Previewing The New Years Six, Part 1

The most exciting 36 hours of football every year from now on is upon us.  Six games.  36 hours.  Over New Years Eve and New Years Day.  What more could you ask for?  This is great!  Two of these games will determine who plays for the National Championship!  The other four are for bragging rights and the history books!  They’re all great teams!  It’s going to be incredible!

This is by far the summary of it all.  I love that commercial.  it just shows you how awesome it will be.

And yet, for the inaugural New Years Six, I’m going to be in Chicago.  For the first time.  So, I’m going to catch as much of it as I can.  I will, no matter what, see the playoff games.  Those truly count.

As for the other games, they are all great matchups.  Let’s start with the non-playoff schedule:

Peach Bowl: No.9 Ole Miss vs. No.6 TCU, New Years Eve, 12:30 PM EST

A great offense and a great defense clash in this one.  The Horned Frogs have been dominate all season with the ball, putting up 46.8 points a game.  They average 542 yards a game, which is incredible.  They run a very balanced offense too.  TCU throws for 332 yards game, with the 209 coming from the run.  Their quarterback, Trevone Boykin, was a dis-regarded Heisman candidate.  He’s been amazing, and has carried this team all season.  He, along with their coach Gary Patterson, is the MVP of this squad.

Both defenses are very good, but one catapults the other.  Ole Miss only allows 13.8 point a game!  That’s not even two touchdowns!  This defense is up there with Alabama and Clemson.  The points per game is the highlight of it.  They aren’t shut down when it comes to defense of run and pass.  You can gain the chunk yards on them, but they won’t give up points.

This, is the real matchup of this game.  Can TCU score on Ole Miss’ defense?  If they can, can Ole Miss keep up?

That’s the question.  The Rebels have Bo Wallace, who I have defended this year.  He is the ultimate up&down QB.  He is incredibly frustrating, but yet can win games when you need him too.  It’s depends on the situation, and the game he’s having.  You get one of two things: Bad Bo or Good Bo.  Trust me, it’s a thing.  We’ve seen both this year.  Wallace will make plays.  He will find his receivers and give them the ball.  However, his decision making is sometime very questionable.  That’s what gets him in trouble.  There is no way to predict what you get.  He’s very sketchy.  On the good side of, you love him.  On the bad side, you dread him.

I believe that TCU is going to score on Ole Miss.  The Rebels front seven is where they shine.  If TCU can get past the linebackers and score, they have to make the Rebels answer back.  That’s the key.  TCU has a stout defense itself.  Force Bo Wallace to make bad throws and you win.  Prediction: TCU-52 Ole Miss-38

Fiesta Bowl: No.10 Arizona vs. No.20 Boise State, New Years Eve, 4:30 PM EST

(Homerism possible, big-time)

I’m over the PAC-12 Championship Game.  I’ve realized that Oregon is just better.  They have the best player in the country.  They, well, I’ll get to it later.

Anyways, we deserved a New Years Six Bowl.  I like this game. Why?  Because I know we’ll win. Oops.

I shouldn’t say that.  Boise State is the best team no one knows about.  They are really good.  Statistically, they’re better than Arizona, overall.  However, they don’t get the respect.  Whether they deserve that or not, it’s your call.  Boise State isn’t used to competition like this.

Boise State runs a very balanced offense.  They pass just a little bit more than they run.  Overall, their offense is very powerful, just like Arizona.  They can score in an instant.  That’s what makes them scary.  It’s what makes Arizona scary to them.  That’s why this game will be a shootout.

The Broncos defense is also much better than Arizona’s.  They’re an outstanding run defense team, only allowing 141 yards a game.  Against the Wildcats, they will need that to show up.  Arizona runs powerfully.  They ground n’ pound, but when they need to, they go to the air.

That’s where, as a Wildcat fan, you get scared.  Just a teensy bit.  Anu Solomon has some great skills, I’ll admit that.  However, he’s erratic.  He is sometimes, out of control.  Solomon has a big arm, but has major accuracy issues, which leads to bad turnovers.  He’s made some awful throws this season, but yet, has thrown for a ton of yards.

It’s confusing.  It’s also frustrating.  Yet at the same, Arizona had a great season.  They lost two games.  I’m happy.  I just hope that, we can finish it with a bang.  Playing a team that I don’t know a whole lot about scares me.  It’s bit me before.

Boise State can pull this thing off.  If they score, which they are capable of, and can hold Arizona to minimal points, they can win.  You can’t be aggressive with Arizona.  They will take advantage of you.  Boise State has to be careful with their defensive schemes.  Firing a cannon is something the Wildcats like to do, and if Boise State can do it too, then this game is anyone’s guess.  Prediction: Arizona-40 Boise State-34

Orange Bowl: No.7 Mississippi State vs. No.12 Georgia Tech, New Years Eve, 8:00 PM EST

Besides the playoffs, this might be the game I’m most excited for.  Both of these teams have good defenses.  The stats may show otherwise, but matchups are key in these bowl games.

Let’s just say, Georgia Tech runs the ball, and that’s it.  They average 333.6 yards rushing a game.  A game.  The Yellow Jackets don’t throw the ball hardly at all, averaging just over 135 yards a game.  With the insane rushing attack, Georgia Tech puts up 37 points a game.

Funny thing, because the Bulldogs do the same thing.  They average 37 points a game too.  Their offense, however, is a lot more balanced.  Quarterback Dak Prescott was a Heisman candidate all year long.  His big arm allows him to get it down-field, while his body and mobility allow him to run.  Did I mention he’s 6’2, 230 pounds?  At that size, the mobility is very impressive.  It gives him the advantage to get away, yet shed tackles.

Throwing is only part of what the Bulldogs do.  Averaging 266 yards through the air, Mississippi State runs the ball for 239 yards a game.  How much more can you ask for?  They’re overwhelming.  They put up the points too.  It’s why they were the No.1 team in the Nation for part of the year.

Offense is really what matters here.  Both teams play good defense when it comes to stops.  Big plays is what these defenses will have to defend.  It’s something they’ve struggled with all year.  This game has a possibility to be a shootout.  That’s been a common trend with these first three bowl games.

I like Mississippi State.  Though Georgia Tech’s offense is unique, I don’t see them keeping up with the Bulldogs.  They can overwhelm you fast.  Dak Prescott has been incredible all year.  He’s going to have a huge game, and that will be the difference.  Prediction: Mississippi State-32 Georgia Tech-17

Part 2 will be coming tomorrow, previewing the Cotton Bowl and the playoff games.  Again, I will see as much as I can today.  Have fun and happy New Year.