Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: LSU (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (9-3)

The 2008 Chick-Fil-A Bowl matches the LSU Tigers (7-5, 3Rd in the SEC West) vs. the hometown Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-3, tied for 1st in ACC Coastal Division) in Atlanta. I can't eat the sandwiches and do I really care about this game at 7:30 on New Year's Eve? Of course, the game does involve the 2007 season BCS Champion (LSU).

Last year, LSU enjoyed taking down Ohio State and winning their second BCS Title in five years. LSU is playing in their ninth straight bowl game and have won three straight, since their loss to Iowa in the 2005 Capital One Bowl on the final play. LSU coach Les Miles is 3-0 in bowl games for the Tigers. Georgia Tech's coach Paul Johnson is in his first year, since moving over from Navy after last season. The Yellow Jackets have lost three straight bowl games, including last year's 2007 Humanitarian Bowl 28-40 to Fresno State. But, the Yellow Jackets do have been to 12 consecutive bowls.

LSU's losses have come at Florida, vs. Georgia, vs. Alabama and their final two games of the season vs. Ole Miss and vs. Arkansas. Georgia Tech's three losses were at Virginia Tech, Virginia and at North Carolina. Georgia Tech closed out the regular season with a 45-42 win at Georgia, a team LSU lost to at home 38-52.

The last time LSU came off a BCS title... the Tigers were defeated in the bowl game the following season. This year's Chick-Fil-A Bowl... Could it be like the 2000 Peach Bowl, where LSU knocked off Georgia Tech or is it payback?

Cidsports' prediction

LSU 25
Georgia Tech 28


Insight Bowl: Minnesota (7-5) vs, Kansas (7-5)

The 2008 Insight Bowl will welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-5, tied for 6Th in the Big Ten) vs. the Kansas Jayhawks (7-5, 3Rd in the Big 12 North) in Tempe, AZ. The second Big Ten vs. Big 12 match up in the 2008-09 bowl season.

The 2008 Alamo Bowl was an exciting match up between Northwestern and Missouri, with the Tigers winning in OT. During the season; Kansas beat Missouri, while Northwestern knocked off Minnesota on a late minute turnover taken to the house. The 2008 Insight Bowl may be just as entertaining, but Minnesota enters with one less component... a running game.

Minnesota has rebounded from a 1-11 record last year to 7-5 in coach Tim Brewster's second season for the Gophers. Prior to last year, the Golden Gophers had played in five straight bowl games. For Kansas, the 2008 Insight Bowl represents the first time in school history, that the Jayhawks have played in back to back bowl games. KU beat Virginia Tech 24-21 last year, in the FedEx Orange Bowl. Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino is 2-1 in bowl games in his eighth season at KU.

Minnesota loses came at Ohio State and in their final four games vs. Northwestern, vs. Michigan, at Wisconsin and vs. Iowa. Kansas losses were at South Florida, at Oklahoma, vs. Texas Tech, at Nebraska and vs. Texas.

Midwest conference bragging rights between the Big Ten and Big 12 are on the line in the 2008 Insight Bowl. The Big 12 has won two straight over the Big Ten, including Texas Tech's 44-41 OT win over Minnesota in the 2006 game.

Cidsports' prediction

Minnesota 20
Kansas 30


Music City Bowl: Boston College (9-4) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6)

The 2008 Music City Bowl pits the Boston College Eagles (9-4, tied for 1St in the ACC Coastal Division) vs. the hometown Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6, tied for 3Rd in SEC East) in Nashville.

Boston College leads all FBS programs with eight consecutive bowl wins, including second year coach Jeff Jagodzinski's win last year 24-21 over Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl. On the other hand, Vanderbilt is playing in only their fourth bowl ever, and the first bowl since the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl, where they lost 28-36 to Air Force.

Boston College losses this season were vs. Georgia Tech, at North Carolina, vs. Clemson and vs. Virginia Tech in a rematch for the ACC championship. Vanderbilt won their first five games, then lost six of their final seven games at Mississippi State, at Georgia, vs. Duke, vs. Florida, vs. Tennessee, and at Wake Forest.

Wake Forest was a common opponent for both teams, with Vandy losing at Wake 10-23 to close out the regular season. Boston College beat Wake Forest on the road 24-21 in conference play. Does this game shed some light into the 2008 Music City Bowl?

Cidsports' prediction

Boston College 21
Vanderbilt 10


75th Sun Bowl: Oregon State (8-4) vs. Pittsburgh (9-3)

The 2008 Sun Bowl hosts a match up of the Oregon State Beavers (8-4, tied for 2Nd in the Pac 10) vs. the Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3, tied for 2Nd in the Big East) in El Paso. The Pac 10 is going for their fifth straight win in the Sun Bowl, after Oregon won the one game vs. a Big East opponent, with a 56-21 win over USF last year.

Oregon State is playing in their third straight bowl game, after back to back wins in the '06 Sun Bowl and '07 Emerald Bowl with a one point win over Missouri and a 7 point win over Maryland, respectively. Pittsburgh is playing in their first bowl game under coach Dave Wannstedt, after seeing it's five year bowl streak end after the 2004 season. Pitt beat Oregon State 36-13 in the 2002 Insight Bowl.

Pittsburgh's three losses were vs. Bowling Green, in season opener, vs. Rutgers and at Cincinnati. Oregon State's four losses were at Stanford and at Penn State to open the season, then at Utah and vs. Oregon in the finale. Ironically, Oregon State was blasted at Penn State, while Pittsburgh beat Iowa at home. Iowa beat Penn State 24-23 this season. It doesn't mean much in this game, but it did cost the Nittany Lions a birth in the BCS championship game.

Experience favors the Beavers, with coach Mike Riley in his eighth season and winner of four consecutive bowl games. Ironically, the one bowl loss at Oregon State this decade was vs. Pittsburgh in 2002. Look for a good 2008 Sun Bowl celebrating the 75Th Anniversary of the bowl game.

Cidsports' Prediction

Oregon State 28
Pittsburgh 24


Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force (8-4) vs. Houston (7-5)

The 2008 Armed Forces Bowl will welcome the Air Force Falcons (8-4, 4Th in the MWC) vs. the Houston Cougars (7-5, 3Rd in the C-USA West Division) in Fort Worth.

Last year, the Falcons lost to California 36-42 in the Armed Services Bowl. The Cougars are set for their fourth straight bowl game, but in search for a win, after losing 13-20 to TCU in the Texas Bowl last year.

The twist in this bowl game is that both teams faced one another in game three of the regular season. Air Force beat Houston on the road 31-28. Air Force's four losses were to Utah, Navy, BYU and at TCU. The Falcons lost their final two games, after running off a five game win streak. Houston's other four losses were at Oklahoma State and at Colorado State sandwiched around the game with Air Force, then road losses at Marshall in the middle of the conference season and at Rice in the season finale.

Air Force's last win was vs. Colorado State 38-17. A team that Houston lost 28-25. Conventional wisdom in a rematch says take the Houston Cougars, but it is called the Armed Forces Bowl for a reason... Right?

Cidsports' prediction

Air Force 38
Houston 35


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Texas Bowl: Rice (9-3) vs. Western Michigan (9-3)

It's on the NFL Channel and I actually forgot to do a write up on this bowl game between two non-BCS teams from the C-USA and the MAC, respectively. The 2008 Texas Bowl has the hometown Rice Owls (9-3, tied for 1ST in the C-USA West Division) vs. the Western Michigan Broncos in Houston.

