Bowl Bonanza Part Two

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the second set of bowl picks from The Campus Game. These picks cover New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day games.

We are off to an outstanding start with a 12-2 professor’s picks record heading into the Alabama-Colorado matchup tonight. If you’d like to view our picks for the games up to December 30th simply scroll down or click here.

We will wrap up our bowl picks on Wednesday with predictions for post-New Year’s Day Bowls, including the BCS title game.

If you want to visit a bowl website, simply click on the game. Enjoy!

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 at 12:30 (ESPN)
Air Force (9-3) vs. Cal (6-6)
The Falcons of Air Force go bowling for the first time in five years. Troy Calhoun was Mountain West coach of the year in his first season as head man at the Academy. His offense is lead by little Chad Hall, a 5’8 hybrid back who gained over 1400 yards rushing and caught 46 passes for 488 more. The Cal Golden Bears were at one point considered a national title contender (and reached a #2 ranking) but collapsed, losing six of their last seven. The Bears are more talented, but the Falcons will be more excited about the bowl game. A hunch says Cal. Prof’s Pick: Cal

Brut Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 at 2:oo (CBS)
South Florida (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)
These teams both reached a #2 ranking during the season before falling. Oregon fell harder and farther, primarily because outstanding QB Dennis Dixon was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury in a loss to Arizona. South Florida packs a nice one-two offensive punch with QB Matt Grothe and RB Mike Ford, and the Bulls defense is rated 19th nationally. Ducks haven’t done much since losing Dixon, so I ride the Bulls. Prof’s Pick: South Florida

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl
Dec. 31 at 2:00 (ESPN2)
Georgia Tech (7-5) vs. Fresno State (8-4)
The Blue Field Bowl provides us rematch of the compelling 2002 Silicon Valley Classic (ok, it was discontinued two seasons later but we needed a lead). Actually, players rave about the treatment they get in Boise (after they thaw out) what with snow-mobiling and other cold weather activities not usually associated with bowl games. Georgia Tech (7-5) will have interim head coach and defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta at the helm because head man Chan Gailey was fired at the end of the regular season. Paul Johnson of Navy will take over the program after the bowl game. Expect Tenuta to blitz even more than normal (which is a lot) against the Bulldogs (8-4). Both teams run the ball well; Tech’s TB Tashard Choice (1310 yds) led the ACC in rushing and is one of the nation’s best. Each team has won the Humanitarian Bowl in a previous appearance. Prof’s Pick: Georgia Tech

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Dec. 31 at 4:00 (ESPN)
Kentucky (7-5) vs. Florida State (7-5)
Bobby Bowden will fit in Nashville like a fiddle and steel guitar. The head Seminole takes FSU to a 26th consecutive bowl, but he will be without a staggering 35 Seminoles due to suspensions. Those numbers might not bode well against high-scoring Kentucky. Their main threat is senior QB Andre Woodson who passed for 3351 yards and 36 touchdowns as the Cats scored almost 37 points per game. That’s a lot of firepower going against a suspect FSU secondary. Let’s give a final word to Daddy Bowden … “We’ve got to get better there (the secondary) … if we don’t they’ll score a million.” Not a million, but enough. Prof’s Pick: Kentucky

Insight Bowl
Dec. 31 at 5:30 (NFL)
Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)
The Hoosiers are a nice story as they go to a bowl just six months after the death of head coach Terry Hoeppner due to complications from a brain tumor. Hoeppner provided the foundation for IU’s first bowl appearance in fourteen years and you know emotions will be high in Tempe. The Cowboys of OSU score a lot but give up almost as many points, so expect a big game from Indiana QB Kellen Lewis. Could be a shootout, and I always go with a Cowboy in a shootout. Prof’s Pick: OSU

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Dec. 31 at 7:30 (ESPN)
Auburn (9-3) vs. Clemson (8-4)
This is always a dream matchup for the folks in Atlanta. Two great programs with enthusiastic fans about the same distance from the city. The bowl game is almost always exciting, so this is one I’m really looking forward to. Clemson QB Cullen Harper had an All-America type season (27 TDs vs. 6 Int), and has super running backs James Davis and CJ Spiller. Auburn relies on a rugged defense, but the offense might be in a bit of flux as new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin comes in from Troy. Nice game. Prof’s Pick: Clemson

