Article 1- The Big 10 sucks at bowls.
You wouldn't know it based on the constant media attention and insufferable fans of teams like THE OHIO STATE University, but the Big 10 stinks and has quietly stunk for the last few years. Even when OSU won it's title, the rest of the Big 10 was out under performing in bowl games. Everyone likes to make excuses about how the teams are built to win in cold weather. This is like saying that a chick should be fatter in case she runs into a guy who likes fat chicks. It's dumb. Good teams win football games. Big 10 this year? 1-6 in bowls. Thanks to Steve Spurrier for bothering to spring for the $.42 in postage to mail in another bowl game on his way to the golf course.
Article 2 - ACC teams should never be favored over SEC teams. Thanks again Georgia Tech. A doo-doo browntown LSU squad took the 'school with the ugliest girls in the ACC' to the woodshed, locked them inside, then left incriminating messages on every contact in the respective cell phones of the GT players.
Article 3 - Every few years, there will be a Boise State-Oklahoma type upset. It is not worth your time to try and find it. This year, it was Utah and Alabama. You should not have picked Utah in this one. If you did, and are reading this thinking that you are smarter than everyone who covers college football for a living, then you are a chooch. These 2 teams play 10 times in the regular season and Alabama wins 8. They have more good players, more great players, and go to a school with one of the most rabid and supportive fan bases in the world. Utah is in Utah.
You can work yourself dizzy trying to find this game. We've won our last several bowl pools, simply by picking favorites with a couple exceptions. If you don't think that Alabama should be favored to beat Utah, you should go color in a book for coloring.
Article 4 - Despite the fact that everyone poops hammers on the Pac-10, they always do better than you'd think in bowls. This year's 5-0 is obvious but the Pac 10 is always sneaky. Those teams are better at bowls than you'd think. Obviously, USC is the leader of the pack but teams like Arizona (beating top 20 BYU this year), Oregon State (beat a solid Pitt team), Oregon (spanked an over-rated Oklahoma State team which we'll get to in a minute), and Cal are always competitive in their bowl games. 5-0 this year, 4-2 last year? That's a trend people.
Article 5 - When a conference is typically viewed as overhyped, has a banner year that causes the media to frenzy, pundits to write articles about how the 2 best teams are from this conference and those 2 teams should play for the title in a rematch and so on, and then the conference becomes REALLY overhyped, beware of said conference. See Big XII, The.
This year's 4-2 (4-3 if you agree with us that Florida rolls on Thursday) is the same as the Big East, potentially the same as Conference USA, and is not much better than the Mountain West Conference. Simmer down everyone.
Article 6 - No conference ever in the history of conferences should have 10 teams go to bowls. This is especially true when the highest ranked team got smoked by a middle of the pack SEC team. Looking right at you ACC! Simply put, no conference has enough depth to have better than a decent record if it's playing in 10 bowl games. Expect 5-5 and you won't be disappointed too badly.
Article 7 - Always always always look at travel. Who has to go far? Far east or west? Look at that stuff. It's a factor. This especially helps when you have no idea about either of the teams. Who were you looking for in the Rice v Western Michigan matchup? We didn't know either. The game itself was the Texas Bowl. Done and done.
Article 8 - Never underestimate the power of the 'we were in contention for the national title until we lost late in the season and we're disappointed with this bowl and having to play this meager team that is beneath us and we are not really ready to play' game. See Alabama, Texas Tech, and even Texas (who needed all 60 minutes to beat a flawed Ohio State team)
Article 9 - This is the most important in our opinion, if you can't name a single player off of either team before reading about the matchup, just pick the favorite. Several reasons here:
1) you don't know as much as you think you know
2) analyzing stats and results from teams that you have never seen play is like comparing apples to fruits on Chewbacca's home planet of Kashyyyk.
3) If you are ever the guy that brags about knowing that Northern Illinois would lose to Louisiana Tech, you're a douche and a chooch. You're a chouche.
This rule didn't work out as well as in years past as there were a few more upsets but generally, this is the way to go.
Feel free to follow this advice. Or, don't and lose to us again next year.