January bowl predictions – Oregon takes it all

mariota wyo Photo by Mary Jane Schulte Oregon News lab The December bowl games are nearly over. My guesses? So far, ot so good. If I were a betting man – I’d be broke. These early games are like betting on horse races in the middle of the week – the odds are all the same since the teams are marginal “also rans” in their conferences.

On December 20th, I channel surfed all of them. Over the last week I’ve caught parts of most of the others.

I was surprised to see that Utah is really good, but CSU played without coach Jim McElwain who bolted to Gatorville, Florida. That’s par for the course in the Mountain West Conference.

Wyoming coach Pat Dye took off for Auburn after one mediocre year with the Cowboys. He went on to get the Tigers put on NCAA probation in 1993 while athletic director and coach.

Wyoming coach Pat Dye took off for Auburn after one mediocre year with the Cowboys.

It will be interesting to see how Mike Bobo does in CSU.

He’ll be moving from a pretty good job as the offensive coordinator at Georgia to Fort Collins sight unseen with his family of 5 kids. He says CSU is his “dream job”. He’s been dreaming about getting $7 million for a five year contract.

Guys from the south have strong roots there. I remember when Wyoming hired Pat Dye. He bolted after one year to Auburn where he was athletic director and coach. In 1993 Auburn was put on two years probation.

Add CSU coach McElwain to that list. He came from Alabama before leaving for greener pastures in Florida.

back to the games, so far the biggest excitement was the fight that happened in the Miami Beach Bowl that cleared the BYU and Memphis benches.

BYU and Memphis cleared their benches and brawled after BYU lost to Memphis in the Miami Bowl. (Fair Use Photo By - AP)

BYU and Memphis cleared their benches and brawled after BYU lost to Memphis in the Miami Bowl. (Fair Use Photo By – AP)

Typical despicable BYU. Maybe it’s an ill-founded perception, but BYU teams are sore losers.

This is very ironic because BYU sports teams are purported to maintain high morals because of their attachment to the LDS church.

The college football championship quasi-tournament happens this week. I’m picking Alabama and Oregon with the Ducks winning it all on January 12th. Here are my guesses for the January games.

Outback Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Auburn
Jan. 1, Tampa, Florida (Noon ET)

G’day mates, the Outback Steak House Bowl features two great running teams. I watched the Badgers chew up Nebraska, but didn’t do that great containing Ohio State.

Auburn, is and also ran. This should be a pretty good game.
My Guess: Wisconsin

Good Year Cotton Bowl – Baylor vs. Michigan State
Jan. 1, Arlington, Texas (12:30 p.m. ET) 
This could be a high scoring game.¬† I watched Michigan State pummel Wyoming early in the season and haven’t seen Baylor. But the big question is, “Will the Goodyear blimp make an appearance?”
My Guess: Baylor

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl – Minnesota vs. Missouri
Jan. 1, Orlando, Florida (1 p.m. ET) 
Yet another chicken – related business sponsoring a bowl game. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. It should be changed to the Chicken Bowl. I don’t know much about either of these two teams.
My Guess: Missouri

Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Florida State
Jan. 1, Pasadena
Oregon beat up on Wyoming early in the season. They are fast paced and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota can run and throw. Florida State controls the line of scrimmage and will have to contain the Duck’s quickness. These tourney games must need the big bucks and sponsored by insurance companies like Northwestern Mutual.
My Guess: Oregon

Allstate Sugar Bowl – Alabama vs. Ohio State
Jan. 1, New Orleans (8:30 p.m. ET) 
This could be a high scoring affair. Ohio State looked pretty good in the Big 10 championship game against Wisconsin, considering the quarterback hasn’t had but one start. The Buckeyes have been quiet this year. The tide will be “In Good Hands”.
My Guess: Alabama

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl – Houston vs. Pitt
Jan. 2, Fort Worth, Texas (Noon ET) 
I don’t know anything about this game. I wonder if sponsoring football games is an eligible expense in the Lockheed Martin government military contracts.
My Guess: Pitt

Taxslayer Gator Bowl – Tennessee vs. Iowa
Jan. 2, Jacksonville, Florida (3:20 p.m. ET) 
Taxslayer is income tax software. I haven’ t heard of it – Office Depot must not carry it. Taxslayer also is a NASCAR sponsor, which makes a little sense since the company is located in Georgia. Tennessee is the home team for this game, but I don’t think they’ll win.
My Guess: Iowa

Valero Alamo Bowl – Kansas State vs. UCLA
Jan. 2, San Antonio (6:45 p.m. ET) 
The low gas prices must not be a deterrent to Valero sponsoring this game. I went to the Alamo a few years ago and watched Nebraska beat Michigan State. Frank Solich was fired and interim coach Bo Pelinski won and went on to LSU. These two middle of the pack teams should provide an entertaining game.
My Guess: Kansas State

Ticket City Cactus Bowl – Oklahoma State vs. Washington
Jan. 2, Tempe, Arizona (10:15 p.m. ET) 
This game is sponsored by Ticket City, which is a ticket brokerage company. Ticket City is selling tickets for all the games and plowing profits back into the Cactus Bowl. A couple more middle of the pack teams.
My Guess: Washington

Alabama Power Birmingham Bowl – East Carolina vs. Florida
Jan. 3, Birmingham, Alabama (1 p.m. ET) 
This game didn’t have a title sponsor for a long time. I don’t know when the Alabama Power Company agreed to sponsor. Too bad it isn’t a night game with the stadium lights burning up a bunch of Kilowatt hours.
My Guess: Florida

GoDaddy Bowl – Toledo vs. Arkansas State
Jan. 4, Mobile, Alabama (9 p.m. ET) 
I don’t use GoDaddy for my web stuff. I didn’t know 4,000 people work there who manage 12 million users around the world. I know more about GoDaddy than I do about these two teams. I do know that when Wyoming fired coach Al Kincaid, he coached at Arkansas State.
My Guess: Arkansas State

National Championship Game – Alabama v Oregon
January 12, 2015 – Arlington, Texas
This will be a pretty good game. I think the conventional wisdom is Florida State and Alabama, but Oregon will surprise everyone.
My guess: Oregon

That’s the college season. This time of year, I start paying closer attention to pro football and college hoops.

Pitchers and catchers report in February.