Saturday, December 23, 2006

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL GAME PREDICTIONS 2006/2007 Nr. 3

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
BOWL GAME PREDICTIONS 2006/2007

Prediction posting Nr. 3 - Bowl Games on or after January 1, 2007
by Andis Kaulins

(Please note that the betting spreads we use may not reflect the odds used elsewhere or may change between the time we checked them and the date of the actual game or the date at which this post is read. The same applies to ratings. Please note also that these predictions are made in good fun only and that no one should rely on them to place bets since sports outcomes are by nature unpredictable. What makes college football predicting such fun is precisely this unpredictability. We expressly disclaim any and all liability for any reliance placed by anyone upon what we write in this posting. Some years our predictions are good and other years they are off the mark. Caveat emptor. And may the best team win.)

[UPDATE December 23: Due to the outcome of the first two bowl games, won convincingly by TCU and BYU of the Mountain West Conference, we now favor a win by New Mexico over San Jose State 27-20.]

FIND BCS BOWL FACTS AT THIS LINK (Rose Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Tostitos BCS National Championship Game

Our predictions for the Bowl Games on or after January 1 follow:

26. Outback Bowl Outback Bowl
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida - Monday, January 1, 2007, 11:00 a.m. EST
Tennessee Volunteers (17) v. Penn State Nittany Lions

Tennessee is rated 15th by Sagarin's Predictor and 13th by Wolfe.
Penn State is rated 32nd by Sagarin's Predictor and 21st by Wolfe.
The current betting line favors Tennessee on average by 4.5 points.

The Vols beat one rated team, Cal, 35-18 to start out the season, and then lost their next three games to rated teams: by one point to Florida, by four points to LSU and by 14 to Arkansas. In those losses, Tennessee put 20, 14 and 24 points on the scoreboard.

Penn State lost four games this year - all to rated teams: Notre Dame (41-24), Ohio State (28-6), Michigan (17-10) and Wisconsin (13-3).

What hampered the Nittany Lions this year was a weak offense that could not muster up enough points to beat teams against which the defense did a very good job. Tennessee on the other hand lost games because their defense could not keep opponents from scoring the deciding points.

In this bowl game, these weaknesses would seem to cancel each other out, so that the Penn State defense against the Tennessee offense will decide this game, which we think will give a very small advantage to the Volunteers. We call it for Tennessee 17-13.

27. AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Cotton Bowl
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas - Monday, January 1, 2007, 11:30 a.m. EST
Auburn Tigers (10) v. Nebraska Cornhuskers (22) (University of Nebraska at Lincoln)

Dear readers, please note that as a Husker alumnus, and even though I am highly critical of the Callahan coaching staff this year, my views on this game are surely not truly objective, so that I may exaggerate Nebraska strengths at the cost of Auburn weaknesses.

Nebraska has played three teams this year that were ranked in the top 10 when the Huskers played them and lost all three games. Auburn has played two teams this year that were ranked in the top 10 when the Tigers played them and won both games. On paper, Auburn, ranked in the top 10, would from those stats look like the easy winner over a Nebraska team not ranked in the top 20.

Wolfe ranks Auburn 10th and Nebraska 28th, but, perhaps to the surprise of many, Sagarin's Predictor has the Tigers at 23rd and the Huskers at 19th. At the time of this writing, Auburn is favored by 3.

Last year, the SEC and Alabama got the best of the Big 12, as 'Bama won 13-10 in a game in which the Crimson Tide shut down the high-powered Texas Tech passing offense and won the game in spite of its own weak offense, which continued to plague 'Bama this year, leading to the firing of head coach Shula. That kind of a defensive game is not likely to be repeated in this year's game, which is bound to see more scoring due to the kind of football that Nebraska plays.

Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and defensive end Adam Carriker was Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Nebraska has many strong individual players but Coach Callahan and his staff have not yet been able to put them all together to form a dominant football team of the likes of the Huskers of yore, for which this team surely had some potential this year, if not for avoidable playing and coaching lapses. The team continues to play under its full potential, which tends to point to less than optimal coaching.

