Thus far, we've had a pretty crazy bowl season, and today, we'll finally start the bowls that don't feature teams like Bowling Green or Middle Tennessee State. The bowls I am describing don't have ".com" in their name. I am of course talking about the BCS Bowls.
Originally, I had intended on giving a preview of all 34 bowls, but uh....I didn't. So here is my last-ditch effort at getting in on the bowl season. Today, I will only be previewing the games happening today, so here goes hopefully something:
Rose Bowl presented by Citi #8 Ohio State (10-2) vs. #7 Oregon (10-2)
The Pac-10 is bleeding somewhat, with a 2-3 bowl record that includes embarrassing losses like Oregon State's loss to BYU (44-20) and Arizona's offensive impotence against Nebraska (33-0). The Pac-10, normally known for its prolific offenses, hopes to get some Viagra for its offenses in the form of the University of Oregon.
My gut feeling is in favor of Oregon. The Ducks' offense is just going to be too much, and after watching Ohio St. lose at home to USC and USC get trounced by Oregon, it seems like a lay-up prognostication.
Yeah, I know. The OSU-USC game was a long time ago (frankly, the regular season was a long time ago). Teams (hopefully) get better throughout the season.
But the way I figure it, that game was a huge game for OSU, as it was trying to redeem itself from last year's 35-3 debacle. The Buckeyes had every reason to play big in that game, and USC, with a true-freshman QB, went into the Buckeyes' house and beat them.
Conversely, when USC was playing Oregon on Halloween, it had every reason to play its best. Oregon was at the top of the conference standings, and USC only trailed by one game. It needed a big game, and Oregon gave the Trojans a shellacking.
While this might sound like I am previewing USC, common opponents is a good way to compare teams. It's not always the best way (and sometimes it makes absolutely no sense), but USC played both of these teams. In both of the games, both teams needed to play their best. The only difference is Ohio State's best was not enough, and Oregon's best was superfluous.
Oregon 31, Ohio State 20
Allstate Sugar Bowl #3 Cincinnati (12-0) vs. #5 Florida (11-1)
This game has certainly accumulated its share of story lines. First, you have the Bearcats playing without the head coach who helped get them their undefeated regular season. Then, you have the Gators playing for the sick little boy in the hospital, who is now back on the sidelines (with the head coach's headset on) in the last game before his leave of absence (however long it may or may not be).
Another thing going for Florida is it got blown out by Alabama. The Gators have more to prove now, than if it would have been a close game. The devastation would have been too much for them to overcome. (ex. Utah 31, Alabama 17) Now, Florida will get its head on straight and win this game.
The Bearcats could go one of two ways. 1) They could pout about their coach leaving and end up playing like a team without a head coach, or 2) they could go out and play their best to show Brian Kelly what he left behind.
After reading some of the players' reactions to him leaving, I'm thinking #2 is a lot more likely. Some of those players might actually hate their ex-coach. They'd love nothing more than to go out and punch Florida right in the mouth.
The only problem is Florida's mouth is made out of steel.