Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rose Bowl Prediction

Attempting to predict the outcome of tonight's Rose Bowl is a wonderful opportunity for me to show how little I know about college football. I follow the Browns obsessively, but struggle to keep my head above water when predicting the outcome of their games. So, God help me in trying to predict college games involving two teams that I follow only by watching ESPN College Gameday.

Aside from the weekly Reggie Bush and Vince Young highlight reels, I saw only two USC games (Notre Dame and Fresno State), and two Texas games (Ohio State and Texas A&M) all season. Both teams impressed me in the first game that I saw them play, but showed real weaknesses in the second.

Before my prediction, here's what I think about these teams:

  • Both USC and Texas are over-hyped. They are two very good teams from two very bad conferences, and with the exception of a couple of games, didn't need to break much of a sweat this season.

  • Based on the performance that Ohio State turned in during the Fiesta Bowl, the Buckeyes would probably beat either of these teams right now. Hell, the Buckeyes should have beat Texas back in September.

  • Texas' defense is good, but it isn't invincible. A sub-.500 Texas A&M team led by a second-string freshman QB managed to put up almost 30 points on the Longhorns.

  • USC's defense is flat out suspect. Sure, UCLA didn't bother to show up for its game against USC, and managed to go down 66-19, but Fresno State is the game that sticks in my mind. That game turned into a 50-42 track meet due to the USC defense's inability to shut down mighty Fresno State-- a team that turned right around and lost to Nevada the very next week.

  • Vince Young is capable of laying an egg. He was terrible against A&M. Reggie Bush has yet to do that. Young's honked off because the Heisman voters disrespected him, which should help motivate him.

  • Texas won last year in Pasadena, but this is a home game for USC. I think that's a huge factor. They just don't lose Rose Bowls, do they? (21 wins and 8 losses, to be exact) Da-da, da-dum-da-da, da, da, dada da-dum... (Man, I hate that song).

  • Pete Carroll is an NFL washout, but you can't argue with his results at the college level. On the other hand, Mac Brown is the Lone Star State's answer to John Cooper. I just can't see this guy winning it all.

So, I mix all of these random thoughts together, put my thumb in the air and my head up my ass and fearlessly predict that USC will defeat Texas 35-24. You can take that to the bank, but you're an idiot if you do.

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