Cidsports' prediction:

Rice 28
Western Michigan 30



Holiday Bowl: Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Oregon (9-3)

The 2008 Holiday Bowl will pit the Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 4Th in the Big 12 South) vs. the Oregon Ducks (9-3, tied for 2Nd in the Pac 10) in San Diego. The Big 12 has beat the Pac 10 in four of the past six Holiday Bowls, including last year, when Texas defeated Arizona State 52-34.

Oklahoma State is playing in their third straight bowl game, including last year's 49-33 win over Indiana in the '07 Insight Bowl. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy is 2-0 in bowl games as a head coach, entering his fourth season. The Oregon Ducks are playing in their fourth straight bowl game under coach Mike Bellotti, who is in his 14Th year as head coach, as dean of the Pac 10 coaches. Last year, the Ducks beat USF 56-21 in the '07 Sun Bowl.

The Cowboys three losses were all in the second half of the season at Texas, at Texas Tech and vs. Oklahoma, while the Ducks three losses cam in the middle half vs. Boise State, at USC and at California. Both teams played Washington State, with the Cowboys opening the season with a 39-13 win, while Oregon took care of business at Washington State 63-14 in the fifth game, coming off a loss to Boise State.

Conventional wisdom says with a Big 12 team squaring off with a Pac 10 team that the audience is in for an offensive showdown in the 2008 Holiday Bowl. Oklahoma State enters the game coming off an offensive showdown, but a 41-61 loss against in-state rival Oklahoma. While the Ducks, closed out the regular season with three wins, including a road finale at in-state rival Oregon State with a sound 65-38 win.

Cidsports' Prediction

Oklahoma State 38
Oregon 35


Humanitarian Bowl: Maryland (7-5) vs. Nevada (7-5)

The 2008 Humanitarian Bowl welcomes the ACC and WAC to Boise this year. The Maryland Terrapins (7-5, tied for 3Rd in the ACC Atlantic Division) vs. the Nevada Wolfpack (7-5, tied for 2Nd in the WAC) will hit the blue turf of Boise for this year's Humanitarian Bowl.

The Terps are making their third straight bowl trip after a 14-21 lost to Oregon State in the Emerald Bowl last year. Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is 3-2 in bowl games in eight seasons at the helm. Nevada is making their fourth straight bowl visit, after losing 0-23 to New Mexico in last year's New Mexico Bowl. Nevada coach Chris Ault is in his 24Th season for the Wolfpack.

Maryland's losses were at Middle Tennessee, at Virginia, at Virginia Tech, vs. Florida State and at Boston College. They come in on the heels of a two game losing streak. Nevada's losses were vs. Texas Tech, at Missouri, New Mexico State, at Hawaii, and vs. Boise State. Maryland beat five bowl team, while Nevada had two wins over bowl teams at Fresno State and at Louisiana Tech.

Maryland played up to opponents going 4-1 against ranked opponents, but down to unranked opponents finishing 3-4. Nevada is unranked, by the way. The Wolfpack were 3-4 against ranked opponents and 7-2 against unranked foes.

Last year, the non-BCS team beat the BCS team, when Fresno State beat Georgia Tech 40-28, after the BCS had won three out the past four games. Maryland's playing down and up to opponents makes this an interesting pick. Maryland's recent bowls have been against BCS opponents, while Nevada lost the last bowl they played vs. a BCS opponent, when the Wolfpack fell short of defeating Miami-FL in the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl.

Cidsports' Prediction

Maryland 21
Nevada 18


Monday, December 29, 2008

Alamo Bowl: Missouri (9-4) vs. Northwestern (9-3)

The 2008 Alamo Bowl has an interesting match up between the Big 12 North Division champ, the Missouri Tigers (9-4, 1st in Big 12 North) vs. the Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, tied for fourth in Big Ten). Which team shows up for either program, in this classic Big Ten vs. Big 12 match up?

The Missouri Tigers have won back to back Big 12 North Division titles, their first, only to be stalled in the Big 12 Championship game each year. Northwestern hasn't won a bowl game, since the 1949 Rose Bowl. Last year, Northwestern stayed home, though they were bowl eligible at 6-6, while Missouri beat Arkansas soundly 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

Each team will be coming off a break, so what impact will that have in the bowl game, especially to each teams passing game? One would think experience clearly favors Missouri, since the Wildcats haven't traveled to a bowl game, since the 2005 Sun Bowl, which ended in a 38-50 loss to UCLA. The Wildcats are 1-5 in bowl games. This is Tiger's fourth straight bowl game.

Northwestern comes into the game with a two game winning streak at Michigan and over in-state rival Illinois, which cost the Fighting Illini a bowl birth. Missouri has lost two straight game to conference rival Kansas and to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. Missouri's four losses have come to four bowl teams: Oklahoma State, at Texas, KU and OU, the final two games both at Arrowhead Stadium. Northwestern lost at Indiana 19-21, in additon to the game vs. MSU and at Ohio State.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is 3-2 in bowl game, while Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is in his first bowl game.

Conventional wisdom clearly points to Missouri beating Northwestern, but when you look at the 37-40 loss to Kansas, something tells me that Northwestern does have a speck of hope in this one. Turnovers will be big, as they are in any bowl game. Special teams appear to favor Missouri, as do many other aspects of this game. The intangibles favor Northwestern in this one. It clearly is an opportunity for Northwestern to complete one of their better seasons ever. David meet Goliath in the 2008 Alamo Bowl?

Cidsports' prediction

Missouri 34
Northwestern 35

peace Bowl: North Carolina State vs. Rutgers

The 2008 Bowl will feature the North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-6, tied for 3Rd in ACC Atlantic Division) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-5, tied for 2ND in the Big East) in Birmingham, AL. North Carolina State comes into the bowl game with a four game winning streak in the ACC, while Rutgers come in on a six game winning streak, including five Big East games.

Last season, Rutgers beat Ball State in the 2008 International Bowl 52-30, while North Carolina State stayed home for the holidays. Which hot team will continue their winning streak beyond the 2008 Bowl? Rutgers has young bowl history, while NC State clearly has a stronger past as a basketball school. But, second year NC State coach Tom O'Brien brings experience and success over from Boston College.

Rutgers lost to five bowl teams: Fresno State, North Carolina, at Navy, at West Virginia and at Cincinnati, while North Carolina State losses came at South Carolina, at Clemson, South Florida, Boston College, Florida State and at Maryland, also all bowl teams. Both teams split among common opponents North Carolina and South Florida this season. Who is the most likely to win the 2008 pappajohn's Bowl?

Cidsports' prediction

North Carolina State 28
Rutgers 34


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6)

Hey, there is no Big 12 vs. SEC match up for the 2008 Independence Bowl this year, but it's the WAC vs. the MAC. The 2008 Independence Bowl hosts the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-5, tied for 2Nd in the WAC) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (6-6, 4Th in the MAC West) in Shreveport, LA.

Another home cooking for a Midwestern team, this time from the MAC? For Louisiana Tech, this is the first bowl trip, since the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl, where the Bulldogs went down 24-49 to Clemson. Prior to that, all three previous bowl trips for LA Tech have been in the Independence Bowl, where the Bulldogs are 1-1-1 previously in Shreveport.