Outback Bowl
Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Tennessee (9-4) vs. Wisconsin (9-3)
In addition to a New Year’s trip to sunny Tampa, a 10 win season will be the reward for the winner of the Outback Bowl. Tennessee comes into the game after losing a tough SEC championship game to LSU. The Volunteers controlled the title tilt most of the way, but two uncharacteristic Erik Ainge interceptions turned the game around. Ainge passed for 3157 yards and 29 TDs, and was only sacked 3 times in 476 passing attempts. Wisconsin brings a more balanced offensive attack to the game as the Badgers average over 200 yards passing and rushing. A major concern is that TB P.J. Hill is likely out for the bowl game. That injury is enough to give the Big Orange an advantage. Prof’s Pick: Tennessee

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic
Jan. 1 at 11:30 a.m. (Fox)
Arkansas (8-4) vs. Missouri (11-2)
The venerable Cotton Bowl will host two teams with something missing. Missouri is missing a trip to a BCS game, passed over in the Orange Bowl for a Kansas team the Tigers whipped soundly in late November. Mizzou lost to only one team this season, Oklahoma, but the Sooners beat the Tigers twice. QB Chase Daniel passed for 4170 yards and 33 touchdowns, came in third in Heisman balloting, and led his offense to 40 points per game. One player who finished ahead of him was Razorback great Darren McFadden. D-Mac was Heisman runner-up for a second consecutive year, rushed for 1725 yards and 15 touchdowns, and also provided a passing threat when lining up at QB in the Wild Hog formation. Arkansas will be missing Houston Nutt, who stepped down (under pressure) to take the Ole Miss job. DC Reggie Herring will coach the bowl game before new head Hog Bobby Petrino takes over (unless he takes yet another job between now and then). Crank up the scoreboards at the old Cotton Bowl. Prof’s Pick: Missouri

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
Jan. 1 at Noon (CBS)
Virginia (9-3) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)
This is probably the least appealing of the New Year’s Day bowls, but hey – any bowl is a good bowl. The Cavaliers won a bunch of close games this season, but it is unlikely they faced a passing attack like the TT Red Raiders bring to Florida. Tech QB Graham Harrell threw for 5298 yards and 45 TDs. He will be facing one of the nation’s best defensive end in UVA’s Chris Long. Expect the six shooters to be firing away for the Red Raiders. Prof’s Pick: Texas Tech

Capital One Bowl
Jan. 1 at 1:00 (ABC)
Florida (9-3) vs. Michigan (8-4)
Something old and something new. Sounds like a wedding ditty, but this phrase applies to the new Heisman Trophy winner, Florida QB Tim Tebow, and the old Michigan man Lloyd Carr, coaching his last game for Big Blue. Tebow became the first sophomore to win college football’s most prestigious award by posting mind-boggling touchdown numbers (29 passing and 22 rushing) while accounting for nearly 4000 yards of total offense. The Wolverines will be trying to send Carr out on a winning note as he steps down after 12 years as head man, and as always seniors RB Michael Hart and QB Chad Henne will be providing leadership. Expect youth to trump experience in this contest as the Gators try to nail down a 2008 preseason #1 ranking by wearing out the Wolverines. Prof’s Pick: Florida

Rose Bowl
Jan. 1 at 4:30 (ABC)
USC (10-2) vs. Illinois (9-3)
The Granddaddy may be a snoozer this year because USC could outclass Illinois. The Illini offense provides the best chance for a Big Ten victory as QB Juice Williams, RB Rashard Mendenhall, and WR Aurrelious Benn spear-head a potent spread option attack. Many people still believe the Trojans are the best team in the nation, but close losses to Oregon and Stanford, along with a host of injuries hurt them. The Trojans are well now. Prof’s Pick: USC

