Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and while college football took the day off it's back to the grind starting tonight and in earnest tomorrow. So on with TNL's MCR for the upcoming games this weekend. As always here's the rating system defined:
Meineke Car Care Bowl
West Virginia (8-4) vs. North Carolina (8-4)
Dec. 27, 1:00 PM – ESPN
A word from our sponsor: In its seventh year the Meineke Car Care Bowl, located in Charlotte will essentially be a home game for North Carolina. The bowl is sponsored by a wide range of corporations such as Allstate, Jeep, the God-awful Jack in the Box and something called Fuel Pizza which has "9 great locations" all in the Carolinas.
On the field: This will be the seventh-straight bowl appearance for West Virginia under second-year head coach Bill Stewart. Both these teams were flirting with the top of their respective divisions before faltering late in the season to end up here. The game will feature the nation's 12th best rushing attack thanks to WV running back Noel Devine (which sounds like a porn name if ever I heard one) and senior quarterback Pat White. White is the NCAA's all-time leader in career rushing among quarterbacks with 4,425 yards, including four 200-yard games and 919 this year. North Carolina features 1000-yard receiver Hakeem Nicks who lead the conference in receiving yards per game. West Virginia boasts pretty good special teams (their 3rd in the nation in net punting) and the better defense, statistically speaking, in this game.
+1 evenly matched records
+1 explosive rushing attack vs. good passing attack
+1 nation-leading quarterback
MCR 3 (Jessica Simpson Sex Tape)
Champs Sports Bowl
Wisconsin (7-5) vs. Florida State (8-4)
Dec. 27, 4:30 PM – ESPN
A word from our sponsor: The Capital One bowl and Champs Sports bowl are really sponsored by the same companies, mostly Capital One and Champs of course. But their also sponsored by Budweiser so you can get drunk and Dasani water so you can rehydrate the next day.
On the field: Florida State needs only four hours to make the trip to the Citrus bowl but it's not unfamiliar territory for Wisconsin either, they're making their fifth straight appearance in a Florida bowl. Both teams are trying to put a good end to very disappointing season. Wisconsin was picked to challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title but lost nearly every big conference game after reaching as high as 9th in the polls. Similarly, Florida State started out 6-1 and climbed to 16th in the polls before losing three of their last five games. Both of these teams have great rushing attacks and horrible passing offenses. Both teams' quarterbacks have thrown just as many interceptions as touchdowns. Both teams also have solid defenses against the run, FSU ranks 34th in the nation and Wisconsin ranks 43rd. The team that can pass the ball effectively will be the team that wins this one. Florida State also has the nation's best kickoff return man in Michael Ray Garvin.
+1 two good rushing teams vs. two good rushing defenses
+1 chance to see Bobby Bowden lose
+1 dynamic kickoff returner
-1 two horrible quarterbacks
+1 Big 10 team
MCR 3 (Jessica Simpson Sex Tape)
Miami (FL) (7-5) vs. California (8-4)
Dec. 27, 8:00 PM – ESPN
A word from our sponsor: Set in MLB's AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, the Emerald Bowl is a short drive away for California. Sure Emerald Nuts is the major contributor, but just look at the boatload of freakin' sponsors this bowl has. It think TNL could get some sponsorship for this bowl considering the sheer number. I did get 100 bucks for Christmas I'm sure that would buy me add space.
On the field: This is an interesting matchup to say the least. Cal running back Jahvid Best has the nation's best yards per carry at a staggering 8.0 while rushing for 1394 yards. Miami (of the Florida variety) gave up 691 rushing yards in back to back losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. They gave up 472 (WTF?!) yards to the Yellow Jackets and then followed that up by giving up 219 yards to the Wolfpack. This could get ugly fast – like 8 yards a clip fast. It should also be noted that Cal has one of the nation's best turnover margins (6th) and Miami has one of the nation's worst (101st). Neither team is going to light up the scoreboard throwing the ball, so there's really not much more to be said.
+1 awesome running attack
+1 turnover's could be fun
+1 it's a Florida school and they could get crushed
-1 horrible passing offense
MCR 2 (Microwave Dinner)