Week #17 — Bowls — Open Thread

FootballNote: Most MotSaG contributors are on vacation this week, so I’m not sure how “open” this open thread will be. If no one chimes in, then you’ll just have to humor me as I speak to myself. Or better yet, join in via the comments.

Bowl season in the Big Te(leve)n kicks off today, with Minnesota (Insight bowl) and Purdue (Champs Sports). Tomorrow, Iowa plays Texas (Alamo). New Year’s Day features Penn St. (Outback), Wisconsin (Capital One), and Michigan (Rose). And of course, OSU returns to the BCS title game on Jan 8th. (I won’t cover that here. Watch this space next week for all the talk and analysis you can handle.)

To this writer, the most intriguing matchups are Wisconsin/Arkansas and Michigan/USC. JoePa vs. Fulmer comes in a close third.

Wisconsin vs. Arkansas, Capital One Bowl, Jan 1st — Both Wisconsin and Arkansas finished second in their conferences, but did not qualify for BCS consideration because of the “two-teams-per-conference” rule. Still, both teams are without question among the nation’s best.

Wisconsin has a chance to finish with a 12-win season for the first time in its history. Using P.J. Hill, the Badgers will bring an old-school rushing attack against the Razorbacks’ defense, which is ranked 43rd nationally against the rush. Arkansas will bring an electrifying rushing attack of its own behind Darren McFadden, who finished as first runner-up for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

Whichever running back has the better game will likely be the Heisman front-runner going into next season.

Michigan vs. USC, Rose Bowl, Jan 1st — Michigan’s excellent season finishes in the familiar locale of Pasadena. There are a lot of strong feelings and emotions about this game, but we’ll avoid the insane melodrama that some are getting sucked into.

Some UM fans (and even some in the media) are holding out hope for a split national title should UM win the game and Florida beat OSU. Could someone explain this scenario to me? Let me get this straight: Florida beats consensus #1 OSU, who beat UM, so somehow UM gets the title? Not gonna happen.


How many bowl victories will the Big Te(leve)n accrue (out of seven)?
Will JoePa make it through the Outback Bowl with all of his limbs intact?
Who will have a better game, PJ Hill or Darren McFadden?
Who wins the Rose?

sportsMonkey’s predictions:
Big Te(leve)n bowl record: 4-3
Will JoePa survive?: Perhaps. With help.
Hill or McFadden: McFadden has the better game, but I think Wisco wins a close one.
Rose: I think USC will win. And this isn’t OSU homerism. I actually hope UM wins… it’d be great if the Big Ten finished 1-2-3 in the final standings. But in a Carr vs. Carroll matchup, I gotta go with Carroll. Plus, USC has been reduced to a sideshow in the game, as everyone in the media has been focusing on the circus of controversy and emotions surrounding Michigan. This could motivate them significantly. This year’s Rose Bowl could be one of the closest in history.

Sylvester Yon-Rambo’s predictions:
Big Te(leve)n bowl record: 7-0
Will JoePa survive?: He will survive with all his limbs, but it will be a 3 DEPENDS game if you know what I mean.
Hill or McFadden: Hill has a huge game, McFadden is shut down big time.
Rose: I am picking scUM in this game, as I truly believe they are the 2nd best team in CFB this year, unfortunately for them it is a very distant 2nd best team from my beloved BUCKEYES.


  1. Wow, I have to agree that Scout article is ridiculous. And the B10 off to a not-so-hot start in the bowls, Minnesota predictably collapsing after a huge lead (only MSU does it better). I do think Wisky wins, since Arkansas can’t throw. And Michigan should (I hope) beat USC. If UCLA can get pressure on Booty, I see no reason UM’s front 4 shouldn’t be able to.

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