Auburn will be weakened by the absence of three recently suspended players, but this is still a very strong team, indeed, Auburn is the only team this football season to have beaten BCS championship game finalist Florida, and also was a victor over LSU (which otherwise lost only to Florida).

However, those games tell us something about the weak Auburn offense. Although the Tigers won against the Gators 27-17, they did not score a single offensive touchdown. Against LSU, Auburn won 7-3 while scoring on their only sustained touchdown drive. All of those games show that neither Florida, LSU nor Auburn have awe-inspiring offenses, and each of those teams can potentially be beaten by teams that do have functioning go-go offenses, as shown by Georgia's convincing 37-15 win over Auburn.

Hence, we think this year that the much-touted SEC, no doubt having some great defensive teams, will have their problems in the major bowl games because their own offenses will not be strong enough to put enough points on the board against their opponents, even if their defenses do a good job in holding other teams below their normal point production.

We think that the Huskers have the offense to put at least three touchdowns plus a field goal on the board against Auburn, without the Tigers themselves being able to score more than a maximum of 20 points against the Cornhusker Blackshirt defense.

Hence, we call this game 24-20 in favor of Nebraska, in perhaps unwarranted anticipation of the Nebraska coaching staff properly preparing the team for this game and calling plays like they should be called.

If the Huskers call and play this game conservatively, they will lose, because the Auburn defense will then stifle their every move. Nebraska has to come out very aggressive offensively and stay that way the entire game. Then they will win.

28. Capital One Bowl Capital One Bowl
Orlando, Florida - Monday, January 1, 2007, 1:00 p.m. EST
Arkansas Razorbacks (12) v. Wisconsin Badgers (6)

Wisconsin is rated 9th and Arkansas 11th by Wolfe whereas Sagarin's Predictor has the Razorbacks 17th and Wisconsin 27th. The Razorbacks started out in the betting line as one point favorites, whereas the updated odds are even, and we think that Wisconsin will be going off as favorites by the time the game actually begins, for the reasons given below.

Wisconsin has a superb defense which allowed only 13 touchdowns this season, as opposed to 43 TDs scored. Arkansas by contrast has scored 47 TDs but has allowed 28, more than twice as many as the Wisconsin defense. Since the offenses are about equal, Wisconsin has the clear edge defensively.

Wisconsin's only loss came to a Michigan team which ranked first in the country this year in rushing defense. The Wolverines fully shut down the Badgers running attack. Arkansas does not have that kind of a rush defense, having given up 202 rushing yards to Florida and 193 yards to USC, both in losing causes. If Wisconsin can run against Arkansas, the Hogs will be hard-pressed to win.

Arkansas has a terrific football team this year, but like many teams, their fortune rises and falls with the leadership of its quarterback, whose impact can not be judged by statistics alone. We saw this with last season's Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and a healthy Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Ben is a winner.

According to recent news, Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt plans to go again with sophomore quarterback Casey Dick as the starting quarterback for the bowl game, rather than freshman Mitch Mustain, who has an 8-0 record as starter this year, whereas Dick started the last two games, both losses. To this we can add that Nutt went primarily with junior quarterback Robert Johnson in the opening season loss to USC 50-14. It is not clear what criteria Nutt uses to select his starting quarterback, but "winning" is not always his first choice.

Nutt now plans to use Dick for the first two series of plays in the bowl game and then let Mustain have his chance on the third series of plays and see how it goes. We think that kind of coaching is rather foolish. Georgia juggled its quarterbacks all season long and was not very successful doing it until it settled on one, WINNING quarterback. You have to pick a WINNING starting quarterback and stick with him, unless he loses, or is having a very bad day.

We have posted previously about the decisions Nutt has made at the close of this season regarding the quarterback position, which have in our opinion ruined what might otherwise have been a glorious Arkansas football year (see here and here).

Frankly, we have our doubts about Nutt's coaching talents. His winning percentage at Arkansas is only about 60% and he is below 50% in the SEC during his Razorback tenure. Down the years his Arkansas teams seem to show uneven performance regularly. We see in his serendipity decisions regarding the Arkansas QB position why this might be so.

