2023-12-20 09:21

Yeah, the Bowls seasons has started.

No additional news regarding coaches, but one thing I would like to share, prior the reviews.

As you might know, a few seasons ago a very important decision came to be, that college players do own the rights to their name, image and likeness (short NIL).
That was a big dispute between the NCAA, the schools and the players, and until then the players were not part of any financial profits on those issues.
But with the decision, suddenly the players can get money out of NIL.
And now it seems THAT decision became the driver of some sort of free-agency in college sport.
Especially QBs are entering the transfer portal like it seems never before, and Matt Ruhle, the HC of Nebraska, did state an elite QB on college level does cost about 2 million dollars.
And some QBs start to shift teams after a season already.
It seems the ruling to have a player for 4 seasons and that they are more or less bound to the school are at least for the high-profile positions gone. It will be interesting to see, whether the schools or the NCAA will change some rules regarding the scholarship to get the starting circus better under control.
As you may know also, scholarships are normally prolonged on a yearly basis, which meant in the past, that if you are expandable, you got even kicked off the team after a year.
Now that year is in favor of the players (at least the high-profile ones), since they can leave after a year and try to cash on a new deal.
So maybe we will see some sort of longer scholarship offers to have better security on both sides?
Only time will tell.

Now let's get to the reviews of the 1st few bowls.

The FIRST SET OF BOWLs from next Saturday, 16th to Tuesday, 19th of December.

Saturday, December 16
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Georgia Southern vs Ohio Bobcats

When only one team does all the scoring in the 1st half, the game is normally over at halftime.
In this case here Ohio did score 'only' 20 points until the break, but those 20 points were already enough to manage the lead.
Georgia Southern has started with an INT, added 1 more during 1st half, added 1 lost fumble and had on top 2 punts. That's how ALL of their offense drives did end in that miserable 1st half.
The 2nd half did not start better, having another Georgia Southern INT, but then the team did at least find some juice to counter the Bobcats.
Unfortune for them, they were still unable to stop the Bobcats offense from scoring and did add on top another lost fumble and later, because they had to do something of they want to stay in the game, played 4th downs, which they were unable to convert.
Bottom line was, the 2nd half was a tie of 21:21, lead to a final score of 41:21 for the Bobcats.
Jacks BOWL Score: 1-0

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Jacksonville State vs Louisiana

This was more of an interesting game.
It must have been a game to produce goosebumps for the Jacksonville State fans.
That's the 1st season on FBS level, you are not supposed to be here, play against an established team.
You are the favorite, but just by 3.0 points and when you get on the field, it's different.
Then the Cajuns did score early on a fumble return, but your team does answer, and the game goes on that way.
You commit errors and the others do profit out of it, but your team response, always, until at halftime it's 14:14.
Then you get a even a lead and while it is just a bit, you can suddenly gain it back after you lost it, once you score another TD.
And Louisiana does also not give up, ties the game, scores another TD on a turnover return and now the game is on the line, you are trailing!
But with roughly under 2 minutes left you tie the game and it's going into OT! You damn 1st bowl!
And the Cajuns get the ball, your team stops them, and Louisiana is forced to kick a field goal and misses it!
Now you get the ball and get close the goalline, but can't punch it in. Your team is also forced to kick and MADE IT!
Final score Jacksonville State won 34:31.
Jacks BOWL Score: 2-0

Duluth Trading Cure Bowl
Miami (OH) vs Appalachian State

And from a high scoring bowl to a defense battle.
The 1st half did feature only field goals, with App State leading 6:3.
Then at least 2 Touchdowns were scored in the 3rd, but while Appalachian State did hit the XP, Miami did miss it.
And on 4th quarter?
Nothing, Null, Nada, Niente.
Final score in points, Mountaineers won 13:9.
Final score in turnovers, 3:3.
That kind of game is not my cup of tea.
Jacks BOWL Score: 3-0

New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico State vs Fresno State

Oh, that game had some funny sidenote.
It seems the university of New Mexico, owning the stadium tried to prevent the Aggies to use the practice field.
So even then you try to punish the rival? If that is true, it's pathetic for the Rebels.
But maybe it was frustration of the Aggies HC, since the team was clearly outplayed by the Bulldogs.
It was a bit OK until the end of the 3rd quarter, but New Mexico State did already trail 10:20.
Then the Bulldogs did put something on top and ran away with additional 17 points, while the Aggies were unable to score anything.
Final score, Fresno State won 37:10 and New Mexico State can think about their errors.
Jacks BOWL Score: 3-1

