2016-12-16 06:43

There are again 41 Bowls coming.

These are 38 regular Bowls, in addition 2 regular Bowls serving as Semi-Finals for the College Football Playoffs and the National Championship Game/Bowl as extra.

So initially 40 Bowls with 80 teams, and the big final is filled with the Semi-Final winners.

Again 5-7 teams were needed (North Texas and Mississippi State) to fill up all bowl spots.
Also some teams became only eligible on the second sight, not having the 6 wins (5 wins against FBS teams and max 1 win against a FCS team) like Army (which had not the wins when already assigned a bowl spot, later won against Navy and is therefore now 100% eligible) or South Alabama (2 wins against FCS teams) or not having a winning record (Hawai'I played 13 games with a 6-7 record)
Really eligible were 75 teams out of 128 teams at the time the bowls were stuffed, which is only possible because of the FCS games played against during the season, otherwise the winning teams would be around 60.
Not enough to fill up the 80 spots, the second time in a row.
There are too many bowl games and I'm sure many of them are not even a big profit, if they are even make a profit at all. They can't be.

The ironic part of the bowls is, there are several organizations in the waiting to add even more bowls.
Luckily it was decided to put that process on hold.
I think they are waiting whether bowls like the Bahamas Bowl or other smaller ones can survive over several seasons and if one does fold, there might be coming a new one out of that waiting list.
Alternative could be that the number of teams does increase over the seasons and therefore more teams can become eligible.
So far this is not valid. As far as I know the number of teams will stay at the same level.
Idaho will go to the FCS soon, so 1 less teams on FBS level, but UAB will start playing again also soon, so 1 team in addition.

I have two opinions on the current bowl numbers.

For one I like the opportunity for even the smallest teams to play an extra game, if they win 6 games.
Right now it's a guarantee to play a bowl if you have those 6 wins.
Should be a good motivation.

The other one is, that it's nothing special to play a bowl. 80 teams out of 128? Nothing special.
In the past there were a lot less bowls, so only the best got their bowl spots. It meant something.
The problem with that was, that smaller teams got no spot, even when they had a much better winning record.
The power 5 teams had just a better marketing standing.

So for the small teams it's a good thing, overall I think it's a big mess.
And to be honest, I'm not even sure it's a good thing for the small teams, since the revenues of those small bowls are so slim, that the income is already spend on the traveling cost.
The only benefit for the schools and conferences are marketing on national TV and a longer training period.

This season the Bowls will start at Saturday, December 17th and will be played until Monday, January 9th, which is the National Championship game with no participator decided yet.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 1

Sat. Dec. 17 - 2:00 pm ET
New Mexico vs. Texas San Antonio

@ University Stadium - Albuquerque, NM
This is played at the University of New Mexico and is played since 2006.
Each team gets around 456.250$
It's a Bowl organized between the MWC and CUSA, which really came true this season.
New Mexico had also played that bowl last season and lost to Arizona.
The 2016 opponent is not that powerful as a PAC12 teams, in fact this matchup looks quite one sided.
The Lobos have won a share of the Mountain Division title (with Wyoming and Boise State) and are 8-4 overall so far.
UTSA are 6-6 as CUSA team, which is one of the weakest conferences in the country.
No wonder is New Mexico the favorite in this bowl, but only with 7 points, which is a bit surprising for me.
I think they will beat UTSA with a higher margin.
UTSA is not a bad team, they even have the potential to be a good one, but they will need some more time to establish themselves as such.
I can't see them winning this.
Lobos win.

Sat. Dec. 17 - 3:30 pm ET
Houston vs. San Diego State

@Sam Boyd Stadium - Las Vegas, NV
This is a great matchup played in the home of the UNLV Rebels.
It is played since 1992 and each team gets around 1.350.000 $.
Normally do teams from the PAC12 and the MWC play in this game, but again did it not fit in that combination and Houston was selected instead of a PAC12 team.
I think it will help, since the Houston fans are quite nuts and San Diego is also quite near.
The Cougars are the favorites in this game, but I'm honestly not so sure.
San Diego State is a very good team and Houston has lost their good HC and got their OC promoted to HC.
Sure it's the best a team can have in such a situation, but overall the team will be different then in the regular season.
I willing to pick an upset here and having the Aztecs winning a close shout out.
Aztecs win.

Sat. Dec. 17 - 5:30 pm ET
Appalachian State vs. Toledo

@Crampton Bowl - Montgomery, AL
A new bowl since 2014.
The bowl was played under the same name in the past (1948 and 1961-1980) but this new version is played since 2014.
It ties into the SBC and the MAC.
As far as it can be found, the payout for this bowl seems to be only 100.000 $, which is the worst of all bowls.
Appalachian State is the co-conference champ of the Sun Belt with a 9-3 overall record.
Their biggest game was likely the season opener against Tennessee, which they lost in OT.
This is a quite feared team playing spoiler since a few seasons.
Toledo finished 2nd in their division behind MAC Champ Western Michigan.
Their season record so far is also 9-3.
The Rockets are a great offense football team, so I think this game can become a quite good one.
The favorite in this is Appalachian State with 1 point, which does reflect my feeling on this matchup.
Close and somehow the Mountaineers are favored.
Expect a high scoring game, which every team can win.
Funny is, my feeling on both teams are, that Appalachian State has the maturity to find ways to win, while I see Toledo as offense power team, which gets into trouble, once they find team with a good defense.
So I pick Appalachian State, just because they CAN play on both sides of the ball.
Mountaineers win.

Sat. Dec. 17 - 5:30 pm ET
Central Florida vs. Arkansas State

@Camping World Stadium - Orlando, FL
A new bowl since 2015.
This season, the second try, they did manage to get the associated American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference teams. Last season, the premier, they failed.
It's still hard to believe, but the payout for each team is 1.350.000$.
The matchup between UCF (6-6) and Arkansas State (7-5) is not really high level.
Granted, ASU has won the Sun Belt this season (shared with Appalachian State), but failed to win it alone, which they had the chance to, and failed also to win any non-conference game this season, even against FCS team Central Arkansas.
So my expectations are, that the rebuilding Golden Knights out of Florida will get this done, even if they lost their last 2 games (against South Florida and Tulsa).
Vegas sees UCF also as the favorite, but only with 5.5 points, which is not much.
I think they will win with a higher margin.
But as Red Wolves fan, don't despair, Arkansas State had proven in the past that the team can play, and maybe we will see something special in this game.
Still, I think UCF has all the tools to become very good again next season and it will start in that bowl.
Golden Knights win.

Sat. Dec. 17 - 9:00 pm ET
Southern Mississippi vs. Louisiana Lafayette

@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
This is played since 2001 and each team gets around 500.000$.
The teams are chosen from the CUSA and the SBC.
Both teams have a 6-6 season so far, with ups and downs.
The Ragin' Cajuns do play this bowl quite often in the younger past, in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 were they invited to play in this bowl, last season was the first time since 2010 to have them not in the bowl.
THIS season they are back and they have a good chance to win this.
Vegas has Southern Miss as 4.5-point favorite, but I'm not sold on this.
Arkansas State has a share of the Sun Belt and has lost basically all their non-conference games to have that record.
The CUSA is battling the Sun Belt for the worst conference title, so I think ASU is on top of the food chain inside both conferences, while Southern Miss finished mid field of the CUSA and I don't see them as real contender.
That bowl game break can chance the teams quite heavily, so everything is possible, but with the current results, I pick Arkansas State to be the more complete team and to win their "home bowl".
Ragin' Cajuns win.

‘Til next time

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