Beermanís Picks - Bowl Edition
(Part 1 of 2)
by Ben Shapiro,
Each week this season, I will be posting a column previewing the
upcoming weekend's Big East and Top-25 match-ups. All rankings are from
ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. I don't pick winners (that's too easy),
I pick against
Television information comes from
here. All picks are for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week: Due to circumstances evidently out of my control,
there was no column last week. Well there was, but it never saw
the light of day. Tis a shame too, as it was a nice column. (Editor's note: Hey, send it before 3
o'clock Friday, and we'll post it! Seriously, here it is, one week late.)
This Week: B-B-B-BOWLING! It's the undercard ladies
and gentlemen. The lesser bowls that mean so much to so few.
But here at Beerman Inc. we love all of our children equally, even if
we wish a few of them would pick better friends and find a way to actually
Not in Action: No one of any real consequence.
Tuesday, December 17
7:00 pm EST
New Orleans Bowl
@ New Orleans, LA
(Sun Belt Champ)
just relieved that North Texas is showing up with a winning
record this year. Of course they're only 2 games over
.500 playing in a conference where Arkansas State managed to
So really we're talking about
how interested Cincinnati will be in actually winning this game.
They've certainly got the firepower, and it might be interesting
to see how UNT's 3rd-in-the-nation scoring defense holds up
against a real team.
8:00 pm EST
@ Mobile, AL
good folks down in Mobile have added a third digit to the scoreboard
in anticipation of this duel.
Here we've got the Leftwich - Ragone
match up that I can't believe never happened during the regular
season. Both of these guys will be playing on Sundays
next year ... or at least holding clipboards.
As to the game itself, I like
Marshall. U of L is a decent team, but a healthy Leftwich
should be more than capable of taking them apart.
Monday, December 23
5:30 pm EST
Mazda Tangerine Bowl
@ Orlando, FL
(Big XII #5)
visiting Florida just wasn't much of a selling point, so now
Mazda is picking up the slack.
Krazy Kewebee Kliff Kingsbury's
last hurrah! I can't think of anyone better suited as
an opponent than a middle of the road ACC team. Clemson
has "name" so it will look good when the Red Raiduhs run roughshod
all over them. Kliffie's one of those "system" quarterbacks,
so this might be the last time anyone gets to see him play for
real. Check it out as a warmup for the NFL night game.
Pick: Texas Tech
4:30 pm EST
Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl
@ Las Vegas, NV
(Pac 10 #5)
is New Mexico's first bowl game in five years, and UCLA will
be playing with the ubiquitous "Interim Head Coach" at the helm.
Now the tricky thing is that UNM coach Rocky Long used to be
defensive coordinator for the Bruins. Can you say "job
interview," kids? I knew you could...
Pick: New Mexico
8:00 pm EST
ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl
@ Honolulu, HI
Chang may be one heckuva QB (4300 passing yards? That's
disgusting!) but like every other run and shoot team since the
birth of Mouse Davis, Hawaii has trouble turning yards into
points against decent teams.
But I'm not convinced that Tulane
counts as a decent team. I was surprised to find out that
they're bowling at all.
Pick: U of H
Thursday, December 26
5:00 pm EST
Motor City Bowl
@ Detroit, MI
(Big East #5)
factoid #19371: Only one team currently not in a BCS conference
has a winning record against BCS teams over the last ten years.
That team is the mighty Toledo Rockets, coming in at 6-5 since
Corollary to factoid:
Only one team currently in a BCS conference has a losing
record against non-BCS teams over the last ten years.
That team is the mighty Temple Owls, coming in at 10-16 since
Makes me proud to be a part of
the Big East!
8:30 pm EST
@ Phoenix, AZ
(Big East #3)
(Pac 10 #4)
an all-Big East Christmas this year!
After all your presents have been
opened, and after a nice hearty holiday feast, settle down on
the coach with belt loosed and get cozy for a nice old fashioned
defensive slugfest. The pundits talk this up as a potential
offensive shootout, but I disagree. OSU has opened it
up on a few lesser teams this year, but when they play come
up against a solid defense, their offense goes turtle.
Pittsburgh tends to have the same meager output no matter who
they're playing. Nope, I think that defense will rule
the day today. And I like Pittsburgh's bunch.
Friday, December 27
1:00 pm EST
@ Houston, TX
(Big XII #6)
Houston Bowl. Yes, very original. This is the fourth
largest city in the United States and they couldn't find one
single major corporate sponsor? Pfffttt. It's the
Tanman Bowl in my book!
Pick: Southern Miss
4:30 pm EST
MainStay Independence Bowl
@ Shreveport, LA
(Big XII #8)
Miss plays in this bowl game so often, they ought to get their
mail forwarded there.
game is important, because I didn't think it was even theoretically
possible that Nebraska could finish a season only at .500.
It boggles the mind.
8:00 pm EST
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
@ San Diego, CA
Kansas State (#6)
(Big XII #4)
(Pac 10 #3)
could be the highest scoring bowl game of the season.
Kansas State we all know about, but Arizona State is a bit of
a wildcard. The Sun Devils have a high powered passing
attack, but the ground game is suspect and the defense is adequate
only by Pac 10 standards. KSU will run, run, and then
run some more. Yards and points. Lots of them.
Without a doubt, this will be the most entertaining thing Friday
night television has had to offer in a long time.
Saturday, December 28
11:00 am EST
Continental Tire Bowl
@ Charlotte, NC
West Virginia (#13)
(Big East #2)
the good folks in Charlotte got what they wanted. The
Tire Bowl is officially sold out. Some folks are going
to cheer on West Virginia, some to cheer on the Hoos.
Rumor has it that the UVA Pep Band is going to reprise their
infamous halftime show from the 1985 WVU-UVA game. That
promises to be a real treat :o)
But what about the GAME you ask?
Well WVU beat us, and we beat France, so by the transitive property
of football the Wahoos are doomed. I'm actually surprised
that the line is only five points. I really think that
West Virginia is going to roll all over France.
8:00 pm EST
2002 Alamo Bowl Presented by MasterCard
@ San Antonio, TX
(Big XII #2)
(Big Ten #8)
this could be the worst mismatch of the entire bowl season.
Colorado got better as the year went on, while the Port Chester
Whooping Cranes fell right off the map.
Monday, December 30
2:00 pm EST
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
@ Nashville, TN
(Big Ten #7)
Hotels? Heh, I bet you all thought I was going to make
some joke here. Ha! I need some sort of challenge
5:30 pm EST
@ Seattle, WA
(Pac 10 #8)
in favor of the twelve game season. There's no such thing
as too much football. the downside is, of course, that
we've got 6-6 mediocrities like Weak Forest going bowling.
The plus side of two lousy bowls
both on the same day, is that those of you making the trip west
likely wont even be able to watch these if you wanted to.
2-2-1 (YTD: 149-145-5)
TV Game of the Week: All of them baybee!
Upset Special: Pittsburgh over Oregon State (YTD: 6-11)