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BOWL PREVIEW SERIES - PART VI
December 28, 2006

SCS.com Before champagne toasts go into the sky and a New Year is christened worldwide, bringing the best day in college football, the final two days of 2006 have their own share of compelling games. Navy and Boston College showcase a clash of offensive styles in the Car Care Bowl, while the Alamo Bowl follows with a couple of underachieving midwest powerhouses as Texas plays Iowa. Virginia Tech and Georgia make for a great nightcap in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl before the final day of 2006 and the final bowl of 2006 pits Miami and Nevada on the blue turf at Boise. These bowls offer a little bit of everything to prepare you for the great slate of 2007 bowls.

Car Care Bowl | Alamo Bowl
Chick-fil-A Bowl | MPC Computers Bowl

CAR CARE BOWL - Navy vs Boston College
December 30 - 12:00 PM CST ESPN - Charlotte, NC

When Navy has the ball...

Expect the time of possession meter to continually favor the Midshipmen as the famous option rushing attack leads the nation in yards on the ground. Losing starting QB Brian Hampton in midseason was a huge disappointment, but Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku Enhada has filled in nicely. Enhada has plenty of speed to run the triple option attack, while physical fullback Adam Ballard (792 rushing yards, 3 TD) and explosive halfback Reggie Campbell (655 yards, 5 TD) are great alternatives to go to. Boston College has a great run defense and over a month to prepare for the option, so the key will be to see if Navy continues to be unstoppable on the ground.

When Boston College has the ball...

And now for something completely different, the Eagles offense is led by the passing attack of QB Matt Ryan (2700 yards, 14 TD, 8 INT). Ryan has two great wide receivers to throw to who can burn secondaries with their speed in Kevin Challenger (508 yards, 5 TD) and Tony Gonzalez (441 yards, 5 TD). The running game features L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callandar, but do not expect fireworks from this part of the offense. Navy might be undersized on defense, but the Midshipmen have shown more than enough effort to make it through games this season.

The deciding factor...

Despite all the time to prepare for the Midshipmen, the Eagles lost their coach Tom O'Brien to NC State and will have to prepare with a new coaching setup. The Eagle defense will probably slow Navy down enough to be the favorite here, but the key will be Boston College's offense not making mistakes. BC has really only lost when they make big mistakes, so Navy will need to create a couple turnovers to wear out the BC defense and possibly win the game.

The staff says...

Ben David Eddie Ethan Gregg Jeff Jonathan Matt Matthew Reed
BC BC NAVY NAVY BC BC NAVY BC BC BC

ALAMO BOWL - Iowa vs Texas
December 30 - 3:30 PM CST ESPN - San Antonio, TX

When Iowa has the ball...

This is a battle of teams that fizzled at the end of the year, and both have had significant injuries to overcome causing these letdowns. Senior QB Drew Tate has been inconsistent, but his leadership is unquestioned and his talent solid. Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, their best receiver is senior tight end Scott Chandler, so that puts a lot of pressure on the front four and RB's Albert Young and Damian Sims. Texas's defense has not been racked by injuries, but the Longhorn defense was very inconsistent in November. Iowa appears too one-dimensional to make much noise on this side of the ball.

When Texas has the ball...

This week the Longhorns got the best news of the year, that being starting freshman QB Colt McCoy will play in the Alamo Bowl. No matter who throws the passes, Texas has an outstanding offense featuring dual rushing threats Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young, as well as great WR's Limas Sweed and Quan Crosby. The Longhorns really are one Vince Young away from last year's national championship, and the Iowa achilles heel is the poor defensive backfield. With the talent Texas has at WR, Iowa will need to step up and get a lot of pressure on McCoy to have a chance.

The deciding factor...

The coaches and programs are top class in this much-better-than-usual Alamo Bowl. San Antonio is usually happy with one big-name team, but Iowa and the local Longhorns (85 miles from Austin to the Alamo) will both travel well in support of their teams. I really think the Iowa secondary was exposed by Ohio State, and Texas is more than talented enough to exploit that flaw and make that aspect the game-breaker.

The staff says...

Ben David Eddie Ethan Gregg Jeff Jonathan Matt Matthew Reed
TX TX TX TX TX TX TX TX TX TX

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL - Georgia vs #14-Virginia Tech
December 30 - 7:00 PM CST ESPN - Atlanta, GA

When Georgia has the ball...

Unlike other freshmen quarterbacks at major programs, Matt Stafford really had a rough season for the Dawgs. The offensive line has not enabled RB Kregg Lumpkin to establish himself at all, and Stafford has struggled because he has no playmakers at wide receiver. Virginia Tech is a deceptively good two-loss team, and their top ranked defense has a lot to do with it. Georgia will not score much here.

When Virginia Tech has the ball...

While Virginia Tech does not win with offense either, the Hokies have a lot more going for them than the Bulldogs. RB Branden Ore is the star of the offense (1095 yards rushing, 14 TD), while QB Sean Glennon is no slouch either. Georgia has won 8 games with defense this season, so perhaps the defense keeps them in this one as well. Virginia Tech will probably not overpower the Bulldog defense.

The deciding factor...

If you like points, this game is probably not the one for you. With two mediocre offenses and two dominating defenses, the difference will, as always, come down to special teams and turnovers. Virginia Tech knows this and can afford to spend more time refining their already great special teams, so expect the "Beamerball" to make the difference in this one.

The staff says...

Ben David Eddie Ethan Gregg Jeff Jonathan Matt Matthew Reed
GA VT GA GA GA VT VT VT GA VT

MPC COMPUTERS BOWL - Miami vs Nevada
December 31 - 6:30 PM CST ESPN - Boise, ID

When Miami has the ball...

Well this should be interesting, as Miami will be praying for the best weather Boise has had in December in years. QB Kirby Freeman is a real x-Factor filling in for the injured Kyle Wright. He will be helped by talented freshman RB Javarris James and TE Greg Olsen, as well as many other talented playmakers. Nevada's defense plays the bend-but-don't-break system, which might falter and break with all the talent Miami has. The question then is whether Miami desires to show up for such a game.

When Nevada has the ball...

The Wolfpack may not have as much talent at the Hurricanes, but statistically they have been better all season long (and losing to Boise State is no shame this season). Senior leadership moves this offense with QB Jeff Rowe (1715 yards passing, 16 TD) and RB Robert Hubbard (936 yards rushing, 6 TD). Nevada will not want to let a second big name escape their grasp this season after losing to Bosie State, so on the Broncos' field, the Wolfpack will be more than ready to take on the Hurricanes and their talented defense.

The deciding factor...

Really it has to be whether Miami shows up or not. Miami has more than enough talent and coaching prowess to put this one away easily, but Nevada has the right mix of a good running game and a decent defense to make this interesting. Rough weather could also doom the Hurricanes here. Should be an interesting capper on 2006.

The staff says...

Ben David Eddie Ethan Gregg Jeff Jonathan Matt Matthew Reed
NEV MIA NEV MIA NEV NEV MIA MIA NEV NEV

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