It’s the Aggies
It was announced today that Texas A&M (7-5, 4-4 Big 12) will be Penn State’s (8-4, 4-4 Big Ten) opponent in the Valero Alamo Bowl, to be held in San Antonio, Texas on December 29. The game is being hyped as a rematch of the 1999 Alamo Bowl, in which the Nittany Lions cleaned the Aggies’ clocks 24-0.
Of course, any comparison of 1999 and 2007 is strictly hype. However, this might turn out to be the most beatable of any of the various bowl opponents the Lions could have drawn. They’re not in it over their heads, and that’s a good thing. This Turkey will be back atcha with counterhypical observations and punctilious predictions sometime between now and the fifth day of Christmas.
In the meanwhile, the bowl picture solidified today. Let’s look at some stuff.
Other Noteworthy Big Ten Bowls
It is going to be a bad, bad, superbad year for the Big Ten once again in post-season play. Penn State and Wisconsin might well have the best chances at winning.
Michigan, however, will be decimated by Florida in the Capital One Bowl. The Wolverines could have wound up with a winnable game had Illinois not been selected for a BCS bowl, as UM would have then played in the Champ’s Sports Bowl.
As for Illinois, lots of luck in the Rose Bowl with USC. You might recall that USC and LSU were everyone’s pre-season picks for the still somewhat mythical national championship (SSMNC). Well, USC had some rough breaks along the way and won’t play in the SSNMC Good Hands Bowl (brought to you from New Orleans by the folks who wouldn’t pay your Katrina claim). Instead, they’ll get to feast on the bowl-starved Illini, who haven’t seen Pasadena since 1984 and who will pay dearly for their comeuppance this year. The Zookster will make his presence known in the BCS in the future, but this year might just be embarrassing.
Similarly, the gratuitous extra Allstate It Don’t Decide Nothin’ Bowl for the SSMNC will feature another overmatched Big Ten squad getting crushed, this time by SEC opponent LSU. The Ohio State Buckeyes managed to get in the back door, just when it looked like they would be relegated to the Grandaddy of Them All. While LSU hasn’t looked impressive of late, they’re playing in a tougher conference and they’ve been beaten up. The recuperative layoff should bring back the Tigers many of us thought could win it all—and they will. Another “woulda coulda shoulda” chance for tOSU, sadly (but not too sadly).
In the Outback Bowl, Wisconsin has drawn a beatable opponent. Tennessee is coming off a tough loss to LSU but they should prevail against the Badgers. Well, they should have prevailed against the Nittany Lions last year, too. This Turkey thinks they’ll get screwed again this year.
Moo U. will face Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl. Who knows which Michigan State team will show up that day? One thing is for certain—the over/under is likely to be the biggest of all the bowl games.
Another bowl-starved up-and-comer, Indiana, will square off with Oklahoma State in the Insight Bowl. I have no great insights into this game. (Get it? Get it?)
We round out the Big Ten Bowl picture with the Purdue Boilermakers traveling to that dream vacation winter wonderland, Detroit, to play the MAC champs, the Central Michigan Chippewas, in the Motor City Bowl. Detroit is not far at all from Kohler, Wisconsin, and it represents the epitome of rust-belt fun vacation spots. Reminds me of a Russian travel brochure touting the wonders of a power plant tour.