Because 2009 snuck up and bashed me over the head (without requiring serious drinking on my part), here's a look at this weekend's bowls, with the NFL Wild Card Weekend picks coming tonight and the BCS title game pick next week:
COTTON BOWL: TEXAS TECH 43, MISSISSIPPI 39. If this game were played outside Texas, I might've taken the Rebels - these guys are true road warriors, handing Florida its only loss of the year and scaring the bejeebers out of Alabama after trailing 24-3 at the half.
LIBERTY BOWL: EAST CAROLINA 24, KENTUCKY 20. Think the Pirates were a little inspired by seeing Virginia Tech, who they ambushed in the season opener, take the Orange Bowl last night?
SUGAR BOWL: ALABAMA 41, UTAH 27. Non-gimmick offense + stronger conference schedule = non-BCS interloper that won't be a pushover for an SEC power, as was not the case last year.
INTERNATIONAL BOWL: BUFFALO 30, CONNECTICUT 27. The Bulls' unheralded basketball team almost upset second-ranked UConn last month. The football team will finish the job.
FIESTA BOWL: TEXAS 47, OHIO STATE 28. The Longhorns make their best argument that they should've gotten the date with Florida after beating Oklahoma.
GMAC BOWL: TULSA 45, BALL STATE 14. Undefeated season...gone. Coach...gone. I can smell the rotten egg before Letterman U. even drops it.