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Taking shots at the bowls

End Zone


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Trying to predict bowl games often can make one look stupid, and that comes from years of firsthand experience.

Last year, though, I went 4-1 in forecasting the Bowl Championship Series, and giving you Utah over Alabama in that memorable Sugar Bowl upset as well as Florida winning the national title. This batch of bowls seems tougher than usual, and it means going against the oddsmakers on numerous occasions.

This year's upset special would've been Cincinnati over Florida, until Cincy coach Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame. Now it's a happy farewell for the Gators' Tim Tebow. So the next upset is Stanford pounding on Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl at El Paso.

In the grand finale, I have to go with Alabama, after seeing how Texas was exposed by Nebraska in the Big 12 title game.

With that, let's dive into the deep water ...

New Mexico, Dec. 19: Fresno State 27, Wyoming 23. Closer than the oddsmakers think.

St. Petersburg, Dec. 19: Rutgers 31, Central Florida 21. The more physical team wins.

New Orleans, Dec. 20: Southern Mississippi 37, Middle Tennessee 34. Lots of offense on both sides.

Las Vegas, Dec. 22: Oregon State 33, Brigham Young 30. Beavers are underrated.

Poinsettia, Dec. 23: Utah 23, California 13. Utes have better defense, and Cal went downhill late.

Hawaii, Dec. 24: Nevada 40, SMU 31. Might not be this close if the Wolfpack rolls.

Emerald, Dec. 26: Southern Cal 28, Boston College 24. USC's already reloading.

Meineke, Dec. 26: Pittsburgh 30, North Carolina 27. Watch Pitt runner Dion Lewis.

Little Caesars, Dec. 26: Ohio U. 19, Marshall 14. Frank Solich's stability prevails.

Music City, Dec. 27: Clemson 38, Kentucky 31. Happy ending for C.J. Spiller.

Independence, Dec. 28: Georgia 44, Texas A&M 20. Aggies are overrated.

EagleBank, Dec. 29: Temple 22, UCLA 20. Rick Neuheisel gets outcoached.

Champs Sports, Dec. 29: Wisconsin 35, Miami, Fla. 27. UW's better than you think.

Humanitarian, Dec. 30: Idaho 31, Bowling Green 29. It's a virtual home game for Idaho on Boise State's blue turf.

Holiday, Dec. 30: Arizona 16, Nebraska 10. Huskers need a quarterback.

Armed Forces, Dec. 31: Houston 40, Air Force 37. Another tough bowl loss for AFA, but Houston's Case Keenum is close to unstoppable.

Sun, Dec. 31: Stanford 27, Oklahoma 17. Big dose of Toby Gerhart mows down Sooners.

Texas, Dec. 31: Missouri 23, Navy 19. Middies seemed to wear out at the end.

Insight, Dec. 31: Iowa State 20, Minnesota 13. It means more to the Cyclones.

Chick-fil-A, Dec. 31: Tennessee 24, Virginia Tech 16. Vols are on the rise again.

Outback, Jan. 1: Northwestern 17, Auburn 14. This would be called an upset, but why? Northwestern did beat Iowa and Wisconsin.

Gator, Jan. 1: West Virginia 31, Florida State 30. One last wide-right for FSU legend Bobby Bowden as he heads into the sunset.

Capital One, Jan. 1: LSU 24, Penn State 12. Speed makes the difference.

Rose, Jan. 1: Oregon 39, Ohio State 38. Could be the bowls' best actual game.

Sugar, Jan. 1: Florida 41, Cincinnati 34. Going against my first instinct here.

International, Jan. 2: South Florida 37, Northern Illinois 7. Worst bowl mismatch., Jan. 2: Connecticut 23, South Carolina 20. Just a hunch.

Cotton, Jan. 2: Mississippi 41, Oklahoma State 31. Remember the name Dexter McClusker, the Rebels' big-play runner.

Liberty, Jan. 2: Arkansas 37, East Carolina 25. Southeastern beats Conference USA.

Alamo, Jan. 2: Michigan State 28, Texas Tech 24. Tech rarely is as sharp in bowls.

Fiesta, Jan. 4: TCU 38, Boise State 26. Horned Frogs really deserved better.

Orange, Jan. 5: Georgia Tech 33, Iowa 23. Hawkeyes haven't seen this offense.

GMAC, Jan. 6: Central Michigan 39, Troy 24. Be sure to watch CMU quarterback Dan LeFevour.

BCS, Jan. 7: Alabama 26, Texas 17. Mark Ingram, along with the Crimson Tide defense, would've had more trouble against TCU.


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