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1 at 8:30 (Fox)
Georgia (10-2) vs. Hawaii (12-0)
This Sugar Bowl should be mighty sweet this season because each team will have something to prove. Georgia was ranked #4 in the BCS poll going into the last game of the season. When numbers one and two lost, many Georgia fans figured their beloved Bulldogs would get the championship game bid. Instead the Dawgs actually dropped in the final poll (even though they were idle) as conference champions jumped them. The Georgia defense played well late in the season, but the real story was the emergence of freshman running back sensation Knowshon Moreno (1273 yards). Working in tandem with senior Thomas Brown (706 yards despite missing a couple of games) behind a line that started three freshman, Moreno and QB Matthew Stafford hit stride at mid-season and never looked back. The Sugar Bowl gives Georgia a chance to prove a point nationally (and to set themselves up for a high preseason ranking in 2008). The best way to do so would be to wallop the Warriors of Hawaii. June Jones’ islanders also come with a chip on the shoulder as many felt they did not belong in a BCS game. QB Colt Brennan has put up incredible numbers (4174 yards, 38 TDs). The only two other non-BCS conference teams to make a BCS bowl (Utah and Boise State) both won their games. Expect Georgia to end that streak and make a statement. Prof’s Pick: Georgia

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Bowl Bonanza

Welcome to The Campus Game bowl bonanza.

Here are previews and a professor’s pick for bowls through December 30th. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and BCS bowls will be added after Christmas.

If you’d like to visit the actual bowl website, simply click on the name of the bowl.

Enjoy and happy holidays!

Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 20 at 9:00 (ESPN)
Navy (8-4) vs. Utah (8-4)
The Middies will be without head coach Paul Johnson (gone to Georgia Tech), while the Utes have won six straight bowls (second longest streak in nation). Utah defense (first in Mountain West vs. the rush) will be tested by the Academy.
Prof’s Pick: Utah

New Orleans Bowl
Dec. 21 at 8:00 (ESPN2)
Florida Atlantic (7-5) vs. Memphis (7-5)
This bowl is worth tuning in just to see if FAU Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger gets another gatorade shower on one of his thousand dollar suits. Expect the Sun Belt champs to handle the Tigers from Conference USA in a close game. Prof’s Pick: Florida Atlantic

Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 22 at 8:00 (ESPN)
BYU (9-2) vs. UCLA (6-6)
UCLA Bruins fired head coach Karl Dorrell after a .500 season, while the Cougars of BYU roll into Vegas as Mountain West champs. Mormons in Las Vegas may seem an odd pairing, but my guess is they will feel at home between the sidelines. Prof’s Pick: BYU

New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 22 at 4:30 (ESPN)
Nevada (6-6) vs. New Mexico (8-4)
The Nevada Wolfpack prowls into scenic Albuquerque to take on the hometown team. The Lobos lost New Mexico Bowl I to San Jose State and look to make amends this season. Prof’s Pick: New Mexico

Papajohns.com
Dec. 22 at 1:00 (ESPN2)
Southern Miss (7-5) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)
One of the better games of the early bowls, these are two rugged teams. Jeff Bower will end his 17 year reign as coach of the USM Golden Eagles in the same stadium where he started it … Legion Field. On the Cincy side, head man Brian Kelly has been linked as a candidate with several big time jobs but remains in the Queen City for now. Prof’s Pick: Cincinnati

Hawaii Bowl
Dec. 23 at 8:00 (ESPN)
East Carolina (7-5) vs. Boise State (10-2)
Last year’s BCS darlings, the Boise State Broncos, make a return trip to Waikiki. The opponent will be making the longest trek of any bowl bound squad this season, but don’t expect the Pirates of ECU to complain about a Christmas visit to paradise. The setting may be much better than the game. Prof’s Pick: Boise State

Motor City Bowl
Dec. 26 at 7:30 (ESPN)
Central Michigan (8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)
Any bowl is a good one in my book, but this is perhaps the least appealing matchup of the holiday season from an excitement standpoint since the two teams played earlier in the season (Purdue won 45-22). The game itself may turn out to be pretty good because the Chippewas of the MAC are tough in big games, excited to be playing a rematch, and eager to beat a Big Ten team. Prof’s Pick: Purdue

