Swami Says: Bowlmas Edition

Joe Yeager breaks down each bowl game with Big 12 ties and picks a winner in each.

Holiday Bowl (Baylor vs. UCLA): The 2012/13 bowl slate is the worst in college football history, but this clash between the Bears and Bruins should be a dandy. Baylor finished the season playing arguably the best football of any team in the Big 12, while the potent Bruins were the comeback story of the PAC 12. Who you like in this one probably depends upon which conference you think is better. I'm going with the Big 12.

 

The Vision: Baylor 41 UCLA 34

 

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Texas Tech vs. Minnesota): This game should be called the Freefall Bowl because both the Red Raiders and Gophers enter this contest skittering down Skid Row. Tech has lost four of its last five and its last two wins came in overtime, one of which was over a miserable Kansas team. Minnesota has dropped six of its last eight games and its last victory came against an Illinois team that is as awful as Kansas. But here's the rub: Minnesota has scored 14 points or less six times while Tech has scored 41 points or more seven times.

 

The Vision: Texas Tech 32 Minnesota 27

 

Pinstripe Bowl (West Virginia vs. Syracuse): This clash between former Big East foes could be interesting by the standards of current bowls. The Orange have been competitive against everybody they've played, while West Virginia, after suffering a prolonged mid-season slump, seems to be getting its groove back. Both teams can sling the football. But Syracuse is also a pretty good defensive team.

 

The Vision: Syracuse 36 West Virginia 35

 

Alamo Bowl (Texas vs. Oregon State): The Longhorns began their season with a four-game winning streak, followed it with a two-game losing streak, bounced back with another four-game winning streak, and concluded the season with another two-game skid. Will Texas start another winning streak? Oregon State sure won't make it easy.

 

The Vision: Oregon State 28 Texas 22

 

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (TCU vs. Michigan State): If you like bruising defensive football, this game should be on your plate along with the leftover ham, turkey, dressing and mashed taters. If not, the Wild Wings Bowl may turn your lights out quicker than a heavy dose of holiday tryptophans.

 

The Vision: Michigan State 17 TCU 16

 

Liberty Bowl (Iowa State vs. Tulsa): There are all sorts of things wrong with the bowl system, and in about the middle of the list is the possibility of rematches. In this case we have a rematch between two mediocre football teams. What could possibly be more exciting. Zzzzzzz

 

The Vision: Iowa State 31 Tulsa 20

 

Heart of Dallas Bowl (Oklahoma State vs. Purdue): Where oh where could you possibly rather be than in the heart of Dallas on New Years Day? I can think of several places. And the fact that the Cowboys will be squaring off against yet another break-even Big Ten team makes this game even more missable if not miserable.

 

The Vision: Oklahoma State 46 Purdue 21

 

Fiesta Bowl (Kansas State vs. Oregon): If styles make bowl games as well as fights, the Fiesta Bowl could easily be the best of this whole stinking slate. Kansas State is so old school that they make Weeb Eubank's Baltimore Colts look a brainstorming session by geeks at General Dynamics, while Oregon State is so radical and bizarre they make a NAMBLA gathering resemble a powwow of the Plainview Shriners. Most people figure the Wildcats won't be able to keep up in this one. Perhaps not. But it will be close.

 

The Vision: Oregon 35 Kansas State 28

 

Cotton Bowl (Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M): The Aggies may be playing better football right now than any team not named Notre Dame. But don't count the Sooners out entirely; they know how to win ugly. Still, they won't win this one.

 

The Vision: Texas A&M 44 Oklahoma 34