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Bowl games, farewells and bold predictions


     The best time of the college football season is nearing. I like the opening week, but I love the postseason bowl games. Yeah, I think it would be better with a playoff system, but I already complained about that in January, so that is a dead issue for now.

     The BCS National Championship game is the right game to determine a

champion for this season. The No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 2 ranked Texas Longhorns. Southeastern Conference vs. the Big XII. Two former champion coaches have a month to prepare for one another, should make for on heck of a football game.

     Did I mention the game is taking place in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl? I

know it is not the real Rose Bowl game, but that stadium is the perfect place to have a national title game.

     Nothing against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs or the Boise State Broncos, but they shouldn't be in the national title game (see, this is why there needs to be a playoff), because their conferences aren't near as good as the SEC and Big XII. The Big East has a few good, to above average teams, and if anyone can name a combined 15 teams from the Mountain West and Big Sky Conferences I will be impressed.

     I don't even think UC is the best team in Ohio and that kills me to type

that! (By the way, the Buckeyes and Bearcats should play every season. Somehow, it should be a state law.)

    Sorry, I got sidetracked. The competition in the West and Sky conferences don't even match up to the Big East, and I don't think the Big East compares to the Big XII or SEC. Look at the rosters for both teams. UC can go maybe two deep in a game, but the Alabama backups or the third stringers are better than most of the second team players in those conferences.

    The Big East is closer to the Atlantic Coast Conference (which has become a watered-down conference), and the Big Ten struggles against anyone

out of conference. And I don't even want to know how bad their bowl record has been the past five years.

    Sure, the Boise States, Utahs (last season) and TCUs and even Cincinnatis of the world can be good for one game that they have a month to prepare for, but I just feel that on a game-by-game basis, in a tough conference like the SEC, they would be a second-tier team. If Penn State, Ohio State or maybe even Iowa played in the Big East, Mountain West or Big Sky Conference's they would be undefeated, too.

     Honestly, I hope Cincinnati proves me wrong and thrashes Florida, and possibly that could help get the playoff system rolling. So after all of that, let¹s hope the Bearcats show up this year for their BCS game and take down the defending national champion Gators.


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     One thing I will miss about the college football next season is that legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden won't be on the sideline anymore.

With Bowden "retiring," college football lost one of it best coaches and best ambassadors for the game.

     I am not going to lie; the past five years or so I have wanted Bowden to retire, as he was chasing, then passed, then got passed again, in all-time

wins by PSU coach Joe Paterno. I wanted the Seminoles to lose each and every game in that time frame.

     Don't look at me like that! I am not a bad person! I was just cheering against one 70-plus-year-old for another (older and wiser) 70-plus-year-old coach.

     But I will miss that Alabama drawl and coach who wore his shiny rings and a big hat while he coached some of the best college football teams of the 1990s. It also makes me realize that Joe Pa might be close to his way out of college football in the next few seasons, but I won't even think about that. Too hard to imagine.


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     Here are my daring and bold NCAA bowl predictions (nothing scientific about this) going from what I have watched this season, which is too much or maybe not enough ­ college football:

     Here we go: (New Mexico) Fresno State over Wyoming.  (St. Petersburg) Rutgers over UCF. (New Orleans) Oregon State defeats BYU. (Poinsettia) Cal takes care of Utah. (Hawaii) SMU folds Nevada. (Little Caesars) the Bobcats from Ohio University will round up the Thundering Herd of Marshall. (Car Care) Pitt stomps the UNC Tar Heels (just because I don't like the UNC basketball team). (Emerald) USC bounces back into the final AP  Top 25 poll with a win over Boston College. (Music City) Clemson dances and shuffles by Kentucky. (Independence) Georgia win this game against Texas A&M in honor of Uga VI (Rest in Peace). (EagleBank) the game says Army or UCLA  against Temple. Either way I take the Owls. (Champs Sports) I will take The U (Miami Hurricane) to  defeat Wisconsin.

     Deep breath ... OK more predictions: (Humanitarian) Bowling Green over Idaho just because I know nothing about Idaho. (Holiday) Nebraska gains a bowl win over Arizona. (Armed Forces) gotta take Air Force over Houston, otherwise that would be un-American and I don't want Toby Keith after me.

     Even more predictions: Stanford over Oklahoma (could be a sleeper bowl game of all the games). (Texas) Navy over Missouri. What can I say I like to

watch Navy's offense in action. (Insight) Iowa State over Minnesota. (Chick-fil-A) Virginia Tech defeats the rebuilding Tennessee Vols.

      Happy New Year!

     (Outback) Auburn takes down Northwestern. (Capital One) Penn State tackles LSU just because the Nittany Lions are my favorite team.

     I will be cheering for Bobby Bowden in his last game to gain one final victory and to be carried off the field as FSU will defeat West Virginia. Oregon will narrowly burn the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl (The Granddaddy of Them All), and Florida will complete the Ohio BCS sweep with a win over UC in the Sugar Bowl.

     For some reason the International Bowl is mixed in with all the BCS bowls, I will pick South Florida over Northern Illinois. South Carolina will win against UConn in the Bowl. (They can't have a playoff, but have a dumb bowl game like that?)

     In the Cotton Bowl, I predict Oklahoma State will forget their SI cover jinx from earlier this season and defeat another overrated team from the

start of the year in Ole Miss. Arkansas will win over East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl, and Michigan State will make the Big Ten proud and lose by three points to Texas Tech.

     TCU won't fall for any trick plays and celebrate a win over the Broncos in the Fiesta Bowl. In a BCS blunder bowl, Iowa will beat Georgia Tech in what is called the Orange Bowl. (How did these teams get into a major bowl again?) We need a playoff!

     In the final non-important bowl game of the postseason, Troy will be winners against Central Michigan.

     Now for the game of the year.  Drum roll, please. I want Texas to win, but I feel the SEC is too strong and I will take Alabama. I have been on the Colt McCoy bandwagon all year and I am picking the Longhorns to hold the crystal football at the end of the season. Hook 'em, Horns!


    Stephen Forsha is the sports editor for The Highland County Press.

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