<
>

My Tostitos Fiesta Bowl pick

Colleagues Ted Miller and David Ubben have been on the scene in Arizona all week and have already weighed in with their Tostitos Fiesta Bowl predictions. Not surprisingly, both have picked Oklahoma to win big over Connecticut.

Of course, I couldn't let this game pass by without offering my own prediction.

There's no glossing over the fact that Oklahoma is a major favorite, or that the Sooners have a world of talent. One thing I think people have overlooked, though, is that Connecticut is playing with a ton of confidence after its five-game winning streak. It's not often pretty, and sometimes you shake your head wondering how they do it, but the Huskies have been finding ways to win.

They will have to run the ball to their usual level, make big plays in special teams and be completely sound defensively against the Sooners' high-tempo, high-octane offense. The best defense is a a good running game led by Jordan Todman.

Oklahoma is really good but not invincible. We saw that earlier this year when Cincinnati almost -- and should have -- knocked off the Sooners. And we've seen in bowl games so far that the Big 12 defenses are highly suspect.

With all of that in mind, I think the Huskies will keep this one closer than most people expect. In fact, I think it will be in doubt into the fourth quarter. I can't pick the upset because I just don't think UConn has enough offensive firepower -- especially in the passing game -- to pull this off. But I see Randy Edsall's team turning in a very respectable effort before falling 31-24.