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January 4, 2011

College Football Bowl Picks - Allstate Sugar Bowl:

Allstate Sugar Bowl

#8 Arkansas (10-2) vs. #6 Ohio State (11-1)


8:30 PM, ESPN, Tues. Jan. 4, New Orleans, LA

Why Watch: Either to watch the Big Ten salvage themselves with a BCS win, or get embarrassed even more. Things don’t bode well for Ohio State, as they’re 0-9 all-time against the SEC in bowl games. Arkansas, led by quarterback Ryan Mallett, features one of the best offenses in the country, but their defense has been known to give up a few points this season.

Who to Watch: Just like in last night’s Orange Bowl, the quarterbacks are going to make plays. Ryan Mallett and Terrelle Pryor are two of the best in the game, that’s known. The defense on both sides features a pair of play-making linebackers, though. For Ohio State, it’s seniors Brian Rolle and Ross Homan. The two combined for 133 tackles and follow in the tradition of ball-hawking OSU linebackers. For Arkansas, it’s Jerry Franklin and Jerico Nelson. The two juniors combined for 173 tackles and 23 tackles for a loss. They also had a combined nine sacks. What they lack in ideal size, they make up for with exceptional speed and recognition skills.

How it’s Going Down: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney may be pulling for Ohio State more so than Buckeye representatives. The conference needs a win bad, the SEC, what has been the league downfall as of late, is the bad place to look for one, though. It may be the last game for Pryor and a few other top name Buckeyes, but that’s on the hush. The game should come down to whoever plays better on offense, meaning really whatever quarterbacks manages the game better. That may have to go to Arkansas. The Razorbacks put together six straight wins to end the year, including ones against South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU, scoring 31 or more points in seven straight games. I have to believe the streak stretches to 0-10 for OSU. Pick: Arkansas 35 – Ohio State 30

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All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.