Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bowl Pick 'Em: Big Ten

I'm baaaaaaaaack.

First off, a big thanks to MGoShoe and guest poster Ryan for keeping the site not only up and running, but also flowing with great content through the holiday season. The "Wolverines on Twitter" tab up top somehow keeps improving and expanding (now w/ hockey!); reading the Virginia Tech breakdown made me feel like I followed the Hokies all season. Now that I'm finally settled, maybe I should start contributing the blog? Sounds reasonable.

With bowl season upon us, the Big Ten kicked off with a win on Tuesday -- Purdue over Western Michigan 37-32 -- which a good start to what should be a pretty challenging bowl schedule. Mark Schlabach at ESPN does a good job capturing the sentiment heading into the New Year. 2011 was already a rollercoaster year, including several negative stories impacting the conference, but 2012 is shaping up to be even crazier. A strong bowl performance will go a long way in helping rehabilitate the Big Ten's image in 2012 and beyond.

In keeping with tradition, Mike (yes, he's actually on Twitter) and I are doing Bowl Season Pick 'Em again this year, except only Big Ten and BCS in a 2-part series. Pretty sure Mike took off his pants to do his picks. Though, it doesn't take much for them to come off. On with the show after the jump (also let's pretend I posted this on Sunday, you know, before the Purdue game):

Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl: Purdue vs. Western Michigan
Dec. 27, 2011 | 4:30 PM ET | Detroit, MI | ESPN
  • MIKE: Purdue. I am hoping Purdue gets the BIG started off on the right foot. I doubt they will but at least I will be able to see a mustache.
  • JEFF: Purdue. Michigan played both Western Michigan and Purdue at home this year, beating them by 24 and 22 respectively. Purdue wins in a close one by 2 points. That's how it works, right? I sound like Lee Corso.
Insight Bowl: Iowa vs. Oklahoma
Dec. 30, 2011 | 10:00 PM ET | Tempe, AZ | ESPN
  • MIKE: Oklahoma. No Coker, not good. Stoops loves Iowa though, he might tell his team to suck in order to make it a game.
  • JEFF: Oklahoma.  Even if Coker played, I would still take Oklahoma. Sooners aren't National Championship-caliber as many predicted preseason but they'll pass their way for the win. Hopefully, Iowa is more competition than UConn last year.
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas A&M
Dec. 31, 2011 | 12:00 PM ET | Houston, TX | ESPN
  • MIKE: Northwestern. One day Northwestern, one day you will get that bowl win. Unfortunately Mike Sherman got fired so A&M won't blow this game. Also there is a good chance I won't be wearing pants when this game happens. Which is sweet.
  • JEFF: Texas A&M. There is no reason to take your pants off for this game. Shermon's gone but the Aggies have a pretty balanced offense that I think will overwhelm the Wildcats. Shootout if Persa can keep the O going. 
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Illinois vs. UCLA
Dec. 31, 2011 | 3:30 PM ET | San Francisco, CA | ESPN
  • MIKE: Illinois. Probably still pantsless with this one goes down as well. Somewhere, Ron Zook will be crying. I will too. I miss him.
  • JEFF: Illinois. Love this bowl game name. I see the Illini pulling a KC Chiefs: just playing their best and giving the most "Thank God Ron Zook is gone" performance.
TicketCity Bowl: Penn State vs. Houston
Dec. 31, 2011 | 3:30 PM ET | Dallas, TX | ESPNU
  • MIKE: Penn State. I am actually looking forward to this game. I think PSU's defense will shut them down and someone on this planet might realize it is a good job to hire Tom Bradley to be your head coach. Someone out there!
  • JEFF: Houston. Remember when Michigan was all but set to play them in the Sugar? After letting the BCS slip away, Cougars should come out strong and beat a Penn State team that just wants 2011 to go away.
Capital One Bowl: Nebraska vs. South Carolina
Jan. 2, 2012 | 1:00 PM ET | Orlando, FL | ESPN
  • MIKE: South Carolina. Why are all these games on at the same time? What is Delany thinking. O wait, he is old. I am getting old too. I am sad. (Actually I don't really care because everyone else is getting old too. Suck it everyone else.)
  • JEFF: Nebraska. What the hell are you saying, Mike? Anyway, white running backs and a Mexican Denard? I'm in. Heavy ground game from the 'Huskers should make for a close finish.
Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. Georgia
Jan. 2, 2012 | 1:00 PM ET | Tampa, FL | ABC
  • MIKE: Georgia. UGA has to win just to top off Sparty being Sparty. Plus UGA is pretty good. Them and South Carolina might balance things out in the SEC next year. O wait LSU returns everyone. Forget that.
  • JEFF: Michigan State. A send off for the offense and Worthy. Soak it in, Sparty--your glory days of recruiting are over. This will be as good as it gets for you in the next decade. 
Gator Bowl: Ohio State vs. Florida
Jan. 2, 2012 | 1:00 PM ET | Jacksonville, FL | ESPN2
  • MIKE: Ohio State. Soak up that bowl game atmosphere OSU. Soak it in.
  • JEFF: Florida. TIMTEBOWTIMTEBOWTIMTEBOW. The Urban Meyer Bowl, fittingly in Jackonville. I'm starting to have nightmares from being at last year's Gator Bowl. When was the last time OSU finished the season with 2 losses? 

Up next: BCS bowl picks, including Michigan (woooo) and Wisconsin.


  1. Purdue (I had to pretend, so can you).
    Oklahoma (Going with alma mater #2).
    Northwestern (Texas A&M will think the Northwestern Wildcats are the K-State Wildcats and cower in fear. Giggity-em).
    Illinois (UCLAL).
    Houston (Nittany Lions secondary says meow to Keenum's onslaught).
    Nebraska (Assuming Martinez's pass attempts <12).
    MSU (Bulldogs - watch your backs).
    OSU (Gators - watch your coaches).

  2. I liked your "Seminlol" tweet yesterday