It's time for our next round of bowl picks, which for the Big East means the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Saturday, the Papajohns.com Bowl on Monday and the Brut Sun Bowl on Wednesday. Away we go ...
North Carolina 23, West Virginia 16: Never bet against Pat White in a bowl game; he's 3-0 and nobody gave him or his team a shot at beating Georgia or Oklahoma. While the Tar Heels aren't nearly as imposing as those former BCS foes, they are the wrong kind of matchup for the Mountaineers: a fast, athletic defense that can choke off the option with special teams that can cause problems. West Virginia's offense really struggled in the last two weeks of the season against similarly tough defenses from Pittsburgh and South Florida. Despite White and Co.'s big-game experience, North Carolina will beat its third Big East team of the season before a pro-Heels crowd in Charlotte.
Rutgers 34, NC State 20: The two Team Turnarounds meet in Dixie in maybe the best bowl showdown ever between a 7-5 club and a 6-6 one. Both played extremely well down the stretch, and you could argue that the Wolfpack played a tougher slate in the final month than Rutgers did. But there's no doubting how dominant the Scarlet Knights have been, and of the two quarterbacks who did their own revolutions, I like the senior Mike Teel better than the freshman Russell Wilson. Teel and Kenny Britt go out in style in Birmingham.
Pittsburgh 31, Oregon State 27: With Jacquizz Rodgers questionable for the game, Oregon State will have to find other ways to score. As bad as the Beavers' defense played in the season finale against Oregon, you have to wonder how they'll stop the Big East's top scoring team and LeSean McCoy. My guess is they won't. And if you're into the motivation aspect, Pitt is thrilled to be in El Paso, while Oregon State had its sights set on the Rose Bowl. The Panthers get their 10th win and set themselves up for a high 2009 preseason ranking.
Last week: 1-0
Season record: 47-23 (67 percent)