New Year’s Day is bowled over

Every Christmas college football is in its closing stages. That means it’s time for tons of bowl games.

Most are novel, albeit meaningless match-ups, where most sports fans won’t blink too much of an eye at the winner.

However a select few every year always turn out to be dandies. Two of those take place tomorrow in the form of the AllState Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl presented by Citi.

Florida takes on Cincinnati at 8:30pm in the Sugar Bowl while Ohio State and Oregon tussle for roses at 4:30pm.

The Gators go into their match-up with all sorts of question marks. Their offense took a dent with the loss of Brandon James in the SEC title game against Alabama.

On defense there are doubts about how the Gators will overcome the fact it gave up 32 points to the Crimson Tide. Three of those scores came on the ground to Heisman winning runner Mark Ingram.

Cincy meanwhile are riding high off an undefeated regular season. Key to that success was a juggernaut offense that ranked in the top ten in points (39.8), total yards (464.3) and passing yards (320.3) per game.

The side also boasted a Heisman trophy candidate in quarterback Tony Pike who threw for 2650 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Friday’s game comes down to defense and which team defends the pass better. Look for Florida to have a statement game in a gutsy 41-38 win.

Over in the Rose Bowl, Ohio State march in with a superb defense steadied by Kurt Coleman and his five interceptions.

In spite of tough losses to USC and Purdue the Buckeyes have looked good thanks to a defense in the top ten in three major statistical categories.

Meanwhile Oregon is arguably the hottest team in the country riding a robust run game led by the two-headed monster of LaMichael James (1476 yards and 14 TDs) and Jeremiah Masoli (659 yards and 12 TDs).

Their ability to win big games against USC and Oregon State show that the Ducks can step up in the clutch.

Back when USC was formidable this year the Buckeyes struggled to contain the run. Look for them to have a hard time with the Ducks as Oregon pounds out a 27-18 win.