2019-12-31 14:18

Well, that were the semis.
Both good games in their way, the Ohio State - Clemson game was likely more thrilling.
Overall the bowls getting on my nerves, there are just too many from my point of view.
I really would like to see the books here, whether all the effort really pays off for all the teams.
I mean some of the bowls are really just peanuts in terms of payout.
Image you had to travel half the country, put 50+ players and 10+ other persons into beds, feed them, have some sort of arrangement for training facilities, have them all guided and guarded.
As far as I know there are some investors looking for adding additional ones, but lucky me, it seems the NCAA tries to avoid the 5-7 teams as fillers like a few seasons ago.
We might see an increase when the 8-team-playoff comes, and I think it WILL come at some point.
Because that's where the money comes in big times and because I think that 5 conferences can't be happy over 4 regular spots and the other 5 conference are not happy over basically no spot in the playoffs and a pity spot in the other new year bowls.
Whenever the next circle for prolongation of the current system is due, some will want the 8-team-playoffs and that will mean we will see some additional bowls.

But let's check the last wave.


Sat. Dec. 28
#17 Memphis vs #10 Penn State

Penn State did shove the Memphis lines around like they are toys, so no wonder we saw a 202 yards rushing performance and a major win for Penn State.
Here you could argue why someone should let such teams play for a playoff spot, if they are so bad, but I say it's not a matter of strength, it's a matter of opportunity.
Sure, some of the none-power-5 teams will get burned in such imaginative scenario, but some will upset the opponent and will advance.
It's a matter of giving a chance.
Right now there is no chance at all.
Penn State did finish the season in style, so maybe next year we will have a great 3 to 4 teams competition inside that division.
#17 Memphis 39 vs #10 Penn State 53 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 11-7

#15 Notre Dame vs Iowa State

Iowa State did just play bad.
So bad.
If you could just foresee such performance, then you could just say ... OK, Iowa State will be punished.
But you can't and the Cyclones did play good in some games.
Here ... not.
Notre Dame had a tooo easy game and they won rightfully.
Still for me, this was not a showing of strength.
I might be wrong, but Notre Dame is still not a TOP10 team for me.
They won and they did finish the season of course on a high note, but for me this season was a down year.
Iowa State did also not play as I expected them to play, so hopefully both coaches can improve the teams next season.
#15 Notre Dame 33 vs Iowa State 9 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 11-8

#4 Oklahoma vs #1 LSU

If you don't like Memphis as playoff contender, because they got decked by Penn State, how do you feel about this game here.
Oklahoma was simply outmatched and outplayed, through the whole game, but already in the 1st half this was over.
LSU did lead 49-14!
The Heisman-QB did pick Oklahoma apart like he was playing Madden Football on the Playstation.
The Tigers fans can dream about the final, Oklahoma needs a new QB for next season.
And eventually also a new coach, if Riley will get some siren songs from the NFL.
We will see.
#4 Oklahoma 28 vs #1 LSU 63 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 12-8

#3 Clemson vs #2 Ohio State

I feel a bit sorry for the Buckeyes fans, because that scoop and score play late in the game for a TD was overturned in the booth.
For me that was a catch, a fumble and a score.
Obviously the referees did think different and did give Clemson basically the game back.
Ok, the last Ohio State drive to comeback and score a TD was bad executed and the pass was thrown with greed and stupid, but that wouldn't have happened, if the fumble TD would have counted, likely.
Clemson did play great and did win this by bold passes and a QB who did find his best game back right on time.
They were 2 points behind at the half, got the lead in the 3rd, got behind again in the 4th and scored the game winning TD with less than 2 minutes to play.
I have to say their receivers had a great day with Ohio State having major problems with assignments and tackling, especially in the secondary.
That will likely be different with LSU as opponent.
The final looks like a great game to come.
#3 Clemson 29 vs #2 Ohio State 23 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 12-9

