The BCS and NFL Playoffs are becoming clear.

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Wilson Football

In college games I went 8-1 bringing the season total to 31-15.

In pro games against the spread I went 1-4 bringing the total to 20-12.

College football:

#1 Oregon 15 California 13 – The Ducks ducked a close call to continue on the road to the BcS game. They survived to play #22 Arizona at home this week and at Oregon State next.

#2 Auburn 49 Georgia 31 – Tiger QB Newton played very well accounting for 4 scores. The Auburn D is a problem particularly in a possible game against a O like Oregon’s. Auburn will play #11 Alabama next week and #17 South Carolina in the SEC Championship game.

#3 TCU 40 San Diego St. 35 – TCU lost some ground against Boise with a close game against a good SDS team. They have no chance to recover that ground with only the 1 win New Mexico State team left on the schedule.

#4 Boise St. 52 Idaho 14 – Boise is in the best shape to sneak into the Big game if one of the top 2 fall. They have 6-3 Fresno State, #18 Nevada, and 4-6 Utah State.

#5 LSU 51 La. Monroe 0 – LSU has Mississippi and #13 Arkansas on the schedule.

#6 Stanford 17 Arizona St. 13 – Stanford will face Cal and Oregon St. If they play the way they did against a 2-6 Arizona St. team they will lose at Cal next week.

Pro football:

Vick looked great against the Redskins Monday night. They will move up in the FPS Top team list.

Stick a fork in the turkey known as the Vikings. They are done. This team is self-destructing and will be totally reworked next year.

The Browns have found their QB of the present and maybe of the future in McCoy. Check out what I had to say about him in the NFLDraftDog.com Browns team page.

The Colts are banged up and not blowing out anyone. Even so, they have climbed back on top of the AFC South and will be a tough playoff out because they still have Manning.

The Dolphins have lost both QB Henne and Pennington. This team is done for the year but has gotten younger. They will be a force next year.

The 49ers have found their QB for the present and it is Smith–Troy Smith the FA from Baltimore not Alex Smith the 1st round pick a couple of years ago. Troy threw for 356 yards and a TD without a pick last week against the Rams.

The Redskins signed QB McNabb to a 5 year extension. This is more about keeping control of his services in 2011 than anything else. He got 10M guaranteed and 78-88M over the contract with incentives which he probably won’t be able to meet. The Redskins want to keep him because he would get a big offer in free agency next season because so many teams need QBs.

Top 5

1. Patriots – The win over the Steelers was a statement game and got them the top spot despite a loss last week against the Browns.

2. Jets – They got lucky against the Browns to win in overtime. But I still don’t think this team is as good as the Pats.

3. Steelers – The AFC North is a tough division. The Steelers lost to the Pats this week but this is still a good team. They need to shore up the O line and DBs.

4. Falcons – The Birds beat the Ravens with a great comeback. This team is on the rise and QB Ryan is outstanding.

5. Ravens – This team is still very solid and will move up soon.

Dropped out: Giants – They got crushed by the Eagles and QB Vick.

Just out of the top 5: Eagles – If Vick stays healthy and the D continues to play this well, they could make the NFC Championship game.

Bottom 5

28. Cowgirls – One win with a new coach is nice but you have to prove it over the rest of the season.

29. Broncos – The win over the Chiefs was one fraud beating another.

30. Cardinals – “QB? QB? We don’t need no stinking QB!”

31. Panthers – That is what you get for drafting a QB out of Notre Dame.

32. Bills – They finally won a game but it could be the last one for a while.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://NFLDraftDog.com and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org.

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A bad weekend for good College and NFL games.

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College:

#1 Oregon @ California – Cal struggled with Washington State last week 20-13 but plays better at home. That said it does not play well enough to make this a game. That’s OK because no one will see it because the game is on Verses. Oregon continues to win and gets this one easily.

