Rose Bowl (Pasadena) Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. Ohio State vs. Oregon PICK: Oregon
The game I most look forward to watching, to be sure. I was stunned that Oregon was only favored by three points (then three-and-a-half)… Ohio State hasn’t sniffed a Pac-10 team in some time and I don’t think it will again. When the Ducks are motivated (and they will be in Pasadena), their offense is damn near unstoppable. Ohio State could give it a whirl for a while if it stays disciplined — it doesn’t seem to be a team that will miss many tackles — but it simply doesn’t have the speed to compete all four quarters. Oregon wins — and easily covers the spread.
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans) Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. Cincinnati vs. Florida PICK: Florida
I likely would have picked Florida regardless, but put it all together — Tim Tebow’s last college game, Urban Meyer’s last game, Brian Kelly’s departure to Notre Dame — and I’m thinking a big, big win.
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale) Jan. 4, 8 p.m. TCU vs. Boise State PICK: TCU
(Quick analysis… heading to lunch and to watch the Steelers-Ravens game!) I really love that the Fiesta Bowl’s internal investigation into its pick of teams found nothing. Stunning news. It stinks these teams have to play each other. But, it beats them playing either of the Orange Bowl teams. I think it’d be cool to have seen TCU or BSU play Texas or Alabama, mix up the undefeateds, ya know? I’m not sure how the heck I’m picking against Chris Petersen in a bowl game, but I love TCU’s style. Horned Frogs in a close one.
Orange Bowl (Miami) Jan. 5, 8 p.m. Georgia Tech vs. Iowa PICK: Georgia Tech
Almost picked Iowa here… I like Stanzi’s resolve and charisma. Ga. Tech shows itself to be inconsistent, too (see loss to Georgia.) Kirk Ferentz will coach the defense up, too. Hmmm… maybe I should’ve picked the Big Ten team.
National Championship Game (Pasadena) Jan. 7, 8 p.m. Alabama vs. Texas PICK: Alabama
Texas — soft Big 12 schedule this season, little resistance along the way until Nebraska — which was supposed to be trounced the Longhorns — damn near put the Bearcats in this game. Alabama has to be more prepared with its strength of schedule, its Heisman Trophy-winning running back, its defense and that chip on its year-old chip on the shoulder courtesy of Utah.
International Bowl (Toronto) Jan. 2, 12 p.m. South Florida vs. Northern Illinois PICK: South Florida
Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.) Jan. 2, 2 p.m. South Carolina vs. UConn PICK: South Carolina
Cotton Bowl (Arlington, Texas) Jan. 2, 2 p.m. Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi PICK: Oklahoma State
Liberty Bowl (Memphis) Jan. 2, 5:30 p.m. Arkansas vs. East Carolina PICK: Arkansas
Alamo Bowl (San Antonio) Jan. 2, 9 p.m. Michigan State vs. Texas Tech PICK: Texas Tech
GMAC Bowl (Mobile, Ala.) Jan. 6, 7 p.m. Central Michigan vs. Troy PICK: Central Michigan