Friday, June 2, 2023

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Game Day

Beckman’s death march, and bowl predictions



Projecting the bowls before we close the books …

BIG 12 BOWLS                 

Fiesta (Champion/BCS) — Kansas State (10-1) vs. Oregon (11-1)               

Sugar (At-large/BCS) — Oklahoma (9-2) vs. Florida (11-1)                 

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (June 2)CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (June 1)

Cotton (No. 2 selection) — Texas (8-3) vs. Texas A&M (10-2)                

Alamo (No. 3) — Oklahoma State (7-4) vs. UCLA (9-3)                 

Buffalo Wild Wings (No. 4) — TCU (7-4) vs. Michigan State (6-6)                 

Holiday (No. 5) — Baylor (6-5) vs. Oregon State (8-3)                 

Meineke Car Care (No. 6) — Texas Tech (7-5) vs. Minnesota (6-6)                 

Pinstripe (No. 7) — West Virginia (6-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)                 

Heart of Dallas (No. 8) — Iowa State (6-6) vs. Purdue (6-6)


BIG TEN BOWLS                 

Rose (Champion/BCS) — Wisconsin (7-5) vs. Stanford (10-2)                

Capital One (No. 2 selection) — Nebraska (10-2) vs. Georgia (11-1)                 

Outback (No. 3 selection) — Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (10-2)                 

Gator (No. 4 selection) — Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)                 

Buffalo Wild Wings (No. 5 selection) — Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-4)                 

Meineke Car Care (No. 6 selection) — Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)                 

Heart of Dallas (No. 7 selection) — Purdue (6-6) vs. Iowa State (6-6)



Ranking the best eight teams in the Big 12 and Big Ten, one through eight … 

TEAM (RECORD) / UP NEXT                 

1. Kansas State (10-1) / vs. Texas                 

2. Oklahoma (9-2) / vs. TCU               

3. Ohio State (12-0) / Season complete                 

4. Nebraska (10-2) / vs. Wisconsin., Big Ten Championship Game                 

5. Oklahoma State (7-4) / vs. Baylor                 

5. Texas (8-3) / vs. Kansas State                 

7. Michigan (8-4) / Bowl TBD                

8. Northwestern (9-3) / Bowl TBD



1.Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Left for dead after a miserable night in Waco, the pressure’s really on the Wildcats as a team and on Klein in particular. Unlike Manziel, he’ll get the chance to have the last word, and in prime time — but will he say enough? And will enough voters be watching?                 

2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The love keeps coming for Johnny Football, who shredded Mizzou (although that’s been going around lately); was compared by Tigers coach Gary Pinkel to a young John Elway; and set a new SEC record for total offense in a season (4,600 yards in 12 games), breaking Cam Newton’s old mark (4,327).                 

3. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame: With a berth in the national title game at stake, it was a goal-line stand by the Irish that made the difference late. Love ’em or hate ’em, Notre Dame is an old-school defensive juggernaut, and Te’o is that defense’s pumping heart.



The games you won’t want to miss …                

1. MAC Championship: Northern Illinois vs. Kent State, ESPN, 6 p.m., Friday: Huskies coach Dave Doeren will be moving on to greener pastures, and probably soon. Meanwhile, the Flashes haven’t been this relevant in on the national scene since Jack Lambert was wearing the blue and gold.                 

2. SEC Championship: Alabama vs. Georgia, CBS, 3 p.m.: The Crimson Tide and Dawgs haven’t played since 2008, and — get this — Georgia’s actually won three of the last four meetings dating back to 2000.                

3. Texas at Kansas State, ABC, 7 p.m.: The ’Horns are 1-4 all-time in the Little Apple, and just 2-6 overall versus the ’Cats, who need a win to clinch a BCS berth.



With Danny Hope booted despite getting Purdue bowl-eligible and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz entrenched with the immovable contract, the focus shifts to new Illini man Tim Beckman, who endeared himself to exactly no one downstate with a 2-10 mark in Year 1, a death march capped by a 50-14 loss at Northwestern last weekend. Even worse: Beckman was accidentally run over by an official during a Wildcat interception — and got flagged for sideline interference, garnering his Illini additional penalty yards in the process. When it rains, it pours, but if Beckman wants to make it past Year 2, he’d better make the bleeding stop. CV 

Sean Keeler is a columnist/blogger with FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports. In 2011, the Iowa native was named one of the Top 10 sports columnists in the nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors. You can read him at and at You can follow him on Twitter (@seankeeler) and through his Tumblr blog:

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