Holiday Bowl
Dec. 27 at 8:00 (ESPN)
Texas (9-3) vs. Arizona State (10-2)
This Big 12 – PAC 10 pairing provides one of the better matchups of the bowl season, including the BCS games. Both head coaches have national titles on their resumes. Dennis Erickson of ASU won two with Miami (1989 and 1991) and Mack Brown’s Longhorns captured the 2005 title. Arizona State (10-2) flirted with a Top Five ranking most of the season losing only to PAC-10 champ USC and on the road at Oregon. Expect Sun Devil QB Rudy Carpenter to fill the southern California night with footballs because Texas yields over 275 yards passing per game. Carpenter finished strong, throwing only one INT in his last five regular season games. Texas (9-3) will counter with the 1-2 offensive punch of TB Jamaal Charles (1458 yds) and QB Colt McCoy (21 TD passes). McCoy did throw 18 interceptions and that is worth watching against a pretty good ASU secondary. Arizona State might be disappointed by not getting to a BCS game, but San Diego for the holidays (and Holiday) is a nice consolation. Let’s go with the Sun Devils in a shootout. Prof’s Pick: Arizona State

Emerald Bowl
Dec. 28 at 8:30 (ESPN)
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)
These two teams arrive in beautiful San Francisco from opposite directions (in more ways than geographically). Oregon State (8-4) won six of its final seven games and comes into the bowl soaring like one of those hang gliders cruising past the Golden Gate Bridge. After starting the year 2-3, Mike Riley’s Beavers lost only to USC the rest of the way, a span that included road wins at Cal and Oregon. While OSU soars into the Emerald, Maryland’s route was more like an escape from Alcatraz. The Terps (6-6) went 2-4 down the stretch, clinching a bowl bid only after beating NC State in the season finale. Both teams prefer to move the ball on the ground. Maryland boasts two running backs (Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball) with over 750 yards rushing, while the Beavers will be rejuvenated with the return of senior RB Yvenson Bernard (1037 yds) who missed the season finale. These teams also play well in the post-season and each comes in with a three-game bowl win streak. We’ll pick OSU in a close one. Prof’s Pick: Oregon State

Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 28 at 5:00 (ESPN)
Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan State (7-5)
BC flirted with a Top Five ranking for part of the season and came within an ACC title game loss of making it to the Orange Bowl. QB Matt Ryan was a Heisman hopeful much of the year but faded late. These teams are both on the rise and led by excellent first-year coaches in Jeff Jagodzinski of BC and the Spartan’s Mark Dantonio. Prof’s Pick: Boston College

Texas Bowl
Dec. 28 at 8:00 (NFL)
Houston (8-4) vs. TCU (7-5)
You may need to be deep in the heart of Texas to see this one since it airs on the NFL network. These teams are very familiar with each other (having played 25 times), but the Cougars will be playing under interim head coach Chris Thurmond (Kevin Sumlin was named new Houston coach on 12/14 but will not coach the bowl game). The Horned Frogs of TCU will be looking for their third straight bowl win. Prof’s Pick: TCU

Meineke Car Car Bowl
Dec. 29 at 1:00 (ESPN)
U Conn (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
Maybe we should call this one the “Coach Care” bowl because both Randy Edsall of UConn and Jim Grobe of Wake have been wined, dined, and listed on the job grapevine often since the end of the regular season. Edsall was most closely linked to Georgia Tech before removing himself from consideration to stay with the Huskies (9-3), co-Big East champions after only their fourth year in the conference. His team relies on a balanced attack as junior QB Tyler Lorenzen (2269 yards, 13 TDs) leads an offense that also features sophomore running backs Andre Dixon and Donald Brown II who combined for 11 TDs and more than 1500 yards rushing. Down at Wake (8-4), Grobe’s name has been linked with coaching vacancies at Michigan, Nebraska, and Arkansas among others, and it’s easy to understand because he led the Deacs to an ACC title last year and followed up with another solid effort. QB Riley Skinner ranked 2nd in the nation in pass completion percentage (behind Graham Harrell of Texas Tech), but the large contingent of Wake fans who make the 80 mile trek to Charlotte might be the real difference in this one. Prof’s Pick: Wake Forest

Liberty Bowl
Dec. 29 at 4:30 (ESPN)
Mississippi State (7-5) vs. Central Florida (10-3)
A fine matchup in a historic bowl. Sylvester Croom’s State Bulldogs pulled off some big wins in the rugged SEC, while George O’Leary and his Golden Knights captured the tough C-USA championship. UCF is lead by record setting tailback Kevin Smith (2448 yards and 29 TDs) but the State defense is good enough to contain the rushing game and force the Knights to throw. Prof’s Pick: Miss State

Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29 at 8:00 (ESPN)
Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
Was State coach Joe Paterno at the original Alamo battle in 1836? No, but he probably remembers it … and if Joe Pa had been there, you can bet Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and the boys would have fared better against old Santa Anna and his Mexican marauders. There will actually be some history in this game. Paterno will be coaching his 500th game for the Nittany Lions; interim A&M coach Gary Darnell will be leading the Aggies for the first (and only) time. Penn State (8-4) came into the season with great promise, but once again could not get past the Big Ten’s big two – Ohio State and Michigan – and also lost to Illinois and Michigan State (in a disappointing final game). The Lions are led by senior QB Anthony Morelli (2508 yards passing, 18 TDs) and workhorse senior TB Rodney Kinlaw (1186 yds, 10 TDs). The Aggies (7-5) finished the season on a high note by beating arch-rival Texas in the season finale, but the win was not enough to save ousted coach Dennis Franchione. Coach Fran’s secret email scheme (where big money boosters paid a premium for inside information) sealed his fate before that last game ever kicked off. The Aggies have great fans and they will be out in force, but at such a historic location give me the guy that has coached 500 games. Prof’s Pick: Penn State

Petro Sun Independence Bowl
Shreveport Dec. 30 7:00 ESPN
Alabama vs. Colorado
This is must see TV because we want to be watching if one of the head coaches says something funny and/or stupid. Will it be Colorado’s Dan Hawkins of “This is Big 12 Football!” and “go play intramurals brother!” fame? Or Alabama’s Nick Saban of “change usually occurs after catastrophic events like 9/11 … or Pearl Harbor … (or losing to Louisiana-Monroe)” fame? Either way, these two guys are worth the three hours of tube time. Alabama (6-6) finished with three straight losses, but the Crimson Tide is having a stellar recruiting year, and you can bet Saban and his Red Elephants will be using this game (and the practices preceding it) to kickoff what many expect to be an SEC West title challenge in 2008. This may be a high-scoring affair as Colorado (6-6) is fresh from scoring 66 on Nebraska, and Alabama has plenty of fire power with QB John Parker Wilson and a stellar group of receivers. Expect the Tide to roll. Prof’s Picks: Alabama

Bowl Schedule

Below … please find the schedule for all Division I Bowl games. Check back soon for The Campus Game analysis of each game.

BCS Title Game
Jan. 7 at 8:00 ET (Fox)
Ohio State vs. LSU

Orange Bowl
Jan. 3 at 8:00 ET (Fox)
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas

Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 2 at 8:00 (Fox)

Oklahoma vs. West Virginia

Rose Bowl
Jan. 1 at 4:30 (ABC)
USC vs. Illinois


Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1 at 8:30 (Fox)
Georgia vs. Hawaii


GMAC Bowl
Jan. 6 at 8:00 (ESPN)
Bowling Green vs. Tulsa


International Bowl

Jan. 5 at Noon (ESPN2)
Rutgers vs. Ball State


Outback Bowl
Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Tennessee vs. Wisconsin

Cotton Bowl
Jan. 1 at 11:30 a.m. (Fox)
Arkansas vs. Missouri

Gator Bowl
Jan. 1 at Noon (CBS)
Virginia vs. Texas Tech

Capital One Bowl
Jan. 1 at 1:00 (ABC)

Florida vs. Michigan

Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 at 12:30 (ESPN)
Air Force vs. Cal

Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 at 2:oo (CBS)
South Florida vs. Oregon

Humanitarian Bowl
Dec. 31 at 2:00 (ESPN2)
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State

Music City Bowl
Dec. 31 at 4:00 (ESPN)
Kentucky vs. Florida State

Chick-fil-A
Dec. 31 at 7:30 (ESPN)
Auburn vs. Clemson

Insight
Dec. 31 at 5:30 (NFL)
Indiana vs. Oklahoma State

Independence Bowl
Dec. 30 at 8:00 (ESPN)
Alabama vs. Colorado

Meineke Car Car Bowl
Dec. 29 at 1:00 (ESPN)
U Conn vs. Wake Forest

Liberty Bowl
Dec. 29 at 4:30 (ESPN)
Mississippi State vs. Central Florida

Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29 at 8:00 (ESPN)
Penn State vs. Texas A&M

Texas Bowl
Dec. 28 at 8:00 (NFL)
Houston vs. TCU

Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 28 at 5:00 (ESPN)
Boston College vs. Michigan State

