Friday, December 17, 2010

Bowl Preview

Hey football fans! The bowl season starts tomorrow. I better get my bowl preview out before it’s too late!

Below you will find basic information for each bowl including: name (I didn’t have room for all of the wacky sponsors, sorry), favorite, underdog, line based on the current version of my rankings, probability of an upset and date for the game.   

That’s an awful lot of information and, to help you out, I thought I would summarize a few interesting points:

  • I’m sure you’re all interested in what I have to say about the National Championship Game. The rankings have not been a fan of Auburn all season and, not surprisingly, I have Oregon as a ten point favorite over Auburn. The national perception is that the Pac 10 did not have a good year but my rankings have the strength of the Pac 10 as nearly equal to the strength of the SEC. Combine that with the fact that Oregon didn’t play many close games, compared to Auburn, who had several close calls, and you can see why my rankings have Oregon as the solid favorite.
  • There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for this year’s BCS match-ups but the rankings do not see these games being as competitive as last year. Oregon and Oklahoma are favored by ten and fourteen points, respectively, and only the Rose Bowl has a line of less than five (TCU by 4.76). In contrast, none of last year’s games had a ten point spread (the Sugar Bowl was close at 9.74), three of the games had smaller spread than this year’s Rose Bowl and two were expected to be closer than a field goal.
  • A lower-tier bowl that’s drawing a lot of attention is the Las Vegas Bowl, which features Boise State and Utah. Boise and Utah have been the strongest non-BCS conference teams of the BCS era. Both team’s regular seasons ended in disappointment. It will be interesting to see who rebounds for a good bowl showing. The rankings think it will be the Broncos by fourteen.
  • Presented without comment: this year, there are 35 bowls, meaning that 70 of the 120 Bowl subdivision teams are above average.
  • The title sponsors get wackier every year. Last year, my favorite was easily the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is back but there are several other great options this season. The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl is a classic (AdvoCare V100 is a diet supplement) and the BBVA Compass Bowl is pretty good too (until year realize that BBVA Compass is a holding company and not a compass manufacturer), but the title of best sponsor is clearly a dogfight between the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman. (Do I lose points for the bad pun?)

Happy Holidays! Enjoy the bowl season!

Bowl Favorite Underdog Line P(Upset) Date
BCS National Championship Game Oregon Auburn 10.02 0.244 1/10/11
Sugar Bowl Ohio State Arkansas 6.53 0.326 1/4/11
Orange Bowl Stanford Virginia Tech 8.22 0.285 1/3/11
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma Connecticut 14.08 0.165 1/1/11
Rose Bowl TCU Wisconsin 4.76 0.371 1/1/11
Cotton Bowl LSU Texas A&M 2.02 0.444 1/7/11
Capital One Bowl Alabama Michigan State 14.23 0.162 1/1/11
Gator Bowl Mississippi State Michigan 4.28 0.384 1/1/11
Outback Bowl Florida Penn State 8.65 0.275 1/1/11
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Nevada Boston College 8.47 0.279 1/9/11
BBVA Compass Bowl Pittsburgh Kentucky 7.39 0.305 1/8/11 Bowl Middle Tennessee State Miami (Ohio) 0.22 0.494 1/6/11
TicketCity Bowl Texas Tech Northwestern 6.92 0.316 1/1/11
Chick-fil-A Bowl Florida State South Carolina 2.68 0.426 12/31/10
Liberty Bowl Georgia Central Florida 9.81 0.249 12/31/10
Sun Bowl Miami (Fla.) Notre Dame 4.33 0.382 12/31/10
Meineke Car Care Bowl Clemson South Florida 6.65 0.323 12/31/10
Holiday Bowl Nebraska Washington 14.04 0.166 12/30/10
Music City Bowl North Carolina Tennessee 2.64 0.428 12/30/10
Pinstripe Bowl Kansas State Syracuse 4.76 0.371 12/30/10
Armed Forces Bowl SMU Army 3.27 0.41 12/30/10
Alamo Bowl Oklahoma State Arizona 2.53 0.431 12/29/10
Texas Bowl Illinois Baylor 3.44 0.406 12/29/10
Military Bowl Maryland East Carolina 14.12 0.164 12/29/10
Insight Bowl Missouri Iowa 0.44 0.488 12/28/10
Champs Sports Bowl West Virginia North Carolina State 2.29 0.437 12/28/10
Independence Bowl Air Force Georgia Tech 1.73 0.452 12/27/10
Little Ceasers Bowl Toledo Florida International 1.02 0.472 12/26/10
Hawaii Bowl Hawaii Tulsa 6.96 0.315 12/24/10
Poinsettia Bowl Navy San Diego State 2.17 0.44 12/23/10
Las Vegas Bowl Boise State Utah 14.67 0.155 12/22/10
St. Petersburg Bowl Louisville Southern Mississippi 2.79 0.423 12/21/10
New Orleans Bowl Troy Ohio 0.04 0.499 12/18/10
Humanitarian Bowl Northern Illinois Fresno State 6.35 0.33 12/18/10
New Mexico Bowl BYU UTEP 14.71 0.154 12/18/10

Full week 14 rankings can be found at my personal website:

1 comment:

  1. So Joe, let me ask you about the Holiday Bowl. Am I crazy for thinking that UW might have a shot? I subjected myself to the torture of the earlier game against Nebrask so I know how brutal it might get, but isn't there something at play that can't possibly be accounted for in your rankings?

    I'm talking letdown. Had they beat OU they were on their way to a CBS game, but by losing (and by way of punishment for leaving the conference) they get passed by two bowls and must play a team they already beat by 5 touchdowns? I'm starting to talk myself into upset based on letdown alone.

    Tell me I'm not crazy