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2011-2012 CFN Bowl Confidence Picks

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 13, 2011


Who's going to win each bowl game? According to the CFN Confidence Picks (picks with 1 for the least confident selection and 35 for the most confident).



2011-2012 Bowls

Confidence Picks 
 





 


Here are the picks from the CFN writers, along with Clucko the Chicken. Put down two feed dishes, one representing one team and one representing another and whichever dish the chicken goes to first is the team that's going to win. You'll do just as well. (Really, the pick is a coin flip. Don't laugh; Clucko won a 2000 Bowl Pool among 24 entrants.) 

Here's the drill for the bowls. Everyone makes their picks, and then assigns a number from most to least confident both against the spread and straight up. A 35 means most confident with the pick, 1 is least confident - Clucko's confidence picks were taken out of a hat to represent the element of random chance. The number next to the final pick is an overall confidence score of the picks added up. For example, for Temple picked to beat Wyoming, it's 10+4+1-27-29+26-31+30 = 14. The higher the number, the more confident the overall pick.

* means pick to win, but not cover the spread.

Confidence Picks With Comments
Just the confidence picks | BCS Bowls | Non-BCS January Bowls
Dec. 30 & 31 Bowls | Late December Bowls | Pre-Christmas Bowls

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO 
January 2, 2012 Pasadena, CA, 5:00 pm ESPN
Wisconsin vs. Oregon -6.5  O/U: 73
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
UO (19) UO* (22) UO (19) UO (34) UO (31) WI (17) OR* (12) WI (32) OR (20)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Wisconsin has good all-around speed, but no one moves faster than Oregon. The Badger ball control attack won't matter; linebackers Chris Borland and Mike Taylor will be a step too slow once LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner get around the edge.

By Richard Cirminiello 
The BCS National Championship Game aside, this is the best matchup of the postseason. Darron Thomas and LaMichael James vs. Russell Wilson and Montee Ball is a recipe for a fantastic Rose Bowl. Ducks need this game after losing their last two BCS outings.

By Matt Zemek
Put-up-or-shut-up time, Bret Bielema and Chip Kelly. Time to win a BCS bowl and shed some baggage. Big Ten power against Pac-12 speed in Pasadena. Bring. It. On.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Russell Wilson finishes off his career in style in the Rose Bowl. Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will have something for him in Pasadena.

By: Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter: @RussMitchellCFB  
Another very compelling contest. Makes you glad they didn't cross-schedule this with the Fiesta Bowl. Wisconsin's running versus Oregon's dynamic offense. Oregon plays a style of football rarely seen in the Big Ten, and that should be an opportunity for the Ducks. Moreover, the young team the LSU Tigers got in September is all grown up.

By Terry Johnson
Expect a shootout in this game, as both Wisconsin (fourth) and Oregon (third) rank in the top 5 in scoring offense. Montee Ball and LaMichael James going head-to-head will be the best matchup of the entire bowl season.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
You talk about contrasting styles. The flash and glitz of Oregon against the Big Ten stereotype. The Big Ten is on trial yet again in this one.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 
January 2, 2012 Glendale, AZ, 8:30 pm ESPN
Stanford vs. Oklahoma State -3.5  O/U: 75
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
ST (30) OS (23) OS (28) OS (29) OS (8) OS (13) OS (11) ST (14) OS (38)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

It's the BCS, and it has a Tebow-like way of always getting miraculous breaks. Oklahoma State will lose to Andrew Luck, and everyone will spend the rest of the week saying, "see, the BCS worked with LSU playing Alabama for the title."

By Richard Cirminiello 
It’d be to see what Andrew Luck could do with Brandon Weeden’s supporting cast. I’d also like to see whether or not Oklahoma State can handle the best collection of tight ends in America.

By Matt Zemek
Yes, we shall have a Fiesta when Oklahoma State and Stanford lock horns. Brandon Weeden versus Andrew Luck? Yes, please.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
A plus one would have been nice...

By: Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter: @RussMitchellCFB  
Perhaps the most interesting match-up of the bowl season, absent the top tilt... Statistically, Stanford is by far the more balanced team, but the knock on the Cardinal is it really hasn't played anyone, and has struggled to put away teams down the stretch that had no business keeping up with Stanford. Will we see if it's the OSU from Stillwater (vs. Oklahoma) or the one from Ames (Iowa State).

By Terry Johnson
Both teams firmly believe that they should be playing for the national championship, and it will show in this game. While the Andrew Luck – Brandon Weeden dual should be exciting, the team that runs the ball most effectively will win this game.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
There’s still an outside shot that OSU can get a split national title if LSU loses. To do it, the Cowboys will ave to dismantle a talented Stanford team led by the next millionaire QB in the making.
 
Allstate Sugar Bowl
January 3, 2012   New Orleans, LA, 8:30 pm ESPN
Michigan -2 vs. Virginia Tech  O/U: 51.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
MI (29) MI (25) VT (20) MI (33) MI (9) VT (17) MI (34) VT (9) MI (84)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Virginia Tech's defense isn't the Virginia Tech defense that normally crushes and kills offenses dead, even though the stats might show otherwise. Michigan will prove it belonged in the Big Ten title game and will be one of the hottest teams going into the 2012 offseason after Denard Robinson runs for 100 yards in a scintillating win.
 
By Richard Cirminiello 
For a month, Virginia Tech will hear how it’s the poster child of all that’s wrong with the BCS … and it’ll serve as the perfect motivation to beat the Wolverines.

By Matt Zemek
In a word, disgraceful. Don’t watch this game if you’re not paid to cover it. The BCS and the Sugar Bowl Committee should be ashamed of themselves (but naturally won’t be).

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
I defend the BCS a lot, and will only settle for a Plus 1 playoff; but the BCS messed this one up. I can’t explain how Virginia Tech got a Sugar Bowl bid.

