I ended the season 2-3 bringing my total to 34-27, while Chris fell further behind with a 1-4 mark (27-34 on the year). Since then there's been numerous coaching changes. But now we get to sit back and just watch games and not deal with rumors. We didn't pick all the BCS bowl games because some of them suck, nobody cares about Northern Illinois, sorry the truth hurts.
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Oklahoma State (-17) vs Purdue
12:00 PM ET ESPNU
Chris: A highly favored Big 12 team that doesn't really want to be there against a Big Ten team that is simply happy to be bowling. Sounds very similar to when Purdue played K-State in the 1998 Alamo Bowl, with one main difference. Drew Brees ain't walkin through that door. The Cowboys feature a potent offense, scoring 44.7 per contest, and are well balanced with Joseph Randle on the ground and a passing game that was inconsistent at times, but seemed to settle down late in the year under QB Clint Chelf. I think the Boilers start fast with some trickery from interim-coach Patrick Higgins, and even take the lead into the half. From there OSU will make some adjustments, Purdue will have a special teams gaffe and the Boilers go down, but cover the spread.
Pick: Purdue +17
Slick: For the first time in four years, Danny Hope won't be roaming the sidelines for Purdue and I am quite ecstatic, although that means I don't get to make anymore Hope jokes. Purdue basically backed their way into this bowl game and there's no question they're going to lose, it's just a matter of by how much? I do believe Purdue will play its best game of the season because Robert Marve has gotten all the 1st team reps in practice, which should have happened in August. But Oklahoma State is a good team and really well coached. With Danny Hope no longer coaching and my mancrush Darrell Hazell in attendance, I'm taking the Boilers to only lose by 14. It's a new era baby!
Pick: Purdue +17
Capital One Bowl
#7 Georgia (-10) vs #16 Nebraska
1:00 PM ET ABC
Chris: This is a game neither team wants to be in, with both losing their respective championship games. Aaron Murray and the 'dawgs played a marvelous game, nearly taking down Bama their last time out. Nebraska--well--got curb stomped by Wisconsin. If you look at Nebraska's schedule, they really didn't beat anyone good this year and are somewhat of a fraud. Taylor Martinez is flashy, but I don't trust him to win a game against one of the top 10 (really maybe top 2 or 3) teams in the country. Georgia is going to win and it's not going to be close.
Pick: Georgia -10
Slick: The fact that Georgia couldn't play in a BCS bowl game because the SEC already had two participants is such a joke. They were a touchdown away from playing in the national championship. This system can't die soon enough. I don't know what to make of Nebraska anymore. I was sure the Cornhuskers would be playing in the Rose Bowl but then they no-showed in the B1G Championship. Now they have to face --in my opinion-- the 2nd best team in the entire country. I think the B1G is going to do horrible in bowl games, so I have the Bulldogs winning by two touchdowns.
Pick: Georgia -10
#6 Stanford (-6.5) vs Wisconsin
5:00 PM ET ESPN
Chris: Another year, another Badger Rose Bowl. It's becoming old hat to this squad, with their third straight trip to Pasadena. They did it the old fashioned way this year--backing in thanks to sanctions and scandal--but annihilated Nebraska the last time out and seem to have returned to the running game that got them there. Stanford has been a steady machine under coach David Shaw and are having a fantastic season again. This game features two great running backs in UW's Montee Ball and the Cardinal's Stepfan Taylor, but I think electric freshman back Melvin Gordon will give Wisconsin a speed element much like Oregon's Kenjon Barner. The key will be getting those backs the ball--enter Barry Alvarez--who knows a thing or two about coaching Rose Bowls. I don't really know why, but I like Wisky in this game and would not be surprised at all to see them pull off the upset.
Pick: Wisconsin +6.5
Slick: Bret Bielema leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas was the biggest shocker of the coaching carousel for me. The Badgers earned this Rose Bowl trip fair and square, but any other year and they're not even playing in one of the top 3 B1G tie-in bowls. I think they're going to get killed by Stanford. Although they're both very similar in style with ground and pound offenses, Stanford is significantly better. The Cardinal have won seven straight since they're unforgivable overtime loss to Notre Dame. They've found their groove with Kevin Hogan at quarterback. Chalk up another embarrassing nationally televised B1G beatdown.
Pick: Stanford -6.5
#4 Oregon (-9) vs Kansas State
8:30 PM ET ESPN
Chris: These two teams were once on a collision course to play for the national championship, but both lost in one epic evening, leaving both to have to settle for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Everyone knows about Oregon's speed on offense, but I think this game really comes down to Oregon's defense and their ability (or lack thereof) to contain Collin Klein. Oregon is going to score points with Barner, Mariota and company, but the Wildcats average 40.9 points in their own right and will keep this game close going into the fourth quarter, when the Ducks finish them off.
Pick: Oregon -9
Slick: By all accounts, this is Chip Kelly's last game as the Oregon head coach before he leaves for an NFL team. He's one of most creative play-callers in football so you can expect some wackiness. He'll use everything in his bag of tricks. This is also probably the last football game Kansas State star Collin Klein plays. With the failure of Tebow in the NFL, teams aren't going to waste a roster spot on a quarterback that can't throw. On paper this looks to the be the best BCS bowl game. I have Oregon winning but Kansas State will be in it for the long haul with Klein running over people and laying it all on the line.
Pick: Kansas State +9
#2 Alabama (-9.5) vs #1 Notre Dame
8:17 PM ET ABC
Chris: I have been saying all year that Notre Dame isn't that good and they are bound to lose at some point. Well, this is the point. I'm sorry but any team that Purdue is tied with late in the fourth quarter is not worthy of national respect. Alabama's coach Nick Saban has had several weeks to prepare a game plan and will confuse Everett Golson all day, while the Tide's running backs will run through what has been a stout ND defense all year. This game will not be close.
Pick: Alabama -9.5
Slick: You know in the movie 300 when Theron has sex with the queen and tells her "This will not be over quickly, you will not enjoy this"? Well that's how I've felt ever since Notre Dame finished the season undefeated. I avoided all college football coverage because I didn't want to hear about it. It's almost like Notre Dame is a team of destiny because they've had so many close calls this season but always came out on top. That is extremely worrisome. But Alabama will not be intimidated by the atmosphere since a national title game is nothing new to them. I just know this game will be close. It's the year of torture for me. Purdue sucks in both sports, Notre Dame is in the football championship and IU will be in the Final Four in April. But please let Alabama hold on for the victory. Roll. Damn. Tide.
Pick: Notre Dame +9.5