Bowl Predictions, Day 10

Yesterday’s record against the point spread: 1-2. (Thanks a bunch, Oklahoma State.)
Bowl season record against the point spread (at the halfway point, too): 10-7.

Today’s games:

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Houston vs. Air Force (+3.5). This one’s a strange one to pick because these two teams met earlier in the season in a game that was moved to Dallas due to a hurricane. In that game, Air Force jumped out to a four-touchdown lead only to hold off a late Cougar rally. Add to the mix the reality that Houston, with a loss, could tie the record for consecutive bowl game losses. So, which team shows up? The Houston team that got behind big or the one that rallied. My guess is the latter. Diner Prediction: Houston 31, Air Force 27.

Brut Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh (+2.5). Mike Riley hasn’t lost a bowl game in four tries since taking over at OSU. His team led the Pac-10 this season through 9 weeks and had a big win over the vaunted U.S.C. Trojans earlier in the year. The biggest problem is that they faded hard down the stretch due to key injuries. Granted, they still have a very good quarterback in Moevao. At the end of the day, Pitt will be highly motivated to get to a 10-win season, they have a better coach, and a stronger running game. Diner Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Oregon State 21

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt (+3.5). Lemme get this straight: Vanderbilt hasn’t been to a bowl game in a quarter-century, and their reward is to play a game in Nashville? What the heck? The Liberty Bowl needed Kentucky so badly that they couldn’t even give Vandy a trip? Anyway, BC has won 8 consecutive bowl games, has a vicious defense (they created 36 turnovers), and can get to 10 wins. Vandy’s just happy to get the free headphones and dinners. Diner Prediction: Boston College 27, Vanderbilt 17.

Insight Bowl: Kansas vs. Minnesota (+9). Minnesota enters the game on a four-game losing skid. Kansas is going to a bowl game for two straight years…something the Jayhawks have never done before. There’s no question that Kansas can move the ball with Reesing running the show, but I’m beginning to think there might be something to the theory that the Big 12 defenses are suspect (given Missouri’s poor showing and add Oklahoma State’s egg last night). Minnesota will try to do what Big 10 offenses do, which is muscle the smaller defensive lines around, keep the offenses off the field and shorten the game. The Gophers won’t win, but I think they’ll cover. Diner Prediction: Kansas 31, Minnesota 24.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: L.S.U. vs. Georgia Tech (+4). L.S.U. fans are very disappointed about their five losses this year and they still haven’t solved their quarterback situation…Jefferson will be starting only his second game of the season. After serious doubting that Paul Johnson’s triple-option attack could thrive in ACC country (as well as draw fans in pro football country), the Yellow Jackets have proven everybody wrong. Add to that several realities: Tech beat two SEC teams this year, they are 5-0 when they’ve had over a week to prepare, and the LSU defense is nearly last in the SEC, well, I think it could get very tough for the Tigers even though they have more talent. Diner Prediction: Georgia Tech 27, L.S.U. 21.

Only 12 more left!