Northern Illinois will be in their third bowl ever, after playing in the '83 California Bowl, '04 Silicon Valley Bowl and '06 Poinsettia Bowl, where TCU took NIU out 37-7. The Huskies are 2-1 lifetime in bowl games.

LA Tech beat Mississippi State to start the '08 season 23-14 at home. Northern Illinois lost a SEC match up at Tennessee 9-13 at Tennessee. Both teams are coming off losses to close out the '08 regular season. The Bulldogs lost 31-35 vs. Nevada, while the Huskies lost 0-16 vs. Navy.

While the game is Louisiana, the better team based on the Vegas spread and power ratings is Northern Illinois. NIU's first year coach is Jerry Kill, who moved over from Southern Illinois, where he was successful as head coach the past seven seasons, including FCS Coach of the Year in 2007. LA Tech's head coach is Derek Dooley, the son of former Georgia legendary head coach Vince Dooley. Dooley is in his second season at LA Tech, after coming over from the NFL.

While the spread and power ratings favor NIU, most are picking Louisiana Tech to win, so I guess my pick goes against the grain for most... upset win by NIU in the 2008 Independence Bowl is the call here by cidsports! Coach Kill brings some very good FCS experience to DeKalb and NIU.

Cidsports' prediction

Louisiana Tech 22
Northern Illinois 30


An Early Look at the 2009 College Football Season

We are in the heart of the 2008-09 bowl week for college football, so how are things looking into 2009 for college football. Will we see some new blood in the Top 25?

The 2009 Early Bird Top 25 Preview from has some early thoughts into the 2009 College Football season. With a win in the 2009 BCS Championship Game over Oklahoma, could Florida be on track to a two-peat in College Football? You can click on each team for breakdown on the 2009 forecast by
15. Iowa
17. Utah

It will be interesting to see how the Big Ten Conference climbs in 2009, after a drop at the elite level in 2008. Overall, from top to bottom, the Big Ten is showing some steady development, with all eleven teams either bowl participants in 2008 or 2007. Only four teams among the Top teams spotlighted for 2009 from the Big Ten conference.

Iowa has been bowl eligible, since 2001, when coach Kirk Ferentz overcame a three year period where Iowa didn't have at least 6 wins. Iowa's bowl opponent in the Outback Bowl are a potential team to watch in 2009, as is Iowa's 2009 non-conference opponent, Arizona. Interesting to see Iowa's 2008 opponent Pittsburgh is high on the list for 2009. Here's an early look at Iowa's 2009 schedule:

Sep. 5 Northern Iowa
Sep. 12 at Iowa State
Sep. 19 Arizona
Sep. 26 at Penn State
Oct. 3 Arkansas State
Oct. 10 Michigan
Oct. 17 at Wisconsin
Oct. 24 at Michigan State
Oct. 31 Indiana
Nov. 7 Northwestern
Nov. 14 at Ohio State
Nov. 21 Minnesota


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Iowa basketball ends OOC play at 10-3, with 58-43 win over Western Illinois

The University of Iowa on a icy and tough traveling night in Iowa City beat Western Illinois 58-43 to finish out pre-Big Ten campaign at 10-3. The Hawkeyes will hit the road and begin Big Ten conference play at Ohio State on New Year's Eve.

Jermain Davis and Jake Kelly lead Iowa with 13 points tonight at Carver Hawkeye Arena, while Matt Gatens finishes with a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. David Dubois and Josh Rivers lead Western Illinois with 18 points and 11 points, respectively.

Western Illinois falls to 4-8 on the season. Iowa will face a 9-1 Buckeyes team on Wednesday night. The Buckeyes lost their first game of the season today falling at home to West Virginia, 48-76.


Emerald Bowl: California (8-4) vs. Miami-FL (7-5)

The final bowl game of the day, is a match up of the Pac 10 vs. ACC in the 2008 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. This year's game will spotlight the California Golden Bears (8-4, 4Th in the Pac 10) vs. the Miami-FL Hurricanes (7-5, tied for 3Rd in the ACC Coastal Division).

California is playing in their sixth straight bowl game, after a 42-36 win over Air Force in last year's Armed Forces Bowl. While Miami-FL is returning to a bowl game, after missing their first bowl game in the decade. The Golden Bears are looking for their fourth straight bowl win, while the Hurricanes are looking for their second straight win, after spending the holidays at home last bowl season.

The Golden Bears top wins this season were all at home vs. Michigan State, Colorado State and Oregon, but lost all four road games at Maryland, Arizona, USC and Oregon State. The Hurricanes biggest wins this season were at home vs. Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, the ACC BCS representative, but five losses came at Florida, vs. North Carolina, vs. Florida State, at Georgia Tech, and at NC State.

Who steps up in the Emerald Bowl?

The Hurricanes won five straight, before losing their final two games of the regular season in the ACC. The Golden Bears are hoping to close out 2008 on a three game winning streak. Can the Pac 10's top running back, sophomore Jahvid Best. lead the charge for the Golden Bears? Do the young Hurricanes put things together on offense and defense to pull out the bowl win?

Cal's coach Jeff Tedford is 4-1 in bowl games, while Miami-FL's Randy Shannon is making his postseason debut in the Emerald Bowl, after becoming head coach last season. Cal's experience vs. Miami's youth... in the 2008 Emerald Bowl!

Cidsports' prediction

California 21
Miami-FL 20


Champs Sports Bowl: Wisconsin (7-5) vs. Florida State (8-4)

The Big Ten Conference kicks off the 2008-09 bowl season when the Wisconsin Badgers (7-5, tied for 6Th in the Big Ten) vs. the Florida State Seminoles (8-4, tied for 1ST in the ACC Atlantic Division) square off in the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl. The prospects for the Big Ten are not strong for the conference this bowl season with only one Big Ten team favored to win in the 2008-09 bowl season.

Wisconsin is playing in its seventh straight bowl game and their first non-January bowl, since the 2003 Music City Bowl, where they lost to Auburn 14-28. Florida State has been a bowl participate, since the 1982 season, including three straight BCS title games after the 1998-2000 seasons. The Seminoles lost last year's Music City Bowl to Kentucky 28-35, while the Badgers lost 17-21 to Tennessee in last year's Outback Bowl. The Badgers last beat a ACC team in the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl to Duke 34-20, while the Seminoles lost to the Big Ten last time out, in the 2006 Orange Bowl 23-26 in 3OT vs. Penn State.

What direction is coach Bret Bielema taking Wisconsin as he closes out his third season, after replacing successful Barry Alvarez at the helm? Some in Iowa City are beginning to compare Bielema, the former Hawkeye defensive lineman, to former wrestling coach Jim Zalesky, who replaced highly successful coach Dan Gable. The first couple of years for Zalesky were highly successful, but the Mojo didn't remain long for the highly successful wrestling program under Zalesky. Can Bielema find his Mojo again at Wisconsin, after 12-1 and 9-4 his first two seasons?

What direction is Florida State going as coach Bobby Bowden finishes out his 33Rd season at the helm for the Seminoles? The Seminoles had 14 straight seasons of finishing in the Top Five in the final polls through 2000, but they haven't been back since. How many more years does Bowden have in Tallahassee? Could this be the final moment, before Jimbo Fisher takes over the reigns for good for Florida State?

Wisconsin's top two wins were at Fresno State and against Minnesota this season. But, this is a team that was an extra point or two away from losing their final regular season game to Cal Poly, a FCS program. On the flip side, Florida State won back to back road games at Miami-FL and North Carolina State, then beat Virginia Tech, the ACC's BCS representative. But, the home finale vs. #1 Florida was a 15-45 loss, which was very similar to last year's 12-45 loss in Gainsville.

