We've arrived in 2011 - so that means today we'll see the Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bow easily the highlight of the slate of games on New Year's Day and this year it's one of the most anticipated BCS bowl games thanks to TCU.
The Horned Frogs come into the Rose Bowl as three point favorites. TCU made a bid to play in the BCS Championship game, but their perfect season wasn't enough thanks to Auburn and Oregon also turning in perfect seasons. TCU boasts the best defense in the FBS, allowing only 11.4 points per game. TCU also has the seventh-best ground game in the FBS, averaging over 260 yards per game. It's worth noting, though, that these numbers are likely inflated by the weak Mountain West Conference competition.
Wisconsin tied with Michigan State and Ohio State for the Big 10 title - but won the tiebreaker, which was highest BCS standing, ergo, the Badgers are in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin averages over 247 yards per game on the ground which translated into fourth-ranked offense in the FBS as the Badgers average over 43 points per game. Freshman running back James White rushed for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns while junior running back John Clay rushed for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Despite the fact that TCU are favored to win, I'm going to take the Badgers to "upset" the Horned Frogs. I don't think TCU's defense will be able to contain Wisconsin's running game.
Fiesta Bowl prediction after the jump.
The Connecticut Huskies are making their first ever BCS appearance tonight, and even though they're huge (17 point) underdogs, it's still an incredible achievement for UConn to be in the Fiesta Bowl. UConn football didn't entire Division 1-A until 2002 and didn't enter the Big East for football until 2004. Now here in 2011, they're in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Huskies went 8-4 in the regular season and 5-2 in Big East play - good enough to earn the Big East's automatic BCS bid. UConn is currently riding a five game winning streak. The Huskies are led by junior running back Jordan Todman, who rushed for 1,574 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners (11-2, 6-2 in Big 12) will be UConn's opponent in Glendale. Sophomore quarterback Landry Jones passed for just under 4,300 yards and 35 touchdowns, leading the Sooners to the fourth-ranked passing offense in the country.
As much as I'd like to pick the Huskies to upset Oklahoma, I can't in good conscious pick UConn to win the Fiesta Bowl. I do think UConn will cover, but the Sooners should come away with the Fiesta Bowl victory.