As the lower tier bowl games kick off, it becomes clearer that the end of another action packed college football season us quickly approaching.
Alabama and Ohio State were listed as preseason #1 and #2, respectively, and were expected to win out and play in the national championship game. Current #2 Oregon and #1 Auburn had other plans.
#3 TCU, with a preseason ranking of #7, watched every team in front of them lose throughout the season, while they stayed undefeated. Yet, they didn’t have the same strength of schedule that Auburn and Oregon had to push them over the #3 hump.
Arkansas, Ohio State, and Stanford will also play in BCS bowl games as at-large picks with the Horned Frogs.
Wisconsin will represent the Big 10 against at-large TCU in the Rose Bowl.
Big 12 champion Oklahoma will face Big East champ Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl.
ACC champ Virginia Tech will play at-large Stanford out of the PAC-10 in the Orange Bowl.
At-larges Arkansas and Ohio State will face off in the Sugar Bowl.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs UConn
I’m not sure how I feel here. 75% of the bowl-eligible teams this season are more deserving of a BCS bid than UConn. Still, Oklahoma is notorious for losing the big games under Stoops. Oklahoma has lost the last 5 BCS bowl games they’ve played in (including 3 national championship appearances).
UConn could pull an upset larger than the one Boise State pulled over Oklahoma in ’06, but I don’t see it happening.
Oklahoma wins 45-17
Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs Ohio State
This should be a good game that pits the Ohio State defensive unit against Ryan Mallett. The X-factor, as always, will be Terrelle Pryor. Pryor tore Oregon apart last year in the Rose Bowl. If Pryor can bring that same performance, even Ryan Mallett won’t be able to do enough to beat the Buckeyes.
Ohio State wins 35-24
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Stanford
This could end up being the hardest game to call. Stanford’s defense might be the best since Boise State that VT has faced. Stanford is used to the speed that V-Tech plays with, being from the speedy PAC-10.
Tyrod Taylor and Andrew Luck will be the difference makers here. The quarterback that has the bigger game, will be the winning quarterback.
Stanford wins a close game 35-31
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs TCU
Mark my words , this will be a replay of the ’09 Sugar Bowl. Wisconsin is coming in with a smash mouth, in your face run game, and a solid defense. TCU is coming with the nation’s best defense and a high powered, speedy offense.
TCU will jump out early and win by 14, 31-17.
National Championship game: Auburn vs Oregon
Offense, offense, offense. Cam Newton vs LaMichael James. I like Oregon in this game for the same reason I like TCU over Wisconsin. Oregon is going to go 100mph for 60 minutes, whereas, Auburn will gas trying to keep up with them. Cam Newton will get his, but accounting for 5 TDs might not be enough, unbelievable as that might be.
Oregon wins its first ever national championship 42-38.