Bowl Picks, Part 2

What follows is the second wave of bowl picks by Rockytop.com's own fearless forecasters, Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore. We'll post their picks for the January bowls later this week.

GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL

Nashville, Dec. 30

Minnesota vs. Virginia

Jeffery's pick: Virginia may have the better team in this one, but Minnesota is probably more excited about playing in the Music City Bowl. I'm going with the team that has more incentive. Minnesota 26, Virginia 20.

Randy's pick: I understand Virginia is approaching this game with a Cavalier attitude, whereas Minnesota's players are determined to Gopher it. Bad pun. Bad game. Virginia 20, Minnesota 14.

VITALIS SUN BOWL

El Paso, Dec. 30

Northwestern vs. UCLA

Jeffery's pick: When last seen UCLA's defense was being used to mop up the Rose Bowl by USC. If they're not too wrung out after that experience they might have enough to edge Northwestern, but it won't be easy. UCLA 35, Northwestern 31.

Randy's pick: Northwestern's former coaches include Gary Barnett (football) and Kevin O'Neill (basketball). Can they pick 'em or what? UCLA 27, Northwestern 24.

INDEPENDENCE BOWL

Shreveport, Dec. 30

Missouri vs. South Carolina

Jeffery's pick: South Carolina has a chance to crown a surprisingly solid campaign with a victory in the Independence Bowl. That's a lot more motivation than teams assigned to the former Weedeater Bowl usually have and it should carry the Gamecocks to a victory. (Of course, Shreveport would look pretty good to Tennessee about now.) South Carolina 24, Missouri 17.

Randy's pick: I think the ol' ball coach did a masterful job this year with a cast of mostly mediocre players. South Carolina 31, Missouri 21.

CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL

Atlanta, Dec. 30

Miami vs. LSU

Jeffery's pick: It's been a long campaign for the Tigers and it showed in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. What LSU will have left without JaMarcus Russell is anybody's guess, but I'm taking Miami in a low scoring affair. Miami 17, LSU 8.

Randy's pick: I liked LSU's chances until I found out quarterback JaMarcus Russell won't be able to play. Miami 20, LSU 10.

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL

Charlotte, Dec. 31

NC State vs. South Florida

Jeffery's pick: N.C. State should benefit from playing so close to home but how motivated will it be? Not as excited as South Florida and that will be the winning edge. South Florida 30, N.C. State 24.

Randy's pick: This is a virtual home game for the Wolfpack, and that ought to be worth seven points. NC State 27, South Florida 20.

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL

Memphis, Dec. 31

Tulsa vs. Fresno State

Jeffery's pick: You should be able to walk up to the gate at kickoff and buy a ticket for this game. Being able to stand to watch it is another matter. Fresno State 31, Tulsa 28.

Randy's pick: Bowl sponsors had to go all the way to Oklahoma and California to find two teams willing to play in Memphis. Fresno 34, Tulsa 24.

EV1. NET HOUSTON BOWL

Houston, Dec. 31, 2005

Iowa State vs. TCU

Jeffery's pick: TCU is playing in its home state and has plenty of motivation to win. TCU 33, Iowa State 27.

Randy's pick: This is a tough choice. Should I attend a New Year's eve party or watch the Houston Bowl? Iowa State 24, TCU 17.


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