Monday, January 7, 2013
Game predictions rewind: Bowl edition
By David Ubben
The Big 12 season is officially over. Let's take a look back at my bowl predictions for the Big 12. How'd I do? Uh, not real strong.
Bowl picks: 5-4 (.555)
Overall: 60-24 (.714)
My AT&T Cotton Bowl pick: Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 37
Actual score: Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 13
Hindsight: My thoughts on the matchup between OU's defense and Johnny Football were clear in my prediction, but the Sooner offense's struggles against a defense that was good but just OK most of the season? Never saw that coming. Not the way Landry Jones wanted to go out.
My Tostitos Fiesta Bowl pick: Oregon 38, Kansas State 31
Actual score: Oregon 35, Kansas State 17
Hindsight: Same deal here, too. Kansas State's weak third quarter killed this game for the Cats, but the Ducks offense weighed down K-State's defense late. Still, not a performance to be ashamed of from the K-State D.
My AutoZone Liberty Bowl pick: Iowa State 27, Tulsa 21
Actual score: Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17
Hindsight: The Cyclones' rematch looked like a toss-up, but I leaned Cyclones. Once again, Iowa State suffered from offensive issues and poor QB play in the bowl game, though Sam Richardson was battling a stomach bug. Even still, this may have been the worst offensive performance from a Big 12 team other than Kansas all season.
My Heart of Dallas Bowl pick: Oklahoma State 37, Purdue 17
Actual score: Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14
Hindsight: Thought Purdue would get killed in this game. Then the Boilermakers turned it over, played poorly and met one of Oklahoma State's best offensive days all season. The result: One of the worst bowl beatings ever.
My Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl pick: TCU 21, Michigan State 17
Actual score: Michigan State 17, TCU 16
Hindsight: This wasn't far off from being on the button, but TCU's late-game collapse left them wondering how a 13-0 lead turned to a loss in minutes. Hey, me too. TCU's offense didn't get it done in the red zone and never got in a rhythm in the second half.
My Valero Alamo Bowl pick: Oregon State 27, Texas 23
Actual score: Texas 31, Oregon State 27
Hindsight: No idea how Texas' offense awoke to win this game and mount a late comeback, but the Longhorns will take it. I thought this would be close, but Storm Woods would put the Beavers over the top late. Oregon State inexplicably went away from Woods and Texas took advantage, especially on the defensive line. Great stuff from that group, especially Alex Okafor.
My New Era Pinstripe Bowl pick: West Virginia 41, Syracuse 38
Actual score: Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14
Hindsight: Terrible stuff from West Virginia here. The snow put them at a disadvantage against a more physical Syracuse attack, but this wasn't the way WVU wanted to go out. Weather's not an excuse for a 24-point beating from an average Orange team.
My Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas pick: Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 17
Actual score: Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31
Hindsight: Texas Tech is better than this and played poorly, but credit to the Red Raiders for awakening late for the dramatic win and forcing a game-changing turnover, their first since Oct. 20. They rescued a satisfying end to the season and a correct pick for yours truly.
My Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl pick: Baylor 44, UCLA 41
Actual score: Baylor 49, UCLA 26
Hindsight: Didn't see this coming. Baylor outplayed the Bruins from start to finish. The Bears won this game up front. I knew Baylor would hang points, but I didn't believe it could stop Johnathan Franklin from making a big impact. I was wrong about that, but correct in picking the upset.
Not my best work, but bowl games are infamously difficult to pick. How would you grade my Big 12 bowl predictions?