Georgia @ #2 Auburn – Georgia is playing a little better than in earlier in the season. They have won 4 out of their last 5 but that stops Saturday. Georgia’s best hope it that Auburn is looking past them to next weeks game with Alabama. Auburn wins if Newton plays but not as big as you might think. If Newton does not play, the Bulldogs win. In any case this game will be pulled off the board at Vegas.

San Diego State @ #3 TCU – SDS is the last chance for a team to beat TCU. Next week TCU gets 1 win New Mexico State. SDS is a solid team at 7-2 but does not have enough speed to play with TCU. TCU wins and finishes the perfect season next week with a win over NMS.

Penn State @ #9 Ohio State – PS got win 400 last week. Ohio State may be looking forward to the Big game next week at Iowa but wins this one. It could be close.

#10 Oklahoma State @ Texas – Texas is 4-5 and needs a win here or in 2 weeks against Texas A&M plus an expected W against Florida Atlantic to get to a bowl game. Texas won’t get the win here. Ok St O is too good for the Texas D to handle.

#19 Mississippi State @ #12 Alabama This is probably the best game of the week. MissSt is playing well but Bama has too much talent. They will be in a bad mood after a loss last week @ LSU. Bama wins.

Texas Tech @ #16 Oklahoma – TT had a nice win last week against Missouri. Oklahoma has really struggled against the pass and TT is #8 in passing. This game will be close but high scoring. Oklahoma should win at home.

#24 Kansas St @ #17 Missouri – After going 7-0 including a big win over Oklahoma the Tigers have lost 2 in a row. Kansas St is coming off their 1st win over Texas since the Alamo. KSt is playing well but Missouri is better and wins at home.

#23 South Carolina @ #22 Florida – Both these teams have disappointed their fans for under achieving. SC caught a tired and beaten up Bama team and won. But they have lost 3 out of the last 6. Florida has struggled at QB and on D. I think Florida wins but I would not put a dime on it.

NFL:

Jets-3 @ Browns – It has been a while since the Browns were in one of the top games of the week. But they are playing well with wins in the last 2 games over the Saints and the Pats. The Jets need the win to keep the pressure on NE. I will go out on a limb and pick the Browns to cover.

Titans (5-3)-1.5 @ Dolphins (4-4) – Miami has changed QBs with Pennington replacing Henne. I have written that Pennington has the heart of lion, the head of a coach and the arm of a chicken. He is more accurate than Henne but will not throw many deep. The Titans added WR Moss. That should help a below average WR corps. The Titans depend on the run and Moss could open up the running lanes if QB Young or Collins can prove to the opponent they can get the ball deep to him. The Titans win and cover.

Patriots (6-2) @ Steelers (6-2) -4.5 – The Brown showed the league that the Pats can’t stop the run. The Steelers have trouble stopping the pass and have lost another OL player to the IR. The Pats O still can throw the ball. This is a tough game to pick but I think that the Steelers win. I am not sure they cover so I would stay away from betting this game.

Eagles (5-3) -3 @ Redskins (4-4) – HC Shanahan has added unnecessary turmoil to the locker room with his benching of QB McNabb. McNabb faces his old team. The Eagles get a rust free QB Vick with a game under his belt since his injury. The Eagles D looks like they finally have the game plan and pass rush together. The Redskins don’t. I will take the Birds as a road favorite.

Editorial: What to do about Auburn QB Newton?

Auburn has a major issue with the question of the eligibility status of star QB Newton. Earlier this week, Auburn said he would play. That was before the FBI got involved looking into the pay for play issue. As each minute ticks by more information comes out about Newton or his father asking for money to sign to play for Mississippi State. What should happen?

Auburn has no choice but to play him unless they know for a fact that he is guilty. If the NCAA vacates their wins they will be 0-8.

The NCAA MUST get the decision done before practice starts for the Championship game. If they can’t decide before the BcS title game and then declare him out Congress should investigate them.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://NFLDraftDog.com and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org.

