Monday, January 02, 2006


Too bad Barry's swan song will be a blowout loss.

Not since the 1988-89 bowl season has there not been bowl games played on New Year's Day. It did not even feel like New Year's Eve on Saturday because I knew I was not going to awake from my hangover to the start of the Outback Bowl. I didn't even eat any Menudo on New Year's Day, couple that with no Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl, man that's sacrilegious. The Rose Bowl Parade was not even on TV yesterday. Everything that does not get started until today.

Just about everybody has the day off, but there are a few that have to return to work like any other Monday. Luckily, I am not one of them. There are 8 bowl games left, and 6 of them will be on today. I am going to start my delayed New Years Day tradition at 8 am PT by watching the Cotton Bowl. The Outback Bowl usually has been the first bowl game for years even back when it was known as the Hall of Fame Bowl. When FOX took over the rights of the Cotton Bowl from CBS some years back they moved the start of the game to 11am ET. Now it goes head to head with ESPN's Outback Bowl.

This year the matchups are good in both games. The Outback has Florida vs Iowa, but the Cotton has a very interesting Alabama vs Texas Tech. I will try to flip between the two, but what makes it difficult is that Comcast Digital in my area does not have FOX HD. So I have to flip on the cable box to flip to ESPN HD for the Outback then flip back to over the over the air HD for the Cotton. I could just flip back and forth from the analog FOX on the box, but once you watch a game in HD, analog pales in comparison.

If Mike Leach and Texas Tech want to be taken seriously and get over the hump they have to beat Alabama. Last year's rout over top 5 Cal led to a 9-2 season, but the only win of significance this year was the last second controversial 23-21 victory over Oklahoma at home. If they can pass and score over the great Alabama defense then Tech will have its big win and give the Red Raiders their first 10 win season in over 25 years. Easier said then done, Alabama wins 23-16.

After the Cotton Bowl I will tune in to catch the second half of the Capital Bowl blowout win by Auburn. Tigers 52, Badgers 24, Wisconsin defense sucks, too bad for Barry Alvarez. Then it will be time for the game of the day, the Fiesta Bowl. I like Ohio State to shut down the Notre Dame offense. The Stanford game was no fluke, the Irish could be in real trouble if their defense doesn't show. Ohio State is good on both sides of the bowl, but the defense will be tested by Brady Quinn and the Shark. Ohio State 38, Notre Dame 27.

Finally, the nightcap is the most underrated bowl game of the year, West Virginia vs Georgia from the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta. West Virginia is better than most give them credit for. Freshman quarterback Pat White is a player and the second coming of Major Harris. The Bulldogs have fought through some adversity to get here. Senior leader quarterback D.J. Shockley has had a good year, and a Sugar Bowl win would be a nice way to end his career. Georgia last won the Sugar Bowl in Shockley freshman year against a huge underdog, Florida State. The Mountaineers are huge underdogs, but no Bulldog win this time. West Virginia in the upset, 24-21.


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