BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
If you’re a college football fan, there may not be a better stretch of the year than now. In less than a month, we get a total of 35 bowl games, most of which promise to be good matchups.
Some fans, myself included, make predictions for all 35 games, even the less-than-thrilling San Jose State vs. Bowling Green game. For the record, I picked Bowling Green.
I won’t bore you with my thoughts on how Cincinnati will play against Duke, without head coach Butch Jones, who moved on to Tennessee. What I will do is give you my predictions for the five BCS games. Spoiler alert: One of the Florida schools is going down.
So here we go. I welcome all emails, letters, phone calls and tweets calling me an idiot.
Stanford vs. Wisconsin (Rose Bowl Jan. 1, ESPN): This is a great matchup if you like power football. Both teams play physical, but I think the Cardinal will play it better and will be more focused than the Badgers, who will play without head coach Bret Bielema after he took the Arkansas job. Stanford over Wisconsin.
Florida State vs. Northern Illinois (Orange Bowl Jan. 1 ESPN): The Florida State coaching staff has been picked apart since the end of the regular season. They’re a more talented team, with better tradition, and come from a power conference.
However, Jordan Lynch will be the better quarterback in this game. The Huskies will have a chip on their shoulder after being nearly universally picked against and having their coach take the NC State job. Northern Illinois over Florida State.
Florida vs. Louisville (Sugar Bowl Jan. 2, ESPN): The Gators don’t play a pretty style of football, but they play an effective style. Their defense, third in the nation in points against, won’t win this game; however, their offense will. Florida over Louisville.
Kansas State vs. Oregon (Fiesta Bowl Jan. 3, ESPN): With so much time to prepare, Bill Snyder will have his Wildcats ready to go, but a Kenjon Barner touchdown late in the fourth quarter will put the Ducks ahead to stay. Oregon over Kansas State.
Alabama vs. Notre Dame (BCS National Championship Jan. 7, ESPN): This one, for me, is pretty easy. While I never bought into the talk earlier this season that the Tide could beat an NFL team (the Browns), I did buy, at times, that there was no college team that could beat them.
And on the flip side, I haven’t been impressed with Notre Dame. The Alabama defense will have its way with sophomore quarterback Everett Golson. Alabama over Notre Dame.
Disagree? Let me know: [email protected] or @MattMencarini.