Technorati Tags: Oregon,NCAA Football,Auburn,Newton,Florida,South Carolina,Ohio State,Penn State,Jets,Browns,NFL Playoffs. BcS Championship game,Titans,Dolphins,Eagles,Patriots,Steelers,Redskins,NCAA investigation,FBI,Georgia,TCU
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The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

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Star QB Ben Roethlisberger is in his third scrape since joining the team as a rookie. First there was the motorcycle accident that cost him a chunk of the preseason and slowed him early in 06. At the time he was not wearing a helmet. Most teams have included in their contracts a prohibition of “dangerous” activities for key players. Those conditions usually include riding motorcycles.

Then last year he was accused of sexual battery by a woman in Las Vegas. The woman was a worker at a casino and reportedly was asked by Roethlisberger to come to his room and fix a TV. She claims that Roethlisberger prevented her from leaving the room and forced her to have sex. The woman in that case did not go to a hospital or immediately inform police of the incident. According to reports, the woman decided against filing a criminal complaint but did file a civil suit against the QB. While Roethlisberger insisted he had done nothing wrong, there was a confidential settlement, presumably including a payment of some sort, with his accuser.

Again this off season, a 20 year old college student has accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault that reportedly occurred in a ladies bathroom in a bar in Milledgeville Georgia. The QB has a home in the area. This time the accuser both reported the alleged attack immediately and got treatment in a local hospital. The police took a report and are investigating. The police have requested a DNA sample from Roethlisberger.

Reportedly, there was video tape coverage of everything that happened or did not happen in the area of the bathroom. However, that tape mysteriously got taped over before it could be viewed by local police despite the fact that the bar security guy told a local TV station that they do not recycle tapes. Another twist to the story is that Roethlisberger was accompanied to the bar by 3 lawmen including 2 off duty Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol officers and a local deputy sheriff that was on duty at the time. It was the latter that took the original complaint from the accuser.

Steelers WR Santonio Holmes has been accused of assault by a Florida woman. She claims that he threw a glass of alcohol in her face on March 7 at the Rain Night Club in Orlando. While Orlando police refused to take a report, she has filed a civil lawsuit. Art Rooney 2 issued the following statement: “We are disappointed to learn about the recent incident involving Santonio Holmes in Florida. While we are continuing to gather the facts, I cannot comment further until we have more information and have spoken to Santonio and his representatives.” Reportedly Holmes offered the woman some money but nothing was paid to her at the time. Now the suit asks for 15K which is not a lot of money given his income.

We don’t have much more information about this incident but the issues that the Steelers are facing point out two things. First, every team in the league is more worried about their players doing something stupid in the off season than getting hurt in the off season OTAs. Of course that does not apply to Mangini allowing a player to run a contact drill without shoulder pads like he did with RB Davis last year.

The Steelers have been known as a high character and tight discipline team. We have not seen this from Pittsburgh before. So why now?

Frankly, it has nothing to do with Pittsburgh. The entire world has very little discipline or good judgment. Just look at the pinheads we send to Washington. A regular part of any sports broadcast could be devoted to the police blotter. Sports, politics, movies and music stars all seem to be lacking judgment. So what is the common factor? Youth.

The combination of a lot of money and a lack of age and experience can be a dangerous. Every pro league has this problem. Not only are very young rich men likely to put themselves in questionable situations but they are targets for anyone looking for a quick buck. As the economy gets worse, players are going to have to realize that more and more non-players are looking for just that kind of opportunity. There are also a gaggle of money hungry ambulance chasing lawyers that will talk accusers into filing a suit.

Players have to show better judgment than to put themselves in a situation where they are alone with women or in a position to be accused of inappropriate behavior. I can not understand why at his age he would be going to a college bar and inviting co-eds under 21 back to a VIP room for free drinks. What part of that seemed like a good idea at the time? If he showed that same kind of decision making on the field, he would be a 3rd string QB.

