New Years Eve and New Years Day Bowl Predictions:

Steve O Speak

(11) Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee: I like the Hokies in this one, both teams are similar with a good running game and a great defense. In the end though I think Tech has more overall talent and will win a close game 24-21.

Oklahoma vs. (21) Stanford: This is going to be a fun game to watch Stanford’s Toby Gerhart against the tough run defense of the Sooners, led by All-American Gerald McCoy (DT). While Stanford’s the ranked team, they will be without their starting quarterback and have to be underdogs against Oklahoma. As long as Gerhart’s on the field I would never want to discount the Cardinal’s chances, but I think they come up short against a Sooner team that wants to avenge their disastrous season. Oklahoma wins 31-20.

(3) Cincinnati vs. (5) Florida: Instead of the Sugar Bowl they should call this the “Coaching Uncertainty Bowl” with the controversy we’ve seen at both schools over the last month. As much as I love the Bearcats and Tony Pike, I don’t think they have the ground game or defense needed to stop Florida. I think the Gators will be able to move the ball effectively, and their defense should be able to slow down Pike and Gilyard (note to Florida, kick the ball out of bounds instead of kicking it to Gilyard. If you don’t believe me, ask the Pitt Panthers) enough for Florida to win this game pretty easily, 38-24.

(8) Ohio State vs. (7) Oregon: The Rose Bowl this year should be a fun (and high scoring game to watch). Both the Buckeyes and Ducks have electric offenses that can score from anywhere on the field. The Ohio State offense is a little less refined but is more balanced overall. The Ducks on the other hand are very good and running back, quarterback and tight end, but lack top notch talent across the board. The Ducks defense isn’t as talented as Ohio State’s, but shouldn’t be taken lightly otherwise you will find yourself on the other end of a blowout (just ask Cal and USC). In the end I think the Ducks better execution will win the day in Pasadena 42-38.

(12) Penn State vs. (13) LSU:  History has shown that Big Ten teams don’t fare to well when they go head to head with an equal from the SEC, and I think history is about to repeat itself tomorrow. Penn State has some elite talents on their football team, but they lack the vertical attack to match the Tigers score for score if need be. While the Nittany Lions have a couple players who will be playing on Sunday’s next season, they lack the overall defense needed to stop the Tigers size and speed. I think Penn State keeps it close early, but the Tigers pull away in the end 31-17.

(16) West Virginia vs. Florida State: The “Bowden Bowl”, a match-up of his current team against his former team, is a nice retirement party for Bobby Bowden (though I don’t know if he’ll like his parting gift from the Mountaineers). I suspect that Florida State will be fired up for their coach, but emotion is about the only advantage they have over WVU. The Mountaineers have an immensely talented (and quick) offense, and while they’ve had their share of inconsistencies I see them putting on quite a show tomorrow against FSU. The Seminoles will be starting a freshman at quarterback, and while he has a promising future, I think he will have his hands full with the Mountaineers defense tomorrow. If the Mountaineers can get pressure on the quarterback early, they can neutralize the Seminoles extremely talented receiving corps. WVU wins this one easily 38-24.

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