The 2011 BCS Bowl match-ups.

The 2011 BCS Bowl match-ups.

It feels good to be writing again. After getting hit by a flu bug of some kind, I was out of commission for a few days. I apologize for not posting a Bears recap this week. The bug hit me so hard that I slept during the game on Sunday. But I'm doing much better, so tonight I return to The Locker Room with my picks for this year's BCS bowl games.

Since New Years Day {January 1st} 2012 falls on a Sunday, the new years bowl games have been moved to Monday January 2nd 2012 to make room for week 17 of the NFL schedule. And it all starts with the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California where the Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers meet the Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks

This game will be highlighted by the quarterbacks and running backs playing in this game. Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson will be giving a lot of hand offs to his Heisman Trophy Finalist Tailback Monte Ball. If Monte Ball isn't enough for the Oregon defense to deal with, Russell Wilson is also a duel threat quarterback capable of changing the game with both his arms and legs.

But the Ducks counter with their own tandem with Quarterback Derron Thomas and Running Back LaMichael James. The two combined for 1,851 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns accounting for half of the Ducks offense this season. James will be looking to have the game of his life as plenty of NFL scouts will be in attendance.

Earlier today rumors surfaced that James will enter the 2012 NFL Draft but those rumors have not been confirmed. Derron Thomas, along with Wisconsin's Russell Wilson and Monte Ball are top NFL prospects as well. The defense that can make the most stops will win this game. I predict that Wisconsin's offensive line and running game will wear down the Ducks defense.

That is how LSU beat Oregon back in September.

The other game on January 2nd will be the Fiesta Bowl. The high powered offenses of Big 12 Champion Oklahoma State and Stanford will be showcased in the Arizona desert.

The quarterbacks are the talk of the town in this bowl game. Stanford will start Heisman Trophy finalist {and possible successor to Peyton Manning} Andrew Luck.  While Oklahoma State counters with gunslinger Brandon Weeden. These teams couldn't be more different. The Cardinal runs a pro style offense while the Cowboys run a version of the spread offense.

On defense Oklahoma State runs your basic 4-3, while Stanford runs a 3-4 which is completely focused on pass rushing and downfield coverage. I got Stanford winning this game because their defense is too strong and OSU's defense isn't strong enough. But this will be a high scoring affair.

On January 3rd the BCS takes us to The Big Easy where Michigan will take on Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

As good as Denard Robinson and the Wolverines have been, the Hokies defense is one of the best in the country. They will find a way to contain Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense. VA Tech will also run the ball down Michigan's throats, sorry UM fans but Tech wins this game.

January 4th the BCS shifts it's attention to South Beach in Miami for the Orange Bowl between the Big East Champion West Virgina Mountaineers and the ACC Champion Clemson Tigers.

Both of these teams are indentical twins when it comes to both offense and defense. And both teams are lead by dual-threat QB's in Taij Boyd for Clemson and Geno Smith for West Virginia. I pick Clemson to win this game by the smallest of margins because they have a better defense.

Then finally on Monday January 9th 2012, the BCS National Championship for 2011 will be decided. The SEC reigns supreme again {tampering?} as the #1 Louisiana State Tigers play their conference rival #2 Alabama Crimson Tide.

LSU beat 'Bama back in November which knocked the Crimson Tide from the #2 spot. But somehow the SEC got it's way for the 6th year in a row, and 'Bama is back in the national title picture. But that is as far as they will get. LSU is too strong in every phase of the game. They don't make mistakes, they have solid fundamentals, and they have all-americans at pretty much every position on the field.

And anytime a team look a halftime lead against the Tigers, the Bayou Bengals came back in the 2nd half to win the game. The Tigers just can't be stopped and they will be your NCAA Division 1-A {FBS} national champions.

On a side note, I'm sure you are all aware of the situation with Bears Wide Receiver Sam Hurd. Here is the federal criminal complaint filed against him courtesy of ESPN Chicago: http://espn.go.com/photo/preview/!pdfs/111215/hurd_complaint.pdf

You can follow me on Twitter: @GabeSalgado82

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