Bowl Game Picks: Day 9

Well, yesterday was a mixed bag.  I was dead wrong on the Champs Sports Bowl, and although my pick was wrong for the Insight Bowl, I'm happy to see the Iowa Hawkeyes win.  So, my record moves to 7-4.  Lets see if I can improve tonight.

Valero Alamo Bowl - Oklahoma St. Cowboys (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) vs. Arizona Wildcats (7-5, 4-5 Pac-10)
This should be a great game.  Two top-level offenses will clash in San Antonio, and it should produce some awesome fireworks.

But I don't think the offenses will be the deciding factor in this game.  The defenses will.  While I readily admit that the play of the Arizona defense was sub-par over the final four games of thier season, look at who they played.  The USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks, Stanford Cardinal, and it pains me to say this, an underrated Arizona State Sun Devils team.  That is a staggering gauntlet to have to run. With all of the talk of the four game slide, remember that two of those teams are in BCS bowls and another would be in a bowl game if not for NCAA sanctions.

Having said all of that, look at the most important defensive stat of them all.  Points allowed.  Arizona's defense ranks 33rd in the nation, while Oklahoma St.'s ranks 68th.  Too vague?  Then lets turn our focus towards passing defense.  All of the hype surrounding this game is focused on the passing attacks of the Wildcats and the Cowboys.  So lets take a look at which defense should defend the pass better.

2010-11 Passing Defense Stats

RANK TEAM GP ATT COMP % YARDS TD YPG
#42 Arizona 12 372 208 55.91 11.92 9 206.58
#115 Oklahoma St. 12 520 324 62.31 10.2 16 275.5

Clearly the Arizona Wildcats have the superior passing defense.  I'm going to put faith in Arizona to enter this game well prepared, and I'm counting on the Arizona defense being able to contain the OSU passing attack just enough for the Arizona Wildcats to emerge victorious.

No surprise here, I'm taking my  beloved Arizona Wildcats to win, 28-21.

Note: For some reason, this post didn't go up when I thought it did.  As it is now past the kick off of both the Texas Bowl and the Military Bowl, I cannot in good conscience put up my picks.

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