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Bowled overto New Year’s

Dec 24, 2007 4:45 AM

We will start this week’s column with a brief analysis of each of the 15 bowl games that will be played prior to January 1.

C. Michigan +9 vs Purdue (72): These two teams met during the regular season with Purdue winning easily 45-22. I see no reason why that game will come out that much different than this rematch. PURDUE 48-21.

Texas -2 vs Arizona St (62): I don’t think Texas wants to be here, as their sights were set on a BCS bowl. AZ State has a high-powered offense and is capable of pulling an upset. ASU 34-28.

Michigan St +2 vs BC (57): BC has a big league quarterback who is Flutie-like, with miracle finishes. Michigan State hasn’t faced an offense like this and I don’t think the Spartans can compete with this high flying club. BC 36-18.

TCU -4 vs Houston (60): TCU has a solid defense and should be able to control a pass happy Houston club with a head coaching change that may add to its demise. TCU 24-17.

Maryland +4 vs Oregon St (48): Oregon State went 8-4 against better competition and has a great run defense, giving up only 75 yards per game. This could be a blowout and Maryland may become one dimensional. OSU 41-20.

UConn +3 vs W.Forest (49): This game figures to be a tossup, as Wake’s running game should be successful. Connecticut’s passing game could also cause many problems. Defense wins games, so I’ll have to select the Deacons, as the time of possession should be all Wake. WF 24-20.

UCF -2½ vs Miss St (60): Central Florida beat better teams this year and Mississippi State can’t score. Doubtful the Bulldogs can contain South Florida’s running game. How can all these Florida something teams get into all these bowl games? UCF 35-17.

Penn St -5½ vs Texas A&M (51): I originally liked A&M, as I have a low opinion of most Big Ten teams. However, due to yet another coaching change at A&M, I’ll go with Penn State here. You can be sure Joe Paterno will show up just as he has for the last 85 years. PSU 27-17.

Colorado +3½ vs Alabama (51): With deep regret I’ll have to go with Alabama in this spot, as they are definitely the best team in the better conference. I don’t like Nick Saban, who makes up half of the dirty duo with Bobby Petrino. With the paycheck he’s getting, he’d better win a bowl game here. BAMA 28-17.

Air Force +4 vs Cal (54): The Golden Bears have better players and are in a much stronger conference, but I’m taking the points. I like Air Force with its triple option, to upset the once mighty Bears, who never seem to play up to their capabilities. AF 38-24.

Oregon +6½ vs USF (52): Oregon lost the best quarterback in the country (Dennis Dixon) to injury and Ryan Leaf’s brother can’t fill his shoes. Without Dixon, Oregon can’t come close offensively and will be hard-pressed to keep this contest from being a full-scale blowout. USF 42-10.

Fresno St +4½ vs Ga Tech (54½): Fresno is happy to be here, and will have a definite homefield advantage on the blue turf of Boise State. You might want to check the weather here, as I’ve been told that occasionally it snows in Idaho in December. FRESNO 34-21.

FSU +1 vs Kentucky (56): With Florida State suspending 25 players for this game, it’s impossible at this point to have an opinion here, but for the record I liked Kentucky at minus 1, which it certainly won’t be anymore. KENTUCKY

Indiana +5 vs Okla St (69): Here are 2 teams that have one thing in common — neither has any defense. However, Indiana will have a tough time keeping up with the speed of Oklahoma State. This game is an OVER bet without any discussion. OKIE ST 49-38.

Auburn +1 vs Clemson (47½): Clemson will be without two linebackers and an important offensive tackle to boot. That should be enough to tip the scales Auburn’s way, as both teams were a toss up prior to the news. Auburn plays in a better conference and should win this game straight up. AUBURN 28-17.

Please accept my apologies for no picks on the NFL this week, as we had an early deadline. You will probably be better off passing this week anyway, as it’s the last week of the regular season, and anything can happen.

Just a note: if the game has no significance either way, bet the home team!

Have a great week!