(For the record: e-mail was sent to the whole fam at midday, and was only posted to blogspace upon my return to personal home base in Romega. I feel minimal guilt about exposing this to the world as the third quarter of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl is underway, because (a) this game is still tied anyway and (b) the rest of the Pearson fam can verify the legitimacy of these picks. Hoorah, and stuff. Enjoy your football.)
The missive here is brought to you by the random juggling necessary at the Florida base of operations to get internet service. Apparently, Florida HQ is nestled neatly between two houses with unlocked wireless service, and it is possible to get signal if you sit the computer just right. I don’t know this from personal experience. Oh no.
I don’t know how long this rogue signal will last, though, so I’d better type quick.
BEEF ‘O’ BRADY’S BOWL
SOUTHERN MISS (8-4) v LOUISVILLE (6-6)
I can confirm that this is, in fact, the correct spelling of “Beef ‘O’ Brady’s” – with contraction marks on BOTH sides of the O. Your commentary winner is the indispensable Holly Anderson of SBNation.com, who remarked on Southern Miss accepting their bid that “the Golden Eagles will play a Big East team…giving the bowl a 1.5-to-1 apostrophe-to-program ratio.”
Anderson projected that Big East team to be Pittsburgh, who at least would have had an offensive identity. As it is, the most character this game has is in those blasted apostrophes. SOUTHERN MISS 12, LOUISVILLE 10.
MAACO LAS VEGAS BOWL
BOISE STATE (11-1) v UTAH (9-2)
Boise State apologists like myself were anticipating a Broncos rout before Jordan Wynn was ruled out of the game. Utah had the weakest resume of the top “non-Automatic Qualifier” teams before TCU and Notre Dame torched them in succession. Of course, Boise State had their own “before” – the time before two spectacular kicking miscues torpedoed their own season. This is a classic motivation game, so nobody should be surprised if Utah shows up and Boise State doesn’t. However, like I said, I’m a Boise State apologist. BOISE STATE 38, UTAH 21.
NAVY (9-3) v SAN DIEGO STATE (8-4)
This is an extremely close matchup, which means I have to dig for which team has an edge. Fortunately, I have three factors that come immediately to mind:
(1) the team with the more difficult offense to defend (Navy);
(2) the team with more big-game experience (and what matchup does San Diego State have that can remotely compare to GO NAVY BEAT ARMY);
(3) the team with the coach that wants to be there (and isn’t like Brady Hoke who is openly pining for a job in Ann Arbor that he will never have). NAVY 49, SAN DIEGO STATE 38.
HAWAII (10-3) v TULSA (9-3)
My enthusiasm for the WAC took a hammer blow on Saturday afternoon when Northern Illinois ran all over Fresno. I could see how this game could go the same way – Tulsa advocates can point to a season with a victory over Notre Dame and an unfortunate loss to SMU that kept them out of the Conference USA title game.
I stick to my guns stubbornly, and with Hawaii playing a home game, why wouldn’t I? When was the last time Hawaii lost at home, anyway? (For the record: first game of the season, against USC.) HAWAII 54, TULSA 28.