All pro leagues need to do a better job reminding players not to put themselves into these kind of situations. Unions need to be reminding players as well. DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and his counterparts in the other player unions need to not only make annual presentations to the rookies but also to the vets. Parents should have taught their kids better as well.

None of us know what happened in any of these cases or who is telling the truth and who is not. Thank God in the US everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But the leagues, teams and the players take PR hits any time something like this happens. Given the future financial struggles of pro sports, no team can afford to lose even a few fans due to accusations of bad behavior.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think and thanks for checking our site out.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Roethlisberger,NFL,DeMaurice Smith,Holmes,Steelers. lawsuit,Georgia,sexual assult,NFLPA,off season,preseason
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Who stood out at the East West Shrine game?

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For this article I ignored the potential draft position of the players and rated their performance on the field on game day. Let me say up front that I do not agree with the “experts” that watch the practices and leave on game day. In my years of coaching, I have seen a lot of guys that looked like Tarzan in practice but when the pressure was on in a game they played like Jane.

Blair White WR Michigan State 14 points (4th round)

Blair gets open, has very good hands, and can adjust to bad balls (because he has had so much experience with bad QBs). He was a 4th or 5th projection before the EW game but with a very solid game he has moved into the 4th. The one question about him is speed. He is projected to run a 4.52. At 6-1 200 lbs, that is just OK. If he gets under 4.5 he could get into the 3rd.

Rahim Alem DE Louisiana State 13 pts (3rd)

Alem is 6-3 and 262. That is too light for a starting DE in the pros. He doesn’t really look like he can put on another 30 pounds and keep his speed. He is expected to run a 4.7 40 and depends on that speed to be effective. He could be a pass rush specialist at the next level. He had 2 hurries and caused an interception in the game. He needs work to develop something other than a one move outside rush.

Freddie Barnes WR Bowling Green State 13 pts (5th)

Barnes is one of my favorite value picks. He is only 6′ and 206 and runs a slow 4.58. But he is the prototype slot receiver. Ask Tom Brady how valuable WR Welker is to his offense! Barnes is a high motor guy that will block for the run, get open on short routes, catch the ball in a crowd and will be a pain to any D trying to cover him. He was one of the few weapons at BG and still drove Ds nuts.

James Ruffin DE Northern Iowa 13 pts (5th)

Ruffin is another too light DE. But at 6-4 he has the ability to add bulk and be a starting DE. He played really well and got a hurry and a sack. He also caused a penalty and got a couple of other pass rushes. He is not good at anchoring against the run but more bulk will help. He could be a value pick in the 5th and could go higher if he puts on some good weight and still runs a 4.75-4.8 40.

O’Brien Schofield OB Wisconsin 10 pts (3rd prior to injury)

Schofield reportedly tore his ACL which is a real shame. He had never played LB until the EW game but picked up the position very quickly. He got an interception, had the speed to get wide to stretch out the run, and covered receivers well. Given the injury, he will fall to the 7th round or may not be drafted. He will be an outstanding value for someone but not until 2011.

Andrew Quarless TE Penn State 9pts (6th)

This is a very deep TE draft. As a result, Quarless may drop to the 6th. He is a decent blocker but a good receiver. He gets open, and had 3 nice catches in the game including a TD. He is 6-5 248 and should be able to run a 4.7 40. He will be a nice 2nd TE and does well on special teams.

Doug Worthington DT Ohio State 9pts (7th)

Worthington was a mainstay of the Buckeye D. He had a solid EW game as well. He was doubled a number of times, got half a sack in my grading, and was solid in rushing the passer. He is decent against the run but at 275 could add some weight to get better.

Lindsey Witten DE Connecticut 8pts (4th)

Witten was one of the higher rated players at the EW game. But he is another of the underweight DEs in college. At 264 he needs weight to be a potential starter. But he uses his speed (4.7) to get to the QB. He may not be able to add the weight and keep the speed. At 6-4 he could be a LB conversion as well.

Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech 8pts (5th)

Wall will give you a great play then screw up badly. He scored 14 points with 3 excellent pass breakups but lost points with bad coverage and a penalty. At 5-10 with 4.5 speed, he is going to have to improve his coverage skills to make a team. He will contribute on special teams but will be a risk to draft even in the 5th round.

Reggie Carter IB UCLA 8pts (5th/6th)

Carter is a high motor guy with good instincts and the ability to stop the run. At 243 he will likely end up outside and should be OK there if he runs the 4.7 that he is expected to do at the Combine. He covers receivers fairly well and can contribute on special teams.

Alric Arnett WR West Virginia 8pts (6th)

Drafting a WR from a running team is always a little risky. But Arnett may be the exception. He has decent speed (4.49) good hands and can catch the bad pass. The question is can he get open regularly? He looked good in the game.

Greg Hardy DE Mississippi 8pts (1st or 2nd)

Hardy led the SEC in sacks and came into the game with a low 1st early 2nd round evaluation. I was not that impressed in this game. He played a lot better against Florida and Georgia. He got a sack, and had 2 other nice plays but allowed himself to get caught up in the wash too often against the run. He is an outstanding athlete but didn’t make enough plays in the game. He is going to have to add some weight to be a regular. But that could hurt his speed. At an expected 4.58 in the 40, he need his speed. He too may be a LB conversion prospect but taking a conversion that high is a huge risk.

Stevenson Sylvester OB Utah 8pts (FA)

Sylvester really popped early then disappeared. He attacks the run with great instincts, but he is too small and too slow but showed a great motor early. I have not yet decided how I feel about him but I will let you know when I get deeper into player evaluation.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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What to look for in the Saturday January 2nd bowl games.

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football

PAPAJOHNS.com BOWL South Carolina 7-5 Connecticut 7-5

Despite losing a key player to tragedy and being out-manned regularly, UConn has played a handful of ranked teams close only to lose heartbreaking game after game. Starting CB Jasper Howard was murdered on Oct. 18th. The team carries his memory and his jersey as a rally flag. The heart and hard work was rewarded with an overtime win over Notre Dame followed by a couple of wins to end the season.

UConn’s O scores 31 points per game and is fairly balanced between the run and the pass. The running tandem of Todman and Dixon provide a good ground attack despite not having even an average O line. QB Endres took over half way through the year and has done fairly well completing 64% with 6 TDs and 4 picks. His favorite target is WR Easley (5th round). The D has gotten better over the year but still is young. It is led by DE Witten (4th) and FS Vaughn (5th).

The Ol’ Ball Coach Spurrier still throws the ball all over the place. “Running backs, we don’t need no stinkin’ running backs” seems to be the game plan for SC. QB Garcia has a rating of 124.5 with 2733 yards and 17 TDs. He has had 394 attempts while the top 2 running backs had a total of 211 carries.

The SC D has been very erratic. They allowed 41 points to a bad Georgia O and then held a highly rated offense of #4 Mississippi to just 10. The D is led by OB Norwood (late 2nd) and SS Stewart (6th).

While UConn has won 3 straight, SC has lost 3 of their last 4. SC is a 5 point favorite but I doubt they will win that big. This could be another upset.

COTTON BOWL #19 Oklahoma St. 9-3 Mississippi 8-4

Ole Miss QB Snead needs to have a good game to impress NFL scouts. He came into the season as a top QB draft prospect but has fallen to the point he would be better off to stay for his senior year. He has completed only 54% with 20 TDs and 17 picks. RB McCluster (3rd) is just 5-7 169 and will have to play WR in the NFL. WR Hodge (6th) and G Jerry (5th) are also prospects on the Rebel O.

The Rebel D has been inconsistent. They held the high powered O of Arkansas to 17 then let a below average O of Miss St. score 41. DE Hardy (1st or high 2nd) is the highest rated player on the team but FS Lewis should be a late round pick.

