Bowl Season: The Fantasy Bowl Predictions
By Mark Rieker
Special to CSTV.com from Leaderboard Sports
CSTV's Fantasy Bowl provides you with a real challenge. The game has you choose from only the best of this season's college football teams, but those teams are facing off against each other. How do you best use your 120 credits to put together a championship team? One way to maximize your team's score is focus primarily on the game match-ups.Every college football fan is waiting breathlessly for games between the best of the best this season - USC vs. Texas, Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, and the list goes on. While these games will be great viewing, they probably won't be great for your fantasy squad. For top-rated teams like Texas, USC and LSU, the bowl games may be their toughest challenge of the season. Texas likely won't put up the same fantasy statistics against USC that it did against Nebraska and Iowa State. Keep in mind that great teams playing other great teams don't always make great fantasy choices. Another of the many pleasures of the bowl season is the great intersectional match-ups that fans would otherwise never see. Boise State vs. Boston College and Nevada vs. Central Florida are just two examples of games that have teams facing new rivals. These games can be a great opportunity for fantasy points, as teams have to quickly adjust to new formations and new styles of play. Scoring Through the Air
I'm focusing on match-ups and avoiding many of the big-name schools. My first choice is Houston, the nation's 20th ranked passing offense. The Cougars finished 6-5 and don't get a lot of press, but its match-up against Kansas's 65th-rated pass defense makes the Cougars seem like a bargain at 19.01 credits. An even bigger bargain is MAC Champion Akron, which will start quarterback Luke Getsy and the 25th-rated passing offense against Memphis. Memphis has been unable to stop anybody through the air this season, allowing almost 264 yards per game. Houston and Akron provide two Top 25 passing offenses for a total of 33.39 credits; only slightly more than Texas alone! Scoring On The Ground
Which team led the nation in rushing offense this season? Minnesota? Memphis? No, it was Navy, racking up more than 305 rushing yards per game. That alone would be enough to earn a spot on my Fantasy Bowl team, but add in their budget price of 16.20 and the fact they're facing the 104th worst rush defense in Colorado State, and the Midshipmen become a no-brainer. Right behind Navy in rushing offense was Minnesota, which makes a solid No. 2 choice for the Fantasy Bowl. They cost a bit more (23.36), but they have an opponent in Virginia that has had trouble stopping the run, giving up more than 146 yards per game. Expect Lawrence Maroney and the Gophers to romp against the Cavaliers. Stopping The Opposition
My defensive pick relies heavily on the match-up as well. Texas Christian is rated 28th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense, giving up only 18 points per game. Most of those games were against lesser teams, but the Horned Frogs' bowl opponent isn't an offensive powerhouse either. Iowa State ranks 70th in total offense, scoring an average of 28.6 points per game. The Horned Frogs should have no problem shutting them down for a solid fantasy score. Winning One For The Coach
With games between big-name teams, and games between teams that have never matched up before, picking a "sure" winner can be difficult. One game stands out though, and that's Penn State versus Florida State. Penn State's one-point, one-second loss against Michigan is all that separated them from an undefeated season, while Florida States complete meltdown against the Gators is still fresh in people's minds. With the emotional return to prominence of "JoePa" and the possible return of freshman phenom Derrick Williams, Penn State seems like the clear favorite in this game. I'm selecting the Nittany Lions for the coaches slot and sitting back to prepare for an amazing few weeks of college football.