The Dallas-Fort Worth area has high expectations for the coming weeks in the college football world. The Horned Frogs of TCU, Baylor Bears and SMU Mustangs are all favored in their respective bowl games.â†µ
Baylor will kick things off in the region for bowl season next Wednesday in the Texas Bowl when they take on the Illinois Illini. The Bears are marginal favorites, but favorites nonetheless by 1.5 points. The Illini went only 6-6 on the year and 4-4 in the Big 10 this year and are limping into this bowl game. Illinois lost three of their last four games, including a home game to 3-9 Minnesota, to close out the year. The Illini do have a potent ground attack, though, ranking 13th in the FBS with 242.3 yards per game on the ground. The Bears are limping into this game as well, losing three straight games to end the season - but all three losses came against ranked foes, including a loss to the Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners.â†µ
The SMU Mustangs find themselves as seven point favorites over Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Mustangs went just 7-6 on the season, but did go 6-2 during Conference USA play. They'll face a tough Army ground game - the Black Knights average 256 yards per game on the ground, good for 10th in FBS play. I wouldn't be surprised to see Army cover if they can maintain a respectable time of possession with their ground game.â†µ
Finally, in the most anticipated BCS game (aside from the national title), the TCU Horned Frogs find themselves favorites over Wisconsin. TCU are three point favorites to win the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day and improve their unblemished record to 13-0. The Horned Frogs are led by their defense, which is the top-ranked in FBS play, surrendering on average of only 11.8 points per game. They'll be facing the fourth-ranked offense in FBS play when they take on the Badgers- who have managed to score or exceed 70 points on three occasions this year.