Emerald Bowl
Dec. 28 at 8:30 (ESPN)
Maryland vs. Oregon State

Holiday Bowl
Dec. 27 at 8:00 (ESPN)
Texas vs. Arizona State

Motor City Bowl
Dec. 26 at 7:30 (ESPN)
Central Michigan vs. Purdue


Hawaii Bowl

Dec. 23 at 8:00 (ESPN)
East Carolina vs. Boise State

Papajohns.com
Dec. 22 at 1:00 (ESPN2)
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati

New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 22 at 4:30 (ESPN)
Nevada vs. New Mexico

Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 22 at 8:00 (ESPN)
BYU vs. UCLA

New Orleans Bowl
Dec. 21 at 8:00 (ESPN2)
Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis

Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 20 at 9:00 (ESPN)

Navy vs. Utah

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday Morning Coming Down
By Bob Epling

December 2, 2007

“Well, I woke up Sunday morning,
with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.”

Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down

The nation’s best sport chooses its champion in the worst way.

As I write on Sunday morning – BCS Bowl selection Sunday mind you – my head hurts, my eyes burn, and (as a Georgia Bulldog alum) my heart aches just a bit.

These ailments come not from a night on the town a la Kris Kristofferson.

Not from hunger pangs or caffeine cravings courtesy of a post-Thanksgiving diet.

Not even from trying to keep up with the flipping and flopping of ESPN’s normally unflappable Kirk Herbstreit, who gasped for air championship Saturday like a flounder on a hook after his “sources” guaranteeing LSU coach Les Miles taking the Michigan job turned out to be as laughable as the Ohio State schedule.

No, these symptoms are purely BCS induced.

The nation’s best sport chooses its champion in the worst way.

Former championship winners like Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Pete Carroll of USC should not have to make like Democrats chasing Hillary through Iowa and lobby a bunch of “voters” who might or might not take time to actually watch college football games.

While they spoke, I kept waiting for Bill Clinton to pop up on the screen and lie about something. Maybe claim Arkansas should be in the title game. Stoops and Carroll are above that and you could sense their discomfort by listening to them.

Same with Mark Richt.

The classy Georgia coach should not find himself bickering about BCS by-laws and whether failing to win a conference championship disqualifies a team from getting to the title game (it does not … but it does).

All we needed with Richt was Rudy, Mitt, and some talking head from CNN introducing stupid video questions. “Ah Coach … this is June from Hawaii … do you really feel a team with two losses deserves a title shot more than an undefeated team?”

The nation’s best sport chooses its champion in the worst way.

Ohio State will play for the title.

The Buckeyes were last seen on the BCS stage being treated like the local high school JV team playing against a varsity called the Florida Gators. The Buckeyes did not beat a team ranked in the Top 20 this season at the time Ohio State played them. The Buckeyes won – at best – the fifth-strongest BCS conference by capturing the toothless Big Ten.

But, hey they do have a nice HBO documentary out.

LSU will play for the title.

The Bengal Tigers have lost twice since Georgia last lost. The Bengal Tigers, path to the national title clearly in front of them, turned turkey against Arkansas the day after Thanksgiving and lost to the unranked Razorbacks. The Bengal Tigers will get a third shot at the championship game while making more dumb mistakes than any other good team in America.

But, hey they did not lose a game in regulation all season.

These comments are meant to take nothing from Ohio State and LSU.

Jim Tressel is a great coach. His team will be eager to atone for last year’s title game embarrassment. And … I truly believe … the Buckeyes would have finished at least fourth in the SEC East. Maybe tied with Kentucky.

Les Miles is a fair coach. His team flashes occasional brilliance on defense and … and … and Jacob Hester on offense. And, I truly believe, Miles would have waited until at least this Tuesday before accepting the Michigan job if the ex-Buckeye Herbstreit hadn’t derailed the hiring with those reputable “sources” of his.

Still.

The nation’s most talented team (USC) will not play for the championship.

The nation’s most impressive team (Oklahoma) will not play for the championship.

The nation’s hottest team since mid-season (Georgia) will not play for the championship.

The nation’s best sport chooses its champion in the worst way.

Sing it Kris … There’s something in a Sunday makes a body feel alone.