|ESPN.com: NCF Nation||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Three more showdowns before the Granddaddy.
California 33, Miami 24: Cal has a big advantage playing what amounts to a home game, while Miami is 3,500 miles and three time zones away from its tropical climate. But most important: This is a veteran Bears squad that should be able to handle a talented but young foe. Cal running back Jahvid Best could stake a claim as a leading 2009 Heisman Trophy candidate with a big game against a struggling Miami run defense.
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Oregon 40, Oklahoma State 38: Go back and forth on this one because the Cowboys high-powered offense is a little more balanced than the Ducks high-powered offense, but just get the feeling a faster, more physical Pac-10 foe will be a shock to the Cowboys system. Oregon will start fast, OSU will rally and then the Ducks will wear them down with a steady dose of LeGarrette Blount in the fourth quarter.
Brut Sun Bowl
Pittsburgh 27, Oregon State 24: The Beavers would be the pick if both the Rodgers brothers were healthy, but both running back Jacquizz and receiver/scatback James are out with shoulder injuries, meaning 50 percent of the offense won't be available. Plus, there's the question about how Oregon State will respond after the Civil War blowout loss to Oregon and the stunning end to its Rose Bowl run. The Beavers have won four straight and five of six bowl games, but a steady dose of LeSean McCoy and some offensive struggles will make the difference.