Florida State clearly appears to be the better team on paper as the favorite. The Seminoles won their last bowl game in the 2004 Gator Bowl as a favorite, over West Virginia, so look for the Seminoles to have the upper hand in the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl. The key for both teams will be quarterback play, UW's Dustin Sherer vs. FSU's Christian Ponder. Neither has to place their teams, respectively, on their shoulders, but they need to manage the game properly and avoid mistakes. Turnovers likely will determine the outcome of the game.

Cidsports' prediction

Wisconsin 18
Florida State 30


Meineke Care Care Bowl: West Virginia (8-4) vs. North Carolina (8-4)

For the past three years, the ACC has owned the Big East in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, with the exception of '06 when the ACC's BC beat Navy, with a pair of 14 point wins. This year, West Virginia Mountaineers (8-4, tied 2ND in the Big East) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4, tied 3RD in the ACC Coastal Division) will square off in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

The Mountaineers are going for the fourth straight bowl win, after beating Oklahoma 48-28 in last year's Fiesta Bowl. The Tar Heels haven't played in a bowl game, since 2004, when the sponsor title was Continental Tire here in Charlotte. The Tar Heels lost to then Big East and now ACC foe Boston College, 24-37. The only ACC lost in the series. The Mountaineers lost to Virginia in the '02 game 22-48 to Virginia.

So, something is going to break for one of the opponents in this game. Momentum doesn't appear to be on either team's radar right now. West Virginia was the near-consensus pick to win the Big East this year, while North Carolina's two game slide at the end of the season cost the Tar Heels an opportunity ACC championship game.

So, will the outcome of the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl resemble the 1998 Gator Bowl? Why not?

Cidsports' prediction

West Virginia 13
North Carolina 20


Friday, December 26, 2008

Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida Atlantic (6-6)

The first post-Christmas bowl for the 2008-09 bowl season is the Motor City Bowl, absent a Big Ten team for this year's match up. This year's Motor City Bowl spotlights the MAC's Central Michigan Chippewas (8-4, tied for 2ND in MAC West) vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (6-6, tied for 5Th in Sun Belt).

Many preseason publications expected the Chippewas and Owls to finish high in the MAC and Sun Belt, respectively. But, Cidsports wasn't among them in August '08, projecting the another wrong team in the MAC and Troy in the Sun Belt.

Central Michigan is playing in their third straight Motor City Bowl. Last year, the Chippewas fell 48-51 to the Big Ten's Purdue. Florida Atlantic is playing in only their second bowl, since becoming a FBS program officially in '04. Last year, the Owls defeated Memphis 44-27 in the '07 New Orleans Bowl.

The Florida Owls are making their 2ND trip up to the State of Michigan this season, after a regular season 0-17 loss at Michigan State. Central Michigan will enjoy a home-state bowl game again, looking to get back on the winning track in the Motor City Bowl, after beating the Sun Belt's Middle Tennessee 31-14 in the '06 Motor City Bowl and ending the '08 regular season with back to back losses.

How much will home cooking play into this year's Motor City Bowl? It worked well for Central Michigan in the '06 game vs. a Sun Belt opponent. Can it work again this time vs. the Florida Atlantic Owls? Will the offenses get on track for a post-Christmas shootout warm inside in Ford Field?

Cidsports' prediction

Central Michigan 56
Florida Atlantic 52

Hope everyone had a great Merry Christmas... 2008!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hawaii Bowl: Notre Dame (6-6) vs. Hawaii (7-6)

The 2008 Hawaii Bowl provides the backdrop for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-6, Independent) vs. the Hawaii Rainbows (7-6, tied for 2ND in WAC) to close out the season for both teams. The seventh bowl game of the 2008-09 bowl lineup and final pre-Christmas bowl.

Last season, the Rainbows were hammered 10-41 by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Notre Dame was home for the holidays last year, after finishing 3-9 for the season in '07. Hawaii is going for their fourth straight bowl win, while playing at home in the Hawaii Bowl. Notre Dame has a NCAA-record nine-game losing streak in bowl games on the line.

Hawaii's highest quality win was 32-29 in OT at fellow WAC team, Fresno State (7-6), who lost the 2008 New Mexico Bowl. For the Irish, the highest quality win is likely Navy (8-5), who lost the 2008 inaugural EagleBank Bowl.

Something will give in Hawaii today. Will Notre Dame make it ten straight in bowl losses or will they end the mental funk they have been in? This isn't an outstanding Rainbow team that we have seen in recent years. With a loss, Notre Dame will become the first team this season to finish with a losing record for the season, in a bowl game.

Cidsports' prediction

Notre Dame 20
Hawaii 17


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State (12-0) vs. TCU (10-2)

Tonight, at 7 p.m. CST on ESPN, the Poinsettia Bowl spotlights the top non-BCS teams, not playing in the BCS bowls this 2008-09 bowl season with the WAC's undefeated team, Boise State Broncos (12-0, Champs in the WAC) vs. the MWC's TCU Horned Frogs (10-2, 2ND in the MWC). While Utah, the MWC champs, represent the non-BCS teams in the BCS bowls, this game clearly is the top non-BCS bowl match up this year.

TCU's only two losses were at Oklahoma and at Utah. Two teams clearly projected better than Boise State. Boise State just wins games, vs. who they have met, including a quality win at Oregon in September.

What gives tonight in San Diego? Boise State is going for their second undefeated season in three years. Last year, the Broncos lost to East Carolina 38-41 in the Hawaii Bowl, while TCU won 20-13 over Houston in the Texas Bowl. Both teams last met in the '03 Fort Worth Bowl, where Boise State beat TCU 34-31. TCU has won three straight bowls, since the defeat to Boise State in '03, while the Broncos are 1-3.

Defense is the spotlight of TCU, Boise State always seems to find ways to typically score points on opponents. This should be one of the better bowl games of the bowl season.

Cidsports prediction:

Boise State 21
TCU 27


Five Bowls in the books; Poinsettia Bowl tonight in San Diego

So far, Cidsports is 3-2 on bowl picks coming up short in the OT win by Southern Miss over Troy in the New Orleans Bowl. The 2008-09 bowl lineup and results.

Very good game on tap tonight in San Diego.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Orleans Bowl: Southern Mississippi (6-6) vs. Troy (8-4)

Today's only bowl game is the 2008 New Orleans Bowl between Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (6-6, tied for 2ND in C-USA East Division) vs. Troy Trojans (8-4, Champs of the Sun Belt).

This is Troy's third bowl game ever and first bowl game, since the '06 New Orleans Bowl, when the Trojans defeated Rice 41-17. Southern Mississippi had to win their final four games to get to bowl eligibility, in coach Larry Fedora's first season. The Golden Eagles know bowl games and have had a winning season each season this decade. So could the Trojans spoil the Golden Eagles winning streak?

The Golden Eagles led Conference USA with a plus 13 turnover margin. Troy was clearly the best team in the Sun Belt. Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State were the two common opponents this season for both opponents.

Southern Mississippi appears to have more question marks. There winning season steak appears vulnerable in the 2008 New Orleans Bowl.

