Going into bowl season, the B1G was as good as dead according to most pundits. In fact, Vegas put each and every team as an underdog going in, and it was hard to argue that was the wrong decision. At least on paper, these matchups weren't exactly a great situation. Add to that the fact that the B1G hasn't exactly been the most wonderful bowl conference in recent years and you had a big mess on your hands.
Ten games later, the B1G not only acquitted itself quite nicely, it also added an eleventh game that will go out and decide the National Championship, which is pretty cool in and of itself. Needless to say, we feel like this thing was a success. That said, I wanted to quickly check back on how you all chose the games, the results, and announce a winner of the OTE B1G Bowl Confidence Pick 'Em.
Heart of Dallas Bowl - Illinois 35 vs. 18 Louisiana Tech
With a 4.81 confidence interval, more of you all picked Illinois to win this game, which seems sort of insane in hindsight. Sure, Louisiana Tech hadn't won a bowl game since 2008, and yeah, Illinois almost looked competent towards the end of the year, but 35-18 (with a score that was arguably not even that close) says otherwise. I really don't know what else to say about this game. Illinois remembered they can't have nice things and we move along.
Quick Lane Bowl - Rutgers 40 vs. 21 North Carolina
Hey look, most of you all got this right! In my preview for this game, I found out that North Carolina didn't actually own a defense. Rutgers found that out quickly and the rout was on early in this Detroit bowl. With a final score of 40-21, you could forgive most B1G fans who were more confused than anything. Good things were on the conference's way apparently. In the OTE challenge, this bowl was picked at a 5.3 confidence level.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Penn State 31 vs. 30 Boston College
If I'm being honest, I have no idea how Penn State won this game. Boston College had 285 yards rushing, which seems like a great recipe on defeating the Nittany Lions, but Penn State never gave up and what was billed as a defensive struggle turned into a defensive struggle that gave up an enormous amount of yards. Credit where credit si due, though. Hackenberg and Ficken came through for the offense when called upon and the one point win was secured. I'm impressed by the majority of entries here. You chose PSU to win with a 4.93 confidence interval.
Holiday Bowl - Nebraska 42 - 45 USC
Going in, if you had told me that Nebraska puts up 42 points in this game, I would tell you that Nebraska wins. Unfortunately, that wasn't meant to be and while the Cornhuskers did fight until the very end, the Trojans just had too much talent to overcome. Interesting thoughts going into next season for the new coach. Tommy Armstrong had 381 yards passing and De'Mornay Pierson-El is every bit the weapon people thought he could be. There is some talent to build on, but we'll see if Mike Riley can do that. Oh, and as you can see, everyone thought USC would win this game. Nebraska kept it close, though. At 6.9, this was the second highest confidence interval chosen by OTE, only trailing...
Foster Farms Bowl - Maryland 21 - 45 Stanford
Yes, this was a game that everyone thought Stanford would win. A) It was in their backyard and Maryland got to travel all the timezones to make it a thing. B) Stanford was probably getting screwed being put in this game. They're better than the Foster Farms Bowl. C) Seriously, though, Stanford was always going to win this game. In another game where the final score could have been worse than it showed, the B1G got bludgeoned to death. It's funny, looking back at the progression of bowls, the season didn't exactly start so well. OTE people picked this game at a high clip and with a lot of confidence: 7.21 to be exact.
Outback Bowl - Wisconsin 34 - 31 Auburn
So more than 75% of the OTE population believed Wisconsin would lose this game. With just under three minutes left in the game, those same people looked more right than wrong. Then a funny thing happened. Wisconsin drove the length of the field, kicked a game tying FG to send it into OT and won the game. This would be the start of a change in tide for the B1G. Good things were happening. Oh, and you all picked this game at a 5.87 confidence interval.
Cotton Bowl - Michigan State 42 - 41 Baylor
This was a fun game. Mostly because we can look back and see that the good guys won, but also because look at that fourth quarter again! Add to the fact that we got to see a kicker get blown up after a blocked kick that more or less made it possible for the Spartans to win and you had a great combination of awesome. Considering how many of you did not believe in Baylor, the score was surprisingly close. Remember when MSU had trouble closing out games? That was not a problem in the Cotton Bowl. This game was chosen at a 5.3 confidence interval.
Citrus Bowl - Minnesota 33 - 17 Missouri
I watched a lot of this bowl game matchup, and I really did think the Gophers would pull it off. Unfortunately, they ran out of gas at the end and Missouri sort of asserted its will. From a picks perspective, this game shows what happens when a Big Ten team finishes strong and people only remember a loss to Indiana. I wanted to agree with the masses too, but on paper, Missouri was going to win this game. You all picked this at a 5.3 confidence interval.
Sugar Bowl/Semifinal - Ohio State 42 - 35 Alabama
WOOOOOOO! BEE-ONE-GEE, BEE-ONE-GEE, BEE...
Sorry about that. Let's just admit that most all of us thought Alabama would win, and then the Buckeyes won and now we can laugh about it. There's already been quite a bit of coverage here and everywhere about how great this was for the conference narrative, but let me add that I was actually pulling for the Buckeyes in this game. You picked this game at a 5.77 clip which was pretty high on the list. Apparently no one believed in Cardale Jones, which sort of backfired.
TaxSlayer Bowl - Tennessee 45 - 28 Iowa
So I had to work this day, but Omaha now carries Iowa radio calls which meant I got to listen to the Iowa radio team cover this game. Why you might ask? Because it was on and work was slow. Anyhow, after Tennessee basically took over the game in the first 12 or so minutes, you could feel the break in the announcer's voices. I admit that I actually felt bad for a bit. Then I remembered that wasn't very B1G of me and decided I would like to endorse Ferentz for Iowa HC ad infinitum. Also, 67.1% picked Iowa here. 67.1% at a confidence interval of 4.96 were very very wrong.
Man, this post is getting long. Anyhow, here are the results. This year's B1G Bowl Confidence Pick 'Em Challenge is....
This was actually really a lot closer than I expected. SpartanHT was two points away from the win, and JeremyK78 was only two points behind him. Here are all the results. Feel free to mock people accordingly. Oh, and, thanks for playing! (Pkloa, feel free to print off your certificate and hang it at your desk. We know it means a lot to you.)
|Mattoon Green Wave||31|
|welcome to good burger||30|
|Respert's Elbow Pad||23|