Welcome to the bowl edition of By the Numbers. The ratings give a particular perspective from which to argue for and against the current bowl lineup, but can never completely replace the basic human prejudices that we cherish so much. That said, I'll start by repeating that the BCS got the Florida State - Miami controversy right: the computer's got FSU ahead by a sizable 3.6 points (and clearly the computer's right, because I don't like Miami). The computer agrees that Virginia Tech got the shaft portion of the wishbone, but thinks that Nebraska has an even bigger beef. The Huskers are #5 here and (drum roll, please) beat Notre Dame head to head. In any case, everybody else gets in line behind Kansas State when it comes to being mistreated by the bowls.
(smallest total ratings for teams):
1. Motor City, 2. Las Vegas, 3. Silicon Valley
BEST BOWLS (largest total ratings):
1. Orange, 2. Sugar, 3. Gator
BEST TEAMS NOT IN A BOWL :
1. Toledo, 2. Arizona, 3. Syracuse
WORST TEAMS IN A BOWL :
1. Marshall, 2. UNLV, 3. Cincinnati
The following predictions are directly from the ratings, with no
points added for home field. The comments are not always backed by
Mobile Bowl: TCU over Southern Miss by 10
Last game for TCU Coach Franchione before rolling to Alabama.
Las Vegas Bowl: Arkansas over UNLV by 3
I didn't take 4 points away from Arkansas for a road game (sometimes you feel like a Nutt) but UNLV's at home (sometimes you don't). UNLV Coach John Robinson knows how to develop fan support.
Oahu Bowl: Georgia over Virginia by 5
Georgia Coach Donnan is a lame duck; George Welsh is similar but is not a duck. By the way, North Carolina was also 6-5 and ranked higher than UVa, but I guess UVa really belongs in the Wahoo Bowl.
Aloha Bowl: Arizona State over Boston College by 2
Merry Christmas for two 6-5 teams.
Motor City Bowl: Cincinnati over Marshall by 3
What a difference a millenium makes. Last year this was the last place Marshall wanted to be. This year Marshall's about the last team this bowl wanted.
Houston Bowl: East Carolina over Texas Tech by 1
I know, this is really the galleryfurniture.com bowl; consider this a silly protest against silly bowl names.
Humanitarian Bowl: UTEP over Boise State by 1
Nothing very crucial.com about this game, but it should be a high scoring and entertaining Idaho affair.
Music City Bowl: West Virginia over Mississippi by 3
This prediction surprised me, but it would be nice for Don Nehlen to go out with a bowl win.
Micronpc Bowl: NC State over Minnesota by 1
State faltered down the stretch, but if QB Rivers is healthy again this could be high-scoring and fun.
Insight Bowl: Iowa State over Pittsburgh by 1
The Cyclones did well in a tough conference. Pitt has the Biletnikoff Award winner.
Liberty Bowl: Louisville over Colorado State by 2
A game between two conference champions: what an odd way to pick teams for a bowl.
Sun Bowl: Wisconsin over UCLA by 2
In September, this figured to be the Rose Bowl matchup. By December, El Paso was looking good.
Peach Bowl: Georgia Tech over LSU by 9
The Peach advertises itself as the bowl with the closest games, but this may be a Tiger-Fil-A for the mud-dobbers.
Holiday Bowl: Oregon over Texas by 2
Why-a-duck? Try to carry water with a Longhorn and you'll find out why-a-duck.
Alamo Bowl: Nebraska over Northwestern by 8
I always forget about this bowl. The Northwestern offense was completely unstoppable at the end of the year. I don't think Nebraska started out the year expecting to play Northwestern.
Silicon Valley Bowl: Fresno over Air Force by 1
The Dolly Parton bowl? The New Year's Eve date suggests inflated ambitions, the teams may produce a bust.
Independence Bowl: Texas A&M over Mississippi State by 4
Jackie Sherrill against one of his old teams. I hope he doesn't try castrating an Aggie to inspire his team.
Cotton Bowl: Kansas State over Tennessee by 8
Another disappointment for Kansas State, but a good game if Tennessee is as improved as they appear to be. The ratings are determined by the entire season and don't take trends into account.
Outback Bowl: Ohio State over South Carolina by 7
I think the Gamecocks outkicked their coverage on this one. Cooper's gang should easily pen the Chickens.
Gator Bowl: Virginia Tech over Clemson by 4
The third-rated bowl on the computer, and a great game if Vick and Dantzler are healthy. Clemson finished poorly, but Tech needs to pay attention to business to avoid getting Tostitoed by the Tigers.
Citrus Bowl: Michigan over Auburn by 6
I keep thinking that this game is also called the outhouse.com bowl. That may be where Auburn ends up after Michigan takes them to the woodshed.
Rose Bowl: Washington over Purdue by 8
Great QB matchup here, but the computer thinks that the Rose only got the third-best Big 10 team. The Huskies haven't gotten as much poll respect as they deserve; will they bring an attitude to this game?
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon State over Notre Dame by 2
Can the Beavers stand the heat? Only a loss at Washington kept them from being perfect, and the offense is outstanding. They need to handle the hype and the Notre Dame mystique.
Sugar Bowl: Miami over Florida by 5
What bowl games should be: a great game between teams that don't play anymore. What bowl games shouldn't be: the whining about Miami getting half a title. What about when Penn State was unbeaten and uncrowned in 1994?
Orange Bowl: Florida State over Oklahoma by 4
The Big One! Everything tangible points to the Noles, but Oklahoma has always found a way to win ... so far.
|41||Texas El Paso||44.86|
|63||San Jose State||39.63|
|85||San Diego State||31.49|
|95||New Mexico State||26.24|