This is the group of games during the bowl season where it really gets fun to me. Games are played from early afternoon through the night each night. Whether you are at work or on vacation, it is fun to keep up with the games all day long.
Bowl Season Record Through the 27th: 5-6 Straight Up ; 4-6-1 Against the Spread. Not necessarily off to a blazing start! Time to play catch up...
Wednesday, the 29th
Military Bowl: East Carolina vs.
Maryland (-7.5) – East Carolina’s defense is the worst one in Division I; ’s coaching staff is a mess. Not a lot of excitement here, but probably a lot of scoring. Terps win 38-28. Maryland
Oklahoma State (-5.5) vs. Arizona – Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator is on his way out the door to , so there is instability for the Cowboys. West Virginia has been reeling after a fast start to the beginning of the season losing four straight. Arizona has just appeared to not care about finishing strong. I see an Okie State rout here 31-17. Arizona
Thursday, the 30th
Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU (-7) – This is a home game for SMU. Army has not beaten anyone of significance this year. SMU will be hungry to redeem themselves after a CUSA Championship Game loss. Mustangs roll 31-20.
Kansas State (-1) vs. – These are both programs on the rise with the new (old for K-State) coaching staffs in place. Who thought it would be a good idea to have a bowl game at Yankee Stadium on the December 30th? It will be a balmy 37 degrees on Thursday though…could be a lot worse. I like Syracuse 21-17 in this one in a pretty boring game. Kansas State
Nebraska vs. (+14) – I am going against the majority on this one; everyone is picking the Huskers in a blow out. The bowl rule that applies here is the Huskers do not want to be here. First of all, they had an opportunity at playing in a BCS game when they played and lost to Washington in the Big 12 Championship. Second, this is a rematch game in which they blew Oklahoma Washington out in in September by a score of 56-21 and made Jake Locker look like he should never be drafted by an NFL team. The only hungry team in this rematch will be Washington . I can just see Washington Nebraska half-assing it through practice everyday and then sneaking over to at night to party. Third, I no longer trust Taylor Martinez. It appeared at times that he was trying to sabotage the Huskers in the Big 12 Championship against Tijuana with his pitiful fumbles and decision making. All that being said, I can’t predict an outright upset because the Huskers are way better than the Huskies. Oklahoma 24-23. Nebraska
Friday, the 31st
Meineke Car Care Bowl:
South Florida (+6) vs. Clemson – This will probably be the worst bowl game including two BCS conference teams. Good thing they reserved the worst named bowl for the occasion. You have an inept offense led by a bad quarterback in USF against an always underachieving Clemson team with a coach on the hot seat and a QB ready to call it a career and move on to baseball. Rumor is Dabo Swinney may be out as head coach if they lose this game. On the other side, Skip Holtz is a helluva coach to have this very mediocre Bulls team at 7-5. They lost some close ones this year. I like them upsetting Clemson here. South Florida 17-13.
Sun Bowl: Notre Dame (+3) vs.
(FL) – Oh what a matchup! Renewing the old Catholics vs. the Convicts rivalry except they are far from what it was 20 years ago. I think Miami Miami has a more talented team, but Notre Dame has more stability with Randy Shannon being fired after the season and Al Golden being hired by . There will be a transition phase, and it is beginning as we speak during bowl preparations. I gotta think that Miami Shannon was well liked by the team, and they are still upset about the firing. Notre Dame started catching on at the end of the year, and I like Brian Kelly with several weeks to prepare. Irish 31-27.
South Carolina vs. (+3) – This is another tough one to pick. Both are coming off of conference championship game losses. The SEC Championship game loser typically bounces back in their bowl game going 11-7 since 1992 (and yes three of those losses are by Florida State ). Both drummed Arkansas pretty good in back to back games so the common opponent gets us nowhere. Both of these teams have a tendency to be inconsistent and sloppy although they both have talent all over the place. I like the Gamecocks in this one with the deciding factor being they can build off this game to get a top 10 or maybe top 5 ranking to begin next year. Florida 28-27. South Carolina