December 29, 2008

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl – Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Oregon (9-3) (Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, California December 30, 2008 8pm ESPN)

Tie Ins: Big 12 #3 vs. Pac 10 #2

Dan: Oregon +3

Two more high powered offenses square off in the holiday bowl. My initial inclination was that the fighting Gundy’s would run away with this one. I have not been all that impressed with the PAC 10 this year, while the Big 12 is arguably the best conference in football. But over the past 3 games the Oregon offense has looked unstoppable. Additionally, I have more faith in Oregon’s defense to make a couple big plays.

Oregon 48 Oklahoma State 41

Matt: Oklahoma St -3

The Holiday Bowl is always one of the most entertaining and to me it signals the start of the meaningful bowl games. I know that Oregon absolutely pummeled Oregon State in their last game, but I just like the way that Oklahoma State has been playing all year. Who would have thought after that press conference last year that Mike Gundy would have transformed himself from a punchline into an actual good football coach. I wonder if whenever he goes out in public people still yell out to him “I’m a man, I’m 40!” I know if I ran into him those would be the first words out of my mouth. “For doing everything right.”

Oklahoma State 38 Oregon 30

Mike: Oregon +3

Perhaps the best game on the docket this bowl season, especially for Notre Dame fans, who will get a rare opportunity to witness two teams that feature an efficient and explosive running attack. The difference in this game will be Oregon’s superior defense and the experience of the Oregon coaching staff.

Oregon 41 Oklahoma State 31

Doug: Oklahoma State -3

I have had a tough time making up my mind on this game, so I went back and looked at some past Holiday Bowl results to see if that cleared up the picture. Unfortunately, all that did was make things more confusing. The Pac 10 and Big 12 have basically split this series, and there is no real pattern at all to this game.

All I know is that the Holiday Bowl will probably be wacky, and chances are that it will be high-scoring. The Holiday Bowl is usually one of the better pre January 1 bowl games, and this game will probably not disappoint. If you look at the conference tie-ins, it’s easy to see why this game is usually a good one. One of the best teams in the Big 12 against one of the best teams in the Pac 10. It’s similar to the Citrus Bowl or the Cotton Bowl in terms of the quality of teams that they are getting. If anything, this game should really be on New Years’ Day, but I’m happy we get it before January 1st.

The Big 12 has been a better league than the Pac 10 this year for the most part. Oregon has been red hot down the stretch and might be looking to pull a Texas and use this game as a springboard, but they’ve also had their share of ups and downs this year. I’ll take the Cowboys to win and cover.

Oklahoma State 37 Oregon 31

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