It is not that Mustain's stats are overwhelming, but when he starts and plays, Arkansas wins - at least, up to now. That is the test - winning - and not statistics alone. Whatever the reason, Mustain is a winner, and it was really foolish to replace him as starting quarterback with a quarterback who is losing, regardless of his talents.

This bowl game is therefore extremely difficult to call. With Mustain at starting quarterback, we would pick Arkansas to win, because he apparently has leadership qualities which lead to winning, even against a top team like Auburn. With Dick as the quarterback, whose performance has led to back-to-back losses against two top teams, we fully expect Wisconsin to win.

Some quarterbacks just have the winning touch as leaders and others do not and one essential talent of a good football coach is to be able to spot that rare ability when it appears.

In any case, with Dick as starting quarterback, we think that Arkansas will lose, even if the wizard Gus Malzahn is calling the plays. Has Arkansas considered hiring Malzahn as the head coach? He might lead Arkansas to the greatness that Nutt never will, so our opinion.

We think that this year will be similar for Arkansas to the year 2002, when Nutt's Razorbacks lost to Georgia in the SEC championship game and then lost to Minnesota of the Big 10 by 29-14 in the Music City Bowl.

We call it for the Badgers 21-17.

29. Toyota Gator Bowl Gator Bowl
ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida - Monday, January 1, 2007, 1:00 p.m. EST
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets v. West Virginia Mountaineers (13)

On paper, this is not a good matchup for the Yellow Jackets, a fine team whose worst loss of the season was 31-7 to Clemson, which ran them off the ground. In the Gator Bowl they will be facing a rushing team par excellence in the Mountaineers, so it is difficult to see how they could stop the West Virginia ground attack, ranked Nr. 2 in the nation and powered by the nation's Nr. 2 rusher Steve Slaton, even if the Yellow Jacket defense this year has been pretty good on average.

To make matters worse for Georgia Tech, two star players have been ruled academically ineligible for the Gator Bowl: Quarterback Reggie Ball and Cornerback Kenny Scott. We think it is OK to rule players academically ineligible for a season, but find it is a terrible rule for bowl games after a completed season. This smacks of unfairness which is simply Un-American, by robbing young men of the fruit of their labors. That is not the American way and not the rationale for the academic ineligibility rule. It is a stupid rule which should be changed. A player can always make up failed classes, but once a bowl game is gone, it is gone.

Wolfe has West Virginia 16th and Georgia Tech 27th, while Sagarin's Predictor has West Virginia at 6th (!) and Georgia Tech at 43rd, with the latter making the Mountaineers a very strong favorite - and they are favored by 7 at the time of this writing.

We call the game for West Virginia 40-24.

30. Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California- Monday, January 1, 2007, 5:00 p.m. EST
USC Trojans (8) v. Michigan Wolverines (3)

We predicted already early in the season as regards the Husker game against USC that the Trojans could be beaten this year if their opponent was not afraid to play them (Nebraska ducked and ran, and ran), and Oregon State and UCLA proved that this was true. On paper, we think that Michigan should win this game.

Michigan and USC have total offense stats which are fairly even, whereas Michigan has a slight edge on defense.

USC's loss 13-9 to UCLA was due primarily to the UCLA defense stopping the Trojan rushing game, accompanied by permanent harassment of the USC quarterback (see our previous posting on this topic regarding the Bruins), thus keeping the passing offense in check, with the final score breaking the Trojan record NCAA string of 63 games in which USC scored at least 20 points.

The Wolverines have an even stronger rushing defense than the Bruins, so that the only way for USC to win this game will be in the air, and the job of the Michigan defense will be to stop the USC passing game by harassing the USC quarterback Booty without pause and not giving him time to throw. If they can do that effectively and hold USC under 30 points, the Wolverines will win this game, since their offense under running back Mike Hart and quarterback Chad Henne is good for about 30 points a game. USC can be beaten through the air.

The only reason that Michigan lost to Ohio State was because of two long (unexpected and unnecessary) rushing touchdowns which the Buckeyes pulled out of their sleeve. Without those two plays, the Buckeye running game was not making much headway against Michigan and the Buckeyes would otherwise have lost the game, which they won instead 42-39.

