Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (BOWL EDITION!!!)

That's right, ladies and gentleman, it's that time again. What time is it, you ask? IT'S THE MOST...WONDERFUL TIIIME...OF THE YEEEAR.

It always bugs me when people talk about how these games don't matter. Those people just don't truly "get" college football. I have a feeling they're the kind of people that prefer pro football and just watch college football because it's more football. Tell Colorado State and Bowling Green it doesn't matter. Tell Navy and Brigham Young. This is the biggest game many of these teams will play all year. It's a chance to attract recruits. It's a chance to celebrate their seasons by playing on national television in a game that--with a few exceptions--is the only football game on television. Two fan bases travel across the country and pack a stadium at a neutral site for this celebration that swirls around the high holidays like a magical Christmas snow. New Year's Day bowl games are a sacred ritual. But I think it was Chuck Klosterman who put it best:

"I like college football. I like college football as an entity more than I like knowing who is (supposedly) 'the best' amateur football team in the United States. People used to bemoan the thought of a mythical national champion, but it all seems mythical to me. It still does, and it always will. I don't need to pretend that I know the unknowable. If you want a playoff system, it might just mean you want to feel as though football has a clear sense of order. You probably enjoy feeling as though you know who is No. 1, because that's what really matters to you. But maybe you like college football as an experience a little less than you think."

I couldn't agree more, Chuck. It is in that spirit that Vundablog presents our special BOWL EDITION of Hobbitcore's College Football Corner...



SCHEDULE

12/21 -- 2pm -- Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Washington State v. Colorado State -- ESPN
12/21 -- 3:30pm -- Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: #20 Fresno State v. #25 USC -- ABC
12/21 -- 5:30pm -- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo v. San Diego State -- ESPN
12/21 -- 9pm -- R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Tulane v. Louisiana-Lafayette -- ESPN
12/23 -- 2pm -- Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Ohio v. East Carolina -- ESPN
12/24 -- 8pm -- Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Boise State v. Oregon State -- ESPN
12/26 -- 6pm -- Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Pittsburgh v. Bowling Green -- ESPN
12/26 -- 9:30pm -- San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State v. #23 Northern Illinois -- ESPN
12/27 -- 2:30pm -- Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman: Marshall v. Maryland -- ESPN
12/27 -- 6pm -- Texas Bowl: Syracuse v. Minnesota -- ESPN
12/27 -- 9:30pm -- Fight Hunger Bowl: Brigham Young v. Washington -- ESPN
12/28 -- 12pm -- New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers v. Notre Dame -- ESPN
12/28 -- 3:20pm -- Belk Bowl: Cincinnati v. North Carolina -- ESPN
12/28 -- 6:45pm -- Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami v. #18 Louisville -- ESPN
12/28 -- 10:15pm -- Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan v. Kansas State -- ESPN
12/30 -- 11:45am -- Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee v. Navy -- ESPN
12/30 -- 3:15pm -- Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Ole Miss v. Georgia Tech -- ESPN
12/30 -- 6:45pm -- Valero Alamo Bowl: #10 Oregon v. Texas -- ESPN
12/30 -- 10:15pm -- National University Holiday Bowl: #14 Arizona State v. Texas Tech -- ESPN
12/31 -- 12:30pm -- AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona v. Boston College -- ESPN
12/31 -- 2pm -- Hyundai Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech v. #17 UCLA -- CBS
12/31 -- 4pm -- Autozone Liberty Bowl: Rice v. Mississippi State -- ESPN
12/31 -- 8pm -- Chick-Fil-A Bowl: #24 Duke v. #21 Texas A&M -- ESPN
1/1 -- 12pm -- TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl: Nebraska v. #22 Georgia -- ESPN2
1/1 -- 12pm -- Heart of Dallas Bowl: UNLV v. North Texas -- ESPNU
1/1 -- 1pm -- Capital One Bowl: #19 Wisconsin v. #9 South Carolina -- ABC
1/1 -- 1pm -- Outback Bowl: Iowa v. #16 LSU -- ESPN
1/1 -- 5pm -- Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO: #5 Stanford v. #4 Michigan State -- ESPN
1/1 -- 8:30pm -- Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #15 UCF v. #6 Baylor -- ESPN
1/2 -- 8:30pm -- Allstate Sugar Bowl: #11 Oklahoma v. #3 Alabama -- ESPN
1/3 -- 7:30pm -- AT&T Cotton Bowl: #13 Oklahoma State v. #8 Missouri -- FOX
1/3 -- 8:30pm -- Discover Orange Bowl: #12 Clemson v. #7 Ohio State -- ESPN
1/4 -- 1pm -- BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt v. Houston -- ESPN
1/5 -- 9pm -- GoDaddy Bowl: Arkansas State v. Ball State -- ESPN
1/6 -- VIZIO BCS National Championship: #1 Florida State v. #2 Auburn -- ESPN

