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December 05, 2005 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-05

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 5, 2005

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.
Jan. 4 - 8 p.m. - ABC
Texas (9-0 Big 12, 12-0) vs.
Southern Cal (8-0 Pac-10, 12-0)

Yesterday, matchups for all 28 bowl games were
announced, and it looks as if Michigan will be head-
ing to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl. The Wolver-
ines (5-3 Big Ten, 7-4 overall) will take on Nebraska
(4-4 Big 12, 7-4 overall), a team led by former NFL
coach Bill Callahan. Callahan has transformed the
Cornhuskers from a run-first, run-second option team
into one with a West Coast-style offense. The game
will settle old scores - Michigan and Nebraska split
the national title in 1997. Texas and Southern Cal
will face off in the Rose Bowl for the national title in
the most highly anticipated game of the year. Here's
a close look at the four BCS games and a glimpse
at all the others.
Orange Bowl
Miami, Fla.
Jan. 3 - 8 p.m. - ABC
Penn State (7-1 Big Ten, 10-1) vs.
Florida State (6-3 ACC, 8-4)
Florida State's upset on Saturday of ACC-leading Virginia Tech propelled the Semi-
noles to an automatic BCS bid. Penn State's No. 3 ranking, coupled with its Big Ten
title, gave the school its first-ever BCS bid.
The game pits college football's two all-time winningest coaches against each other.
Penn State's Joe Paterno (353 wins) took an unranked Nittany Lions team to national
prominence following an impressive run through the Big Ten. Penn State's lone blem-
ish was a last-second loss to Michigan following a Mario Manningham catch with no
time remaining.
The Seminoles are coached by Bobby Bowden (359 wins). Although it limps into
the BCS with an 8-4 record, Florida State has posted impressive wins against Miami
(Fla.) and Boston College.
Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Michael Robinson has a wide variety of young
weapons at his disposal for the Nittany Lions, and if his offense is having a rough out-
ing, it's usually backed up by the guys on the other side of the ball. Linebacker Paul
Posluszny leads Penn State's top-ranked defense.
Florida State, on the other hand, comes in without a true identity. It has shown
signs of brilliance at times, but has also looked lost at others.
Bottom line: No. 3 vs. unranked. It appears to be too simple. In reality, it prob-
ably is. Penn State is the real deal and should prove it against the overmatched
Sugar Bowl
Atlanta, Ga.
Jan. 2 - 8:30 p.m. - ABC
West Virginia (7-0 Big East, 10-1) vs.
Georgia (7-2 SEC, 10-2)
The Big East has been the whipping boy of the major conferences all season long. But make
mistake about it: West Virginia is no pushover. Quarterback Pat White doesn't throw the ball mu
- but that's because he doesn't have to. He's attempted just 100 passes for 708 yards and sev
touchdowns. White's legs are his moneymakers. The dynamic freshman has carried the Mou
taineers by picking up 875 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. He'll have to bring his be
game, since West Virginia figures to be a heavy underdog in a pseudo-home game for Georgia.
If not for an injury to senior quarterback D.J. Shockley and a fluke play against Aubur
Georgia could have - and probably should have - gone undefeated. Using a stout runnin
game and a punishing defense, the Bulldogs rumbled to the SEC championship. Against Loui
siana State, Georgia used the same formula from the regular season, pressuring the Tigers'
JaMarcus Russell and stopping Louisiana State's running game.
Although many believe that this is the worst of the BCS bowls, West Virginia won't lay
down for the Bulldogs. But the Georgia defense, led by hard-hitting safety Greg Blue, will be
able to stop the Mountaineers' rushing attack.

This is the matchup everyone's been waiting for since last season ended.
The teams began the year Nos. 1 and 2 and have been the clear-cut favor-
ites for the BCS championship. The Longhorns come in after thoroughly
destroying Colorado in the Big 12 Championship game, 70-3. Vince Young's
breakthrough Rose Bowl performance against Michigan was the starting
point for his Heisman candidacy. Teams dared him to beat them with his
arm, and he did that, passing for over 2,700 yards while tossing 26 touch-
downs. But his legs worked just fine, too, in tearing defenses apart for 850
yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
The Trojans come in with two Heisman candidates in Matt Leinart and
Reggie Bush. Just as most prognosticators predicted, Southern Cal has dis-
mantled its competition. The team has been challenged for an entire game
just twice this season - against Notre Dame and Fresno State. Bush has
taken the lead in the Heisman race with his breakneck speed and stop-
on-a-dime quickness. Bush's long runs have demoralizedopponents,
but his ability, paired with LenDale White's, has kept the chainsA
moving and made the Trojans more of a power football team than
you might think.
With three Heisman contenders, the Rose Bowl should
feature big plays and breathtaking moments. The Long-
horns come in with less acclaim than Southern Cal, but their
offense and defense can keep them in the game. Young's
legs should challenge the Trojans' suspect defense, and hisY
arm will keep them honest. But in the end, Southern Cal's
offensive balance will be too much for the Longhorns.