Mon. Dec. 30
Western Kentucky vs Western Michigan

A very open game until the end of game.
WKU did play catchup in the 4th quarter, tied the game and stopped Western Michigan on 4th and 3 on the WKU 30 with 27 ticks left.
The Hilltoppers then made it to the WMU 39 yard line with 3 ticks left.
Send the kicking unit, retreated it again, send the offense and tried a hail mary.
That failed, but the Broncos had 12 man on the field.
An untimed down from the 34 yard line did feature a 52 yard field goal try and it was GOOD!
Nice win for the Hilltoppers.
Western Kentucky 23 vs Western Michigan 20 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 13-9

Mississippi State vs Louisville

MSU did start OK, but then it went downhill.
At the end did Louisville win this with heart and a strong performance by their QB.
For MSU this is a major setback, I think many will hope for a better year next season.
Louisville looks like they are on the rise.
Mississippi State 28 vs Louisville 38 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 13-10

California vs Illinois

Cal did lead 21-13 at the half and did not let Illinois back into the game.
They won as a team and as a Bear fan you can look optimistic into the future.
Illinois might get the turnaround done next season, but honestly I think their coach is still on the hot seat.
California 35 vs Illinois 20 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 14-10

#9 Florida vs #24 Virginia

It was 24-14 at the half for the Gators, then 27-14 after the 3rd quarter.
The Cavaliers were not beaten, but not in best shape either.
They did score some more points, but Florida did secure the win with a series of field goals.
I think next season Florida will be a serious contender.
Virginia will have next season more competition and more to prove, so they might go into a down year.
#9 Florida 36 vs #24 Virginia 28 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 15-10

So that's that now.
Next wave is up, covering until New Years day.


Tue. Dec. 31
Virginia Tech vs Kentucky

@Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC
This is played the home of the Carolina Panthers and the bowl is played since 2002.
The ACC should face up against a SEC team.
Each team gets around 1.700.000$.
For me this is a boring matchup.
VT (8-4) did play bad in some games and Fuente is from my point of view under pressure already.
The Hokies are meant to win and they did not do that.
They also lost the rival game against Virginia, which did not happen for a long time.
On the other hand is Kentucky (7-5), way worse than last season, but won the last 3 games of the season.
Virginia Tech is favored by 2.5 points, which is not much.
I expect a close game here with Kentucky being a bit stronger than you might expect.
Bottom line is, both teams can win and it will likely come down to who really wants to play here.
Tough to say who might be more motivated here.
I think Kentucky will give VT a hard time at 100%, so ....
Wildcats win.

Florida State vs Arizona State

@Sun Bowl Stadium - El Paso, TX
Since 1935 is this Bowl played and since 1963 it's played in Sun Bowl Stadium, the home of the UTEP Miners at El Paso, Texas.
It's a game between the PAC 12 and the ACC.
Each team gets around 2.150.000$.
For me, this is Arizona States game to lose.
But FSU did play better under the interims regime and do see a new coach coming after the game.
The Sun Devils (7-5) are favored by 4.0 points in this dry, hot conditions, while the Seminoles (6-6) will play a long trip from home.
Not much to say here, ASU did show a lot of stamina and will power through the seasons, while FSU did show some live after their coaches firing.
Both teams could be over motived here, for different reasons.
I trust ASU a bit more, so ...
Sun Devils win.

#23 Navy vs Kansas State

@Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium - Memphis, TN
This one exists since 1959.
It's meant to play the Big 12 #4 vs a SEC pool pick.
Each team gets around 1.437.500$.
It's played in the home field stadium of the Memphis Tigers.
Well, we got Navy playing here as American team and which did play a good season (10-2) and won their last game on the ground with basically no passes.
Their leader is the QB, who has almost double the yardage on his feet than on his arm.
Now they play Kansas State (8-4), who are under a new HC and who did respond quiet well under him.
They did even upset later BIG12 Champ Oklahoma.
The Wildcats are well balanced and if the defense can keep the Navy QB in check, this will be a blowout.
But that guy is quick and strong, so KSU needs all the tools they had to stop him often enough.
Navy is favored by 2.5 points, but I think KSU can win here and will win here as a team.
Wildcats win.

