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"2003 Bowl Previews - Part III"

By: Timothy Columnist
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Timo's Weekly Memo The third and final installment of Timo's bowl previews takes a look at all the New Year's Day bowl games, including the USC/Michigan Rose Bowl matchup, as well as the Sugar Bowl showdown between LSU and Oklahoma....

[ Updated December 24 ]

Outback- Iowa vs. Florida…January 1
Ron Zook and the Florida Gators head south to Tampa to take on Iowa. While Florida has struggled this season, they are a few plays away from 11-1, after two heart breaking losses to in-state rivals Miami and Florida State. Iowa will try to bounce back from a deplorable performance last year in the Orange Bowl. CB Keiwan Ratliff could be the difference maker in this game if he can get a few key turnovers as it figures to be a close game. Florida-27 Iowa-20

Gator- West Virginia vs. Maryland…January 1
The third of the five bowl games in the state of Florida ought to be another dandy. West Virginia’s RB Quincy Wilson has proved to be one of the nation's finest. Maryland has had a rather substandard year compared to their recent success in past years. West Virginia has proved that it knows how to get ready for postseason play, and this year should be no different. West Virginia-34 Maryland-28

Capital One- Purdue vs. Georgia…January 1
Floridians are blessed with spectacular bowl games, and this isn’t the last of the bunch. Georgia at one point this season was looking as if they were Sugar Bowl contenders, however they lost twice to LSU and there is no shame in that. Purdue had a season that included a near-victory over Ohio State. As in the two games above, this should be another outstanding game. Georgia-24 Purdue-17

Michigan RB Chris Perry - courtesy
Michigan RB Chris Perry
One of the nation's best RBs will try to defeat USC in the Rose Bowl.
Rose- USC vs. Michigan… January 1
Well this game, some would argue, is going to provide the National Champion. In the words of ESPN analyst Lee Corso…”Not so fast my friend.” Michigan is a terrific ball club led by Heisman candidate Chris Perry and consistent QB John Navare. USC will have there hands full and will finally face a team with some defense. USC does have a good offense, and for that reason, they will stay in the game somewhat but Chris Perry will be too much. Michigan-38 USC-24

Orange- Miami vs. Florida State…January 1
Florida State is much improved since their first meeting with the Hurricanes this season. I do not see any evidence that would show that Miami has improved any, but they sure have not gotten any worse. And Miami was an elite team to begin with. Florida State ended the season on a strong note and will come into this game fired trying to avenge their loss to the Hurricanes earlier in the year. Florida State-23 Miami-10

Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi…January 2
Eli Manning will try to lead his Rebels to a victory when they go head to head with the Cowboys. Manning probably deserved the Heisman more than Jason White and will look to prove that. Oklahoma State has got a dazzling WR in Rashaun Woods, and he and the Cowboy offense look to keep up with the Rebels on the scoreboard. Should be a fun one to watch. Oklahoma St-34 Mississippi-24

Peach- Clemson vs. Tennessee…January 2
Personally I see a mismatch here. Tennessee is still not what it used to be in recent years, but they still have a good ball club. Clemson, on the other hand, looked like garbage at the beginning of the year but finished out the season strong. Clemson is not as good as people think they might be, and look for Casey Clausen to rip them apart. Tennessee-35 Clemson-14

Fiesta- Kansas State vs. Ohio State…January 2
I’m one of the people that think Ohio State has just gotten lucky all season. They’ve been in way too many close games and had things go just their way. Kansas State, on the other hand, is the real deal. They are finally becoming the team everyone thought they were going to be at the start of the season. Anyway, it should be a defensive game with not a whole lot of scoring. Kansas St-17 Ohio St-7

SEC Champion LSU Tigers - courtesy
SEC Champion LSU Tigers
LSU deserves to be in this year's Sugar Bowl.
Humanitarian- Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa…January 3
Why in the world is this game being played in January? This game should have been played back around the time the GMAC or New Orleans Bowls were. Tulsa, who used to be one of the worst teams in the nation, has risen from their grave. They will be fired up to be here, but Georgia Tech will just be more than they can handle. Georgia Tech-28 Tulsa-13

Sugar- Oklahoma vs. LSU…January 4
Alright, finally to the big showdown! I’ve said for a long time that LSU is the best team in the nation (refer back to my first week's article). Oklahoma has a potent offense and will give LSU all they can handle, but LSU's defense will make enough stops to allow their offense to keep up. There will be no argument after this game: LSU is the best team in the country. LSU-38 Oklahoma-28