Hoegher's Bowl Predictions: BIG TEN DUMPSTER FIRE

Yes, there was a game last week. No, I'm not going to posted updated rankings to reflect that fact. Any changes were minimal, and therefore would be boring to talk about (Rutgers and Missouri swapped slots! WOO.). The game itself was actually pretty exciting, and I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't get to watch more of it. Unfortunately, I was sick with the flu on Saturday, and the effort to lift my hand and grab the remote was far too much for my weakened state to handle for most of the the afternoon. Fortunately, I was able to rouse myself into something resembling a functional person later, so I was able to catch the final few minutes. Couple thoughts:

1) Navy won for the billionth time in a row. As per custom.

2) I feel absolutely awful for Army. That's a brutal way to lose the game.

3) CBS is a dick for keeping that camera on Trent Steelman for so long. Incredibly tact-less.

Anyway, it's bowl season! I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that my Excel sheets don't speak to a lot of Big Ten wins this post-season, though I do have one game that the Big Ten should win: Northwestern over Mississippi State. Shocker, I know. Given the odds I have on each game, I think 2-5 would be a break-even point for the Big Ten. LETS DO IT.

I'm going to try and do short bowl previews for each Big Ten team that y'all can save for posterity and laughing at me when I'm inevitably wrong. For now, I'll just run down the full bowl schedule and pick winners in each game. To try and do my part in your bowl watching ventures, I've helpfully arranged the games with the closest (i.e.: most exciting games) at the top. You are free to take or leave my advice on that (though that UCLA-Baylor game should be pretty awesome)

Date Bowl Team Opponent Winner Confidence
27-Dec Holiday UCLA Baylor UCLA 50%
28-Dec Russell Athletic Rutgers VirginiaTech Rutgers 50%
31-Dec Liberty Tulsa IowaState IowaState 55%
29-Dec Armed Forces AirForce Rice Rice 57%
5-Jan Compass Pittsburgh Mississippi Mississippi 57%
1-Jan Gator Northwestern MississippiState Northwestern 58%
1-Jan Outback Michigan SouthCarolina SouthCarolina 58%
31-Dec Chik-Fil-A Clemson LSU Clemson 58%
29-Dec Buffalo MichiganState TCU TCU 59%
1-Jan Rose Wisconsin Stanford Stanford 59%
29-Dec Pinstripe Syracuse WestVirginia WestVirginia 62%
4-Jan Cotton Oklahoma TexasAM TexasAM 67%
29-Dec Alamo Texas OregonState OregonState 68%
6-Jan GoDaddy KentState ArkansasState ArkansasState 69%
1-Jan Capitol One Nebraska Georgia Georgia 69%
22-Dec Las Vegas BoiseState Washington BoiseState 69%
31-Dec Music City NorthCarolinaState Vanderbilt Vanderbilt 72%
27-Dec Military SanJoseState BowlingGreen SanJoseState 72%
20-Dec Poinsettia BYU SanDiegoState BYU 72%
21-Dec Beef O'Brady's CentralFlorida BallState CentralFlorida 73%
31-Dec Sun GeorgiaTech USC USC 74%
3-Jan Fiesta KansasState Oregon Oregon 76%
24-Dec Hawaii SMU FresnoState FresnoState 80%
28-Dec Independence LouisianaMonroe Ohio LouisianaMonroe 81%
7-Jan BCS NotreDame Alabama Alabama 82%
22-Dec New Orleans EastCarolina LouisianaLafayette LouisianaLafayette 83%
27-Dec Belk Duke Cincinnati Cincinnati 84%
26-Dec Pizza WesternKentucky CentralMichigan WesternKentucky 84%
28-Dec Texas Minnesota TexasTech TexasTech 84%
1-Jan Orange FloridaState NorthernIllinois FloridaState 85%
15-Dec Idaho Potato UtahState Toledo UtahState 86%
29-Dec Kraft Navy ArizonaState ArizonaState 87%
2-Jan Sugar Florida Louisville Florida 90%
15-Dec New Mexico Nevada Arizona Arizona 92%
1-Jan Heart of Dallas Purdue OklahomaState OklahomaState 97%

For those of you just interested in the Big Ten bowl slate, here's those games isolated for ya, complete with (inevitably off) predicted scores:

Date Bowl Big Ten Opponent Winner B10 Scr Opp Scr Confidence
1-Jan Gator Northwestern MississippiState Northwestern 28.4 25.7 58%
1-Jan Outback Michigan SouthCarolina SouthCarolina 22.6 25.3 58%
29-Dec Buffalo MichiganState TCU TCU 10.2 13.0 59%
1-Jan Rose Wisconsin Stanford Stanford 18.8 21.9 59%
1-Jan Capitol One Nebraska Georgia Georgia 33.4 40.0 69%
28-Dec Texas Minnesota TexasTech TexasTech 16.9 30.2 84%
1-Jan Heart of Dallas Purdue OklahomaState OklahomaState 24.0 46.3 97%

Some initial thoughts...

Yeah, Purdue... you're going to get smoked. This is probably a bit more egregious looking than it really should be, because Oklahoma State gets a bit of a bump in my rankings because of that Week One massacre against Savannah State, but the Cowboys would still rate out in my Top 10 if you remove that game entirely... so yeah. This is my biggest blowout prediction for a reason.

I'm becoming convinced that these Big 12 match-ups are terrible for the Big Ten, because it seems like some under-achieving Big 12 squad will always face some actually-mediocre Big Ten school.

2011: Texas A&M (6-6) vs Northwestern (6-6)

2011: Oklahoma (9-3) vs Iowa (7-5)

2010: Missouri (10-2) vs Iowa (7-5) (hey, we won that one!)

2010: Baylor (7-5) vs Illinois (6-6) (okay, this trend is starting to fall away)

IRREGARDLESS: the point is that you should only tune into this game if you're into spectacles of disaster. Personally, I really enjoy those types of games (I thought the Seahawks-Cardinals game on Sunday was LOVELY), but I think Purdue will be able to score too easily, thus preventing the 60-0 final we all truly dream for.

Two virtual toss-ups are listed here: UCLA-Baylor and Rutgers-VirginiaTech. Let's delve a little deeper into those games, shall we?

UCLA over Baylor (42.4-42.3)

Rutgers over VirginiaTech (15.2-15.2)

The point here is that Art Briles should have a statue made of him for the entertainment he so selflessly brings us, and nobody ever wants to watch Rutgers play. But hey: if you're a masochistic Michigan fan who wants to relive your Sugar Bowl "win" over Virginia Tech, by all means go for it. That, or just wait for the offensive ineptitude of TCU-MichiganState.

BCS MACTION Y'ALL. Northern Illinois... has a shot? Hey, it at least isn't supposed to be as bad as the Sugar Bowl! Mostly because the Big East sucks. Look, nobody is expecting NIU to win, but I encourage y'all to stand by after the Wisconsin loss and watch it anyway. Stranger things have happened, and Florida State could give a repeat of their ACCCG performance (OH GOD PLEASE), which would be wonderful.

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