LA Bowl Hosted by Gronk
UCLA vs Boise State

I call this the bowl mystery.
I expected the Broncos to grind the Bruins to a win, but the reality did look that way, that after a 16:7 lead at halftime the Broncos did just vanish and UCLA was able to turn the game upside down, big time.
The 3rd quarter did feature 21 UCLA points, and zero Broncos points, and the 4th quarter was more or less equal.
At the end did UCLA win by that 3rd quarter effort 35:22.
Jacks BOWL Score: 3-2

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
California vs Texas Tech

And another bowl surprise, at least for me.
Cal did show up in the 1st quarter and score twice, while Texas Tech only one time.
To be fair, the Red Raiders did score directly after the 2nd TD of the Bears, but that drive did carry over to the 2nd quarter.
But then ... the Bruins did fall to sleep, or the Red Raiders defense did turn into 2nd gear. Don't know.
The result was just that Cal stopped scoring and Texas Tech scored and scored and scored until they won the game 34:14.
Jacks BOWL Score: 3-3

Monday, December 18
Famous Toastery Bowl
Western Kentucky vs Old Dominion

A bowl, nobody wanted to see, that's the bottom line here, while the game itself was as exciting as it can be.
The only-this-season-renamed-Bahamas-Bowl-relocated-to-Charlotte had the chance to bring in more spectators, since the stadium selected was slightly bigger than the one on the Bahamas.
But according to ESPN less than 6.000 people were in the stadium, which is less than half of the crowd the Bahamas Bowl did draw last year and that was already the worst since the start.
But OK, let's get to the game.
Old Dominion, the favorite, did start very strong, scored 21 unanswered points in the 1st quarter.
The 2nd quarter then did equal out the powers on the field, WKU did commit less errors, tried to catch up to the 28:0 lead of Old Dominion and at the half we had 28:7 Monarchs.
After break, more of the 2nd quarter game, no team was able to pull away, but Western Kentucky was also unable to close the gap.
Then did WKU carry a drive over to the 4th quarter, scored and intercepted Old Dominion in the next drive to get a score in their own next drive again.
Now at 35:28 the game was suddenly wide open again.
A short period of horror for WKU fans came, when they did fumble the ball and Old Dominion was again in scoring range, but the FG-try was blocked and the Hilltoppers scored on the next drive with time almost running out a TD to tie the game.
It went into OT and here Old Dominion did start and was forced to try another field goal and was BLOCKED AGAIN!
WKU come on the field, was stopped before the goalline, but did hit the game winning field goal for the win, 38:35.
Lots of exciting action for just a few people.
Jacks BOWL Score: 4-3

Tuesday, December 19
Frisco Bowl
UTSA vs Marshall

The 1st half was OK, with Marshall getting ahead by 14 points, but UTSA recovered and scored afterwards 14 points to tie the game.
Marshall then took the lead again with a FG, which was countered by UTSA before the break with a TD to lead 21:17 at the half.
In the 2nd half, Marshall decided to quit, and UTSA scored in each quarter a TD to win the game 35:17.
Jacks BOWL Score: 5-3

OK, that is the 1st set of bowl and we can advance to the 2nd set of bowls.
Since I do plan some X-Mas touring, this runs quite far.

The SECOND SET OF BOWLs from next Thursday, 21st to Tuesday, 26th of December.

Thursday, December 21 Boca Raton Bowl
South Florida vs Syracuse

@FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
A bowl since 2014 it's a game between always new negotiated conference tie ins, usually for 2 seasons.
This season we should have again any Group of 5 team or Army in it, but usually the grab what they can get.
It's played on the home field of the Florida Atlantic Owls.
Since the tie-in did shift over the seasons, there were a lot of teams from different conferences in it.
But most stunning fact, the CUSA was in this 6 times and never lost a game.
This season we have an American vs an ACC team matchup, but to be realistic, it's not-good vs not-good.
South Florida did play a mixed season with a 6-6 record so far. The have no real signature win, they just won most games against weaker teams and lost the games against stronger teams.
At the start they even lost against teams from other, weaker, conferences. And the team did get the bowl spot by beating Charlotte on the last gameday.
Syracuse on the other hand did start with 4 wins, lost then 5 in a row and did only get to a bowl, thanks to a win on last gameday against Wake Forest.
The Orange under interims coaching are favored to win by 3.0 points here.
That makes a bit sense, since the ACC team should be a bit better than the American and the change in coaching did make the team looks a bit tougher.
But is that enough?
Not sure.
Also, I can't say, what the weather will do here.
Syracuse is from New York, while South Florida does almost play a home game. In fact, the stadium is even more southern than the home field of the Bulls.
My biggest concern is, that South Florida did not play good in many games, but they did lose some games, against good teams, by just a few points.
So, with those circumstances, can they win here?
I think the situation at Syracuse are hard to judge, it's the last game under the interims coach, so will they be motivated, or will it be just a game they have to play?
I do prefer the Bulls to get this together.
Bulls win.

