December 26, 2005

Frinklin Bowl Forecaster Vol. 2

Motor City Bowl
Akron (7-5) vs. Memphis (6-5)
Zips! Tigers! Detroit Rock City!
Nothing like kicking off “Bowl Week” with a bang huh? Actually, there is a very good reason to watch this bowl, and he wears #20 for Memphis. This is DeAngelo Williams’s last game before entering the draft as the best non-USC back available. Williams is an exciting speed/moves mixture, and he could run over Akron’s D. The Zips aren’t helpless though. QB Luke Getsy, a Pitt transfer, has proven a fine replacement for Charlie Frye, and wideout Dominik Hixon has NFL speed. The difference could be expierence. Memphis is on their third consecutive bowl trip. Akron it’s first ever.
The Pick: Memphis 31, Akron 24
Watch it? You bet. A no-name Bowl that should provide plenty of offense and the chance to see Williams, a true college superstar shouldn’t be passed up.

Champs Sports Bowl
Clemson (7-4) vs. Colorado (7-5)
Huh… lose the last two games of your season 100-6 (100-6!), get your coach fired, lose your star quarterback… How is that for momentum? Mike Hankowitz keeps the seat warm for Dan Hawkins and tries to find somebody, anybody to play. Joel Klatt is out and backup James Cox has thrown for a career total of less than 100 yards. Clemson comes in on a bit of roll, but their QB Charlie Whitehurst is questionable for this game too. Expect to see a lot of freshman RB James Davis.
The Pick: Clemson 44, Colorado 14
Watch it? God no. Does this bowl ever NOT suck? Clemson is okay, Colorado doesn’t want to be there. This could be very ugly.

Insight Bowl
Arizona State (6-5) vs. Rutgers (7-4)
Like clockwork these two teams meet in bowls every 27 years. Seriously, how weird is it that Rutgers has been to two bowl games in its history, and they play the same damned team? It’s a home and home series too, as the 1978 Garden State Bowl was in New Jersey. ASU gets this virtual home game and brings a lot of explosive talent. Both quarterbacks, Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter, can sling it, and WR Derek Hagans is ending his career as one of the Pac-10’s best ever. Rutgers is better than you think though. The Knights’ starting backfield of Brian Leonard and Ray Rice counts one of the most underrated tandems in the country. There is also the emotional aspect: Rutgers has everything to play for. The Sun Devils not so much. Hell, ASU only shows up half the time in games they care about anyway.
The Pick: Rutgers 35, Arizona State 31
Watch it? What, you’re going to wait until the 2032 Sopranos Bowl? You may never see Rutgers in a bowl again. Actually, you will, since Coach Greg Schiano has the team going in the right direction.

MPC Computers Bowl
Boise State (9-3) vs. Boston College (8-3)
Two weeks ago the Eagles were hoping for a Peach Bowl berth and worried they might have to settle for the Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Instead, Miami fell into the Peach and BC was passed over for an awful NC State team. Now they have to fly to Boise to play the Broncos, who have won 31 straight at home. Will they be up for it? BSU has issues of its own, most notably a new coach. Will Chris Peterson, a highly-respected coordinator be up this, his first game as a head coach? The Eagles will try to copy Georgia’s method and outmuscle the Broncos.
The Pick: Boise State 24, Boston College 17
Watch it? A big conference team heading to the blue turf to take on Boise State? Absolutely.

Alamo Bowl
Michigan (7-4) vs. Nebraska (7-4)
Christmas in San Antonio isn’t exactly what the alums of either school were looking forward to. Michigan, which has to qualify as a huge (though not-Tennesee huge) disappointment this year. The Wolverines, with Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Steve Breaston and a solid line returning, were thinking national championship back in August. Henne was erratic, Hart was hurt and Breaston disappeared at times. With a month left in the season, Cornhusker coach Bill Callahan looked as if he might be fired after only two seasons. Then QB Zac Taylor blossomed and the ‘Huskers crushed K-State and Colorado down the stretch.
The Pick: Michigan 24, Nebraska 21
Watch it? These are two marquee programs that stumbled a bit. They don’t play each other often, so it’s worth catching, especially if you like passing.

Emerald Bowl
Utah (6-5) vs. Georgia Tech (7-4)
This would be the fifth stop on the G-Tech Mediocre Bowl Tour, following stops at the Champs Sports, Humanitarian, Silicon Valley, and Seattle Bowls. You can see how Jacket fans must be thrilled. Despite Utah's amazing 2004, and gutty win over BYU to qualify for this bowl, GT is a markedly better team. Wideout Calvin Johnson, a sophomore, is without question the best player on either team. It will be up scattershot QB Reggie Ball to get him the football. The Utes are down to backup quarterback Brett Ratliff, and could struggle against Jon Tenuta’s defense.
The Pick: Georgia Tech 17, Utah 10
Watch it? Honestly, since the 200 Peach Bowl, all Georgia Tech bowl appearances are questionable at best. This game is no different.

Holiday Bowl
Oregon (10-1) vs. Oklahoma (7-4)
Man, the Pac-10 has got to do better than this game for their number two team. Nothing against the Holiday Bowl, which is head-and-shoulders above any of the pre-Jan 1 bowls, but facing the number three team from the Big 12 isn’t good enough. Oregon is in a tough spot here. Obviously disappointed about not getting an at-large BCS berth, the Ducks now face a very talented Oklahoma team looking to finish a disappointing season with a bang. Oregon is a pretty thin 10-1 team too. They lost QB Kellen Clemens to injury and tailbacks Terrence Whitehead and Johnathan Stewart have struggled with injuries. Speaking of injuries, Sooner tailback Adrian Peterson is healthy and ready to prove he’s a candidate for the 2006 Heisman.
The Pick: Oklahoma 21, Oregon 17

Posted by Frinklin at December 26, 2005 08:44 AM | TrackBack
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