Fortune Teller: 2009 Bowl Predictions (Part 2)

Here is part two of our 2009 bowl predictions. Click here for part 1.

The second set of 17 bowl games starts, well, today, with the Texas Bowl and ends with the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Texas.

 

Texas (December 31)

Matchup: Navy (9-4) vs. Missouri (8-4)
The Line:
Missouri -6.5

The Lead: The Texas Bowl emerges from NFL Network obscurity this season and will be seen by more than 5 households on ESPN today. Both programs are riding a program-best bowl appearance streak, with Navy appearing in seven straight bowls and Missouri appearing in five straight bowls. Missouri holds a 2-0 lead in the series, but the last time Navy and Missouri played one another was in the 1961 Orange Bowl. Navy is looking to reach the 10 win mark for the first time since 2004 and only the third time in program history.

Jeff Pick: Navy +6.5
Brian Pick: Navy +6.5


Insight (December 31)

Matchup: Minnesota (6-6) vs. Iowa State (6-6)
The Line: Minnesota -2

The Lead: Exhibit A that there are simply too many bowl games these days is the Insight Bowl. This bowl showcases a 6-6 Minnesota team (losers of 4 of their last 6 games) against a 6-6 Iowa State team (losers of 3 of their last 4 games), both who have I-AA Dakota teams to thank for their bowl-eligibility. Did I mention that this game will be played on an obscure cable channel (NFL Network) on New Year’s Eve? That’s more than enough analysis for this bowl.

Brian Pick: Minnesota -2
Jeff Pick: Minnesota -2


Peach (December 31)

Matchup: Virginia Tech (9-3) vs. Tennessee (7-5)
The Line:
Virginia Tech -4.5

The Lead: The 9-3 Virginia Tech Hokies look to salvage some much needed bowl dignity for the ACC as they face the 7-5 Tennessee Volunteers in the Peach Bowl. For all the dominance Virginia Tech has had in the regular season over the past two decades, they haven't had much success in bowl games. The Hokies all-time record in bowls is 8-14. Virginia Tech attempts to avoid going 0-for-Atlanta this season, having lost their opening game against Bama and at Bobby Dodd against Georgia Tech.

Jeff Pick: Virginia Tech -4.5
Brian Pick: Virginia Tech -4.5

 

Outback (January 1)

Matchup: Northwestern (8-4) vs. Auburn (7-5)
The Line: Auburn -7

The Lead: Northwestern - much like Boston College - is convinced that better Big Ten bowls hate them for their poor travel reputation. The ‘Cats were all packed and ready to make the trip to Orlando to face Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl when the Outback Bowl surprisingly picked them over 8-4 Wisconsin. Northwestern is seeking its first bowl win since the 1949 Rose Bowl. These two schools matchup fairly evenly but I don’t think Northwestern has the institutional knowledge necessary to actually win a bowl game.

Brian Pick: Auburn -7
Jeff Pick: Auburn -7


Capital One (January 1)

Matchup: Penn State (10-2) vs. LSU (9-3)
The Line: Penn State -2.5

The Lead: The matchup between the 10-2 Nittany Lions and the 9-3 Tigers is one of the highest ranked teams not playing in a BCS bowl game. Four of the combined five losses for Penn State and LSU came against teams playing in a BCS bowl game (Iowa, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida). The Tigers are making their third appearance in the Citrus Bowl while Penn State is making its fifth. LSU ranks 107th nationally in total offense (ranked even lower than BC), while Penn State ranks 8th nationally in total defense. While Penn State's defense might be a bit overrated given their weak schedule, I'm not sure how LSU scores enough points to pull out the W.

Jeff Pick: LSU +2.5
Brian Pick: Penn State -2.5

 

Gator (January 1)

Matchup: Florida State (6-6) vs. West Virginia (9-3)
The Line: West Virginia -2.5

The Lead: Florida State refused to give Bobby Bowden a proper sendoff so they left that job to the Gator Bowl at the expense of more deserving teams (including but not limited to Miami, Clemson). This bowl sold out in less than two hours. Great for the bowl committee, but what about the student-athletes on Clemson and Miami? Certainly C.J. Spiller was equally deserving of a better send-off than the Music City Bowl, right? If you needed proof that the bowl system is set up to reward bowl officials and not student-athletes, look no further than the Gator Bowl.

Brian Pick: West Virginia -2.5
Jeff Pick: West Virginia -2.5

 

Rose Bowl (January 1)

Matchup: Ohio State (10-2) vs. Oregon (10-2)
The Line: Oregon -3.5

The Lead: Crazy to think that despite 5 straight Big Ten titles, this is Ohio State's first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1997. The 10-2 Oregon Ducks had an even longer Rose Bowl drought, last appearing in Pasadena in the 1995 Rose Bowl. Oregon's lone Rose Bowl victory occurred way back in 1917 against UPenn. This will be the first meeting between the outright Big Ten Champion and the outright Pac-10 Champion in the Rose Bowl since the 2004 game between Michigan-USC. Poor Rose Bowl.

Jeff Pick: Ohio State +3.5
Brian Pick: Oregon -3.5

 

Sugar (January 1)

Matchup: Cincinnati (12-0) vs. Florida (12-1)
The Line: Florida -11

The Lead: Hell hath no fury like an undefeated Cincinnati team scorned. The Brian Kelly-less Bearcats take their undefeated record to New Orleans to take on the SEC runner-up Florida Gators. This is a matchup between BCS #4 and #5. This game will mark the end of Tim Tebow’s illustrious college career (and Thom Brennaman is your play-by-play guy for this one, which makes the comedic value of watching this game skyrocket!). Florida will probably win (even without Coach Meyer on the sidelines?), but I like Cincinnati to play inspired and keep it close.

