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2010 Bowls


FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
Week 1: 9/2-9/6
Week 2: 9/9-9/11
Week 3: 9/16-9/18
Week 4: 9/23-9/25
Week 5: 9/30-10/2
Week 6: 10/5-10/9
Week 7: 10/13-10/16
Week 8: 10/21-10/23
Week 9: 10/26-10/30
Week 10: 11/2-11/6
Week 11: 11/9-11/13
Week 12: 11/16-11/20
Week 13: 11/23-11/27
Week 14: 12/2-12/4
Week 15: 12/11-12/11
Week 16: Bowls
Past Season Archives: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 |

EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2010 Regular Season: 74-31 SU (.705), 51-54 ATS (.486)
2010 Bowls: 5-2 SU (.714), 3-4 ATS (.429)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, December 18
BYU (-9.5) by 16.08 over UTEP - This game features a pair of teams with 6-6 records so, as you can imagine, neither team was impressive. The Cougars' best wins were over a 6-6 Washington team and an 8-4 San Diego State squad. Its other 4 victories came against the bottom four teams in the Mountain West. Without a four-week run through those teams, BYU would not be here. UTEP's best win was a 28-14 upset of SMU. All of the Miners' other FBS wins came against teams that won no more than 4 games and they needed that opening day win over FCS member Arkansas-Pine Bluff to get the requisite 6th win for bowl eligibility. UTEP's No. 75 ranking in the CCR Top 120 is the lowest among teams which finished 6-6 or better. BYU's No. 56 ranking is the second-highest among such teams.
BYU won 52-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Wednesday, December 22
Boise State (-15) by 18.60 over Utah - Boise State always plays with a chip on its shoulder and likely won't settle for anything less than a rout of the Utes. The Broncos may also be a little p.o.'d that Utah chose to leave the Mountain West within days of Boise State joining the Mountain West. The computer is 11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS with the Broncos this year. It is 11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS with the Utes. Boise State ranks 4th on offense and defense. Utah ranks 41st on offense and 20th on defense.
Boise State won 26-3. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Tuesday, December 28
West Virginia (-4) by 6.48 over N.C. State - No. 19 West Virginia faces No. 31 North Carolina State (CCR Top 120) in the first meeting between these teams since 1979. Two of their meetings in the 1970's came in Peach Bowl games. Nearly 70% of N.C. State's offense comes courtesy of Russell Wilson's arm and the Wolfpack rank 19th in the passing game. West Virginia, however, ranks 11th nationally against the pass and 3rd in total defense.
N.C. State won 23-7. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Thursday, December 30
Nebraska (-14) by 16.15 over Washington - Maybe the Holiday Bowl committee members thought "'Huskers vs. Huskies" sounded cute. Otherwise, they picked a poor matchup to serve as the bowl season's only rematch of a regular season game. Nebraska stomped Washington 56-21 while limiting Jake Locker to a miserable 4-of-20 passing performance for 71 yards and 2 INT's. Locker's 59 yards rushing and a touchdown were inconsequential. Take away a 4-TD game vs. Syracuse and a 5-TD game vs. Oregon State and Locker had a 50-50 ratio of TD's to INT's. The computer is 8-3 ATS with 'Husker games this year, 7-5 with the Huskies.
Washington won 19-7. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, January 1
Alabama (-7) by 17.06 over Michigan State - The Tide outrank the Spartans on both sides of the ball. According to the Congrove Computer Rankings (CCR Top 120), Alabama's 9-3 campaign came against the nation's 13th-toughest schedule while Michigan State faced the No. 58 schedule. Michigan State is on a 4-bowl losing streak and has dropped 8 of its last 10 postseason games.
Alabama won 49-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TCU (-3) by 8.55 over Wisconsin - This game features the Outland Trophy winner for best lineman (Wisconsin OL Gabe Carimi); Johnny Unitas winner as best senior QB (Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien); and the Dave Rimington winner for best center (Jake Kirkpatrick, TCU). Additionally, TCU's Wayne Daniels is an All-American on the defensive line and the Badgers' Carimi is an All-American on the offensive line. TCU's Andy Dalton is the nation's winningest QB with 41 victories and is No. 5 in the nation in passer rating with a 26-6 ratio of TD's to INT's. Wisconsin's Tolzien is No. 1 in pass completion percentage at 74.3%. The Badgers are 12th nationally in rushing offense while the Horned Frogs rank 3rd in rush defense. TCU ranks 1st in total defense, pass defense and scoring defense.
TCU won 21-19. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Sunday, January 9
Nevada (-9) by 13.16 over Boston College - Nevada has too much offense for the Eagles to keep up. The Wolf Pack rank 3rd in the nation in total offense while Boston College ranks 105th. The Eagles rank 1st in rushing defense but 83rd against the pass.
Nevada won 20-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.




HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2010 Regular Season: 67-9 SU (.882), 33-43 ATS (.434)
2010 Bowls: 3-2 SU (.600), 2-3 ATS (.400)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, December 23
San Diego State (-2.5) by 0.51 over Navy - Navy runs, San Diego State passes. Navy isn't that good at stopping the pass and the same can be said of SDSU's ability to stop the run. The Midshipmen are playing in their 8th straight bowl game while the Aztecs are in the postseason for the first time since 1998.
San Diego State won 35-14. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Sunday, December 26
Toledo (-5) by 3.23 over FIU - FIU outranks Toledo 44 to 77 on offense and 57 to 62 on defense. Those statistical rankings aren't bad considering both schools faced fairly ambitious OOC schedules. The Golden Panthers faced three nonconference bowl teams in Texas A&M, Maryland and Pitt and lost by 7, 14 and 27. The Rockets faced two OOC bowl teams in Arizona and Boise State and lost by 39 and 43.
FIU won 34-32. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Thursday, December 30
SMU (-7.5) by 6.93 over Army - These teams have only met twice in history and not once since 1967. If there is a statistical edge, it would appear to lean slightly toward Army as the Black Knights are better defending the pass (SMU's strength) than the Mustangs are at defending the run (Army's strength). SMU ranks 48th against the run and Army ranks 24th against the pass.
Army won 16-14. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Saturday, January 1
Oklahoma (-17) by 12.01 over UConn - The computer is 8-3 ATS with UConn and 7-5 with Oklahoma. UConn outranks Oklahoma in total defense (48 to 58) and boasts the nation's 2nd-leading rusher in Jordan Todman. The Sooners rank 62nd against the run. However, the Sooners rank 4th in passing offense and the Huskies rank 44th against the pass.
Oklahoma won 48-20. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Monday, January 3
Stanford (-3) by 0.36 over Virginia Tech - The computer is just 4-7 ATS with the Cardinal, but it is 8-3 with Virginia Tech. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Stanford is 3-6 all-time vs. the ACC with 1 win each over North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest. Virginia Tech is 0-2 vs. the PAC-10 with narrow losses to USC (2004) and Cal (2003 Insight Bowl). Statistically, the teams are fairly evenly matched.
Stanford won 40-12. The computer won SU, lost ATS.



UPSETS:
The computer likes the underdog as the outright winner. I don't select the games in this category. Instead, we list every upset projected by the computer.
2010 Regular Season: 25-47 SU (.347), 31-41 ATS (.431)
2010 Bowls: 3-3 SU (.500), 3-3 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Monday, December 27
Georgia Tech by 0.19 over Air Force (-2.5) - This game boasts the top two rushing offenses in the country with Georgia Tech leading Air Force by 9.08 ground yards per game. Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt is unlikely to play after breaking his forearm against Virginia Tech, but the Jackets averaged nearly 20 yards more in the three games without Nesbitt than they averaged with him. The Georgia Tech defense surrenders an average of 25 fewer rushing yards per game than the Falcons.
Air Force won 14-7. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Tuesday, December 28
Iowa by 2.25 over Missouri (-3) - Iowa leading rusher Adam Robinson will not play in the bowl game after being suspended for "failing to comply with team expectations and policies". Junior RB Jewel Hampton, the team's No. 3 rusher has left the team on his own accord. That leaves freshman Marcus Coker (81 carries for 403 yards and 1 TD) as the leading available ball carrier. Without being able to factor in that kind of info, the computer appears to be on the wrong side of this game. The computer is 10-2 SU, 8-3 with Missouri. It's 8-4 SU, 3-9 ATS with the Hawkeyes.
Iowa won 27-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Wednesday, December 29
Illinois by 1.90 over Baylor (-2) - The 6-6 Illini meet the 7-5 Bears in Baylor's first bowl appearance since 1994. It's Illinois' first bowl since bombing out in the Rose Bowl in the 2007 season. Baylor has a .500 win percentage in 16 previous bowl games while Illinois is 6-9 but has just 3 bowl wins in the last 46 seasons and none since 1999. Baylor QB Robert Griffin is 7th nationally in total offense.
Illinois won 38-14. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Friday, December 31
Florida State by 0.05 over South Carolina (-2.5) - The Seminoles face Steve Spurrier for the first time since he left Florida after the 2001 season. The Seminoles and Gamecocks haven't met since 1991. FSU is 15-3 overall vs. South Carolina and 9-1 in the last 10 meetings. The computer is a combined 16-8 SU with these teams.
Florida State won 26-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Thursday, January 6
Middle Tennessee by 1.72 over over Miami, Ohio (-3) - MTSU was a major disappointment this season. Expectations were for the Blue Raiders to win the Sun Belt and finish somewhere between 9-3 and 11-1. Instead, QB Dwight Dasher was suspended for the first four games and the team limped home with a 6-6 mark. Conversely, Miami was a huge surprise as it improved from 2-10 a year ago to winning the MAC title with a 9-4 record overall and 7-1 conference mark. The RedHawk defense could give it an edge and it ranks 29th in yards allowed per game to MTSU's No. 71 ranking.
Miami won 35-21. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Monday, January 10
Oregon by 5.50 over Auburn (-1.5) - Auburn is 7th nationally in total offense, but 54th in total defense. Oregon ranks 2nd in total offense and 25th in total defense. The Tigers rank just 105th in pass defense while the Ducks rank 48th through the air. Auburn QB Cam Newton has the top passer rating while Oregon ranks 4th in interceptions. The SEC has won 4 straight BCS titles.
Auburn won 22-19. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.