Well, it’s that time of year again and Phil Steele has made his bowl selections. I normally ignore any type of pre-season projections but I kinda chuckled when I read some of these so I thought I’d share.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Baylor vs Rutgers
I get it, Baylor won’t be as good with RGIII heading up the offense, but Baylor still has a chance to be decent. Their replacement QB Nick Florence isn’t someone I’d sleep on though. He has a great arm and even though he doesn’t have the speed or foot work that RGIII has, he can still pack a punch. Granted the only game we got to really see him in action was the Baylor/Texas Tech no-defense scoring spree. He had 151 yards and 2 touchdowns on the books for last year.
Car Care Bowl of Texas – Texas Tech vs. Illinois
The Car Care Bowl would be Texas Tech valiant return back into the bowl season. Even with their huge win over Oklahoma early on, Texas Tech had a pitiful 2011 season. It’s Tuberville’s third year in Lubbock so the “getting into the groove” is over. It’s time for the Red Raiders to put the pieces together and prove to everyone it was worth it firing Leach over nonsense. P.S. the answer will still be it wasn’t worth it.
Holiday Bowl – Kansas State vs. UCLA
Are the Sooners going to Miami? Phil Steele says yes
I don’t know about this match-up. Kansas State came off a great 2011 season and is one of the best coached teams in all of college football. UCLA did get to go to the PAC-12 championship game last season (by default). But with the new additions to the Big XII, you never know what could happen.
Insight Bowl – TCU vs Penn State
I’m all for TCU going to Arizona this year if it means Oklahoma wouldn’t have to make ANOTHER trip there. TCU has a lot to prove entering into a much more competitive conference but this may be a little high for the Horned Frogs. I’m hoping the prove me wrong, but we will see. As for the Penn State pick, I can see this happening.
Alamo Bowl – West Virginia vs. Stanford
Two 2011 BCS bowl teams battling it out in San Antonio? I’d watch this and enjoy it. But with West Virginia being my Big XII sleeper team, I have them picked to go to a higher ranked bowl.
Cotton Bowl – Oklahoma State vs. Arkansas
The Big XII has not had recent success in the Cotton Bowl for the last couple years, but this would be a good match-up. I’m not 100 percent sold on the Pokes true freshman QB yet for obvious reasons, but Mike Gundy has had success at the QB position the last couple years. Arkansas is also entering 2012 with a new coach with a lot to prove. Both teams seasons should be fun to watch.
Fiesta Bowl – Texas vs. Alabama
An 8-win 2011 Longhorns bouncing all the back to the Fiesta Bowl for 2012? That is what Mr. Steele is predicting. Alabama is an easy choice, but the Longhorns? The Longhorns virtually have the exact same team coming back with the same two inconsistent QB’s. Mack is going to have to drastically change it up if he wants a repeat of the 2009 National Championship to work in his favor.
BCS National Championship Game – Oklahoma vs. Florida State
Oh. Here we are again. Same two team predictions from 2011. Both of these teams had upset 2011 seasons. I am not buying into any hype this early on like I did last year. Florida State has been a constant on the over-rated bubble since Jimbo Fisher took over from Bobby Bowden. The Sooners are returning a veteran QB and brought back Mike Stoops to run the defense. I admit, it would be fun watching the three Stoops brothers coach against each other in the BCSNCG, but I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch yet. Major adjustments need to be made on the defense in order for the Sooners to have a legit chance this season, and from what I hear it’s been improving. It’s time for the waiting game.
Kansas and Iowa State were not picked for a bowl by Steele.
Like I said, I am not a fan of listening to preseason hype. I know it’s just a prediction and this is not set in stone but Sooner fans know what happens when we are predicted to go somewhere this early on. At least they aren’t picked No. 1; that’s always a death sentence.