain, ladies and gentlemen. As for West Virginia, I was almost speechless after watching their performance. I’m not going to rip on the Big East; no, this was just a classic case of a team that didn’t want to be there. It makes me even angrier when I pick a team like that, and they decide they don’t really care.

Today’s games don’t even matter much to me from a points perspective. Here are my picks for the December 29th bowl games.

Military Bowl

East Carolina vs. Maryland

East Carolina can score. A lot. The Pirates average over 38 points per game, and can move the ball down the field in the blink of an eye thanks to quarterback Dominique Davis. However, the Pirates also let the opponent score. A lot. ECU has the worst defense in Conference USA, which isn’t exactly known for having lockdown defenses.

Maryland can also score, and while not having a great defense, is better at stopping people than ECU. Maryland is one of the better stories of the year, going 8-4 this season after finishing 2-10 last year. However, the Terrapins will let go of head coach Ralph Friedgen after this game, which has been viewed as a controversial decision. Although I’m wary of making this prediction, I think that the Terrapins will go out and play hard for their coach, and will come up with a “W”. I have Maryland for 17 points in the College Bowl Mania game.

Final Score: 38-27 Maryland

Texas Bowl

Illinois vs. Baylor

I’ve been looking forward to watching this game since I first took a look at the bowl schedule. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is, quite simply, a beast. He is one of the best duel-threat quarterbacks in college football, and has reminded victims of his electric runs in Big 12 play of Vince Young. It should be interesting to see how Griffin handles the Illini defense.

The Illini may have saved head coach Ron Zook’s job this season by playing in a bowl game. The Illini, in typical Big Ten fashion, will look to grind out yards on the ground with running back Mikel LeShoure. Baylor’s run defense is questionable, so Illinois may have some success against the Bears with LeShoure.

There is no question that both teams are excited to be playing in this game. Illinois is playing in only their second bowl game in the last nine years, and Baylor hasn’t played in a bowl game since 1994. Thanks to Griffin, I think that Baylor will be able to win a close one, but it should be fun to watch. I have Baylor for 12 points.

Final Score: 35-31 Baylor

Valero Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma State vs. Arizona

If you like lots of offense, then you’re in luck. Both Oklahoma State and Arizona have very potent offenses, and should be able to put a lot of points on the board in tonight’s game. The question will be who is more excited to be playing in this game. Oklahoma State could potentially suffer from the hangover effect, after losing to Oklahoma in the season finale and missing out on a chance to play in the Big 12 championship game. Arizona has lost four straight, and didn’t have the kind of season I’m sure they were hoping of having.

Oklahoma State, much like Missouri, has a great quarterback in Brandon Weeden. Weeden will likely look to find wide receiver Justin Blackmon, the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year, early and often. The Wildcats will have their hands full on defense trying to cover Blackmon.

Arizona may be better than their record suggests. They lost two tough games against Oregon State and USC in which they were unable to complete a comeback. Then, they lost a heartbreaker in the season finale to rival Arizona State, as the extra point to tie the ball game with less than a minute left was blocked. If Arizona wants to win this game, they will have to block out all the disappointment from earlier this season. More importantly, they will have to find a way to slow down the top offense in the nation.

Considering that both teams will rely heavily on their offense to carry them, I have to go with the team that ranks number one in that category. I have Oklahoma State for 26 points.

Final Score: 45-34 Oklahoma State

– K. Becks

2 Responses to Military Bowl, Texas Bowl, and Alamo Bowl Previews

  1. Amanwhoknowsnothing on December 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I have to respectfully disagree with your decision on Oklahoma and Arizona. The fact that Arizona lost the last couple games of the season will give them fuel to come out a stronger team hungry for a win. I think that Arizona will capitalize on this bowl to fight for their program and reassure fans they are not going to give up easily.

    • K. Becks on December 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      For a man who knows nothing, you do a nice job of backing up your claims.

      However, I think that the four game losing streak is only part of the issue for Arizona. I haven’t been impressed with the Pac-10 at all this season, and bowl season is no different. Also, in a game that features two high powered offenses (and mediocre defenses), I have to go with the team who has been the best statistically.

      It should be a good game, though. You could end up being right, and with my overall record of 4-7 so far, your word is as good as mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *