Last week was rare, huh? No football. Judging by the reduced writing pace set by myself and some colleagues, I think it was a chance for everyone to catch their breath a little and either get away from the game for a moment or digest the season a little bit. For the Michigan and Florida faithful it's probably been a busy time filled with angst turning to anger or excitement. But for the rest of us - we wait.
Tuesday marks the beginning of the 2006-2007 bowl season. Coincedentally we're also smack dab in the Holiday season, this time of warmth, giving and good cheer. It's appropriate that the bowls progressively and merrily march through December and early January, no? They're festive. You're festive. I'm festive. It all goes together unless you're all about Humbug in which case I just can't help you.
Some of you want to hear my bowl picks, I presume. I've done horrible the last two years, however, so I'm a bit gunshy. So whatever follows is my quickly assessed sentiment as of December 18. I reserve the right to change my mind. Las Vegas favorites in bold.
Poinsettia Bowl - TCU over Northern Illinois
Las Vegas Bowl - Oregon over BYU
New Orleans Bowl - Troy over Rice
Papa John's.com Bowl - East Carolina over South Florida
New Mexico Bowl - San Jose State over New Mexico
Armed Forces Bowl - Tulsa over Utah
Hawai'i Bowl - Hawai'i over Arizona State
Motor City Bowl - Central Michigan over Middle Tennessee State
Emerald Bowl - Florida State over UCLA
Independence Bowl - Alabama over Oklahoma State
Texas Bowl - Rutgers over Kansas State
Holiday Bowl - California over Texas A&M
Music City Bowl - Clemson over Kentucky
Sun Bowl - Oregon State over Missouri
Liberty Bowl - South Carolina over Houston
Insight Bowl - Texas Tech over Minnesota
Champs Sports Bowl - Purdue over Maryland
Meineke Bowl - Boston College over Navy
Alamo Bowl - Texas over Iowa
Chick-fil-A Bowl - Virginia Tech over Georgia
MPC Computers Bowl - Miami over Nevada
Outback Bowl - Tennessee over Penn State
Cotton Bowl - Nebraska over Auburn
Capital One Bowl - Arkansas over Wisconsin
Gator Bowl - West Virginia over Georgia Tech
Rose Bowl - USC over Michigan
Fiesta Bowl - Oklahoma over Boise State
Orange Bowl - Louisville over Wake Forest
Sugar Bowl - LSU over Notre Dame
International Bowl - Cincinnati over Western Michigan
GMAC Bowl - Southern Miss over Ohio
BCS Championship - TBD
Before we depart this entry, I have something interesting to add. A while back I came across an interesting person on one of the various college football message boards. He was a gambler of sorts, had worked in Las Vegas, I forget what exactly but it had to do with research or something similar for the sports books. Anyhow, this person relayed a concept of his that I found interesting. I only read it in passing, so this is a bit like that game telephone where sometimes the specific message gets lost.
What he said was that teams tend to perform to their preseason rankings during bowl season. So if you had put together some kind of 1 to 119 preseason consensus about teams based on the various magazines, websites and polls, you could use that as reference in looking at some bowl games.
For example, Notre Dame was a preseason top five team this year but finished the regular season ranked below that. However, as a bowl team perhaps they're more like the No. 2 or No. 5 or whatever ranking given to them before. Now pair them up with LSU, another highly ranked team but perhaps a notch below the Irish and maybe Notre Dame bucks the prevailing logic, sidestepping the butt-whipping LSU is expected to give them.
Or in the Rose Bowl, USC was more highly regarded in the preseason than Michigan. So perhaps USC dusts off that choke job against UCLA and beats the more highly ranked Wolverines.
Anyway, that's my interpretation of what that person is saying, I probably got it wrong, but I found it interesting. If someone can shed more light on that feel free to comment below or email me.