Wyoming vs Georgia State

@Arizona Stadium - Tucson, AZ
And a new Bowl since 2015.
The payout is roughly 155.820$
A 7-5 Sun Belt team vs a 7-5 Mountain West team.
Not really a seller here.
The Cowboys are 7.0 points favorites, which is for me a bit surprising, I would have given them a double digit margin.
OH, Georgia State won the 1st game of the season against Tennessee, but that is from my point if view not worth much after 3 month of football, where GSU did lose some important games.
The Cowboys are in a stronger conference and did their share of wins and losses, so I think this will go the Wyoming way.
Cowboys win.

#11 Utah vs Texas

@Alamodome - San Antonio, TX
This Bowl exists since 1993 and has tie ins to the Big 12 and the PAC12.
Each team gets around 3.820.000$.
Oh man. THE team representing the state of Texas (7-5) playing against the PAC12-Championshipgame-loser from Utah (11-2).
The Utes are favored by 7.0 points and for me this all comes down to pride vs power.
Texas should have enough pride to be motivated here.
They had a rough season and do play at the site of a very defining moment of their state history.
If the young guys don't care, they will lose, big time.
Because Utah did show they can win against very good teams and Texas did show maybe enough to be a good team, but they are not a very good team.
Is there enough pride in Texas this season.
I doubt it. The team did play not good when it counted most, and here .... it counts.
Of cause everything is possible, but I just don't see Texas getting this done.
Utes win.

Wed. Jan. 1
#18 Minnesota vs #12 Auburn

@Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Fla.
This is played since 1986 and is fielded at the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the South Florida Bulls.
Another SEC vs Big 10 Bowl and each team gets around 3.500.000$.
Minnesota had a great season, so of cause they want to put the (little) cherry on that with a bowl win.
The problem is, they do play a really strong Auburn team, which did lose only to TOP teams.
No wonder Auburn is favored by 7.0 points.
Add the warm weather and you have the reason why I do prefer the Tigers also.
I think Minnesota would need a GREAT team effort to win against this Auburn team.
I think they can do that, but only 2 out of 10.
Since there is only 1 try, I give Auburn the pick.
Tigers win.

#14 Michigan vs #13 Alabama

@Camping World Stadium - Orlando, FL
Since 1946 played, under different names. Thanks to whomever, we have the Citrus Bowl back since 4 seasons.
It is still played in the stadium formally named after the bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Should have been a SEC against Big 10 Bowl and they got that right this season, again.
Each team gets around 4.250.000$.
This season we have a major clash.
Michigan did look a bit soft against must ranked teams, but did play overall a good season, while Alabama did lose the games they did win the past few seasons and did finish only 2nd in their division.
I really pity Michigan, because I think Alabama will play their heart out and will try to put something back after their (for their standards) down season.
Michigan did not look good against strong teams and Alabama is strong, hence
Crimson Tide win.

#6 Oregon vs #8 Wisconsin

@Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
The mother of all Bowls is played since 1902!
It was permanently installed in 1916 and is played since then.
It was the Big Ten Champion vs. the PAC12 Champion, but with the CFP-System it's either a semi-finale or just a bowl game fielding a BIG10 team vs. a PAC12 team.
The payout is part of the CFP-system.
This season we have the PAC12-Champ vs the BIG10 Championship loser.
Not the perfect matchup. but quite good.
Both teams do feature good defenses and offenses, so it will be interesting to see, who will be the winner here.
Wisconsin, after their strong finish of the season and their not so bad game against Ohio State are favored by 3.0 points.
That's nothing and that means we have likely an open game.
Who will win here is hard to say, both teams do have their strength and weaknesses and whoever can exploit the others weak spots will likely win here.
Oregon has a fast paced offense, which looks for me a bit more interesting, but Wisconsin did show they can handle such stuff, most of the time.
I flip a coin and take ...
Ducks win.

#5 Georgia vs #7 Baylor

@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
This bowl was established 1935 and is played since then.
The payout is part of the CFP-system and it's a regular game this season.
Again a no brainer for me this season, like last season when I did pick Georgia vs Texas and pick the loser Georgia.
This season Georgia is favored only by 5.5 points, but still is for me the team to beat here.
Baylor did show great potential, hence the close betting line, but I think Georgia is just better.
No Baylor can prove me wrong.
Bulldogs win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

'Til next time

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