Friday, 4 January 2013

Cotton, BBVA and Bowl Previews

Friday January 4th

#9 Texas A&M vs #11 Oklahoma
AT&T Cotton Bowl - 01:00 on FOX

Just when the Aggies thought they'd made a clean break from the Big 12 they end up having to face off against an old conference foe in the Sooners. This matchup is so intriguing to watch, if not just to see how much A&M have grown as a team after their first season in the SEC. This game has got to be all about the turnover battle as we know that both offences have the ability to light up any scoreboard, Landry Jones gets one last audition for the NFL in the crimson and cream of Oklahoma whilst Jonny Manziel will have the chance to show once again why he won the Heisman.

Players to Watch
Texas A&M: Damontre Moore, DE #94. The junior has now declared for the NFL draft and will therefore draw just a little bit more attention from the scouts this game as he is top 10 if not top 5 material. Disruptive in every sense of the word from his end spot and will be gunning for Landry Jones.

Oklahoma: Tom Wort, LB #21. How could I write for the best English football website and not mention Wort? The junior has accounted for 52 total tackles and has forced 2 fumbles this year but would like to have a bigger impact than just that tonight.

Pick: Texas A&M

Confidence: 3 - Just a little justification, in order for me to have shot at winning the Pick'Em league I need lots of points to come off of underdogs now, so if Texas A&M win - great, but everyone expects that, but if I load my points on underdogs (see below) then I will make up a lot of ground if it all pays off.

Saturday 5th January

Pittsburgh vs Ole Miss
BBVA Compass Bowl - 18:00 on ESPN

If you've watched either of these teams this season then you know that 6-6 does not accurately reflect their level of play, Ole Miss pushed Vandy, Texas A&M and LSU to the edge whilst Pitt narrowly lost to Notre Dame in triple OT and were only one point shy of knocking off Syracuse. If Ole Miss show some of their form that saw them come close to beating the aforementioned teams then they have a excellent chance, but an enigmatic Pitt team may just show their better side and spoil the party.

Players to Watch
Pittsburgh: Ray Graham, RB #1. Touted as one of the best backs in the nation last year, Graham has seen an increased workload this season but without the expected increase in production. He's a very good back and will be a nice draft pick but he needs to display his best form if he's going to lead the Panthers past Ole Miss tonight.

Ole Miss: Denzel Nkemdiche, LB #4. If you don't follow the Rebels or recruiting this name might be new to you, but soon enough you will know all about Nkemdiche and his brother. Denzel has had a terrific freshman campaign having 12 tackles for losses, 4 forced fumbles and 3 sacks and is likely to team up with his brother next season who is the #1 ranked recruit by ESPN.

Pick: Ole Miss

Confidence: 29

Sunday 6th January

#25 Kent State vs Arkansas State Bowl - 02:00 on ESPN

Gus Malzahn was one and done at Arkansas State and he won't be with the Red Wolves on Sunday night, but barring a drastic philosophy change, State will put up a lot of offence and really challenge the Golden Flashes. Kent State have been fantastic in the MAC this year behind one of the best RB tandems in college football and play good defence and will be looking to finish of their season with a win for departing head coach Darrell Hazell.

Players to Watch
Arkansas State: Ryan Aplin, QB #16. The senior has been excellent this season having over 3000 yards and 23 touchdown, he is also a threat to take off so will put a lot of stress upon the Kent State defence.

Kent State: Dri Archer, RB #1. He may not get the vast majority of touches on offence, but when he gets the ball in the right spot with a little space, he is liable to take it to the house.

Pick: Arkansas State

Confidence: 27 - here is the upset pick that could win me the Pick'Em, or it could just completely backfire and leave me mid table. As the leagues tag line says "Go Hard or Go Home".

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