The (shudder) BCS remains the defining end to the college football season. We have reviewed the BCS Conferences, now here are my picks for the BCS match-ups and the attempt at explanation for the choices:
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1st 2009
Oklahoma vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl, Jan 1st 2009
Wisconsin vs. Wake Forest
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2nd 2009
Auburn vs. West Virginia
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Jan 5th 2009
BYU vs. Missouri
BCS National Championship
USC vs. Georgia
National Champion: Georgia
First off, anyone who tells you that their picks are certain or even worth betting an old civil war heirloom that is actually a whiskey flask that they are right is ludicrous in itself. But this is the scenario I see unfolding. I believe Southern California will beat Ohio State in the game of the year. I do not expect a blow-out and of course the Buckeyes are quite capable of winning this one. That should be the only blemish on the OSU resume, but with their final game against Michigan and pollsters not willing to put their faith in another Buckeye appearance in the title game (which is improper thinking), they will fall into the dreaded three spot in the final rankings. I have a hard time seeing USC losing if they get by Ohio State, but then again they lost to Stanford last year. They slip once, but the win over the Buckeyes will validate their spot (validation in BCS terms). I do believe Georgia will fall once during their gauntlet run of the SEC, but winning the East and taking down Auburn in the title game will solidify their argument. By the way, I think it may very well be Auburn who hands Georgia that one loss.
The Georgia-USC match-up will be one that is touted as the game people wanted to see last January. A case could be made for either side in this case, but I believe Georgia will be hungry and Mark Richt will steer them to a close victory and then everyone will continue to have to listen to intolerable SEC smack talk for another decade. The element I always notice in these games is how unpredictable it is to know how these top teams will perform after a month off. But something tells me Richt’s preparation will have more of a sense of urgency than Pete Carroll’s will.
Ohio State will trounce Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl to take out their frustration much like USC did last year to Illinois. The BYU-Missouri game appears unsexy on the surface, but it would be an extremely entertaining game. BYU has been shown the way by Utah, Boise State, and Hawai’i and I expect them to run the table. Wisconsin and Wake Forest will therefore be dubbed as the worst match-up, but it pits two great defensive coaches against one another, but don’t expect any great highlights even though it would be hotly contested. Auburn and West Virginia would be a game I would definitely be interested in observing. The fading spread offense of WVU against the newly born spread of the Tigers. I would expect this to be Bill Stewart’s last grasp of the big time.
Well, I for one cannot wait to see how wrong I am come December and January and my only hope is that the games this year give us the same excitement, and less pointless arguments than last year, but I am not an optimist by trade.