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 AUTigers.com 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:
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.
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.
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 AUTigers.com 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.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)