Friday, December 22
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl
Georgia Tech vs UCF

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
This is played since 2008, formerly known as the St. Petersberg-Bowl based on the former playing site in Florida.
The tie-ins were negotiated quite wide open since 2020, so basically this means the bowl organizer can s e l e c t teams assumed to draw some attention and willing to participate.
Planned is teams from Group of 5 vs a SEC team. That did not really come to be.
The game will be played in the stadium of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Since the teams origin does switch basically every season there is no clear picture on this, especially not for the ACC (2 games, 2 wins) and the BIG-12 (no game).
But UCF has played here already 5 times and won 3. They are favored here by 4.5 points in this game, have a 6-6 record.
Their best win is likely against BIG-12-Championship-participant Oklahoma State and they did win 3 of the last 4 games.
Georgia Tech is also 6-6, played good games against good or mid-level-teams, lost mostly against good teams, but also surprisingly against Bowling Green.
They did win and lose, without many patterns.
I do lean towards UCF also, but I have also a good amount of respect for GT, because they did play tough in every game, but lost some by errors.
If UCF can bring in their offense, the Yellow Jackets will have a hard time scoring accordingly.
The key will likely be the GT defense here.
Golden Knights win.

Saturday, December 23
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
Troy vs Duke

@Protective Stadium, Birmingham, Alabama
This bowl exists since 2006.
It should feature a Group of 5 team vs a SEC Team, but we got a Sun Belt vs ACC .... Hmmm.
The stadium is the home field of the UAB Blazers.
The American did send very often a team here, 16 times, and won 10 games, including last season, but those conference NOW sending a team are combined only at 4 games and lost 3.
Troy did win the Sun Belt (11-2) and did only lose twice this season, against James Madison and Kansas State.
They did play any other power 5 teams this season.
Duke on the other hand did play 7-5, was unable to get the numbers of last year, but did on the other hand give every opponent a hard time.
The sad news here is, BOTH teams will be coached by interim coaches on this bowl, since BOTH teams did lose their season HC, because they were hired by better paying programs. Elko of Duke did accept the job at Texas A&M and Sumrall went to Tulane.
So it's hard to predict how the teams will react.
Troy is favored at Vegas by 7.5 points, while the ESPN community is favoring Duke by 57%.
What to do with that? I mean favored by a score is a lot.
I think talent level is Duke quite good, better than Troy, but since the HC, who was able to get the most out of them, is gone, will the team now fall down?
How will Troy react on their HC leaving, after they won the Sun Belt together?
For Troy it's almost a home game, just a bit more south inside their own state, will this have an effect?
When I look onto the results of the Trojans, I just assume that over a period of a game, the ACC talent will overcome them slowly.
Blue Devils win.

Camellia Bowl
Arkansas State vs Northern Illinois

@Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama
This is played since 2014 and features usually Sun Belt vs MAC. Only in 2020 did the Sun Belt not send a team to this bowl.
The bowl is owned by ESPN.
The Sun Belt has a 5-3 record here, MAC (3-4) and CUSA (1-2) have a negative record.
Arkansas State was the gold standard of the Sun Belt for many years, but since a few years the team did fall flat and is right now in some sort of rebuilding phase, getting 6 wins this season, which is more than the past 2 seasons in total.
Northern Illinois is ... complicated. The team did start under the new HC 5 seasons ago with a 5-6 campaign, fell to 0-6 in 2020, won the conference with 9-5 in 2021, dropped to 3-9 last year and is this season at 6-6. The team did lose against Southern Illinois (FCS) in the beginning after a win against Boston College a week before.
What do you do with such a team? Playing in a bowl against another 6-6 from a similar weak conference?
Vegas is almost the same way confused, favoring Arkansas State by 3.0 points.
Will the warm weather have a factor?
I don't know.
My initial reaction was Northern Illinois should win this, but was that because NIU did play better in the past? Or because of the Red Wolves mixed results this season?
I don't know ....
for a coin toss ....
Huskies win.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
James Madison vs Air Force

@Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
This is played on the field of the TCU Horned Frogs (last season I did state SMU, but that was an error, don't know how that happened) and the bowl is alive since 2003.
The tie-ins did change over the years, CUSA did send the most teams to the bowl in 20 years but won only 4 of 12. Independent teams do have the best record, 6-0.
This and last season a matchup between an American team and a Conference USA team was planned. Last year that did not happen at all.
And this season, it did also not happen. Instead, we have a Sun Belt Team, which was not supposed to be here against a Mountain West Team, which did look like it would get to a new years bow, but crumbled to dust late in the season.
James Madison is in the transition phase between FCS and FBS. Next season they are full FBS member, but THIS season they normally would not be allowed to play a bowl or for a Championship.
Why such a rule exist, I don't know, but JMU tried twice this season to get an exception by the NCAA and it was declined, twice.
Hence one of the best teams inside the Sun Belt, if not THE best, was not given a spot in the Sun Belt Championship game and when that game was over and the bowls had to be filled, it became clear there would be not enough teams eligible for that totally overstretched amount of bowls. The persons in charge did look right and left and decided to put 2 teams not allowed to play in a bowl (Jacksonville State and James Madison) in a bowl and fill the last spot with a team not eligible to play (Minnesota at 5-7).
Hence, we have 11-1 James Madison here.
Air Force on the other hand did start with 8 wins in a row (if I remember correctly named the best start of an Academy team since ages, if not ever). The team was ranked (highest rank was AP#19) and everyone did see them in the Mountain West Championship game, a new years bowl, something like that. But the team did start losing, against Army (now 6-6), Hawaii (now 5-8) and did not stop until the season was over. They did finish 8-4 and will face now JMU.
In the consequence, the Dukes are favored by 2.0 points here.
I have only one concern here, regarding JMU, they lost their HC to Indiana, and the team will get into the bowl with an interims HC, the OL-position coach, who also served as AHC.
Will the team play the same way as before? You never know.
Air Force did actually play most games in this bowl here, 6 so far, but has a record of 2-4.
Fun fact, ALL games were under the current HC, most of the time they were the underdogs.
I did think this over a few times and decided to go with Air Force.
With the coaching situation I do favor Air Force, but I expect a close game.
Falcons win.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Georgia State vs Utah State

@Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
This is a quite long running bowl, since 1997, and it's played on the smurf turf field of Boise State Broncos.
It's basically a Mountain West bowl with some other team invited, this season again from the MAC, which did not happen, it became a Sun Belt Team.
It started as a WAC bowl, so no wonder the WAC has send so far the most teams to the bowl (13), but the MAC did send already 12 teams so far and could tie the record, but that will maybe happen next year.
The matchup is a good reason to reduce the amount of bowls.
We have 2 6-6 teams, which had mixed seasons and the matchup does just not ring a bell, saying YEAH!
Let's start with Georgia State, who started 6-1 into the season and did look like a good match for the Sun Belt Championship game (since JMU was not allowed to play).
They had only lost to Troy and that was OK, that team was the favorite for the other division.
Then the team did play the better teams from their division and lost all games until the season was over, finishing 6-6.
And for that you give them a bowl game ....
Utah State started slow, won a few, lost a few more, but consequently they won against the weaker teams and lost against the tougher ones. Call it luck or destiny, they did win the last season game against New Mexico (4-8) to finish also 6-6.
Vegas has Utah State favored by .... drum roll ... 2.5 points!
Why, I don't know.
How do you value those wins and losses?
I was done with that game, before I did start the preview.
Utah State is a mid-level MWC team, against a mid-level-Sun Belt Team.
Sure, the Panther might win here, but than that was Bowl magic, mystic destiny or just no-effort by the Aggies.
I assume both are motivated, so I assume they like to play.
Utah should be better suited to that cold weather on top.
Fun fact, the Aggies did play so far the most games in this bowl with 4 games and won only 1.
Aggies win.

68 Ventures Bowl
South Alabama vs Eastern Michigan

@Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
The bowl was renamed several times in its past (last season it was Lending Tree Bowl), but it was founded 1999 and is usually a group of 5 vs group of 5 bowl, plan was MAC vs Sun Belt.
The MAC is actually the conference with the most participations and has a record of 9-11.
The Sun Belt has only 13 participations, but a 9-4 record, including last years win.
They play it in the home of the South Alabama Jaguars.
Let's make this fast, the Jaguars (6-6) did manage to play a bowl game AT HOME against Eastern Michigan (6-6) coming from cold weather state to Alabama.
I have the highest respect to the HC of the Eagles, but his bowl record is 1-4, and won last year with a much better team.
The betting line is USA (yes, University of Southern Alabama) -17.0!
Not picking the Eagles here.
Jaguars win.

