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09/10 Bowls: Jan 2

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South Florida vs Northern Illinois, International Bowl (Jan 2, 12pm, Toronto)
Mike: Congrats guys, great season, you’re headed to Toronto for New Years. NIU is rolling into this bowl with two straight losses. Although they were on the road to the teams that made the MAC Championship Game. USF had nice wins against FSU and WVU and lost games you can’t really fault them for. Except for that 31-0 Rutgers loss, which still makes no sense to me. Still, the Big East is a much better conference. Pick: South Florida
Ahad: This has to be one of the worst bowl game locations. If you were in Florida, why would you want to go to Toronto? Despite that, I like South Florida in this matchup. A conference has to be pretty bad if you say it is worse than the Big East. Pick: South Florida
Evan: I’ve liked USF all year. Pick: Bulls
Matt: To me, it’s simple. South Florida played much tougher competition and played in a tougher conference than Northern Illinois. Of course, when I have stated this argument in previous bowl picks, it came back to bite me. I don’t think it will happen here. South Florida rolls. Pick: South Florida

Connecticut vs South Carolina, Bowl (Jan 2, 2pm, Birmingham, AL)
Mike: Why the .com? What a rough season for UConn. Their biggest loss was by 4. 4! That happened against WVU and Rutgers. It’s surprising how close UConn came to being Cincy this year. South Carolina has the misfortune of playing in the SEC. The losses look like they were to good teams but they only played 2 ranked teams (Bama and UF) and obviously lost to them. I think this will be tight but I like UConn’s heart this year. Pick: Connecticut
Ahad: No love again for the SEC. (Just trying to get a reaction out of Evan.) Pick: UConn
Evan: Ahad, I have one question for you – do you respect wood? I’m pretty sure Spurrier has lost interest in football completely. I think this is a case where UConn outplays SC, but that does not show on the scoreboard. Pick: SC
Matt: UConn played every one tough all year but constantly came up on the short end of the score. I would love to see them get the win here. I just don’t think they will. Pick: South Carolina

Oklahoma State vs Mississippi, AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan 2, 2pm, Dallas, TX)
Mike: I haven’t a clue here but Ok State didn’t have to do much to get their 9 wins in the Big 12. One ranked team on their entire schedule. Ole Miss at least beat LSU. I still haven’t a clue on this game. Pick: Mississippi
Ahad: Practically a home game for the Cowboys. Pick: OK State
Evan: What do you think? Ole Miss
Matt: Let’s see, Ole Miss came in an underdog last season in this bowl game when they played Texas Tech and ended up winning. They are a slight favorite this time around. If Snead can keep his turnovers limited, I like Ole Miss’ chances. OK State has not been the same without Dez Bryant. Pick: Ole Miss

East Carolina vs Arkansas, AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Jan 2, 5:30pm, Memphis, TN)
Mike: Right away this game doesn’t look to be at all interesting. Does anyone know anything about East Carolina since their hot start in 2008? This could be one of those cases where the lesser known team is pumped and shocks everyone. Could be. Pick: Arkansas
Ahad: Good thing Mallett left Michigan. Pick: Arkansas
Evan: I like Skip Holtz. Pick: Arkansas
Matt: I liked this Arkansas team this year. They played well, although it wasn’t exactly reflected in their record. East Carolina only had one real quality win this year, and that was against Houston in the finale. I think East Carolina keeps this one close into the 4th quarter, but Arkansas pulls away in the end. Pick: Arkansas

Texas Tech vs Michigan State, Valero Alamo Bowl (Jan 2, 9pm, San Antonio, TX)
Mike: I wonder if any bowl game has had a swing in picks like this one must be having. Michigan State is a pretty good squad and I probably would have been split before all the drama. I’m sure Mike Leach will land somewhere just fine. The only good that could come of this is if we could get Craig James off of ESPN. Pick: Michigan State
Ahad: Didn’t MSU suspend a bunch of players? Based on the comments from some of the players, they are relieved that the Mike Leach drama is over. Apparently this guy was nuts. The offense might struggle a little bit without the play caller, but Potts knows the offense well enough to keep things moving. Pick: Texas Tech
Evan: I say Tech bounces back from Leachgate. Pick: Tech
Matt: Since when is this game after New Years Day? Doesn’t make sense to me. This is another bowl game with all kinds of outside distractions. Michigan State did suspend about 8 of their players and then of course there is the whole Leach fiasco. I am with Mike in regards to Craig James. I hate that guy. Back to the game, I think the MSU defense will struggle against the Tech passing attack. Michigan State won’t be able to keep up on the scoreboard. Pick: Texas Tech

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