CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
This is an article from the Dec. 28, 2009 issue
No. 14 Miami vs. No. 24 Wisconsin
These young teams are loaded with talent and should be playing on New Year's Day. Instead, the Snubbed Bowl will be the showcase for two of the country's best sophomores: Miami quarterback Jacory Harris (23 touchdown passes) and Wisconsin running back John Clay (1,396 rushing yards).
The Pick: The Hurricanes show why they'll be a national-title contender in 2010 with a big day against the Badgers' 66th-ranked pass defense.
Miami 31, Wisconsin 13
No. 19 Stanford vs. Oklahoma
The nation's leading rusher, Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart of Stanford, tests the nation's seventh-ranked rush defense, led by All-America tackle Gerald McCoy. It's the first bowl appearance by the Cardinal since 2001. It's the last place the Sooners (7--5)thought they'd be on New Year's Eve.
The Pick: The Cardinal could be out of luck if quarterback Andrew Luck (finger injury) can't play. The Sooners snap a three-game bowl skid.
Oklahoma 23, Stanford 13
No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 8 Ohio State
Dynamic quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli of the Ducks and Terrelle Pryor of the Buckeyes have a chance to jump-start their 2010 Heisman campaigns in this intriguing matchup: Ohio State's stingy defense (fifth in points allowed) against Oregon's high-flying offense (seventh in points scored).
The Pick: The Big Ten rep has lost six straight in the Rose, and the Buckeyes are on a three-game bowl slide of their own. The Ducks have too many weapons.
Oregon 30, Ohio State 27
No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 5 Florida
Brian Kelly bolted for Notre Dame, but that's only added incentive for the Bearcats to complete their perfect season. The Gators are big favorites, but will their heads be in the game? Florida has lost two assistants to other programs, and several underclassmen have filed paperwork for an NFL draft evaluation.
The Pick: Cincinnati big-play wideout Mardy Gilyard will help keep it close early, but the Gators will send Tim Tebow out with a bang.
Florida 45, Cincinnati 24
No. 3 TCU vs. No. 6 Boise State
While at least one of these undefeated programs deserved a shot at a heavyweight from a BCS conference, this pairing is as interesting as any other bowl's. The Broncos' breathless offense—led by the nation's top-rated passer, Kellen Moore—has to get past the Horned Frogs' top-ranked defense.
The Pick: The Broncos will find out that the Frogs, fourth in the nation in total offense, are pretty salty when it comes to moving the ball too.
TCU 38, Boise State 23