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Volume 4, Issue 2                                    University of Houston

Staffers present picks for madcap bowl season

Bowl Season Preview

Christian Schmidt

The Breaking News sports staff has compiled brief descriptions and insight into all 25 bowl games over the next two weeks. For each game, Managing Editor Keenan Singleton, Sports Editor Christian Schmidt and Entertainment Editor Ed De La Garza diligently researched and came up with predictions for all the match-ups. Note: These predictions are for entertainment purposes only and should not be used to place illegal bets.

Today

New Orleans Bowl: Colorado State (6-5) vs. North Texas (5-6)

The inaugural New Orleans Bowl will feature two teams that have as many wins combined (11) as four bowl teams do by themselves (Fresno State, Brigham Young, Nebraska, Miami).

Breaking News Pick: Who cares?

Wednesday

GMAC Bowl: Marshall (10-2) vs. East Carolina (6-5)

Marshall had another outstanding year to finish with 10 wins. The Thundering Herd's high-powered offense will face East Carolina's strong defense. The Pirates don't seem to have enough to keep up with Marshall.

BN Pick: Marshall

Thursday

Tangerine Bowl: North Carolina State (7-4) vs. Pittsburgh (6-5)

North Carolina State descends upon the Tangerine Bowl to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers. Both of these teams had mediocre seasons in mediocre conferences. So now they get to play in a very mediocre bowl.

BN Pick: N.C. State

Tuesday

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah (7-4) vs. Southern California (6-5)

Utah had a good year in the Mountain West Conference and was rewarded with a trip to Las Vegas. After bouncing back from a 1-4 start, Southern California was expecting more this year.

BN Pick: USC

Dec. 27

Seattle Bowl: Georgia Tech (7-5) vs. Stanford (9-2)

Stanford deserves a better bowl and Georgia Tech was lucky to get this much. Expect a lot of offense since both teams' defenses aren't very good.

BN Pick: Stanford

Independence Bowl: Alabama (6-5) vs. Iowa State (7-4)

This match-up features the fifth team in the Southeast Conference West Division against the third team in the Big 12 North Division. It is not the most compelling game.

BN Pick: Iowa State

Dec. 28

Galleryfurniture.com Bowl: TCU (6-5) vs. Texas A&M (7-4)

Texas A&M doesn't have any offense. But the Aggies' defense should stop Texas Christian.

BN Pick: Texas A&M

Music City Bowl: Boston College (7-4) vs. Georgia (8-3)

Boston College almost beat No. 1 Miami. Georgia shouldn't be a problem.

BN Pick: Boston College

Holiday Bowl: Washington (8-3) vs. Texas (10-2)

Chris Simms cost the Longhorns the Big 12 championship with four turnovers in the first half against Colorado. It also cost him his job since senior Major Applewhite will get the starting nod for the Holiday Bowl. Washington finished the year losing two of its final three games, including a 65-7 pasting at the hands of Miami.

BN Pick: Texas

Dec. 29

Motor City Bowl: Cincinnati (7-4) vs. Toledo (9-2)

Toledo should be the favorite in this bowl after winning the Mid-American Conference over Marshall. But Cincinnati is solid on both sides of the ball.

BN Pick: Cincinnati

Alamo Bowl: Iowa (6-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-4)

Texas Tech should throw the ball all day against a suspect Hawkeye defense.

BN Pick: Texas Tech

Insight.com Bowl: Syracuse (9-3) vs. Kansas State (6-5)

Kansas State barely became bowl eligible and is no match for a strong Syracuse squad.

BN Pick: Syracuse

Dec. 31

Humanitarian Bowl: Clemson (6-5) vs. Louisiana Tech (7-4)

Clemson takes on Lousiana Tech on the smurf turf in a showdown of decent teams.

BN Pick: Clemson

Sun Bowl: Purdue (6-5) vs. Washington State (9-2)

Washington State almost won the Pac-10 but ended up here. Purdue is just happy to be at any bowl.

BN Pick: Washington State

Silicon Valley Bowl: Michigan State (6-5) vs. Fresno State (11-2)

Michigan State went just 3-5 in conference. Fresno State went 11-2 but played soft opponents for most of the year.

BN Pick: Michigan State

Liberty Bowl: Brigham Young (12-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)

Brigham Young and Louisville have as many wins (22) as any teams in a bowl this year. Louisville, the Conference USA champion, brings record-setting quarterback Dave Ragone and a very strong offense, which may give BYU's defense fits.

BN Pick: Louisville

Peach Bowl: North Carolina (7-5) vs. Auburn (7-4)

After an 0-3 start with losses to Oklahoma, Maryland and Texas, North Carolina won seven of its last nine games to earn a bowl berth. Auburn looked to be headed to the SEC championship game before losing its final two games. North Carolina has relied on the play of freshman quarterback Darian Durant. The Tigers haven't gotten consistent play from either starting quarterback Jason Campbell or back-up Daniel Cobb.

BN Pick: North Carolina

Jan. 1

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Arkansas (7-4)

Though Oklahoma plays Texas in the Cotton Bowl every year, this will mark the first time the Sooners have played in the actual bowl game. Oklahoma boasts a great defense with All-Americans safety Roy Williams and linebacker Rocky Calmus. Arkansas went 7-4 and finished third in the SEC West.

BN Pick: Oklahoma

Outback Bowl: Ohio State (7-4) vs. South Carolina (8-3)

No, this isn't déjà vu. Ohio State and South Carolina did play in the Outback Bowl last year. Lou Holtz's team beat the Buckeyes 24-7 last season. Jim Tressel hopes his OSU team has better luck against the Gamecocks this year.

BN Pick: South Carolina

Gator Bowl: Virginia Tech (8-3) vs. Florida State (7-4)

The Gator Bowl is a rematch of the 1999 national championship game. But Virginia Tech has enough offense to beat a Florida State defense that is surprisingly slow. Seminole quarterback Chris Rix can't win the game by himself.

BN Pick: Virginia Tech

Florida Citrus Bowl: Michigan (8-3) vs. Tennessee (10-2)

Michigan lost three games by a combined 13 points, including a highly disputed call at Michigan State. Tennessee was one game away from playing in the Rose Bowl. The Wolverines bring a talented offense and one of the nation's better secondaries. The Volunteers will try to ram the ball down Michigan's throats' with tailback Travis Stephens.

BN Pick: Michigan

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon (10-1) vs. Colorado (10-2)

Both teams think they should be playing in the Rose Bowl. If Miami loses, the winner of this game will have a case for the No. 1 ranking. Duck quarterback Joey Harrington will lead his team past a Buffalo defense that hasn't stopped the run.

BN Pick: Oregon

Sugar Bowl: Illinois (10-1) vs. LSU (9-3)

Led by star quarterback Kurt Kittner, Illinois went 10-1 in a fairly weak Big 10 conference. Louisiana State struggled early this season, but came on strong late.

BN Pick: Illinois

Jan. 2

Orange Bowl: Florida (9-2) vs. Maryland (10-1)

Maryland had its best year ever, but Florida still has far more talent. Expect Florida to run away with the lead early and not look back.

BN Pick: Florida

Jan. 3

Rose Bowl: Nebraska (11-1) vs. Miami Fla. (11-0)

Controversy has swirled over Nebraska's selection. Miami should make it academic when the Hurricanes beat the Huskers in strong fashion.

BN Pick: Miami
 

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