Sugar Bowl Preview

January 3, 2012

I’m not looking at the Bowl Mania standings anymore. I was in 12th at one point yesterday, behind some people that have told me that they did not even think about their picks that much when they made them.

If I haven’t stated this here yet, I’ll say it now: a monkeye could pick these bowl games as well as I could. The only difference is that a monkeye doesn’t waste its time writing a blog about it.

Here is the preview for today’s game, and because I have done so up to this point, I’ll continue to include how many points I have on the game.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Michigan vs. Virginia Tech

I wrote an article about this game on Bleacher Report, and to say the least I was not pleased about it. I do not believe that either Michigan or Virginia Tech really deserves to be playing in this game; money was the deciding factor in the executives choosing these teams. In addition, I’m not sure that either team will really be able to establish itself completely in this game. As a result there will be the illusion that this was a really hard fought, close game.

Regardless of whether they deserve to be playing in a BCS bowl or not, fans in Ann Arbor have to be pleased with the job Brady Hoke has done this year. Hoke has made people forget almost entirely that a year ago the Wolverines were struggling in the Big Ten and getting plastered by an SEC team in a January 1st bowl game. The defense has improved, although it will need to continue to get better if the Wolverines want to build upon the success of this year. Against Virginia Tech, Michigan will need to shut down David Wilson. In Virginia Tech’s two losses this season, Wilson has been held in check and the offense has stalled. If the Wolverines can limit Wilson, their offense is more than explosive enough to put up points on the Hokies like Clemson did.

Who would’ve thought that Virginia Tech would be playing in a BCS bowl after being humbled by Clemson a second time in the ACC title game? The Hokies might have backed into the game, but there will be no lack of motivation in this game. Winning twelve games in one season is something that has never been done at Virginia Tech, and you can bet that the players want to show the nation that they deserve to be in this game. While David Wilson is the ACC Player of the Year, the key for the offense will be Logan Thomas. The Wolverines have the second best run defense in the Big Ten, so Wilson may have trouble gaining yards as he did against Clemson. Thomas will need to be accurate and avoid turnovers to keep the Hokies in this game.

The Hokies are without a marquee win this year, but don’t expect them to end the season with one. Michigan is very balanced offensively this year, reminding me a lot of Clemson. In addition, their defensive strength is stopping the run, which is what Virginia Tech is going to try to establish early. I have the Wolverines for 15 points.

Final Score: 35-30 Michigan

– K. Becks

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