In This Week's Issue: <li> 75% Of Northwest Teams Prepare For Bowl Action</li> <li> Buffs, Horns Favored To Knock Off Top Two</li> <li> USC Back In A Bowl</li> <li> Cards Head For Seattle</li> <li> Canes Big Pick Over Deserving Huskers</li>

Joe's Plumbing Presents The Rose Bowl

The Pac 10 Champion Miami Hurricanes prepare to take the hallowed Rose Bowl field against Big 10 Champion Nebraska in the national title game on January 3rd. Look for a massive sea of red in the stands, with just a splash of pastels tucked in the corners. The Huskers travel big time, while most Miami fans are unable to get their parole officers to let them leave the state.

We received word here at Duckfighter Illustrated of a possible controversy in the selection of the teams for the BCS Championship game. After careful investigation, we found out that the complaining parties were Gary Barnett and Mike Bellotti of the Colorado Buffs, and the Oregon Ducks, respectively. With that news, we dropped the investigation, knowing that any system that kept those two out had to be perfect. We then received a call from the BCS committee, confirming that the Washington President had cast the deciding vote in favor of Nebraska over Oregon, keeping alive a valued tradition in Seattle. Norm Van Brocklin was right after all.

As for the game itself, and the big parade, which will be held three days earlier, it should be a gala pageant. Miami was the true dominant team in college football this year, and the Huskers are the best match for them physically. If there is any chance for an exciting game, only Nebraska or Florida could bring it.

Nebraska will want to control the clock on offense, and harass Dorsey on defense, hoping to get some turnovers, and stay in the game, and wait for Miami to choke. We don't see that happening. We see Miami taking control early and often, and finally getting that first national championship since 1991. Not bad for a team that got blown out by 60 points just a couple of years ago.

Miami – 41, Nebraska 21
The Stale Potato Chips Fiesta Bowl

The Colorado Buffaloes, led by many Rick Neuheisel players, head to Tempe to face the Oregon Ducks, led by Captain Billboard Comeback General Heisman Harrington. For Husky fans, this is the Iran - Iraq war all over again. A ten-year tie that inflicts great damage on each team would seem to be the desired result for Husky fans. It is really hard to say which coach would win the popularity contest in Seattle, so we'll call it a tie on that count as well.

The wily General Barney Barnett, who has been known to don purple dinosaur fatigues to fire up the troops, leads the Buffs. Mike Bellotti, who is expected to turn down the Vatican's offer of becoming the Pope, should still lead the Ducks. George W. Bush would still like Mike as his #2, but Cheney's health should hold up at least through the Fiesta Bowl. Bellotti has often said that only the supreme powers of a dictatorship would interest him enough to leave Oregon.

As for the game itself, look for Oregon to bend to the Buff power running game, but not break, as the one-dimensional Buff offense stutters in the red zone. Jeff Tedford, the new California coach, should be able to exploit the Buff defense with his usual array of formations and offensive skill talent. Assuming he wants UO to win, that is. And assuming that a fight doesn't break out on the sidelines between Bellotti and Tedford when Bellotti figures out where all of his recruits are heading. Cal must be thrilled that their new coach is helping a league rival, rather than getting started on the massive rebuild job in Berkeley.

Barney will be clueless as usual, and even the massive number of transfers he brought with him from Northwestern won't help him here. The Ducks catch a team that isn't nearly as good as people are saying, giving them great value for the win. And the Ducks should get that big 11th win, which matches OSU, and is the 2nd such season in state history.

Oregon – 32, Colorado – 21
The Hookers ‘R Us Las Vegas Bowl

The Southern California Trojans returned to bowl glory under new coach Pete Carroll, as they played the Christmas Day game against Utah. USC hadn't played in a bowl since losing to TCU a few years back.

The Trojans were impressive coming down the stretch, wining 5 in a row to seal the bid, which may seem small time to the grand Trojan tradition, but was very important this year, for recruiting, the extra practice, and the establishment of Pete Carroll.

You would've expected the Trojans to take this one seriously, and try to make a statement heading into the big pre season competition with Washington. Wrong. Instead the Utah defense made Carson Palmer look like a bull in a china shop on acid. The Trojan signal caller ran for his life and really left USC with a bang. Unfortunately the bang was the sound of a gun shooting himself in the foot. The Trojans could muster but six points and gave the Pac-10 a glorious start to the bowl season with a boring loss to Utah.
The Maalox Sun Bowl

The Washington State Cougars will take the field without team leader, Nakoa McElrath, to face the legendary Purdue Boilermakers. McElrath was suspended from starting until, as Mike Price puts it, "Nakoa learns to put himself ahead of the team once in a while. He's just too much of a team player sometimes."

