Quick preview of Friday's bowl games

    
December 28th, 2007

Well, after last night's embarassing prediction (thank you very much, Rudy Carpenter, for opening your big mouth), I'll give the three games on tap tonight a shot. Not sure what I'll do if all three are wrong, but I'm going to simply follow my ESPN College Bowl Mania picks from this point forward and whatever happens happens.

Champs Sports Bowl
5 PM EST, ESPN
Boston College (10-2) vs. Michigan State (6-6)

Two coaches closing out their first season at their respective schools in this one. Michigan State will have to deal with some suspensions, but they do have running backs Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick at their disposal. But BC has the nation's best run defense. What this game boils down to is this: Jeff Jagodzinski has Matt Ryan, Mark Dantonio has Brian Hoyer. That's why I like the Eagles to win.

Texas Bowl
8 PM EST, NFL Network
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)

For all the talk of teams such as Louisville and Michigan being bitter disappointments this season, people had better take a look at TCU as well. DE Tommy Blake, one of the best in the country coming into the season, had to deal with personal issues for most of the season, and a team thought by some to have a shot at a BCS bid was mediocre for most of the season. Houston, now looking for a new head coach after Art Briles took the Baylor job (not exactly a vertical career move, and I don't care that the Bears are in a BCS league), but they do have two of the more exciting offensive players in CUSA: RB Anthony Alridge and WR Donnie Avery. If the Coogs can keep Chase Ortiz and Blake away from QB Case Keenum they'll put up some points. The Horned Frogs won their last two to become bowl eligible, so they do come into this one in good form. I'll take Houston.

Emerald Bowl
8:30 PM EST, ESPN
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)

This particular bowl is my least favorite, and for one reason only: those annoying ass (excuse my language) Emerald Walnut commercials that will repeatedly show up during the telecast. But all things considered, this could be an entertaining game. Maryland, who won at NC State in the season finale to ensure bowl eligibility, has played better on offense since Chris Turner took over as starting QB. His first wok: relieving Jordan Steffy and leading the Terps to a win at Rutgers. Unfortunately for the Terrapins, QSU RB Yvenson Bernard is back from a knee injury that forced him to sit out 2 of the Beavers' last four games. OSU won six of their last seven after a 2-3 start, and the return of Bernard combined with Maryland's schizophrenic play this season is why I like them to win this one.