Beermanís Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 12/28/01

Each week this season, I will be posting a column previewing the upcoming weekend's Big East and Top-25 match-ups. All rankings are from the Bowl Championship Series Poll. I don't pick winners (that's too easy), I pick against the spread.  All picks are for entertainment purposes only.  If you actually bet based on what I think...well...don't say you weren't warned!.  For the most current TV information, click on over to TV Guide

This Week: Part deux. Nothing terribly surprising in the first batch of bowl games this year...though GT is up 17-3 as I write this. I have to say I really enjoyed the Marshall-ECU game, and was bored stiff by CSU-UNT and Utah-USC. Score one more on the 'playoffs' side of the ledger.

Monday 12/31
Humanitarian Bowl
Boise, ID
Louisiana Tech (7-4) vs. Clemson (6-5)
Line: Clemson (-6.5)

12:30 PM

Nope, I'm simply not convinced that Clemson is really any better than Louisiana Tech. Sure, it's the classic mediocre big time school vs. the prototypical small conference upstart. Unfortunately for LaTech, I think that's big here. They haven't been to a bowl game since joining I-A twelve years ago, and even Boise can be a big stage sometimes.
Pick: La Tech
Wells Fargo Sun Bowl
El Paso, TX
Washington State (9-2) vs. Purdue (6-5)
Line: Wazzou (-8)

2:00 PM

Wazzou in a walk. Purdue barely qualified for bowl eligibility. They've got a solid defense, yet still scored less than they gave up on the season. The Cougars were this close to a BCS bid, but couldn't hold it together when it counted most. Nonetheless, barring total breakdown this game belongs to Washington State.
Pick: WSU
Silicon Valley Classic
San Jose, CA
Fresno State (11-2) vs. Michigan State (6-5)
Line: FSU-W (-5.5)

3:00 PM

See, now this could be a pretty fun game to watch.  One of those "all offense" affairs reminiscent of the early 90's BYU-SDSU Arena Ball precursors.  I think I have to pick Fresno here, because they've at least shown the ability to occasionally play good defense.
Pick: FSU
AXA Liberty Bowl
Memphis, TN
Brigham Young (13-1) vs. Louiseville (10-2)
Line: U of L (-3)

4:00 PM

#20 in the BCS, but #18.5 in our hearts, ladies and gentlemen your BYU Cougars!

Now they've had three weeks to prepare, do you suppose in that time they've found someone ... ANYONE ... who can play defense?

Pick: U of L
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
Atlanta, GA
UNC (7-5) vs. Auburn (7-4)
Line: UNC (-2)

7:30 PM

This is kind of like those random AFC games that CBS broadcasts opposite the Redskins on Sunday.  I know who the teams are.  I recognize some of the players from SportsCenter.  I may even have seen a couple of earlier games as well.  But try as I might, I simply can not bring myself to care about this game.
Pick: Auburn
Tuesday 1/1
Outback Bowl
Tampa, FL
Ohio State (7-4) vs. South Carolina (8-3)
Line: USC-SE (-2.5)

11:00 AM

Didn't we just do this last year?
Pick: New tie-ins
SBC Cotton Bowl
Dallas, TX
Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Arkansas (7-4)
Line: Oklahoma (-13.5)

11:00 AM

Well it's not another national title, and it isn't even a BCS game ... but it should at least be an easy win.
Pick: Sooners
Toyota Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, FL
Virginia Tech (8-3) vs. Florida State (6-5)
Line: VT (-2.5)

12:30 PM

It's simple really. As goes Chris Rix, so goes the Seminoles. Crash the boards, lay some wicked hits, and put big Derrius Monroe right in his mug from play one. I want to see some picks, and I want to see at least one returned for six. For crying out loud, N.C. State beat these guys in Tallahassee, we sure as heck can do it in Jacksonville! I think we do, and I think we do in a big way.
Capitol One Florida Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL
Michigan (8-3) vs. Tennessee (8-3)
Line: UT (-4)

1:00 PM

The big winners in the SEC Championship game? Orlando T-shirt vendors. It's a piecework industry, and having something as reliable as yearly visits by the throngs of Tennessee fans is a godsend.

Pick: Vols
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Tempe, AZ
Oregon (10-1) vs. Colorado (10-2)
Line: Colorado (-3)

4:30 PM

When I rule the world, I'm going to hang the team photo of the winner of this game on my wall next to the USFL's $3.76 anti-trust award.
Pick: Oregon
Nokia Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, LA
Illinois (10-1) vs. LSU (9-3)
Line: LSU (-3)

8:00 PM

It's a good thing the Sugar Bowl isn't hosting the MNC game this year.  I don't know if the town could handle both that and the teeming masses of North Texas fans sure to still be in town following their game.
Pick: Illinois
Wednesday 1/2
FedEx Orange Bowl
Miami, FL
Maryland (10-1) vs. Florida (9-2)
Line: Florida (-16)

8:00 PM

No sir, it ain't gonna be pretty.  Welcome to the big time Maryland, you're about to get Spurriered.
Pick: UMud
Thursday 1/3
Rose Bowl Presented By AT&T
Pasadena, CA
#1 Miami (11-0) vs. #2 Nebraska (11-1)
Line: Miami (-9.5)

8:00 PM

Nebraska playing in this game is, without question, the greatest injustice in the history of the free world. That being said, I think they should give Miami a good game. Sure Colorado killed them, but the Huskers are far from a bunch of pushovers. Solid defenses on both sides, but Miami has a far more complete offense. Still, Miami's Oline will have to play up to form. As we've seen firsthand, a rattled Dorsey is not a very effective quarterback. But they will, and Miami will roll on to another national title.

And Beano agrees with me, how could I be wrong?

Pick: Nebraska

Season To Date: 131-140-2

Upset Special: (7-7) It's a bowl week twofer!

  • Marshall over East Carolina
  • Iowa State over Alabama


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