Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day After Christmas Bowl Games

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl-Ohio vs. Marshall: Ford Field has not been kind to the Ohio Bobcats. Last time they made the trip up north, Ohio failed to win their first conference championship in 31 years when they fell to Western Michigan. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl give Ohio the opportunity to redeem themselves when they go for their first bowl victory in school history. Ohio is led by quarterback Theo Scott who stepped in for the injured Boo Jackson. In replacement duty Scott toss 19 TD's to 10 interceptions and was good for just over 2,000 yards on the year.

The Marshall Thundering Herd have been anything but impressive entering the final stretch of the season. Marshall dropped three of it's final four games to end the regular season. To make matters worse, head coach Mark Snyder resigned after Marshall's 51-21 defeat in the season finale. Rick Minter will step in as the interim coach for the Thundering Herd but it will only be for this game as Marshall has found their new head man.

The spread for the game is sitting at Ohio -3, and if Ohio was not playing with a backup quarterback the spread would grow larger. The bottom line is Marshall is in disarray, and right now the Thundering Herd just wants to complete the season. This is the perfect recipe for a bowl game collapse.

Winner Ohio wins and covers the spread.

Meineke Car Care Bowl-North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh:
Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt will have to do his best coaching job of the year in order to get the Pitt Panthers ready for their bowl game. Not necessarily because the Tar Heels are such a great opponent, but getting the Panthers up for this game could prove difficult. Pitt was one defensive stand away from reaching a BCS game. Instead, they fell all the way to the Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, you have to love the bowl system. To say playing in this game is a letdown would be a complete understatement.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are a work in progress. They showed some promise at times this season, but an inconstant offense kept them from achieving anything substantial. Butch Davis has done a good job in rebuilding this program but you can believe he is sick of making the trip across state to the Tire Bowl. The Tar Heels are hungry they consider their 8-4 campaign a failure and they are looking to jump start the 2010 season with a big bowl win.

The spread has Pitt as a 3 point favorite, and I am all over this one. The Tar Heels have a solid defense that gets better each week as they mature. Pitt has nothing to play for, and they just want to end the year, while UNC is hungry to prove a point.

Winner: UNC wins and covers the spread.

Emerald Bowl- Boston College vs. USC:
Sometimes teh Gods of Bowl season just don't smile upon you, Boston College is learning that lesson the hard way this year as they prepare to embark on yet another late December Bowl game. This time they are off to the emerald Bowl. The Eagles are led by freshmen quarterback Dave Shinkske who has been shaky at best completing just 52% of his passes. In typical BC fashion the Eagles rely on a big offensive line and solid production from RB Montel Harris.

USC is not where they want to be, and that is obvious. The Trojans have won at least a share of the Pac 10 title for the past seven seasons. The worse the Trojans have fared during that stretch was a trip to the Orange Bowl. To say that 8-4 is disappointing would be the understatement of the century. For all the obvious reasons every aspect of this game falls in the Trojans favor. Despite some irratic play, the Trojans are simply too fast and too talented for BC.

The interesting and dare I say the wild card for this game are the off the field issues currently surrounding USC. Star RB Joey McKnight is under investigation for NCAA violations along with 3 other teammates. When will the NCAA finally take some action against USC for these violations? Seriously this smoke has been smoldering for five years. But I digress, the USC empire is once again under attack from above. However these seem to be the games where Carroll rallies the troops and they come up with a big win for the program.

Winner: Thanks to the NCAA suspensions, there is no spread on this game. It doesn't matter USC will run with this one.


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