Brian Pick: Cincinnati +11
Jeff Pick: Florida -11

 

International (January 2)

Matchup: South Florida (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (7-5)
The Line: South Florida -7

The Lead: The MAC is 0-13 in their last 13 bowl games, including losses by Ohio, Temple and Bowling Green this year. No matter how poorly South Florida is known to finish seasons, look for the MAC to push their bowl winless streak to 14 north of the border.

Jeff Pick: South Florida -7
Brian Pick: South Florida -7

 

Papajohns.com (January 2)

Matchup: South Carolina (7-5) vs. Connecticut (7-5)
The Line: South Carolina -4.5

The Lead: UConn is making its third straight bowl appearance and fourth in six years since joining the Big East. The Huskies honored the memory of fallen teammate Jasper Howard by winning their final three games against Notre Dame, Syracuse and South Florida. South Carolina seemingly backed into the postseason, losing 4 of their final 6 games after starting the season 5-1. This is both teams first appearance in this bowl and the first time the two programs have ever faced one another.

Brian Pick: UConn +4.5
Jeff Pick: South Carolina -4.5

 

Cotton (January 2)

Matchup: Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Mississippi (8-4)
The Line: Mississippi -3

The Lead: In the "Once Great Expectations Bowl," the 9-3 Oklahoma State Cowboys face the 8-4 Mississippi Rebels in a game neither planned on being in at the start of the season. Both Oklahoma State and Ole Miss had visions of BCS bowl berths when the season began. Both failed to live up to those lofty preseason expectations. The Rebels will have played in this bowl for the second consecutive season although the venue has changed. This is the first year the Cotton Bowl Classic moves from ... the Cotton Bowl to Jerry World. Of course, college football is looking to place a bowl game back in the old Cotton Bowl stadium starting in 2010 with the Dallas Football Classic. Because college football needs more bowls and more opportunities to watch the Big Ten in January.

Jeff Pick: Oklahoma State +3
Brian Pick: Mississippi -3

 

Liberty (January 2)

Matchup: Arkansas (7-5) vs. East Carolina (9-4)
The Line: Arkansas -7.5

The Lead: This year’s Liberty Bowl will be each program’s fourth appearance in the bowl. Both programs have had little success in Memphis. Arkansas has an 0-3 record in the Liberty Bowl while East Carolina is 1-2, with its only win a 19-13 win over Stanford back in 1995. The Conference USA champs will play in the Liberty Bowl for the second straight season, falling to Kentucky last year 25-19. Arkansas won four of their final five games - losing only to LSU in overtime in the regular season finale - to become bowl eligible.

Brian Pick: Arkansas -7.5
Jeff Pick: East Carolina +7.5

 

Alamo (January 2)

Matchup: Michigan State (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)
The Line: Texas Tech -8

The Lead: How did a 6-6 Michigan State team end up playing in a January bowl? The controversy swirling around Texas Tech and Mike Leach combined with a thoroughly mediocre Spartan team may make this bowl unwatchable. These two programs are a combined 0-4 all-time in the Alamo Bowl so the good news is someone has to win, right?

Jeff Pick: Michigan State +8
Brian Pick: Michigan State +8

 

Fiesta (January 4)

Matchup: Boise State (13-0) vs. TCU (12-0)
The Line: TCU -7

The Lead: In this year’s "Separate But Equal" BCS bowl game, two undefeated non-"AQ" programs square off for the second straight season. Last year, a 10-2 TCU team knocked off an undefeated Boise State team in the 2008 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. This game marks the first time two non-"automatic qualifier" teams make BCS bowl appearances. Breaking: one of these programs won’t finish the season undefeated.

Brian Pick: Boise State +7
Jeff Pick: TCU -7


Orange (January 5)

Matchup: Iowa (10-2) vs. Georgia Tech (11-2)
The Line: Georgia Tech -4

The Lead: Get this. Georgia Tech will make its first trip to the Orange Bowl since 1967, while Iowa will be making its second Orange Bowl appearance this decade. Georgia Tech looks to win only the second BCS bowl game for the conference this decade. Anyone else a little concerned with a team having more than a month to prepare to defend Paul Johnson's triple option offense? See: 2008 Peach Bowl.

Jeff Pick: Georgia Tech -4
Brian Pick: Georgia Tech -4

 

GMAC (January 6)

Matchup: Central Michigan (11-2) vs. Troy (9-3)
The Line: Central Michigan -3

The Lead: For all the college football die-hards out there, this will be your next-to-last opportunity to watch college football until September 2010. Why this game is on January 6 though, I have no idea. The MAC Champion Central Michigan Chippewas face the Sun Belt Champion Troy Trojans in Mobile, Alabama. This is the only non-BCS bowl game to feature a matchup between two conference champions. This will also be Dan LeFevour’s - the "Tim Tebow of the Rustbelt" - final collegiate game for the Chippewas. Mobile is a 4 hour drive from Troy’s campus; it’s 16 and a half hours from Mount Pleasant.

Brian Pick: Central Michigan -3
Jeff Pick: Central Michigan -3


BCS National Championship Game (January 7)

Matchup: Texas (13-0) vs. Alabama (13-0)
The Line: Alabama -4.5

The Lead: Undefeated Texas needed a last second field goal in the Big 12 Championship to get to this game while Alabama pummeled previously #1 Florida in the SEC Championship Game. This is the first BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl since the BCS expanded to a fifth bowl game. Alabama is seeking its 13th National Championship while Texas is seeking its 5th title.

Jeff Pick: Texas +4.5
Brian Pick: Alabama -4.5

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