Oklahoma St. had a disappointing season as well. They were expected to compete for the Big 12 South title but lost to Houston in the pre-league schedule then had lopsided losses to Texas and Oklahoma. QB Robinson is a 3 year starter but had a less than expected senior year. He had a passer rating of 135 but that was down from 149 in 07 and 167 in 08. He is a late round prospect. The O line is led by top OT prospect Okung (early 1st) and G Lewis (6th). RB Tolson (6th) averaged 5.4 with 11 TDs.

The OSU D features CB Cox (2nd) and safeties Sexton and Antoine who are marginal prospects in the 7th round.

Mississippi is a 3 point favorite but expect OSU to win in an upset.

LIBERTY BOWL East Carolina 9-4 Arkansas 7-5

Hog QB Mallett led the team to the 10th best passing game in division 1. He threw for 3425 with 29 TDs and just 7 picks. His top receiver Childs had only 45 catches. Mallett spreads the ball around. G Petrus (4th) heads up his protection.

The Hog D is horrible. It allowed 33 points to LSU in their overtime loss. Only DT Sheppard has a chance to be drafted from that group.

EC’s D will challenge Mallett. It is led by DE Wilson (3rd), DT Ross (7th) and S Eskridge (6th). The D has played very well this year and seem to be getting better each week. The O is led by RB Lindsey. Most experts don’t believe he is a pro prospect but at 5-10 200 he is big enough. Behind an average line he averaged 5 per carry. I like his toughness.

The line is Hogs by 8 but I don’t think so. Take the points and EC may win outright.

ALAMO BOWL Michigan State 6-6 Texas Tech 8-4

This game will be ugly quickly. MSU had a horrible pass D even before the suspensions of several starters on D. TT G Carter (5th) and T Winn (fa) will protect QB Potts. He will be throwing the ball without concern for the MSU d. TT is an 8 point favorite. MSU will be very lucky to keep it that close.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Bowl games,NCAA Football,NFL Draft,PAPAJOHNS BOWL,South Carolina,Connecticut,COTTON BOWL,Oklahoma St.,Mississippi,LIBERTY BOWL,East Carolina,Arkansas,Mallett,ALAMO BOWL,Michigan State,Texas Tech,suspensions
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What to look for in College Bowl games upcoming.

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football

INDEPENDENCE BOWL Texas A&M 6-5 Georgia 7-5

This is the battle of the bad defenses. TAM’s D gave up 33 points per game. Georgia has already fired all of their D coaches and is giving up 26 points per game. The key to a win will be which O takes maximum advantage of the faltering D.

The Dogs have finished up wining 3 of their last 4 but have had a bad year overall. Their O depends on the ability to run the ball. The Georgia RBs Early and King keyed the upset of Georgia Tech gaining over 300 yards rushing between them. QB Cox has been up and down throwing 22 TDs but also 14 picks. He had only 76 yards passing against GT.

TAM QB Johnson is outstanding. He has thrown for over 3000 yards with 28 TDs and only 6 picks. WR Nwachukwu is the deep threat averaging 18 yards per catch and 6 TDs. The question is can the O line protect Johnson long enough to let Nwachukwu go long.

Georgia has had a slightly better season and should win in a shootout.

EagleBank BOWL UCLA 6-6 Temple 9-3

Temple coach Al Golden has the team in its first bowl game in 30 years. He is now a very hot coaching prospect for “real” football schools. The Owls ripped off 9 straight wins before losing to Ohio U in their last game. They depend on the ground game to move the chains. Freshman RB Pierce is the star. Despite missing a chunk of the year from a shoulder injury he gained 1308 yards and scored 15 TDs.

The Pac10 has struggled in the Bowls so far. UCLA is not a great representative but should win this one. They have been a very inconsistent team this year in part due to injuries. They have talent but too often make critical errors leading to defeats. They went 3-0 to open the year only to drop their next 5.

Their D is led by 3 All Americans S Moore, CB Verner and DT Price. The talent on D should be too much for the Owls and UCLA wins in a close one.