Wolfe ranks Michigan 2nd and USC 4th. Sagarin's Predictor has USC 3rd and Michigan 7th. These two teams are not separated by much, at least on paper.

Michigan was favored by 1.5 points in the opening betting line, but that has since then shifted to favor the Trojans by 1 point. However, we do not think that Booty will be as effective against the Wolverines as Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith was, and hence we go in this game in favor of Michigan, 31-29.

31. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Fiesta Bowl
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona - Monday, January 1, 2007, 8:00 p.m. EST
Boise State Broncos (9) v. Oklahoma Sooners (7)

Yes, there is another undefeated major football team in the nation besides Ohio State, and the Boise State University Broncos hail from Boise, Idaho and will be playing the University of Oklahoma Sooners from Norman, Oklahoma in the BCS Fiesta Bowl.

Two of the nation's premiere running backs are featured in this contest, Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson and Boise State's Ian Johnson, both All-Americans.

No one really knows how good the Boise State team really is and we will find out in this game. Both the Broncos and the Sooners have allowed 20 touchdowns this year and the per game yardages on defense are equivalent. However Boise State has scored 59 TDs and Oklahoma 43, so that the Broncos have the definite offensive edge, at least on paper, even if it was against weaker opposition.

Wolfe rates Oklahoma 15th and Boise State 8th, whereas Sagarin's Predictor has Oklahoma 9th and Boise State 20th. Olin Buchanan of Rivals.com regards this Big 12 bowl game to be the one with the most likely winner, i.e. Oklahoma. At the time of this writing, Oklahoma is favored by 7.5 points.

After losing to Texas in a game which the Sooners dominated statistically, Oklahoma has won 8 straight games, three of them against ranked opponents (Missouri, Texas A&M, and Nebraska). Boise State, on the other hand, struggled against San Jose State, although the Broncos quarterback, Jared Zabransky, was apparently a bit sick in that game, so that this near loss should perhaps not be taken too seriously.

We'll go for an upset in this game. since we find that Oklahoma has numerous weaknesses this year in both offense and defense. We think that Boise State is pepped up for a move into the big time and call it Boise State 27 Oklahoma 24.

32. FedEx Orange Bowl Orange Bowl
Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Miami, Florida - Tuesday, January 2, 2007, 8:00 p.m. EST
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (15) v. Louisville Cardinals (5)

The trouble with this game is that even after the winner is declared, we still will not really know how good these two teams are, since neither the Atlantic Coast Conference nor the Big East Conference have the same top-level football reputation that some of the other conferences enjoy. Hence, one must look to comparative scores.

Kansas State, for example, lost five games, one of those to Louisville, and each of them by two to three touchdowns. There was nothing special about Louisville in its 24-6 win over the Wildcats. Louisville beat Middle Tennessee State 44-17, a team vanquished by Oklahoma 59-0 and by South Carolina 52-7.

Wake Forest on its part beat Georgia Tech for the ACC crown 9-6, whereas both teams had lost convincingly to Clemson in the ACC, so that Wake Forest's championship status is weak. The Demon Deacons also struggled early in the season against e.g. winless Duke (0-12) in a game it won only 14-13. In spite of an 11-2 record, the Demon Deacons allowed more yards rushing and passing than their own offense gained. That is not the mark of a dominant team.

Wolfe ranks Louisville 6th and Wake Forest 17th whereas Sagarin's Predictor has Louisville 2nd (!) and Wake forest 44th. We do not understand how Louisville can rank so high in Sagarin's Predictor given our comparison of scores against Middle Tennessee State and Kansas State. It may be true that Louisville beat Temple 62-0 but so did Minnesota by that exact same score, and the Golden Gophers wound up tied for 6th in the Big 10 Conference and closed the season with a 6-6 record. Hence, we think Louisville is not quite as strong as the Sagarin Predictor makes this team out to be, but then again neither is Wake Forest.

Louisville is favored by 10 over Wake Forest and if Sagarin's Predictor were to be heeded, they will beat the Demon Deacons in a runaway. The most points that Wake Forest has given up this year is 27, so we err here on the side of caution and call it Louisville 31 Wake Forest 17, although a larger spread would not surprise us greatly, whereas a Demon Deacon win definitely would be highly unexpected.

