Saturday, December 27, 2008

Champs Sports Bowl Preview: My 100% Chance of Hating the Tomahawk Chop

Wisconsin kicks off the Big Televen bowl season today vs Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl. For those of you familiar with the Seminoles from their days as college football's national enemy #1 and/or Atlanta Braves you will know that one thing will happen every time they play, regardless of how much they suck...they will play that stupid Tomahawk Chop chant non-stop. I'm currently driving in a car on my way to a downtown Chicago Badger bar with my brothers and the Teradactyl, and I'm already preparing for the tomahawk chant to be the death of me this afternoon. If you want to get wasted today, take a drink every time you hear that played. And be prepared to drink about 35 beers.

All the analysts can talk about leading up to this game is the power vs. speed matchup...which has been the theme of every Wisconsin bowl game since I can remember. And call me a homer, but it is a tired argument. Speed isn't what kills the Badgers, and they have shown in their previous bowl games that it isn't that big of a factor. Auburn twice, Arkansas, and Tennessee all had speed advantages over the Badgers...and only once (1st Auburn game) did UW have trouble with the speed.

To me, the key to this game is the wide receivers and defensive backs. FSU will be looking to exploit the significant height advantage that their receivers have, especially in the red zone. Technique and positioning will be critical for the badger corners throughout the game, and that consistency has been an issue throughout this season. As for the UW receivers, this game needs to be their coming out party. They've quietly but surely have progressed greatly this season, and I think the opportunity to have a breakout game will be there for them today. FSU will be loading up the box with at least 8 guys today, and on obvious passing downs they will be keying on the TE's. Tight Ends are featured in UW's offense and have been a problem for the Noles all season. Look for them to be a focus for FSU, opening up potentially great matchups for the Badger receivers on the outside.

At the end of the day, expect both teams to try and do what they do best early on. Both defenses will be, or should be, bringing pressure on quarterbacks that haven't shown great ability to handle it yet. Both offenses will try to control the clock on the ground, and big plays will probably be the difference. We all know what that means...the tomahawk chop chant. As the final second ticks off, I predict that good ol' ON WISCONSIN will be playing loud and proud throughout Orlando. PJ Hill and that sexy John Clay will do enough to overcome the decided home field advantage the noles will have...and MY BOYS! Gilreath and Toon will make at least 3 big plays to get Bielema's record against coaches over 80 to 2-2.

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