MPS SPORTS BOWL 15 Miami 9-3 25 Wisconsin 9-3

This is one of the more interesting matchups. It will match the Badger running game with RB star John Clay against an improving Hurricane D. The Badgers will have to put pressure on Miami QB Harris who has come a long way since the beginning of the season. He has become a threat but in the last couple of games has been bitten by the turnover bug. Miami is favored but I think Wisconsin grinds out a win by keeping Harris and company off the field.

HUMANITARIAN BOWL Bowling Green 7-5 Idaho 7-5

Idaho has to stop the passing game of Sheehan to Barnes. WR Barnes has been outstanding with 1551 yards in receiving with 16 TDs. Sheenhan has become a potential draft choice in his final year with the help of Barnes.

Idaho has lost 3 of the last 4. The Vandals depend on their O to offset an inconsistent D. QB Enderly has been solid with 2666 yards, 18 TDs and 9 picks. RB Woolridge has scored 16 TDs with an 5.8 yard average.

Look for BG to win the game.

HOLIDAY BOWL 20 Arizona 8-4 22 Nebraska 9-4

The Huskers were a questionable call by a zebra from the biggest upset in the storied history of the school against Texas. The Nebraska D held the Texas O in check most of the game. They won the Big 12 North for the first time since 06. They are second in scoring D allowing just 11.8 points per game.

The Huskers sputter on O depending on the Black Shirt D to keep the score low. The team is 84th in the country in scoring. All American DT Suh should be a top 3 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Arizona was in the Rose Bowl picture until a last minute loss to Oregon on 11/21. Then the win over Arizona State and USC was a positive end to their regular season. Arizona’s O is 40th in yards and is scoring nearly 30 a game. Both the passing of QB Foley and running of Antolin will be contained by the Husker D. Nebraska wins by more than the 1 point line.

SUN BOWL Oklahoma 7-5 21 Stanford 8-4

The Sooners have had a disastrous season after losing QB Bradford. Jones has filled in but has been erratic throwing 23 TDs and 13 picks. RBs Brown (4.1) and Murry (4.5) have not been able to replace the passing of Bradford. The Sooners are scoring 30 points per game. The Sooner D will have to try to slow down one of the best running games in the country in Stanford.

The Cardinal is 11th in rushing. RB Gerhart is averaging 5.6 per attempt and has scored 26 TDs. QB Luck is a better runner (5.8) than passer but takes maximum advantage of the opponent’s focus against the run. He has thrown for 2575 yards and 13 TDs with just 4 picks. The O needs to score a lot because the D gives up points like the Congress passes out money.

Oklahoma should be better in bowl games but have lost 5 of their last 6. But they are 10 point favorites. Look for them to shut down the running game and make Luck throw. The Sooners will win but it could be closer than 10.

INSIGHT BOWL Minnesota 6-6 Iowa State 6-6

This game could be the least interesting of the bowl season. Neither of these teams lived up to what the experts thought they would do this year. The Gophers are 3 point favorites but don’t look for a lot of top level offense. ISU is 102nd in scoring and the Gophers are 79th. Take the under at 49. Both QBs throw about as many TDs as picks and neither running game is solid.

Chick-fil-A BOWL 11 Virginia Tech 9-3 Tennessee 7-5

The best part of this game might be the Chick-fil-A commercials. The Vols have won 5 of 6 games since giving Alabama all they wanted in their game losing 12-10. The Vol D is coached by long time NFL DC Monte Kiffin. He has gotten a lot more out of the D than anyone expected. The D is led by S Berry, the Thrope winner. The O depends on the passing of QB Crompton who has thrown for 2565 yards and 26 TDs but has 12 picks.

VTk has played well and depends mostly on their rushing attack. They are 15th in the nation rushing and 32nd in scoring. RB Williams has averaged 5.7 per attempt and has scored 19 TDs.

VTk is a 6 point favorite but this game will be closer than that. The Kiffin D should hold the score down but Virginia Tech wins.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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