By: Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter: @RussMitchellCFB  
You saw this coming, right. Two programs that travel very well, and a Michigan fan base that's gagging at the chance to return to a BCS game. Both teams earned this by finishing in the top teens...Ah... Yeah. The Sugar Bowl should make mint off this game... Great for CFB (sarcasm alert).

By Terry Johnson
Despite all of the controversy surrounding Virginia Tech’s selection as an at-large team, the Sugar Bowl will provide plenty of entertainment, as the game features two of the nation’s most explosive players in Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Virginia Tech’s David Wilson.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
This is likely the dud of the BCS games, as oth teams just get in to the BCS game and end up playing each other. Still, Michigan is back and almost everyone will jump at the chance to see Denard Robinson “lace” ‘em up again

Discover Orange Bowl
January 4, 2012  Miami Gardens, FL, 8:00 pm ESPN
West Virginia vs. Clemson -3  O/U: 60.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
WV (8) CL (29) CL (21) CL (32) CL (22) CL (33) CL (23) CL  (12) CL (164)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Clemson's secondary hasn't faced too many quarterbacks who can throw. The pass rush isn't good enough to pressure Geno Smith to slow him and the Mountaineer passing game down, and Dana Holgorsen's attack will be the talk around the water cooler on Thursday morning.

By Richard Cirminiello 
This is a huge opportunity for Dana Holgorsen, whose Mountaineers took the less traveled path to the Orange Bowl. It’s also a big game for Dabo Swinney, who needs to build on Saturday’s impressive blowout in the ACC title game.

By Matt Zemek
The Orange Bowl finally – and deservedly – got the perfect matchup after several revenue- and attendance-unfriendly games. Clemson’s best brand of ball is better than West Virginia’s best. We’ll simply see if Clemson plays the way it did in its two takedowns of Virginia Tech.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Here we go again. For all of the criticism and vitriol spewed by the fans and media, everyone will still watch it because it’ll once again be college football theatre at its best. Alabama will be better prepared this time.

By: Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter: @RussMitchellCFB  
Clemson earned this - WVU backed its way in. This should be an exciting affair with a lot of points. Expect the crowd to be heavily pro-Clemson, which is a reflection more on proximity and dearth of recent big game opportunities for Clemson than an indictment on the Mountaineers' ability to travel.

By Terry Johnson
This game could be one of the highest scoring Orange Bowls in history, given each team’s recent struggles on defense. Keep an eye on Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and West Virginia’s Taveon Austin who are capable of taking the ball to the house every time they touch the ball.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
This game will probably have the lowest ratings of the BCS games because of the rankings and fan bases involved, but it’ll be entertaining enough with the wide open attack of WVU and the talents of Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins lighting it up for Clemson.
 
BCS Championship
January 9, 2012  New Orleans, LA, 9:00 pm ESPN
Alabama vs. LSU -1  O/U: 39
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
LS (24) LS (35) LS (25) LS (21) LS (12) LS (10) AL (1) AL (27) LS (99)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

It's still early, but there's NO buzz whatsoever for what's going to be the lowest-rated title game since the BCS began. Part of it will be the rematch factor, and part of it will be the pay TV problem. Oh sure, the four-letter types will come up with some stat saying the game set some sort of record, but it's going to take a whale of a sales job to get the sports world interested with the NFL playoffs coming up in a few days. It's a pity, because it'll be a phenomenal game, and yes, the first time around was gripping even if there weren't any touchdowns. Alabama really is a national title-caliber team, but LSU has something charmed and special about its campaign. It's almost like the Tigers are glad to have this rematch if only to show that the first time around wasn't a fluke. However, the Tide has the talent to win this walking away if the LSU offense plays like it did in the first half against Georgia.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Yeah, it doesn’t matter in the world of the BCS, but if ‘Bama wins a close one, would the AP dare give its national championship to LSU?

By Matt Zemek
Call it the BCS National Exhibition Game instead. The LSU Tigers are my 2011 national champion, case closed. No, Alabama, you don’t get a do-over. Not in this sport. Not in the absence of a plus-one (at the very least). You can and should be allowed to WIN or EARN your way into a rematch – that would be great, in fact. However, the current system places teams into politically-arranged rematches. That’s not cool. Not ever. Mind you, all of this would be said with just as much consistency had Alabama beaten LSU. The Tigers would not have deserved a rematch under these same circumstances. It’s all a point of principle. No do-overs in college football. Period.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Here we go again. For all of the criticism and vitriol spewed by the fans and media, everyone will still watch it because it’ll once again be college football theatre at its best. Alabama will be better prepared this time.

By: Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter: @RussMitchellCFB  
Really, what's changed since a month ago? LSU could have "left points on the field" in Tuscaloosa too, if its coach had forced his kicker to try FGs from outside his range. Instead, Miles punted. LSU's D held Bama to under 100 yards rushing...in Tuscaloosa. LSU's special teams were better. LSU's coaching was better. All of the players from both sides return. Ok, I suppose four things have changed - LSU has discovered another bruising RB since that game, Bama's Eddie Lacey should be healthy, LSU has moved to more of a one QB system, and the Tigers have more confidence.

By Terry Johnson
Whether or not you oppose the idea of a rematch, LSU will play Alabama for the national title game. Even though the regular season contest ended in a 9-6 game, I have no doubts that both offensive coordinators started preparing for this game the minute after the last game concluded. While it will not be a 39-36 game (as Mike Gundy alluded to), expect both LSU and Alabama to have a much better showing on offense this time around.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Here we go again. For all of the criticism and vitriol spewed by the fans and media, everyone will still watch it because it’ll once again be college football theatre at its best. Alabama will be better prepared this time.
 
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