No exCuses from Pasqualoni: Orange!

Dec 21, 2004 4:43 AM

Last week we got off to a nice start with Southern Miss and the "under" coming through against North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl. We’ll try the next seven of the 27 remaining bowls, along with capsules on the upcoming contests not taking place this week.

Tuesday, Dec. 21

Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Syracuse +4½ vs Ga Tech (43½): Head coach Paul Pasqualoni hasn’t hung around 14 years at Syracuse by accident. At the brink of losing his job several times, PP rallies the troops and survives. We think he does it again facing a Georgia Tech team that can’t put two good games together. Besides, Orange is the popular color and juice in Florida. Oh, by the way, Pasqualoni is 107-58-1 and the Cuse is 8-3 ATS. SYRACUSE.

Wednesday, Dec. 22

GMAC Bowl, Mobile, AL

Memphis +4½ at Bowling Green (72): Playing the total may be the safe way to view this probable shootout. BG is averaging a shade below 49 points per game since demolishing Temple 70-9 back on Oct. 2. Memphis has scored 30 or more in eight of 11 games. Game features two vastly underrated players in WR Cole Magner (BG) and RB DeAngelo Williams (Memphis). OVER.

Thursday, Dec. 23

Fort Worth Bowl, Texas

Marshall —1 at Cincinnati (53½): The Herd lost their thunder the last seven weeks, going just 1-6 ATS including four straight noncovers. Cincy had won and covered four in a row until star QB Gino Guidugli sat out the Louisville debacle (70-7) with an injury. UC placed 11 on the C-USA All-Conference teams, most of any member including Louisville. Game could ride on status of Guidugli (broken hand). We see him playing. CINCINNATI.

Las Vegas Bowl, Sam Boyd

Wyoming +12½ vs UCLA (58): Wyoming closed 4-0 ATS to earn a bowl berth. Heck, someone from the Mountain West had to go! First meeting between the two schools. UCLA won LV Bowl two years ago against New Mexico as a 10½-point favorite, 27-13. The Bruins have a big edge at the skill positions and pushed USC hard in the season finale. UCLA lost 17-9 to Fresno in the Silicon Valley Bowl last year, so that might provide the necessary incentive. If not, give ’em Manilow tickets. UCLA.

Friday, Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu

UAB +3½ vs Hawaii (75½): One last look at Hawaii QB Timmy Chang, who led home wins over Northwestern and Michigan State on his way to becoming the NCAA all-time pass yardage leader. UAB is 1-4 ATS in last five games. Money line looks good. HAWAII.

Monday, Dec. 27

MPC Computers Bowl, Idaho

Fresno St +5½ vs Virginia (52): Rare trip for Virginia to frigid Pacific northwest. Fresno familiar with Boise’s blue turf and is another live dog with underrated coach Pat Hill. FRESNO ST.

Motor City Bowl, Detroit

Connecticut +3 at Toledo (66): UConn 4-6 ATS, with two setbacks coming against nonBig East foes. Toledo on a 7-2 ATS run, including last four and MAC title win. QBs Orlovsky (UConn) and Gradkowski (Toledo) known for throwing the long ball, but the "G-man" less likely to throw the interception. TOLEDO.

Postseason record: 2-0

CAPSULES

Tuesday, Dec. 28

Independence Bowl, Shreveport LA

Miami, O —3 vs Iowa St (51½): Departed Miami QB Roethlisberger’s only loss last year was to Iowa. ISU 6-4 ATS, including cover this year vs. Iowa.

Insight Bowl, Phoenix

Oregon St —3½ vs Notre Dame (50): Fifth bowl in last six years for Beavers. Irish still searching for a head coach, a major distraction.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

Houston Bowl, Reliant Stadium

Colorado —3 vs UTEP (59): Buffs off pounding from Oklahoma. UTEP went from 2-11 to 9-2 SU in one year under new HC Mike Price.

Alamo Bowl, San Antonio

Ohio St +1½ vs Okla St: Okies beat Southern Miss 33-23 two years ago in this bowl. Buckeyes beat Kansas State by seven in Fiesta last season.

Thursday, Dec. 30

Continental Bowl, Charlotte NC

Boston Col +3 at UNC (51½): BC lost to Wake Forest 17-14 as a pick. Heels 6-1 ATS in last seven, including four straight.

Emerald Bowl, San Francisco

Navy +2½ vs N.Mexico (42): Middies beat MWC member Air Force 24-21 as a +1 dog this season. Lobos off two straight noncovers in Las Vegas Bowl.

Holiday Bowl, San Diego

Texas Tech +11½ vs Cal (65): Mindset of Cal key factor, dropping behind Texas in final BCS poll. Could be final game for Bears QB Rodgers.

Silicon Valley Bowl, San Jose

Troy St pick vs No. Illinois (47): Troy 8-3 ATS, including covers against LSU, Missouri, S. Carolina and Marshall. NIU 18-5 straight-up the past two seasons.

Friday, Dec. 31

Music City Bowl, Nashville

Minn +3½ vs Alabama (48½): Minnesota RB tandem of Barber and Maroney as good as they come. Bama limped into bowl without QB Croyle.

Sun Bowl, El Paso

Arizona St +7½ vs Purdue (55): ASU without star QB Boller. Purdue QB Orton off big against Indiana after midseason slump.

Liberty Bowl, Memphis

Boise St +14 vs Louisville (83): The two most prolific scoring teams in the country. Louisville 10-1 ATS this year, only failing against Memphis.

Peach Bowl, Atlanta

Florida +3 vs Miami F (52½): Gators 0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS in last two matchups with hated Canes. Did not meet in regular season.

Saturday, Jan. 1

Outback Bowl, Tampa

Wisconsin +6½ vs Georgia (40½): Badgers 2-4 ATS in last six bowl trips. Dawgs 3-0 both SU andATS against Big Ten in bowls since ’97.

Cotton Bowl, Dallas

Tenn +3 at Texas A&M (55½): Vols lost 35-21 to Kansas State as a +3 dog in this bowl four years ago. Aggies making their first bowl appearance since 2001.

Gator Bowl, Jacksonville

W. Virginia +8½ vs FSU (45): WVU has been outscored 61-20 in two Gator Bowl losses since ”˜94 to ACC teams. Noles 1-3 ATS in last four bowls.

Capital One Bowl, Orlando

Iowa +6½ vs LSU (42): Iowa 46-24-2 ATS under HC Ferentz, including a 7-1 run to close the regular season. LSU has allowed 55 points in last four games.

Rose Bowl, Pasadena

Michigan +6 vs Texas (53): Wolverines 0-2 ATS in last two Rose Bowl visits (’97, ’03). Texas is playing its first Big Ten opponent in the last 10 years.

Fiesta Bowl, Tempe AZ

Pitt +16½ vs Utah (67): Pitt has gone to six bowls in eight years under HC Harris, including six straight. Utes 18-4 ATS under HC Meyer, who heads to Florida after the game.

Monday, Jan. 3

Sugar Bowl, New Orleans

Va Tech +6½ vs Auburn (44½): Hokies 3-8 ATS in bowl games since ’94. Tigers 3-1 ATS in bowls under HC Tuberville.

Tuesday, Jan. 4

Orange Bowl, Miami

National championship

Oklahoma +3 vs USC (54): Sooners 59-6 SU in five years under HC Stoops. USC 31-18 ATS in three seasons for HC Carroll.