Fiesta Bowl
Tempe, Ariz.
Jan. 2 - 4:30 p.m. - ABC
Ohio State (7-1 Big Ten, 9-2) vs.
Notre Dame (9-2)
Both teams received automatic bids to the BCS when the final standings
came out yesterday. By finishing in the top four, No. 4 Ohio State quali-
fied, and No. 6 Notre Dame also made the cut because of a clause in its
contract with the BCS.
Ohio State has only lost to teams that qualified for BCS bowls. The Buckeyes
dropped their season opener against No. 2 Texas and lost to eventual-Big Ten
Champion Penn State in Happy Valley. They're currently riding a six-game win-
ning streak, most recently defeating Michigan in Ann Arbor. Ohio State is paced
by its daunting defense, which is led by linebackers A.J. Hawk and Anthony
Schlegel. It also has a dual threat in signal-caller Troy Smith, who
has shown the ability to make big plays both on the ground
and through the air.
Although it began the year unranked, Notre
Dame started strong. After beating then-No. 3
Michigan at the Big House, the Irish were in the
YI . top tier for good. They are led by quarterback
Brady Quinn, who has thrived in first-year
coach Charlie Weis's system. The Irish's best
performance of the year came against No. 1
Southern Cal. The Trojans needed a miracle
final drive to defeat the upset-minded Notre
Dame squad in South Bend.
Ohio State's balance and Notre Dame's
lack of wins against above-.500 teams
should be the difference in a tight game.



Non-BCS games

Houston Bowl
Dec. 31- 2:30 p.m. - ESPN2
TCU (8-0 Mountain West, 10-1) vs.
Iowa State (4-4 Big 12, 7-4)

Independence Bowl
Dec. 30 -3:30 p.m. - ESPN
South Carolina (5-3 SEC, 7-4) vs.
Missouri (4-4 Big 12, 6-5)

Holiday Bowl
Dec. 29 - 8 p.m. - ESPN
Oregon (7-1 Pac-10, 10-1) vs.
Oklahoma (6-2 Big 12, 7-4)

Motor City Bowl
Dec. 26-4 p.m. -ESPN
Memphis (5-3 C-USA, 6-5) vs.
Akron (6-3 MAC. 7-5)

Alamo Bowl
Dec. 28 - 8 p.m. - ESPN
Michigan (5-3 Big Ten, 7-4) vs.
Nebraska (4-4 Big 12, 7-4)

Dec. 21-8 p.m. - ESPN
UTEP (5-3 C-USA, 8-3) vs.
Toledo (6-2 MAC, 8-3)

Outback Bowl
Jan. 2 -11 a.m. - ESPN
Iowa (5-3 Big Ten, 7-4) vs.
Florida (5-3 SEC, 8-3)

Emerald Bowl
Dec. 29 - 4:30 p.m. - ESPN
Georgia Tech (5-3 ACC, 7-4) vs.
Utah (4-4 Mountain West, 6-5)

Insight Bowl
Dec. 27 - 8:30 p.m. -ESPN
Arizona State (4-4 Pac-10, 6-5) vs.
Rutgers (4-3 Big East, 7-4)


Capital One Bowl
Jan. 2 -1 p.m. - ABC
Wisconsin (5-3 Big Ten, 9-3) vs.
Auburn (7-1 SEC, 9-2)

Peach Bowl
Dec. 30 - 7:30 p.m. - ESPN
Miami (6-2 ACC, 9-2) vs.
Louisiana State (7-2 SEC, 10-2)

Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 22 - 8 p.m. - ESPN
BYU (5-3 Mountain West, 6-5) vs.
California (4-4 Pac-10, 7-4)

Meineke Car Care Bowl
Dec. 31-11 a.m. - ESPN2
South Florida (4-3 Big East, 6-5) vs.
N.C. State (3-5 ACC, 6-5)

New Orleans Bowl
Dec. 20 - 8 p.m. -ESPN
Southern Miss (5-3 C-USA, 6-5) vs.
Arkansas State (5-2 Sun Belt, 6-5)

Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 27-5 p.m. -ESPN
Clemson (4-4 ACC, 7-4) vs.
Colorado (5-4 Big 12, 7-5)

Gator Bowl
Jan. 2-12:30 p.m. - NBC
Louisville (5-2 Big East, 9-2) vs.
Virginia Tech (7-2 ACC, 10-2)

Music City Bowl
Dec. 30-- Noon - ESPN
Minnesota (4-4 Big Ten, 7-4) vs.
Virginia (3-5 ACC, 6-5)

Fort Worth Bowl
Dec. 23 - 8 p.m. - ESPN
Kansas (3-5 Big 12, 6-5) vs.
Houston (4-4 C-USA, 6-5)

'... .


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