The Purdue squad is likely to still be smarting from last year's Rose Bowl loss to Washington. That Boiler squad was one of the best in college football history. Alas, this year's team misses most of the big stars off that team, and should be easy pickings for the Palouse Pickers.

Price has already got this years recruiting class paid for and in the barn, so it's party central in El Paso for the long suffering Cougar staff, headed to their first bowl since the 97 season. The Cougars should win this easy, with plenty left to dance the night away.

WSU – 42, Purdue – 22
The Duckfighter Illustrated Seattle Bowl

We are pleased to be sponsoring this newest bowl. And we did it for the very cheap price of getting the name past the editor, and any lawyers who might read the article. So far, we're one for two.

Sadly, we are in the heavy rain cycle of Seattle winters, so expect the legendary frozen tundra of venerable Safeco Field to be a bit on the soggy side. But not to worry, it will be plenty cold in the stands. As for halftime entertainment, there is always the chance of a construction accident at the new football stadium being built across the street.

The Stanford Cardinal, still coached by Ty Willingham when we went to press, will face ACC power, Georgia Tech, who is presently looking for a full time coach. The Yellow Jackets are said to be interested in Mike Bellotti and are reportedly willing to offer the Duck coach Jimmy Carter's peanut farm if he'll relocate from Eugene. "He'll go nuts for Georgia Tech," reported Carter when asked about his thoughts on the subject.

Stanford should snap the 25-year losing streak in Seattle, as they will find Georgia Tech a little more to their liking than the Huskies. Lou Piniella has offered to be the honorary yeller at the referees, and Ichiro will throw out the first pitch from his home in Japan. What an arm!

Stanford 49, Georgia Tech – 42
The Sparkling Pure Water Of Life Holiday Bowl

Or, as we like to call it, the best bowl in America when the Ducks play in it.

The Texas Longhorns are expected to make short work of the Washington Huskies, 65-7 losers to Miami, if you haven't heard. And, just to clear up any lingering misconceptions, it was Miami that beat UW that bad, not Oregon.

The Horns come in buoyed by the promotion of Major Applewhite to Field General Applewhite. The Major is a leader pure and simple, and has given new hope to long suffering Texas fans, who haven't won a bowl outside the state in 27 years, haven't won 11 games in forever, and haven't finished in the top 10 since who knows.

This is the 4th meeting of these teams, who share Darrel Royal as past coaches. Let's just say that the UW program really fell on hard times after Darrel left. Who could forget that one glorious year Royal spent at Montlake before leaving for Texas? Husky fans still grieve his leaving today, calling Royal's one-year tenure "The Absolute Zenith of Husky Football." Rumors that the Don James Center will have the name changed to "Darrel Royal Plaza" are unconfirmed at this time. Phone calls to UW officials have gone unreturned. Well, one guy returned our phone call but he didn't really want to do anything else other than call us names, so that doesn't count.

Texas won the two regular season match ups, including a visit by Earl Campbell to Husky Stadium. The Huskies won the 1979 Sun Bowl over the Horns.

Texas may be less than enthused to be in San Diego for the second year in a row, while the Huskies are happy to have the bid, for the second time in three years. Texas went from title contention to non BCS bowl in a couple of weeks, while the re building Huskies find the 2nd place bowl to be a good consolation prize for not repeating as conference champs.

All the match ups favor Texas, they are better in every way, and according to sources we have heard from, the Huskies will get killed big time here. And that's why I like the Huskies in this game. The gamer, Cody Pickett, will ride his troops to victory, as the Huskies enter the long off season with the Miami debacle washed away in the pure water of the Holiday Bowl.

A big time match up to watch is Reggie Williams against Quentin Jammer. Williams is the sparkling Freshman All American, with the magic hands, and incredible body control. Jammer is the All American and first round draft choice cover corner supreme of the Horns. This may decide the game. Or the Husky run defense will. Or it could come down to emotion. Or coaching. Yes, there are a lot of factors to consider, and they still all come up Texas. And I'm still picking Washington. Go figure.

We have been informed that ESPN will proclaim this as the best bowl of the season, in teasers and promos running the week before the game.

Washington – 24, Texas – 19
There are at least thirty or forty more bowl games to cover, but you can use a dartboard as well as I can. Feel free to make your own choices on such exciting match ups as Louisville against BYU.

Happy Holidays of your choice to all. Enjoy the season and all the bowl action, and we'll wrap it all up in our New Year Bowl Results Special! And thanks for reading. – Race
Race Bannon can be reached via email at Top Stories