Monday, December 27, 2010

BCS Preview - By Jeff Bailey

 Jeff Bailey weighs in with his thoughts on the BCS bowl games, complete with predictions.

Rose Bowl
Wisconsin (5) vs. TCU (3)
  The Grandaddy of them all is once again one of the best bowl games of the season.  It pits fifth ranked Big Ten Champion, Wisconsin against third ranked Mountain West Champion, TCU.  The Horned Frogs tried to burst the BCS bubble but came up short even after a 12-0 season.  TCU still wants to prove to people that they belong with the big dogs so they will be giving nothing less than 110%.  Wisconsin has not been to the Rose Bowl since 1999 and will be more than ready for the challenge.
  Wisconsin has one of, if not the best, running attack games in the country.  The 3-headed monster, as I like to call it, of White, Clay, and Ball each have over 860 yards and have at least 13 TDs.  TCU is no pushover though with the third ranked run defense in the country, and 1st overall defense.  Something is going to have to give in this game; either Wisconsin gets its run game going, or TCU stops them dead in their tracks.  Both teams cannot win in that category.
  I believe this will be a semi-high scoring game (both teams average 43 ppg) but the difference maker will be the QBs.  Which QB can spread the field better and move the ball down the field?  On paper TCU’s Andy Dalton has the better stats, but as a pure leader and getting the team going I will go with Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien.

Final Score: Wisconsin 34 TCU 24

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech (13) vs. Stanford (4)
  13th ranked Virginia Tech is back in the Orange Bowl after missing a BCS game last season.  The nation’s fourth-ranked Stanford Cardinal has blown onto the scene the past two seasons and is rewarded with their first BCS game since the 1999 Rose Bowl.  Stanford is seeking their first BCS win while Virginia Tech feels right at home at the Orange (3rd appearance in four years).
  Both of these teams have very solid and balanced offensive attacks and are coming into this game very hot.  Stanford is on a seven game win streak and the Hokies, after losing their first two games, have roared back to win 11 straight.  The two main keys I see to this game involve the QBs.  First, which Tyrod Taylor will show up for Virginia Tech?  Some days he can be an amazing QB while other days he can lay an egg.    
  Secondly, how does Virginia Tech slow down or stop Andrew Luck?  In my mind, Luck is the best pure passer in college football and will make an immediate impact in the NFL.  All season long Luck has pretty much had his way with defenses.  Virginia Tech has a solid defense but it won’t be enough to slow down Luck and Stanford.

Final Score: Stanford 28 Virginia Tech 20

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma (7) vs. Connecticut (NR)
  This is probably one of the most lopsided BCS games we have seen in a long time on paper.   Seventh ranked Oklahoma, the Big 12 champion, has only missed a BCS bowl game 3 times since 2000.  They’ll face the Big East champion, an unranked UConn team that has only been to four bowl games in school history.  Many people are upset that UConn gets to play in a BCS game while other “better” teams get left out.  This is the first time a team with 4 losses has played in a BCS game since the inception of the current system.  UConn has a lot to prove about themselves and the Big East. 
  Oklahoma is a very pass heavy offense with Landry Jones leading the way with almost 4300 yards passing and 35 TDs.  UConn, on the other hand, is a very run heavy offense with Jordan Todman, who has over 1500 yards rushing and 14 TDs.  Don’t count Oklahoma out on the running game because DeMarco Murray is a stud who has had a quiet 1100 yard season.  On paper, both teams are very similar in defense, but the Huskies didn’t play one team ranked in the top 25 all year.
  I have a feeling this game might stay close for a quarter, maybe 2, then the flood gates will open for Oklahoma.  I don’t see UConn being able to stop Jones or Murray, and they don’t have enough offensive weapons to move the ball on Oklahoma.

Final Score: Oklahoma 43 UConn 10

Sugar Bowl
Ohio State (6) vs. Arkansas (8)
  The Sugar Bowl this year looks to be a very hard fought game by two very solid teams.  Ohio State, currently ranked sixth, looks to extend its BCS win streak to 2 after losing 3 straight, while eighth ranked Arkansas is looking for its first BCS bowl win.  Ohio State is very used to playing in BCS games having played in eight BCS games since the system started; the most by any school in the nation.  On the other hand, Arkansas has never played in a BCS game and hasn’t even been to a bowl game since 2007.
  The Buckeyes are no stranger to Arkansas’ QB Ryan Mallet seeing that they played against him four years ago when he was at Michigan.  Since then, Mallet has become one of the best QBs in the country and threw for 3600 yards this season.  Ohio State’s QB Terrelle Pryor didn’t live up to the preseason hype for a Heisman-like year, but still lead the Buckeyes to an 11-1 record.  Both teams are very balanced on offense and very solid on defense.  Ohio State comes in with the third best overall defense in the country, but will it be enough to stop Mallet and the Razorbacks?  I look for both teams to move the ball, but special teams will be a big factor in winning the game.

Final Score: Ohio State 27 Arkansas 24

BCS National Championship
Auburn (1) vs. Oregon (2)
  Points, points, and more points.  That is what I think of when I see this match up.  How high can the score go?  #1 Auburn has the most exciting and explosive player in college football that we have seen in years, while #2 Oregon has the most explosive and high powered offense of any team in the country.  Neither team posts a great defense, which could make this a very exciting game.  Oregon is averaging an astonishing 540 yards per game, while Auburn is not too shabby themselves with 497 yards per contest.  Both teams also average over 42 points per game, with Oregon scoring nearly 50 a game.
  Oregon uses Chip Kelly’s patented spread offense with the two-headed monster of QB Darron Thomas and RB LeMichael James.  If you stop one of them, the other will pick up the slack and still put points on the board.  Auburn is lead by Heisman winner Cam Newton who is probably the best dual threat QB college football has ever seen.  Newton has accounted for 4000 yards of offense and 48 TDs this season.
Like I said earlier, neither team has much of a defense, so the main key to this game is which defense will show up more.  “Defense wins championships” should be the phrase of the week/month for these teams.    This could easily be the highest scoring national championship game ever, but the winner will be the team who’s defense show up more.
  Besides defense, the main key to this game is if Auburn gets down big early or not.  Auburn has had many come-from-behind victories this season and is never out of the game.  If Auburn gets down early again in this one, I think Chip Kelly and Oregon have it in them to stomp the fire out right away.

Final Score: Auburn 48 Oregon 44

Agree?  Disagree?  Post a comment with your thoughts.


  1. First....Nice write up!!

    Disagree--My Prediction:Wisconsin 27 TCU 35
    Agree--My Prediction:Stanford 35 Virginia Tech 23
    Agree--My Prediction:Oklahoma 48 UConn 17
    Disagree--My Prediction Ohio State 21 Arkansas 28
    Disagree--My Prediction Auburn 38 Oregon 48

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