A happy new year to everyone reading this! I hope that you had a terrific (and a safe) holiday season. Special wishes go out to all my friends spending this morning flying halfway across the world... have a safe trip, y'all.
My bowl picks, thus far, have been much less than stellar. Much, much less than stellar. And yes, I'm aware that the Outback bowl has already started - but last night was New Year's Eve, and... I haven't seen the score yet. I promise. Odds from USA Today.
Outback Bowl (Jan. 1)
Tennessee -2 against Wisconsin
The Vols play a solid game of football, rush reasonably well, and have a talented (if inconsistent) quarterback. I don't know very much about Wisconsin. And Tampa is much closer to Tennessee than it is to the land of... whatever it is that Wisconsin is known for.
Cotton Bowl (Jan. 1)
Missouri -3 against Arkansas
Chase Daniel plays for Missouri. So do a bunch of other people I don't know. Houston Nutt used to coach Arkansas. So did a bunch of other people I don't know, and who also won't have a big impact on the game. Bottom line, Missouri's the more impressive team.
Gator Bowl (Jan. 1)
Texas Tech -6 against Virginia
The Red Raiders are going to put up points; I don't know if the same can be said for the Cavaliers.
Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1)
Florida -10.5 against Michigan
Four favorites in a row? Yep. I'll be wholeheartedly cheering for the Gators in this one... they'll simply need to keep from falling into the trap of their fanbase's expectations.
Rose Bowl (Jan. 1)
Illinois +13.5 against USC
Conventional wisdom says that this game should be a blowout. USC has more talent. They're bigger, they're stronger, and they're faster. Except - I've never exactly been one to follow conventional wisdom.
Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1)
Hawaii +8 against Georgia
Again, the conventional wisdom is that Hawaii should be blown out in this game. But the Rainbow Warriors can score with any team in the country. Don't overlook them.