What a way to start the work week in 2012.
Watch six bowl games from noon till midnight.
Don’t lose your job over it, but just take an extended lunch or dinner break to check out some really good bowl matchups.
Ticketcity Bowl (Dallas, Texas) – No. 20 Houston (12-1, 8-0 C-USA) vs. No. 24 Penn State (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten), noon, ESPNU.
The Big ?: Can Penn State’s 10th ranked defense, which allows 300.92 yards a game, slow down the nation’s top offense? Houston is averaging 599 a game.
My pick: Houston. Although the Cougars didn’t even win their conference title game, that’s far less to overcome than what the Nittany Lions have dealt this season. The Jerry Sandusky situation has changed everything at Penn State.
Outback Bowl (Tampa, Fla.) – No. 12 Michigan State (10-3, 7-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 18 Georgia (10-3, 7-1 SEC). 1 p.m., ABC.
The Big ?: Whenever an Big Ten teams plays an SEC team, the same question surfaces. Can the Big Ten school match the speed of the SEC school?
My pick: Georgia. Speed rules.
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, Fla.) – No. 21 Nebraska (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) vs. No. 10 South Carolina (10-2, 6-2 SEC), 1 p.m., ESPN.
The Big ?: Which quarterback – Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) or Connor Shaw (South Carolina) will make the big play or big mistakes to win or cost their team the game? Martinez has 21 total touchdowns (12 passing, 9 rushing), but he’s thrown seven interceptions and can be fumble prone. Shaw has 12 touchdown passes to six interceptions, but has been sacked 19 times in nine games. Pressure is on.
My pick: South Carolina. Nebraska’s too predictable.
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.) – Ohio State (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) vs. Florida (6-6, 3-5 SEC), 1 p.m., ESPN2.
The Big ?: What happened to these two program? At least Ohio State has an excuse for its down season. The whole tattoo episode cost them their coach – Jim Tressel – and lead to players leaving and players getting suspended, but Florida started the season so hot. Then the Gators lost six of their last eight games.
My pick: Ohio State. Time to finally get revenge for losing the national title game in football and men’s basketball. Don’t have to worry about stopping Tim Tebow or Joakim Noah.
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif) – No. 9 Wisconsin (11-2, 6-2 Big Ten) vs. No. 6 Oregon (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12), 5 p.m., ESPN.
The Big ?: Don’t you miss the days of checking out the Rose Bowl on ABC with Keith Jackson doing the play-by-play?
My pick: Oregon. Again, speed rules.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.) – Stanford (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) vs. Oklahoma State (11-1, 8-1 Big 12), 8:30 p.m., ESPN.
The Big ?: Will these two teams combine to score at least 100 points? Oklahoma State is second in nation in scoring offense (49.33 ppg.). Stanford is sixth (43.58 ppg.).
My pick: Oklahoma State. Cowboys still have a chip on their shoulder because Alabama is in the BCS title game instead of them.