Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pac-10 Bowl Predictions

Here are my predictions for Pac-10 bowl games that are not the BSC Championship Game...

Holiday Bowl: 6-6 Washington vs. 10-3 and #18 ranked Nebraska on Dec. 30 in San Diego
Earlier this season Nebraska visited Husky Stadium in Seattle and absolutely obliterated the Huskies by the score of 56-21. As bad as that score is for the Dawgs, it was actually worse than that. UW could not stop the Cornhuskers and could not get anything going on their own offense. It was a first class beat-down.

OK, so how is this going to be a game worth watching? Well, the Huskies did improve some since their early season drubbing by Nebraska, and Nebraska - despite finishing with a very nice 10-3 record - cooled off. So, the gap between the teams is probably closer. Also, this is the second year in a row that Nebraska is playing a Pac-10 team in the Holiday Bowl. Last year they killed Arizona by the score of 33-0. Between already having beaten UW and having played in and dominated this bowl last season, Nebraska may not be as motivated as Washington - a team seeking its first bowl win in a long, long time.

Prediction: Nebraska wins 41-24. All of the above considered, I just don't think UW can compete with Nebraska and they will roll the Huskies again.

Alamo Blow: 7-5 Arizona vs. 10-3 and #14 ranked Oklahoma State on Dec. 29 in San Antonio
This one also seems to be a mis-match. Oklahoma State is coming off quite a good season, including playing in the Big-12 championship game. Meanwhile, Arizona finished its season by losing its last four games in a row. The Wildcats are probably better than what their record indicates and could give OK St. some troubles, especially through the air. However, I don't see them winning this game against a well-rounded, quality team.

Prediction: Oklahoma State wins 28-17.

Orange Bowl: 11-1 and #4 ranked Stanford vs. 11-2 and #13 ranked Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 in Miami
Conventional wisdom suggests that this will be a blow out by Stanford. Certainly they will dominate the champion of the underpowered Big East, right? After all, isn't VA Tech the team that lost both to Boise State and James Madison this season? And, wasn't Stanford QB Andrew Luck the runner-up in the voting for the Heisman award this season? For sure, Stanford will roll...right? Well, maybe that could happen. However, more likely will be that VT's own dynamic QB weapon Tyrod Taylor will have some success against the Stanford D and we'll get a closer game than most people think.

Prediction: Stanford wins 31-24. With a win, Stanford could finish as high as #2 in the nation if TCU loses the Rose Bowl to Wisconsin and Oregon were to lose to Auburn in the BCS Championship Game.

So, to summarize, I think the Pac-10 will be 1-2 in bowl games before Oregon plays Auburn for the BSC championship. I'll predict that one just before the game.

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