Cidsports predictions

Southern Mississippi 27
Troy 35


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona (7-5) vs. Brigham Young (10-2)

The final bowl game for day one of the 2008-09 bowl season is the Arizona Wildcats (7-5, 5Th in the Pac 10) vs. Brigham Young Cougars (10-2, 3RD in the MWC) in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl.

This is the 3RD game between the two teams in three seasons, after each met in the season opener in '06 and '07. The teams split, with the home teams winning each game.

Both teams faced three common opponents this season (New Mexico, UCLA and Washington). Arizona lost the only game against the common opponents with a 28-36 road game at New Mexico.

This is Arizona's first bowl game, since the '98 Holiday Bowl, where the Wildcats beat Nebraska 28-20. This is BYU's fourth straight bowl game and fourth straight vs. Pac 10 opponents. All three games were in the Las Vegas Bowl. BYU won last year's Las Vegas Bowl 17-16 over UCLA.

Many are projecting a high scoring affair, but both teams had some low scoring games during the season. Arizona's highest output in the loss was 45, but in the other four losses the highest total was 28 points (vs. New Mexico). In BYU's home game vs. New Mexico, the Cougars won 21-3.

Arizona coach Mike Stoops is a defensive minded coach. BYU's offense only scored 28 points at Washington in game two of the season. The time span between the final game of the season and today's bowl game may slowdown each offense a bit.

Cidsports prediction

Arizona 31
BYU 24


St. Petersburg Bowl: South Florida (7-5) vs. Memphis (6-6)

The 3RD bowl of the day and the 2008-09 bowl season is the inaugural 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl with in-state South Florida Bulls (7-5, 6TH in the Big East) vs. Memphis Tigers (6-6, tied for 2ND in the C-USA East) on ESPN2. The Big East vs. the C-USA... the weak sister of the BCS against a mid-major conference.

South Florida was projected by most preseason magazines as a top two team in the Big East and possible New Year's Bowl pick, but the season never was, after winning five straight, only to win 2 of their final seven games. With Memphis, the Tigers enter nationally known more for basketball, rather than football.

Last year, Memphis lost the New Orleans Bowl to the Sun Belt's Florida Atlantic 27-44, while USF lost last year's Sun Bowl 21-56 to Oregon. USF is playing in its fourth consecutive bowl game, with their only win coming in the '06 Bowl over East Carolina of C-USA. This is Memphis' biggest bowl game, since it is the first vs. a BCS opponent. The Tigers are playing in their fifth bowl in six seasons.

Both teams had two common opponents (Central Florida and Louisville) this season. USF split with both teams, while Memphis lost to both teams. All four games were within a possession for each team. I'll give South Florida the edge playing in-state in this year's bowl vs. Memphis.

Cidsports predictions:

South Florida 24
Memphis 16


New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State (6-6) vs. Fresno State (7-5)

The 2ND bowl up for the 2008-09 bowl season is the 2008 New Mexico Bowl with the MWC squaring off with the WAC: Colorado State Rams (6-6, 5Th in the MWC) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (7-5, tied for 5Th in the WAC). Bragging rights between the top two non-BCS conferences will be on the line in this game on ESPN.

Both teams losses came from bowl eligible teams this season. Phil Steele projected Fresno State for the New Mexico Bowl in his 2008 preview, while Steele projected Colorado State dead last in the MWC.

Fresno State is a seasoned bowl team under coach Pat Hill, while Colorado State is playing in its first bowl, since the '05 Pinsettia Bowl, where Navy pounded the Rams 30-51. Fresno State beat Georgia Tech 40-28 in last year's Humanitarian Bowl. The Rams last bowl win was in '01 vs. North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl.

This bowl game will likely be high scoring or will it? Fresno State only scored 10 points in their final outing and 24 points in their final two wins. Colorado State has won two straight and scored 20 and 31 points in wins over New Mexico and at Wyoming, respectively. Look for the Rams first year coach Steve Fairchild to pick up his first bowl win for Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl today.

Cidsports prediction

Colorado State 28
Fresno State 20


EagleBank Bowl: Navy (8-4) vs. Wake Forest (7-5) in 2008 rematch

The Navy Midshipmen (8-4, independent) tackle the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-5, tied for 3RD in ACC Atlantic Division) in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl in Washington D.C. to kickoff the 2008-09 bowl season on ESPN today. The Midshipmen beat the Demon Deacons 24-17 on the road during the regular season.

Rematches are typically difficult in College Football,, which makes this one a little interesting to call. Navy lost 32-35 in the Poinsettia Bowl in '07 to Utah, while Wake Forest defeated UConn 24-10 in last year's Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Wake Forest is playing in three consecutive bowl games, a school record. This is Navy's sixth consecutive bowl, but has lost two straight by a total of four points.

Navy was projected by Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview to make this bowl. On the other hand, many projected Wake Forest to have a stronger season in '08. Navy lost to Boston College in '06 in the Meineke Bowl, the last time they faced an ACC opponent in a bowl. Look for Navy to reverse the tide in the '08 EagleBank Bowl.

Cidsports prediction:

Navy 25
Wake Forest 24


Friday, December 19, 2008

Richmond Spiders win 2008 FCS National Championship 24-7

Impressive victory by the Richmond Spiders in the 2008 FCS National Championship Game over the Montana Grizzles to win their first national championship in any sport. Defense often wins championships and clearly the Spiders showed it with 7 sacks and impressive dominance on line of scrimmage.

Solid defense and establishing dominance running the football is often a great ticket in a championship game. The Richmond Spiders win it tonight!

Impressive indeed...


Montana vs. Richmond in the FCS National Championship Game

Great first half for the Richmond Spiders up on Montana 21-0, but the Spiders miss a short FG to end half. Will momentum shift in the 2ND half for Montana?

ESPN's coverage has been good. Good highlights of 2008 FCS season, including a couple of favorites... during the halftime show.

FBS kicks off bowl season on Saturday with four bowl games: EagleBank in Washington DC, New Mexico, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Iowa State University: "Wanted New coach, respect"

Headline for Thursday, December 19, 2008 edition of The Gazette titled Wanted: New coach, respect, regarding the vacant head football coach position at Iowa State.

I, for one, believe Iowa State is better off with the ill-fit, Gene Chizik. Coach Chizik is a fine, young coach, but he was a fish out of water outside the Southeast section of the country. I'll be shocked, if he ever takes a job north of the Mason-Dixon line again.

I would have enjoyed seeing Turner Gill as ISU's next head coach. I have always enjoyed his work as a player and an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The work he is doing at the University of Buffalo will likely earn Mr. Gill an opportunity somewhere else down the road. Hopefully, like the University of Buffalo, it will be the right fit for Mr. Gill.

On The Gazette question: "Is Iowa State's football program damaged goods in the wake of this mess?" Nope, one should consider it's been a long time, since Iowa State won any type of share of a conference title in football. As for last title, the Cyclones won a share of the 1912 Missouri Valley Conference title. Ironically, the MVC Football Conference returned this fall, after being silent for many years. Coach Chizik was 5-19 overall in two years at Iowa State (2-14 in the Big 12).

"I don't think Iowa State's reputation is hurt at all," said Charles Davis, Fox
television analyst who'll help call the BCS national championship game. "It
looks like they did everything the right way. If anything, Gene Chizik has to
answer questions about what really happened. I know him, I respect him, but the
court of public opinion is definitely not on Gene's side."
I have always enjoyed Charles Davis and I agree with him in The Gazette article.

Further I agree with the veteran Big 12/8 writer out of Omaha...