33. Allstate Sugar Bowl Sugar Bowl
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans - Wednesday, January 3, 2007, 7 p.m. CST
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11) v. LSU Tigers (4) (Louisiana State University)

LSU played four teams that were ranked in the top 10 when the game took place this year and LSU won 2 and lost 2, losing to Auburn and Florida and beating Tennessee and Arkansas.

Notre Dame is one of the most storied football programs in college, and its teams, for sentimental reasons and because of the strong support of its fanatic fans, are often rated somewhat higher than what the Fighting Irish actually deserve. This year Notre Dame played three teams ranked at the time of the game, beating Penn State and losing by about nearly four touchdowns to Michigan 47-21 and three touchdowns 44-24 to USC. These are the primary comparative scores that we use to give the nod to Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

The Irish have an excellent offense run by quarterback Brady Quinn, who was 3rd in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Irish offense is about equal to the LSU offense in terms of success. The Irish have made 49 TDs this year and LSU 50. On defense, however, the Fighting Irish have allowed 30 TDs while LSU has limited their opponents to 16 TDs only. Indeed, no team has scored more than 26 points on the Tigers (Arkansas in a losing cause).

We therefore expect a result in this game which is similar to the Notre Dame games against Michigan and USC, with a smaller point spread. Notre Dame will score its share of points, but these will be fewer than LSU. We call the game 27-17 for LSU.

Wolfe rates LSU at 5th and Notre Dame at 7th, whereas Sagarin's Predictor has LSU at 5th and Notre Dame at 21st, with the latter more nearly reflecting Notre Dame's proper position, given its schedule and results. LSU is favored by 8 at the time of this posting.

Good information about the game is found at the official Sugar Bowl site.

34. International Bowl International Bowl
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada - Saturday, January 6, 2007, 12:00 p.m. EST
Western Michigan Broncos v. Cincinnati Bearcats

The inaugural International Bowl is unusual for several reasons. Not only is this the first time the International Bowl has been held, but it takes place in Canada.

Western Michigan finished 2nd to Central Michigan in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Central Michigan beat Ohio, the winner of the East Division, to take the conference crown. That the Broncos are a good football can be seen from their close 28-20 loss to Florida State. The Mid-American Conference teams are no pushovers. In fact, Western Michigan ranks 5th in the nation in rushing defense and they allowed only 23 touchdowns this year. Their weakness is their offense, which scored only 27 TDs.

Cincinnati is a very similar team in terms of those same statistics, having scored 26 touchdowns and given up 24 TDs, in other words, a solid defense but a weak offense. The Bearcats put up a 7-5 win-loss record in spite of a brutal schedule which included ranked Ohio State (37-7 winners), Virginia Tech (29-13 winners), Louisville (23-17 winners), West Virginia (42-24 winners) and Rutgers, who Cincinnati upset impressively 30-11.

Cincinnati played two MAC teams during the regular season and beat them both: Miami of Ohio 24-10 and Akron 20-14, both which ended their season with losing records. Hence, Western Michigan (8-4) is arguably stronger competition.

Wolfe has Cincinnati 34th and Western Michigan 53rd whereas Sagarin's Predictor has Cincinnati 49th and Western Michigan 78th. Cincinnati is favored by 8, in part due to its impressive win over nationally-ranked Rutgers, and in part due to its - new - coach.

In fact, the game has a rare coaching twist. As we have previously written at LawPundit:

"The Central Michigan Chippewas ... will be coached in the bowl game by interim head coach Jeff Quinn, who was named to that position one day after head coach Brian Kelly accepted the head coaching job at Cincinnati, where he will coach the Bearcats in the January 6, 2006 International Bowl.

Although this situation may appear to be somewhat bizarre, there is a precedent in 1998 for a new coach taking over the reigns of a bowl-bound team, when "David Cutcliffe did so for Mississippi after the 1998 campaign, guiding the Rebels to an Independence Bowl win over Texas Tech."
"

We think this game is a toss-up with neither team likely to score more than two or three touchdowns, although Western Michigan has a solid field goal kicker in Nate Meyer, who might be a factor. Kelly as coach of Central Michigan beat Western Michigan 31-7 during the regular season so that we presume he has not lost his touch, but you can be sure that Western Michigan will put up stiff resistance to losing to the same coach twice in one season.