RANKING THE NON-BCS-CHAMPIONSHIP BOWLS AND PICKING THE WINNERS

#1 Rose Bowl: #5 Stanford v. #4 Michigan State

Maybe the two best defenses in the country and two of the more underrated offenses. Both teams can run the ball and have QBs that can make some throws when called upon. I want to say that Stanford has the
advantage with RB Tyler Gaffney and WR Ty Montgomery but Stanford's offense has been wildly inconsistent this year and Michigan State is riding a big wave of momentum and has one serious defense. I like the Spartans in a close defensive battle.

Hobbitcore sez: Michigan State

#2 Cotton Bowl: #13 Oklahoma State v. #8 Missouri

These two offenses are as good as the defenses in the Rose Bowl. I'm generally not big on dual QB systems but Oklahoma State makes it work and they can run the ball extraordinarily well. Missouri's defense is underrated but Auburn showed that if you can run the ball on them, you can really break their will. Oklahoma State's defense isn't so bad themselves. They shut down a powerful and talented Baylor attack. I think their ability to run the ball will put them over the top.

Hobbitcore sez: Oklahoma State

#3 Orange Bowl: #12 Clemson v. #7 Ohio State

A great battle of two high-powered offenses littered with talent and two defenses that never really lived up to the hype this year. Ohio State has to be hurting after blowing a 24 game winning streak and a shot at a national title but Clemson is still smarting themselves from an ugly loss to bitter rival South Carolina in which
the Gamecocks forced six Clemson turnovers. Ohio State is +7 in turnover margin this year with a knack for picking the ball off. I think the Buckeyes defense and their running game will be the difference.

Hobbitcore sez: Ohio State

#4 Sugar Bowl: #11 Oklahoma v. #3 Alabama

Alabama had been cruising toward the title game as the wire-to-almost-wire #1 since the season opened and lost everything in an instant in the most hated rivalry in sports while Oklahoma just won their rivalry game, stealing the Big 12 title from the Cowboys. I almost want to say that the motivation factor kills Bama but this is a well-coached team who is mad as hell about blowing their chance at history on one play.

Hobbitcore sez: Alabama

#5 Chick-Fil-A Bowl: #24 Duke v. #21 Texas A&M

If Johnny Manziel is healthy for this one, this might be the most exciting game of the bowl season--at least for those who can't get enough offense. Of course, if Johnny Football is healthy, it's hard to pick against the
Aggies but then again it's also really hard to pick against David Cutcliffe and the amazing job he's done with the Blue Devils. Still, I gotta go with A&M.

Hobbitcore sez: Texas A&M

#6 Capital One Bowl: #19 Wisconsin v. #9 South Carolina

This one is full of interesting matchups. Joel Stave and Jared Abbrederis v. Jadeveon Clowney and the SC defense. Connor Shaw v. the Badger D. As much as I don't want to pick a Big Ten team over and SEC team, I think Wisconsin's running game will give the Gamecocks fits and I think Clowney has long since checked out mentally.

Hobbitcore sez: Wisconsin

#7 Fiesta Bowl: #15 UCF v. #6 Baylor

It's disappointing to see these two teams get stuck at the "kids table" of BCS bowls like so many others before them but this will still be a really fascinating matchup. Baylor's offense is off the charts talented but UCF's defense will be out to prove something. Meanwhile UCF has a stud RB in Storm Johnson and a top NFL prospect at QB in Blake Bortles who will be going up against an underrated Baylor defense. I'm really pulling for the Knights in this one but I think Baylor's offense is just too talented for them.

