Pat's Picks: Bowl Games, Part 2

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye gives his bowl picks in this edition of Pat's Picks.

As we get close to the end of the Pat's Picks columns for the 2010 season, I would like to thank Aliant Bank for sponsoring this feature at I have been to three or four of their branches and had book signings and I got to meet their employees. I have been totally impressed with the bank, its people and what they are doing here in the state.


I also want to thank Mark Murphy, the editor of Inside the Auburn Tigers, for allowing me the opportunity to do this column as well as The Dye-Log and The Dye-Gest columns. It has been a lot of fun writing about college football this year. Of course, having the opportunity to write about an unbeaten Auburn football team has made the assignment even more enjoyable.

For folks who don't know, Mark and I go back to 1981 when I came to Auburn to try to build the football program. That was when he started Inside the Auburn Tigers Magazine and talked to me about the possibility of doing a monthly column for the magazine. I thought the idea was a good one and gave me an opportunity to write on a variety of subjects about our football teams and Auburn in general. I think it worked out well. Mark is a journalist and a person I have a lot of respect for and it has been a real pleasure for me over the years to read Inside the Auburn Tigers Magazine, which is such a good publication.

As I told Mark, this retired football coach appreciates the opportunity to write about the sport he loves. It keeps me younger, more alert and more knowledgeable about what is going on around the country and that makes me a better voter in the Legends Poll that I participate in during the fall. It is fun to have an outlet to share some of the knowledge I have picked up from some of the top retired coaches in the country who I talk football with every week who are part of the Legends Poll.

I also would like to thank Ware's Jewelers for sponsoring The Dye-Log columns and Alabama Power for sponsoring The Dye-Gest columns. The folks I have gotten the opportunity to know with those companies are very fine people and it has been very enjoyable for me to spend time with them.

I also want to thank the Auburn fans at who read the columns and I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, especially early in the year when the Tigers travel to Arizona for a football game against Oregon.

Here is the second group of Pat's Picks for the bowl season:

East Carolina vs. Maryland at the Military Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 29--East Carolina (6-6) will lose to an 8-4 Maryland team, but this could be a close game.

Baylor vs. Illinois at the Texas Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 29--Baylor (7-5) limps into this contest with three straight losses while Illinois has dropped three of its last four games. Look for Baylor to win this Big 12 vs. Big 10 matchup although there doesn't appear to be much difference in these teams.

Arizona vs. Oklahoma State at the Alamo Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 29--Oklahoma State's (10-2) Cowboys had hopes of playing in a bigger venue, but will have to settle for a win over an Arizona (7-5) team that faded down the stretch. Look for plenty of passing in this matchup.

SMU vs. Army at the Armed Forces Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 30–In a game featuring contrasting styles, SMU's (7-6) passing attack should overpower Army's (6-6) ground game.

Syracuse vs. Kansas State at the Pinstripe Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 30–Kansas State will win in a matchup of 7-5 teams at Yankee Stadium.

North Carolina vs. Tennessee at the Music City Bowl--Tennessee (6-6) played respectable football down the stretch after a poor start and should find a way to win in its home state vs. a disappointing group of Tar Heels (7-5).

Nebraska vs. Washington at the Holiday Bowl, Dec 30--Nebraska (10-3) won the regular season meeting 56-21 vs. the Huskies (6-6) and there is no reason the Cornhuskers won't win again by a substantial margin.

Clemson vs. South Florida at the Meinke Bowl, Friday Dec. 31--Clemson finished the regular season just 6-6, but the Tigers should be able to handle the Bulls who weren't much better at 7-5.

Notre Dame vs. Miami at the Sun Bowl, Friday, Dec. 31--With Miami making a coaching change, Notre Dame should win this matchup of 7-5 teams.

Georgia vs. UCF at the Liberty Bowl, Friday, Dec. 31--The Bulldogs managed to finish 6-6 and qualify for a bowl. Georgia has too much talent for a 10-3 UCF team out of Conference USA.

South Carolina vs. Florida State at the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Friday, Dec. 31--This bowl often puts together good matchups and this year it has a pair of Top 25 teams with 9-4 records. South Carolina will bounce back from its lopsided loss on the same field at the Georgia Dome where it fell to Auburn and defeat an FSU team with defensive issues.

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for about the game he played and coached. An All-American at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn who was also head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming, Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns a week--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.

The Dye-Gest, Auburn Coaches Getting It Done

The Dye-Log, Good Result for Good Guy

(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to

Pat Dye's Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve and Lodge

Pat Dye's Quail Hollow Gardens

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