We call it 20-16 for Cincinnati.

35. GMAC Bowl GMAC Bowl
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama - Sunday January 7, 2007, 8:00 p.m. EST
Ohio Bobcats v. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (University of Southern Mississippi)

As far as football is concerned, much of this year belongs to Ohio. Mount Union won Division III and now Ohio and Ohio State round out the season in the BCS bowl games.

You have to hand it to Ohio head coach and former Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Frank Solich for making it into the GMAC Bowl. Ohio won the East Division of the Mid-American Conference and ended up with a 9-4 record during the regular season, including a 20-17 win over Big 10 Conference opponent Illinois. Against top competition, Ohio lost to Rutgers 24-7 and to Missouri 31-6.

Southern Miss is the representative from Conference USA, where it won the East Division, losing in the conference game to West Division champion Houston 34-20 after having won the regular season match 31-27. Against top competition, Southern Miss lost to Florida 34-7 and to Virginia Tech 36-6.

Wolfe ranks Ohio 52nd and Southern Miss 49th whereas Sagarin's Predictor has Ohio 63rd and Southern Miss 58th. Southern Miss is favored over Ohio by 6.5 points.

The teams are very similar with defensive and offensive performance on both teams being about equal. We call it for Southern Miss, 20-17.

36. Tostitos BCS National Championship Game BCS Championship
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona - Monday January 8, 2007, 8:00 p.m. EST
Florida (2) v. Ohio State (1)

These two teams have two of the absolute best coaches in the country (Urban Meyer of Florida and Jim Tressel of Ohio State) and that is why they are playing for the BCS Championship. Both Meyer and Tressel have a knack for winning, which makes a game like this difficult to call.

On paper, the Buckeyes would seem to have the superior team, clearly dominating all opponents except for Michigan and a let-up game against Illinois, whereas Florida has had some nip-and-tuck games where the final result was in question down to the closing minutes.

When we compare offenses and defenses, Ohio State has scored 55 touchdowns and allowed 14 TDs while Florida has scored 48 touchdowns and allowed 17 TDs. Summed, the difference per game is about 1 TD. The average total offenses and defenses are very similar, differing only by a few yards.

According to those statistics, Ohio State and Florida are in fact the BCS bowl teams that should be playing for the national championship.

Michigan by contrast scored 41 TDs and allowed 27 TDs, whereas USC scored 44 TDs and allowed 17 TDs. Compare here also Wisconsin which scored 43 TDS and allowed only 13 TDs or teams such as Boise State which scored 59 TDs and allowed 20 TDs and Virginia Tech which scored 32 TDs and allowed ONLY 10 TDs (but still managed to lose 2 games due to its weaker offense).

Note that the Ohio State ratio of 55 to 14 TDs is about 4 to 1 over the opposition. This might be classified as the "ultimate national champion TD ratio" since Mount Union in Division III this year scored 80 TDs while allowing 20, also a 4 to 1 ratio. It is hard to imagine beating this ratio in college football, since other NCAA division champions have lower ratios.

Wolfe rates Ohio State 1st and Florida 3rd, whereas Sagarin's "pure points" Predictor has the Buckeyes 1st and Florida 11th.

Ohio State is favored by 7.5 points at the time of the writing of this posting. If Florida were not coached by Urban Meyer, we would call this game in favor of the Buckeyes by two touchdowns, but comparing the touchdowns for and against, we call this game as a one touchdown win for Ohio State 28-21.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Updates on our College Football Bowl Predictions

Please note that we are posting red updates (mostly results) to our postings on college football bowl game predictions, including a change of mind on the upcoming New Mexico-San Jose State game, using the common opponent San Diego State as a basis for the prediction.

See e.g.

http://sportpundit.blogspot.com/2006/12/college-football-bowl-game-predictions.html

Our predictions for the college bowl games on or after January 1 will probably be posted sometime today.

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