Friday, December 30, 2011

Big East Bowl Preview: Liberty Bowl

Cincinnati v Vanderbilt:  Zach Collaros will be back for the Bearcats, who would probably be getting ready for the Orange Bowl if he had never gotten hurt.  The Bearcats looked like the best team in the conference with Collaros healthy this season, and we'll see if he can shake off the cobwebs quickly against Vandy.  This is basically a home game for the Commodores that put together a pretty good year.  The offense continues to be a work in-progress, but the defense has been a rock.  The Commodores allow just over 20 points a game.  That's one of the best in the nation.  But, they are about to face an offense that is a bit more explosive than most of what they saw this season.  With Collaros back, it may open things back up for Isaiah Pead.  The Bearcats can be very balanced if Pead gets going early.  Look for Cincy to consistently go to Pead to slowly get Collaros back up to speed.  Meanwhile, the Bearcats defense will be going after it all day long.  The opportunistic unit has been under-appreciated all year, and should have some good success against an unexperienced line.  The Bearcats should control this game from the beginning if Collaros is truly healthy.  Vandy will try to win the time of possession, but could struggle to find space against the Bearcats' defense.  it's not every day you think a Big East team is better than an SEC team, but this is the case in this one.

Prediction:  34-24 Cincinnati

Big East Bowl Preview: Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers v Iowa State:  The Scarlet Knights are essentially playing a home game against Iowa State later today.  Yankee Stadium will have plenty of Jersey boys screaming and yelling, and hoping for a big victory over Iowa State.  The Cyclones come in hitting one major landmark this season:  beating Oklahoma State.  The Cyclones offense isn't anything to write home about.  The running game is nearly last in the country.  The passing game is average.  And defensively, they allow more points than they score.  Iowa State just finds ways to win.  In fact, only one of their wins was by more than six points this year.  Rutgers should have a good opportunity to move the ball.  Unfortunately for the Knights, their offense isn't anything to write home about either.  Two young quarterbacks will see playing time, and will undoubtedly force the ball to best player, Mohamed Sanu.  Look for Rutgers to try and run the ball early, but not be afraid to open it up as well.  If the Knights can get on the board early it will truly put the Cyclones in a hole.  Iowa State isn't going to play well from behind, especially in what should be a hostile territory.  It will also be asking a lot for freshman quarterback, Jared Barnett to win the game for the Cyclones.  They will need help from the running game, as well as the defense.  Expect both offenses to struggle early, especially if it's a cold afternoon.  Too many mistakes from the Cyclones will allow Rutgers to take control.  And, by the 4th quarter a close game will open up with Rutgers receivers being to big of a mismatch.  The Knights win it.

Prediction:  31-21 Rutgers

Orange Bowl Updates

Every few days we will try to provide you with stories and tidbits surrounding the Orange Bowl that will tide you over till gameday in early January.

Though, not all made the trip.

Meanwhile, Clemson is realizing why the Orange Bowl may be the best bowl

Cool story about the U of Miami will help the Orange Bowl preserve the its history.

Can Clemson help the ACC's reputation in BCS bowls?

Keith Tandy getting ready for a busy game.