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Slim Pickings: Bowl season draws to a prolonged close

It's time to put the last Slim Pickings column out of its misery. I might have to revive it during the off season and pick some Premier League soccer games or something.

Outback Bowl: Iowa (-3.5) vs South Carolina

Iowas beat its lone ranked opponent in Penn State en route to an 8-4 record. South Carolina, on the other hand, faced three ranked opponents and lost each game. They did have a win over an unranked Ole Miss team that was much better than expected. I think I'll go with the ol' Ball Coach on this one.

Pick: South Carolina

Gator Bowl: Clemson (-2.5) vs Nebraska

Bo Pelini came in and did a remarkable job in turning this Nebraska program around to an 8-4 record. Clemson was probably the most underachieving team in the nation this year. Dabo Swinney was able to turn the team around, winning 4 of their last 5 to close out the season, and secured himself a permanent job. Got to love Pelini's passion though.

Pick: Nebraska

Capital One Bowl: (15) Georgia (-7.5) vs (18) Michigan State

It was remarkable to see a Georgia team with two possible first round draft picks in Stafford and Moreno get manhandled by Georgia Tech in their annual rivalry game. I think it has got to say something about the coaching of Georgia. However, a 4th best SEC team is still better than the 3rd best Big 10 team in my book.

Pick: Georgia

Rose Bowl: (5) USC (-10.5) vs (8) Penn State

Ahh, the granddaddy of them all. It has been a little bit of a yawner over the past few years as USC has been dominating Big 10 teams. Penn State has been a great story this year, but USC has shown no signs of letting up in recent bowl games.

Pick: USC

Orange Bowl: (12) Cincinnati (-1.5) vs (19) Virginia Tech

The BCS game nobody cares about. I'm sure the Orange Bowl is stoked to have this matchup of two heralded football conferences.

Pick: Virginia Tech

Cotton Bowl: (7) Texas Tech (-5.5) vs (25) Mississippi

Houston Nutt has done a great job in his first year at Ole Miss. Not having to deal with boosters filing Freedom of Information acts against his cell phone records probably has left more time for more important things like coaching. Texas Tech's magical run ended quickly versus Oklahoma. It's really too bad they were the last one without a chair in the Big XII's BCS musical chairs. I'm fully expecting Michael Crabtree to go out with a bang.

Pick: Texas Tech

Liberty Bowl: East Carolina (-2.5) vs Kentucky

East Carolina was able to start the season quickly with some quality wins but then piled up a few losses. Kentucky took Georgia down to the wire under freshman Randall Cobb. Too bad he's out for this game. If he's playing, I'd be picking Kentucky.

Pick: East Carolina

Sugar Bowl: (4) Alabama (-10.5) vs (6) Utah

Alabama will be without tackle Andre Smith after a violation of team rules. Apparently he had some improper contact with an agent. He'll have plenty of time to interview them all now. Unfortunately for Utah, I don't think this matters. I'm betting that Utah's luck runs out this game. I'm just hoping that Boise State won't be judged next year based on Utah's performance this year or Hawaii's last year.

Pick: Alabama

International Bowl: Connecticut (-4.5) vs Buffalo

Buffalo had the feel good story of the year under Turner Gill and will be actually playing in the bowl game they're invited to this time around. Unfortunately, the win over Ball State was about the only one that was anything of note.

Pick: Connecticut

Fiesta Bowl: (3) Texas (-9.5) vs (10) Ohio State

I can't wait to see the ratings for this game. I'm betting high in the first quarter or so and then everybody will be turning to House reruns as Texas continues the annual decimation of Ohio State. How many bowl losses does it take for them to drop the "The" in front of their name?

Pick: Texas

GMAC Bowl: (22) Ball State (-2.5) vs Tulsa

Shouldn't there be a rule that a meaningless bowl game like this shouldn't be scheduled after the first of the year? I remember when the Humanitarian Bowl got away with this one year. As for the game, I think Ball State has something to prove after their loss to Buffalo. I really have nothing to go off of except a gut feeling which could be the Mexican I had for lunch.

Pick: Ball State

BCS National Championship: (2) Florida (-3.5) vs (1) Oklahoma

I fully expect Tebow to simultaneously crush and evangelize Oklahoma's defenders. It'll be something like those Bible video games they used to make for Nintendo back in the day where you walked around as Abraham or something and had to convert the heathens before they did something bad to you. Also, a healthy Percy Harvin isn't too shabby either.

Pick: Florida

(Bowls 10-12)