Hobbitcore sez: Baylor

#8 Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami v. #18 Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater plays his final game in college against the team he (and high school teammate Eli Rogers) had committed to up until Randy Shannon got fired. I would love nothing more than for the Canes to ruin this fucker's night but sadly, I don't see that happening with this defense. Bridgewater will shred this secondary to pieces. The Canes will make it a shootout but Bridgewater will be too much for them.

Hobbitcore sez: Louisville

#9 Alamo Bowl: #10 Oregon v. Texas

At first I didn't think this would be much of a game at all. But with Mack Brown coaching his final game at Texas, the team will be extra motivated to send him out on a high note. Oregon, on the other hand, has looked exceedingly mortal to finish the season. Combine that with the fact that this game is in Texas and I feel an upset coming on.

Hobbitcore sez: Texas

#10 Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech v. #17 UCLA

Two teams with stellar running games and talented QBs who can play some defense. This should be very interesting. UCLA comes off of a huge rivalry win over USC and I really like their defense in this one.

Hobbitcore sez: UCLA

#11 Las Vegas Bowl: #20 Fresno State v. #25 USC -- Hobbitcore sez: USC
#12 Holiday Bowl: #14 Arizona State v. Texas Tech -- Hobbitcore sez: Arizona State
#13 Music City Bowl: Ole Miss v. Georgia Tech -- Hobbitcore sez: Ole Miss
#14 Gator Bowl: Nebraska v. #22 Georgia -- Hobbitcore sez: Georgia
#15 Outback Bowl: Iowa v. #16 LSU -- Hobbitcore sez: LSU
#16 BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt v. Houston -- Hobbitcore sez: Houston
#17 Belk Bowl: Cincinnati v. North Carolina -- Hobbitcore sez: Cincinnati
#18 Liberty Bowl: Rice v. Mississippi State -- Hobbitcore sez: Rice
#19 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan v. Kansas State -- Hobbitcore sez: Michigan
#20 Fight Hunger Bowl: Brigham Young v. Washington -- Hobbitcore sez: Washington
#21 Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers v. Notre Dame -- Hobbitcore sez: Notre Dame
#22 Little Caesars Bowl: Pittsburgh v. Bowling Green -- Hobbitcore sez: Bowling Green
#23 Texas Bowl: Syracuse v. Minnesota -- Hobbitcore sez: Minnesota
#24 Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State v. #23 Northern Illinois -- Hobbitcore sez: Northern Illinois
#25 Hawaii Bowl: Boise State v. Oregon State -- Hobbitcore sez: Oregon State
#26 Military Bowl: Marshall v. Maryland -- Hobbitcore sez: Marshall
#27 V100 Bowl: Arizona v. Boston College -- Hobbitcore sez: Boston College
#28 Beef O' Brady's Bowl: Ohio v. East Carolina -- Hobbitcore sez: East Carolina
#29 New Mexico Bowl: Washington State v. Colorado State -- Hobbitcore sez: Washington State
#30 Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee v. Navy -- Hobbitcore sez: Navy
#31 Potato Bowl: Buffalo v. San Diego State -- Hobbitcore sez: Buffalo
#32 New Orleans Bowl: Tulane v. Louisiana-Lafayette -- Hobbitcore sez: Tulane
#33 Heart of Dallas Bowl: UNLV v. North Texas -- Hobbitcore sez: North Texas
#34 GoDaddy Bowl: Arkansas State v. Ball State -- Hobbitcore sez: Ball State

AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST...



BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#1 FLORIDA STATE v. #2 AUBURN

All the conventional wisdom is saying that Florida State is just too talented on both sides of the ball for this Auburn team but that conventional wisdom ignores one of the most important elements of college football: Destiny. Auburn is a team of destiny. They've been through two miracles to get here and had all the dominoes fall in their favor. The Noles have also not been in a close game all year and this one absolutely will be close. Moreover, there is no way to prepare for  how effectively Auburn runs the ball and breaks your will over the course of the game. Mostly, though, I just can't pick against a team of destiny.

Hobbitcore sez: Auburn