"Being in the North Division, which is in a much greater state of flux, you may
not be as far away as people on the outside think," said the Omaha
World-Herald's Lee Barfknecht, who has covered the conference since the days of
the Big Eight. "There's no reason somebody can't go in there and win some
football games. You aren't going to contend for national championship, but it's
not a black hole."
Dan McCarney was a better fit for Iowa State, than Coach Chizik would have been. Hindsight is 20/20. ISU AD Jamie Pollard wants to put his stamp on the Cyclone football program, as was shown when he hired Chizik. His first attempt lasted only two years, but like others that have been in the business before him (i.e.: Bump Elliott), sometimes your first coach doesn't work out.

It will be interesting to see who AD Pollard hires this time around? Someone with ties to the State of Iowa or the ISU program in some way may be a good trait to try to work into the new hire. Coach McCarney certainly brought that trait to Ames. It didn't work out for a conference title, but it did move the program in the right direction and the Cyclones came close in the North.

Good luck to State in finding their next football coach. The Cy-Hawk football series has certainly improved... it will be important for ISU to find a quality head coach for their program. Some of Pollard's decisions in other sports have left some ISU alums disappointed.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gene Chizik to Auburn; Good news for the Cyclone football program

Gene Chizik appears to be a good, young head football coach. In two years at Iowa State University, he finished 5-19 overall record (2-14 Big 12).

Of course, Mr. Chizik was 3-9 overall in year one (2-6 Big 12) for the Cyclones. This year, with a several weaknesses and lack of experience in various areas, the Cyclones compiled a 2-10 overall record (0-8 Big 12). While many in the Cyclone fan base were looking for signs of improvement in '08; talent was lacking, especially on defense. Of course, Chizik's background in on the defensive side of the ball.

Scanning his coaching staff, he looked like he was in the Sun Belt conference, not in Ames, Iowa, coaching a Big 12 team. From my vantage point, it appeared that Gene Chizik isn't the right fit for a program north of the Mason-Dixon Line. His heart is clearly in the South. As ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard pointed out.

"Auburn's interest in Gene speaks to his (Chizik's) reputation,"
Pollard said. "We saw that same potential in Gene two years ago. He is an
outstanding football coach, tremendous recruiter and inspiring leader. When your
organization has talented staff members, other schools express interest in their
Stepping up to Auburn, in the SEC, does appear to be a tall order for a guy who has finished 5-19 in two years of head coaching at Iowa State. As a defensive coordinator, Chizik helped build undefeated programs at Texas (2005) and at Auburn (2004).

A dream job came true for Gene Chizik this weekend. But, for Iowa State, they get rid of a poor fit. Hindsight is always 20/20. For the ISU Cyclones, like Bump Elliott, during the 1970s at the University of Iowa; AD Pollard will have an opportunity to make the right choice this time.

It will be interesting to see, if AD Pollard jumps out of the box? After serving as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin as an athletic administrator, Jamie Pollard became athletic director at Iowa State. Of the four head football coaches that Pollard's experience would likely draw from, all are from the defensive side of the football, being DC before being hired as head coaches.

Barry Alvarez (his former boss at UW)
Bret Bielema (current HC at UW)
Dan McCarney (who Pollard let go at ISU)
Gene Chizik (DC at Texas when hired)
Will Jamie Pollard consider an offensive minded coach to replace Gene Chizik? After the accomplishments of Dan McCarney at ISU, the difference may be found in an offensive prospective. Look at the success of Dr. Tom Osborne or Hayden Fry. Both offensive minded, even, Bill Snyder at Kansas State was a former OC.

Further, ties to the State of Iowa or old Big Eight schools may wise to apply for the job. Look for someone who clearly will be a better fit north of the Mason-Dixon Line Mr. Pollard!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Five finalists would be worthy for the Heisman Presentation and College Football

Is the Heisman Trophy losing it's luster? Is it becoming another award for the nation's top quarterback in college football?

From Wikipedia...
"The Heisman
Memorial Trophy Award
(often known simply as the Heisman Trophy
or The
Heisman), named after the former
coach John Heisman,
is awarded annually by the
Downtown Athletic
of New York City
to the most outstanding player in collegiate football."

We know the Top 3, who are attending the 74Th presentation today in New York City on ESPN are all quarterbacks. But, why not invite some non-quarterbacks? The award is about the outstanding player in collegiate football. There is clearly more to football than strong quarterback play.

Who would cidsports invite? Well, the Top 3 are all worthy of attendance. Any of the three are outstanding players and you could argue worthy of the 2008 award. The next two that should have been invited were a running back and a wide receiver.

Iowa's Shonn Greene clearly displayed he was the most outstanding running back in college football in 2008. Further, his story was worthy of tribute through an invitation. He is the only running back to run for 100 yards in all 12 regular season games. Further, he averaged a very solid 6.2 yards per carry. The Heisman isn't for the best quarterback, but best college football player. The absence of non-quarterbacks is simply bad for college football.
Shonn has been consistently dominant throughout the season and his
performances in big
games have been the key to Iowa’s success
,” said
CBS’ Verne Lundquist, a member of the Doak Walker Award National Selection
Committee and presenter of the 2008 Award.

The next player would be a wide receiver. Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree is the best wide receiver in college football. His catch in the Texas game likely cost the University of Texas the BCS title game and likely will cost Texas QB Colt McCoy the Heisman Trophy. An undefeated Texas team would be hard to not consider McCoy the nation's most outstanding player in 2008.

Some would say what about Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell? Isn't he worthy of an invitation. Yes, he had a very good season in the Texas Tech offensive system. However, for one, I don't think he is his team's top player, let alone the most outstanding player in college football. Of the six players being discussed, I think the loss of Harrell would have the least impact for their teams. Maybe, I am giving too much credit for little known, Taylor Potts, Harrell's backup.

So, the two finalists for the Heisman Trophy in my book are two quarterbacks. By, the way, I would have placed RB Shonn Greene in the Top 3, if I had the opportunity to cast a ballot. I don't always agree with Mike Hlas, but I do on this occasion about Greene, not Harrell, since I don't see Harrell in the Top 3 among quarterbacks nationally.

So, who should be the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner? The Walter Camp Award winner, like 2007, is out of contention in my book. Here are cidsports Top 3 for 2008:
  1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (outstanding Big 12 statistics in passing)
  2. Tim Tebow, Florida (2007 Heisman Winner - great story following 'Ole Miss loss)
  3. Shonn Greene, Iowa (Football is more than a strong quarterback)

One final note:

Good luck to the Northern Iowa Panthers in there Division I semi-final football game coming up on ESPN at 3 pm Central Time. Yes, there are playoffs in Division I college football, it's called the FCS. This year's Heisman is for FBS players in Division I.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Iowa's Shonn Greene not among Top 3 Heisman Finalists

My thoughts on the development about Iowa's Shonn Greene and the Heisman finalists in NYC. Nothing can take away from the outstanding season displayed by the junior running back from New Jersey.

McCoy, Bradford, Tebow named Heisman finalists Houston Chronicle AP USA Today Top 25 BCS Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow were named ...
Bradford, McCoy, Tebow finalists for 2008 Heisman Trophy Sports Network
Tebow, pair of Big 12 QBs are Heisman finalists The Associated Press
Heisman finalists announced tonight The News-Press
Orlando Sentinel - Tulsa World


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thought of the Day?

