December 29, 2008

Brut Sun Bowl -- Oregon State (8-4) vs. Pitt (9-3) (Sun Bowl El Paso, Texas December 31, 2008 2pm CBS)

Tie Ins: Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame vs. Pac 10 #3

Dan: Pitt +3

It sounds like Jacquizz Rodgers is not 100% healthy, so I’m going to go with Pitt and LeSean McCoy. I am normally not very confident in Wannstedt, but I think he has something going with this year’s Pitt team. I expect them to wrap up the season with a win.

Pitt 28 Oregon 24

Matt: Pitt +3

Dave Wannstedt is lucky. His secret to winning is so simple that even he can’t screw it up. Just hand the ball to Shady McCoy early and often. With Quizz Rodgers doubtful, I don’t think Oregon State can hang with Pitt.

Pitt 26 Oregon State 16

Mike: Oregon State -3

Mike Riley has more experience in preparing his team for a bowl and he is simply a better coach than Dave Wannstedt. Even if Jacquizz Rodgers cannot return, this should be easy pickings for the Beavers.

Oregon State 35 Pittsburgh 17

Doug: Pitt +3

Wow, very interesting game here. Very manly undertones with the Brut sponsorship. I don't wear cologne, but is Brut still a popular cologne?? All I can think of is Wayne's World.

While Oregon State has a great history in bowl games, I feel like Pitt really wants to win this game and use it to build for next year. Pitt is sort of on the verge as a program, and they need a win here to keep their momentum going. If Pitt wins this game and gets to 10 wins, it would be a pretty darn good year for them.

Mike Riley is a good coach, but I wonder if he can get his team up for the Sun Bowl in El Paso against Pitt. I just can’t see them being fired up for this game, especially when they were thinking Rose Bowl in the last week of the year. Jacquizz Rodgers is out for the game, so Oregon State is going to have to find some answers on offense without him.

I know we’ve already discussed it on the blog, but I can’t believe LeSean McCoy is coming back next year. It blows me away. The guy is one of the 2-3 best running backs in the country, and he is ready to go to the NFL next year. If you are a running back, there is absolutely no reason to come back to college once you have established that you are ready to go to the league. All you are doing by staying in college is adding wear and tear to your legs and increasing the risk that you get hurt. With his reckless style of running, he could easily get hurt. If McCoy comes back next year and gets hurt, he’s done. And if he comes back and rushes for 1500 yards, is he really going to improve his draft stock that much?? Maybe, but is it worth the risk? No. He really needs to reconsider this plan to come back to college. And I’m not just saying that because Pitt is on ND’s schedule next year. Ok, maybe a little.

If Shady comes back, Pitt will probably be a top 20ish team. I love watching him run the ball. He's fast, breaks tackles, and he's explosive. I would love to see ND find a running back like LeSean McCoy. Pitt fans have to be crossing their fingers hoping he comes back, but I personally think he’s going to have a huge game in the Sun Bowl and then bolt for the NFL.

Pitt 23 Oregon State 20

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