It is bowl season and while Washington will be stitting on the sidelines with a 5-7 record a total of seven Pac 10 teams will be in the bowl picture this season. One only has to wonder what could have been after last second losses to Notre Dame, ASU, and UCLA. There is always next year and with the return of Jake Locker, the skill surrounding him on offense, and one of the nation's best recruiting classes the Huskies should have little problem breaking the bowl hex in 2010.
It all kicks off tonight with an entertaining matchup between Oregon State and BYU in Sin City.
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas (December 22)
#18 Oregon State vs #14 Brigham Young
Tonight's game is a going to be a good one between two evenly matched squads and two coaches with Corvallis connections. Both teams feature some of the regions skill players so expect a high scoring game. The Beaver pass defense needs to be on their toes in this one because BYU has the ability to tearm then apart early. The Beav's surrendered 20 TD passes this season and that number figures to go up tonight against the Cougars. The Black Bandits of Benton County will counter that with some offensive fireworks of their own featuring the Rodgers brothers and Sean Canfield.
Beavers by 7
Poinsettia Bowl (December 23rd)
#23 Utah vs California
This isn't the Utah team that thrashed Alabama last season in a BCS bowl game but they are still a pretty good squad that can beat the Bears if they don't show up to play. California was thrashed by Washingon 42-10 in their last game and that signals that the season may be already over in the Bears players mind. Jeff Tedford who was once one of the hottest coaches int he country needs to show he can motivate this squad.
Utah by 7
Emerald Bowl (December 26th)
#24 USC vs Boston College
Southern Cal always finishes the season strong and this season won't be any exception when they face a weaker than usual BC squad. USC simply has a lot more overall strength than the Eagles this year and this shouldn't be much of a contest. Just make sure my wife who went to BC doesn't read this. ; )
USC by 14
Eagle Bank Bowl (December 29th)
UCLA vs Temple
What is better than winning the Northwest Championship? Leading UCLA to an unlikely bowl game in your second year as head coach at your alma mater. UCLA is a terrible football team and the only reason they finished 6-6 was because Sark had brain cramps going on in this one and Jake had a gimpy leg. Temple is an improving program which has finally found a league in which they can be competitive. That being said they do not have the firepower to beat any Pac 10 team other than WSU.
UCLA by 14
Holiday Bowl (December 30th)
#20 Arizona vs #22 Nebraska
I think this will be one of the better matchups of the bowl season and a must watch if you are a college football fan. what we have here are two up and coming programs that play good defense. What seperates the Wildcats from the Huskers in this one is their offense and ability to score points. It will be a close one and the score should be in the low twenties. Think Nebraska defense vs Arizona offense.
Arizona by 3
Sun Bowl (December 31st)
#21 Stanford vs Oklahoma
The is was a forgettable season by Sooner standards. Stanford on the other hand came oh so close to putting it all together to win it all. A crushing late season victory over Oregon tells you everyhting you want to know about this squad. Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart should go out in style against the Sooners with aroung a buck and a half on the ground.
Stanford by 3
Rose Bowl (January 1st)
#8 Oregon vs #7 Ohio State
The granddady or them all features a great matchup between two conference champs. This isn't a great Ohio State team and the Big Ten frankly was lacking in overall talent this season. Oregon on the other hand was playing some of the best football in the country at the end of the season. The Duck offense is tough to stop unless you force them into repetitive mistakes. I have seen the Buckeyes play a few times this season including against USC and I don't think they can handle what Oregon brings to the table offensively.
A big side note for Oregon fans is playing against Tyrelle Pryor who spurned the Ducks for the Buckeyes which in hindsight was silly because Coach Tressell has no idea of how to use him effectively. If you are a Pac 10 fan breathe a heavy sigh of relief this kid didn't sign with Oregon. He would have been a perfect fit for Kelly's offense and he would have made Oregon very tough to beat in the future.
Oregon by 10