From the Rivals Network
Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach Florida

The Bowl Season is soon approaching America!


Should Chicago really be the Host of the 2016 Olympic Games?

With the corruption charges today with the Governor and his Chief of Staff, should the City of Chicago, with the corruption reputation of the City and State, be rewarded with the Olympic Games?

Fond Ties Have Grown Between Chicago and Its Corruption Fighter -The same year his office pursued corruption charges against associates of Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago, a Democrat like Mr. Blagojevich, ... New York Times
Highlights of the Blagojevich Corruption Charges - Wall Street Journal Blogs
Illinois has long legacy of public corruption - MSNBC

Now, the current governor of Illinois is under investigation and a previous one is already in prison.Should Chicago be the 2016 host of the Olympic Games?


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. South Carolina

Statistics... Breaking down the Outback Bowl opponents for the 2009 Game!
Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4) finished 5-3 in the Big Ten, tied for fourth with Northwestern. Iowa's offense is lead with run offense, followed by a very solid defense.

South Carolina Gamecocks (7-5) finished 4-4 in the SEC, tied for third in the SEC East with Vanderbilt. Contrasting Iowa, the South Carolina's offense is a passing attack, followed up by a very solid defense.

Iowa's statistics in the Big Ten vs. South Carolina's statistics in the SEC...
Early thoughts:
  1. Defense and running game... both teams look solid defensively, but Iowa brings the running game (#3 in the Big Ten). South Carolina is dead last in rushing offense among their SEC teams. Iowa is lead by all-American running back #23 Shonn Greene, a junior.
  2. South Carolina threw for 218.5 yards per game (#3 in SEC) and as compared to Big Ten's top passing offense, just ahead of Northwestern (216.1 yards per game #5 in Big Ten). Iowa lost to Northwestern 17-22 fueled by five Iowa turnovers.
  3. South Carolina had the #1 pass defense among SEC teams at 160.2 yards per game. Purdue lead the Big Ten at 152.5 yards per game and Penn State was next at 167 yards per game in pass defense. Iowa beat both teams at Kinnick this year.
  4. South Carolina tied for last in turnover margin (w/ Arkansas) in the SEC, while Iowa was third in the Big Ten in turnover margin.
  5. Iowa QB #12 Ricky Stanzi, sophomore, is rated #4 in pass efficiency (132.2) in the Big Ten, while the South Carolina QB #5 Chris Smelley, also a sophomore, is rated #7 in pass efficiency (115.2) in the SEC.

Another classic Big Ten - SEC showdown in the Outback Bowl for the two conferences.


Three wishes for the future for College Football...

  1. FBS goes back to traditional bowl match ups and a +1 system for the BCS Championship game putting the BCS in play for just #1 vs. #2 as it was truly designed for.

  2. The Big Ten goes to a 10 game round robin schedule, as Jim Delany, the commissioner of the Big Ten, mentioned during the Big Ten Bowl Selection show on the Big Ten Network tonight.

  3. The champion of the Big Ten Conference meets the champion of the Pac 10 Conference every season in the Rose Bowl prior to the final game of the season: the BCS Championship game.


Iowa vs. South Carolina in the Outback Bowl... Selection Sunday

The Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) will meet South Carolina (7-5, 4-4 SEC East) in Tampa for the 2009 Outback Bowl. It's not for the national title, it's not the BCS, but it's a great match up for bragging rights, SEC vs. Big Ten and momentum for the 2009 season.

BCS Championship Game
Florida vs. Oklahoma

Other Games of Interest

Rose Bowl
Penn State vs. USC

Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State vs. Texas

Capital One Bowl
Michigan State vs. Georgia

Outback Bowl
Iowa vs. South Carolina

Cotton Bowl
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss

Gator Bowl
Nebraska vs. Clemson

Insight Bowl
Minnesota vs. Kansas

Sun Bowl
Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh

Holiday Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Oregon

Alamo Bowl
Northwestern vs. Minnesota

Champs Sports Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Florida State

Hawaii Bowl
Notre Dame vs. Hawaii

Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona vs. BYU

The 2008-09 Bowl Slate has been released. We have a lot to look forward during the Holidays.

On Iowa!


The FBS regular season in now in the Books... It will be #1 Florida vs. #2 Oklahoma

It may not be completely fair for the Texas Longhorn fans, but the Oklahoma Sooners disposed of Texas Tech, unlike the Longhorns, and by winning the Big 12 Championship the icing is certainly present for OU to be in the BCS Championship game.

Florida had a more competitive game against Alabama than one may have expected, but at the end of the day, the Florida Gators are champions of the SEC for '08. Clearly, the Florida Gators continue to be #1 in the final regular season cidsports' Top 25 Football Poll, and deserve their date with OU.

Which conference is ultimately better, the Big 12 or the SEC in '08? We likely can discuss a little bragging rights before, during and after the 2009 BCS Championship Game.

We will see a traditional Rose Bowl for the first time, since 2005 season, when USC played Michigan. The 2009 Rose Bowl: Penn State , champions of the Big Ten vs. USC, champions of the Pac 10 should be a good one.

The final BCS teams will likely be Alabama, Ohio State and Texas, all at-large teams. Since a non-BCS team went undefeated and finished high enough in the BCS poll, Utah, champions of the MWC, will automatically be the fourth at-large BCS team. The final two members of the BCS will be Virginia Tech, winners of the ACC Championship game, and Cincinnati, regular season champ of the Big East.

Several other final mentions: Boise State, the only other undefeated team in '08, won the WAC title; while East Carolina won the C-USA Title game, Troy won the Sun Belt Conference title, and Buffalo defeated previously undefeated Ball State to win the MAC Championship game. None of these teams were worthy of BCS consideration, but they all had fine seasons in '08.

