Apologies if this close up picture of Forde has broken anyone’s monitor.
Today, over at ESPN, Pat Forde released his prediction for every bowl game this bowl season. Which, as you may know, includes the annual Wildcat appearance in the Music City Bowl. Here’s a bit of how he sees the game going.
Why to watch: To see the old lion (68-year-old Kentucky coach Rich Brooks) match wits with the young cub (first-year Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney). And to see whether Clemson’s C.J. Spiller does better as a senior against the Wildcats in the Music City Bowl than he did as a freshman against the Wildcats in the Music City Bowl (eight touches, 72 pedestrian yards).
Who’s happier to be there: Neither should be overjoyed. Clemson was close to its first BCS bid before losing late to Georgia Tech in the ACC title game. Kentucky had its eyes on a Florida bowl until the annual season-ending loss to Tennessee relegated it to the Music City for the third time in four years. But the Wildcats should have a distinct fan advantage in nearby Nashville.
Dash pick: Clemson 28, Kentucky 27.
I’d be remiss not to admit he has a few points. And the fact that Clemson was about this close to a BCS bid does scare me. But South Carolina demolished the would be ACC champions, and South Carolina needed the benefit of injury and coaching mistakes to get out of a loss to the Cats at home. And as much as the bowl seems like a repeat to the fans, this Wildcat team is almost completely different from the team that beat Clemson a few years ago. With Morgan Newton having gained some experience, Derrick Locke playing for the NFL, and a fully healed and rested Lindley and Johnson, I expect the Cats to win by 40. Touchdowns.