Here's my final regular season Top 25 Poll for '08: (HQW- highest quality win, Losses for '08)
  1. Florida Gators (12-1, 7-1 SEC East) - HQW vs. Alabama in the SEC title game, while Gators lost at home to Mississippi.
  2. Oklahoma Sooners (12-1, 7-1 Big 12 South) - HQW vs. Texas Tech at home, while the Sooners lost in the Red River shootout vs. Texas.
  3. Texas Longhorns (11-1, 7-1 Big 12 South) - HQW vs. Oklahoma in Red River Shootout, while the Longhorns lost at Texas Tech in the final minutes.
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1, 8-0 SEC West) - HQW vs. Georgia at home (beat Ole Miss too), while the Crimson Tide lost in the SEC title game to Florida.
  5. Southern California Trojans (11-1, 7-1 Pac 10) - HQW vs. Oregon at home, while the Trojans lost at Oregon State again.
  6. Penn State Nittany Lions (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten) - HQW at Ohio State, while the Nittany Lions lost at Iowa on a final second field goal.
  7. Utah Utes (12-0, 8-0 MWC) - HQW vs. TCU at home, the Utes opened their undefeated season with win at Michigan... other notable wins were Oregon State and BYU.
  8. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) - HQW at Michigan State, while the Buckeyes lost games at USC and vs. Penn State at home.
  9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-1, 7-1 Big 12 South) - HQW vs. Texas at home, while the Red Raiders lost at Oklahoma.
  10. Boise State Broncos (12-0, 8-0 WAC) - HQW at Oregon, the Broncos' only win against Top 25 opponents during the '08 regular season.
  11. TCU Horned Frogs (10-2, 7-1 MWC) - HQW vs. Brigham Young at home, while the Horned Frogs lost games at Oklahoma and at Utah.
  12. Cincinnati Bearcats (11-2, 6-1 Big East) - HQW vs. Pittsburgh at home, while the Bearcats lost games at Oklahoma and at UConn.
  13. Oregon Ducks (9-3, 7-2 Pac 10) - HQW vs. Oregon State at home; while the Ducks lost games vs. Boise State, at USC and at California.
  14. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 5-3 Big 12 South) - HQW at Missouri; while the Cowboys lost games at Texas, at Texas Tech and vs. Oklahoma.
  15. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-3, 5-3 ACC Coastal) - HQW at in-state rival Georgia; while the Yellow Jackets lost games at Virginia Tech, vs. Virginia and at North Carolina.
  16. Georgia Bulldogs (9-3, 6-2 SEC East) - HQW at South Carolina; while the Bulldogs losses were vs. Alabama, Florida and Georgia Tech all at home.
  17. Michigan State Spartans (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) - HQW vs. Iowa at home and at Northwestern; while the Spartan losses were at Cal, vs. Ohio State and at Penn State.
  18. Brigham Young Cougars (10-2, 6-2 MWC) - HQW at Air Force in the MWC, while the Cougars lost games at TCU and at Utah.
  19. Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3, 5-2 Big East) - HQW vs. Iowa at home; while the Panthers lost games vs. Bowling Green, vs. Rutgers and at Cincinnati.
  20. Mississippi Rebels (8-4, 5-3 SEC West) - HQW at Florida; while the Rebels lost games at Wake Forest, vs. Vanderbilt, vs. South Carolina and at Alabama.
  21. Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4, 5-3 ACC Coastal) - HQW vs. Georgia Tech at home; while the Hokies lost four road games this year at East Carolina, Boston College, Florida State, and Miami-FL.
  22. Ball State Cardinals (12-1, 8-0 MAC West) - HQW vs. Western Michigan at home, while the Cardinals ended their attempt at an undefeated season with a loss vs. Buffalo in the MAC Championship game.
  23. Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) - HQW at Iowa; while the Wildcats lost games vs. Michigan State, at Indiana, and vs. Ohio State.
  24. Oregon State Beavers (8-4, 7-2 Pac 10) - HQW vs. USC at home; while the Beavers lost games, at Stanford, at Penn State, at Utah and vs. Oregon.
  25. Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) - HQW vs. Penn State at home; while the Hawkeyes lost four games by a total of 12 points at Pittsburgh, vs. Northwestern, at Michigan State and at Illinois.

Teams Out of the Top 25 after Week 15 - Boston College (9-4, 5-3 ACC Atlantic) and Missouri Tigers (9-4, 5-3 Big 12 North).

Teams to Watch - 1.) East Carolina Pirates (9-4, 6-2 C-USA East) - HQW vs. Virginia Tech; losses at North Carolina State, Houston, at Virginia and at Southern Miss. 2.) Troy Trojans (8-4, 6-1 Sun Belt) - HQW vs. UL- Lafayette; losses at Ohio State, Oklahoma State, UL-Monroe, and LSU.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Week 14: cidsports' Top 25 going into final weekend of regular season

Here's cidsports' Top 25 after Week 14:

  1. Florida Gators (11-1, 7-1 SEC) - Battle of #1 vs. #2 in the SEC title game and a birth in the 2009 BCS Championship Game
  2. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC) - Crimson Tide only remaining undefeated BCS team, but still with something to prove after light conference schedule
  3. Southern Cal Trojans (10-1, 7-1 Pac 10) - Close regular season with rival UCLA (4-7, 3-5 Pac 10) and a USC win will propel the Trojans for a ticket to the Rose Bowl
  4. Texas Longhorns (11-1. 6-1 Big 12) - Big 12 tiebreaker shuts Longhorns out of Big 12 title game, despite 45-35 win over OU in the regular season
  5. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) - The Sooners win South tiebreaker and will face #20 Missouri (9-3, 5-3 Big 12) in the Big 12 title game
  6. Penn State Nittany Lions (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten) - Joe Pa recovers from hip surgery, while his team prepares for a trip to Pasadena, after earning a ticket to the Rose Bowl in '08
  7. Utah Utes (12-0, 8-0 MWC) - Clearly, the Utes enter the bowl season as the top non-BCS team in the country and will be rewarded with a BCS bowl birth
  8. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) - The Buckeyes will likely be the second Big Ten team in a BCS bowl this season
  9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-1, 6-1 Big 12) - Red Raiders had outstanding season, despite weak non-conference slate, including two FCS opponents
  10. Boise State Broncos (12-0, 8-0 WAC) - The Broncos vs. Utah in a battle of top non-BCS teams would make a great bowl, but the Utes would likely prefer the BCS bowl game vs. a BCS school... maybe the bowls can allow Boise State and Ball State face one another
  11. Ball State Cardinals (12-0, 8-0 MAC) - The Cardinals are the final undefeated team remaining in FBS, but Buffalo (7-5, 5-3 MAC) in the MAC title game could spoil that feat
  12. TCU Horned Frogs (10-2, 7-1 MWC) - The Horned Frogs two losses were to Oklahoma and Utah this season
  13. Cincinnati Bearcats (10-2. 6-1 Big East) - The Bearcats are the champions of the Big East Conference title in '08
  14. Oregon Ducks (9-3, 8-1 Pac 10) - The Ducks win over in-state rival Oregon State, likely knocked the Beavers out of the Rose Bowl picture, if USC wins this weekend
  15. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-3, 5-3 ACC) - The Yellow Jackets beat Georgia to win bragging rights in the Peach State for '08
  16. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 5-3 Big 12) - The Cowboys three losses were to the Texas, OU and Texas Tech in '08
  17. Georgia Bulldogs (9-3, 6-2 SEC) - The Bulldogs have underachieved after some strong predictions by more than a few pre-season forecasters at the beginning of the year
  18. Michigan State Spartans (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) - The Spartans two Big Ten losses were against Penn State and Ohio State this season, after losing season opener at Cal
  19. Boston College Eagles (9-3, 5-3 ACC) - The Golden Eagles will face Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) in the ACC title game.
  20. Missouri Tigers (9-3, 5-3 Big 12) - The Tigers will face #5 Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, coming off a tough loss at Arrowhead Stadium vs. Kansas (7-5, 4-4 Big 12)
  21. Brigham Young Cougars (10-2, 6-2 MWC) - The Cougars two losses were to Utah and TCU this season
  22. Pittsburgh Panthers (8-3, 4-2 Big East) - Some ups and downs at quarterback this season for the Panthers, with a final game at UConn (7-4, 3-3 Big East) in conference play
  23. Mississippi Rebels (8-4, 5-3 SEC) - The Rebels upset win over Florida represents their highest quality win in '08
  24. Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) - Coach Pat Fitzgerald is worthy of all Big Ten coaching honors for the work he did with his Wildcats this past season
  25. (tied) Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) and Oregon State Beavers (8-4, 7-2 Pac 10) - The Hawkeyes beat Penn State this year, while the Beavers fell to the #6 Nittany Lions in September

Teams Out of the Top 25 after Week 14 - West Virginia Mountaineers (7-4, 4-2 Big East)

Team to Watch - East Carolina Pirates (8-4, 6-2 C-USA) - The Pirates face Tulsa (10-2, 7-1 C-USA) in the C-USA title game this weekend