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Utah vs Northwestern

@Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
This bowl is operated since 1992 and is now played inside the home dome of the Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV.
It's a PAC-12 vs SEC bowl planned. We got PAC-12 and BIG10.
Mountain West and PAC-12 tie the record for participation, but the MWC has a record of 12-8, while the PAC-12 has 10-10, including the win last season.
Funny side fact, the SEC was so far 2 times in this bowl and lost both games and the BIG10 did send so far only 1 team and did win that game.
We have Utah, who did win the PAC-12 the past 2 seasons, but got derailed this season and finished 8-4, which is except the crazy corona year of 2020 the worst season since 2017 for the Utes.
They did play strong football and their results do show this, but did lose against all the teams later lined up ahead of them.
Northwestern did play a strange season, under strange conditions. They lost their HC before the season, because of knowing about harassments performed by older players against younger players (it reads like that shit also military units do to punish bad performance and to bring in new teammates by forcing them performing stupid humiliating actions). The interims HC went into the season with all that stuff being crunched by the media and the team started 4-5. It did not look good, but also not that bad.
Then they won against Wisconsin on the road and that seemed to change something, they did win the last 2 games also and finished 7-6.
Still, for me it's no wonder that Utah is favored here, by 6.5 points.
Since the dome will likely equal out any advantages any team might have had, it comes down to preparation.
Utah had an aura of being invincible in bowls, winning 11-1 with that current HC, but since then they lost 4 in a row.
That 1st of the 4 losses was against Northwestern by the way, under the former coach of the Wildcats of course.
I think the Utes will be well prepared and only that 'we-together'-feeling, which might be preserved in the team of Northwestern might change the fate of the game, but that is so foggy, I can't not help, but ...
Utes win.

EasyPost Hawai'i Bowl
Coastal Carolina vs San José State

Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, Honolulu, Hawai'i
Played basically on the practice field of the Hawai'i Rainbows, since the regular stadium has major problems and will likely be replaced.
The field has right now roughly 15.000 seats and will be expanded until 2024 (panned was 2023) to 17.000 to fulfill the minimum demands of the FBS football rules.
The old playing site, the Aloha Stadium, which was famous for the ability to be configured as Baseball- or Football-Stadium with movable ranks and feature basically a round or a long configuration, and which was also famous for the Pro Bowl of the NFL and the home field of the Hawai'i College Team, is shut down. THAT had 50.000 seats.
But this will be demolished in 2024 and new, planned 35.000 seat having, stadium will be built at a different location for the Rainbows and other stuff.
The Bowl has tie-ins on American, Conference USA and Mountain West. And we got a Sun Belt team against a MWC team.
Eventually surprisingly the CUSA did play here the most games, and has a 9-4 record, including last years win.
The other conferences all have losing record.
Coastal Carolina was very close to play for the Sun Belt Championship. But they did lose the deciding match against James Madison on the last gameday, which gave them a 7-5 record and a loss more inside the conference than Appalachian State. IF they would have won against James Madison, the direct compare would have made them leapfrog the Mountaineers, but of course they lost.
A bit different, but similar destiny for San José State.
The team did win their last 6 games, including a great win against UNLV on the road at last gameday, which gave them a 7-5 record and a 3-team-tie inside the Mountain West. The tie-breaker-rules did say, deciding is the average of the final computer rankings of 4 lists to determine the 2 strongest teams and San José did finish 3rd.
Now both have to play in Hawai'i on a practice field for a bowl trophy.
Not really surprising is the Mountain West team favored in this against the Sun Belt team. But 10.5 points? Not sure that's fair.
On the other hand, did the Spartans beat the Rebels on the last gameday quite convincing by 6 points, so they have juice.
And the Chanticleers did lose the deciding game by 42 points.
The last-season Chanticleers would get a deeper consideration by me, but this season ....
Spartans win.

Tuesday, December 26
Quick Lane Bowl
Bowling Green vs Minnesota

@Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
The bowl exists since 2014 and did feature several teams from several conferences, usually from the ACC, BIG10 and the MAC, with BIG10 and MAC were planned this season.
Because of the changing participants, no conference does really stick out, but the MAC did lose all games they played in (5) except one in 2021.
The bowl is played on the home field of the Detroit Lions.
What to say to that Matchup?
We have Bowling Green from the MAC, finished so far at 7-5, and which did lose all crucial games against the MAC-contenders.
It's like a textbook-3rd-place-team.
On the other hand we have Minnesota, which is only here, because that one spot was still open and no eligible team was left.
Thanks to their Academic Progress Rate (APR) the Gophers were selected as the most worthy team of all 5-7 teams to play in a bowl.
And they had lost the last 4 games, including teams like Purdue (4-8) and Illinois (5-7).
Thanks to the big gap between the MAC and the BIG10, the Gophers are favored by 3.5 points, still.
I guess beside some fans, nobody needs this matchup anyway, between a 3rd place MAC team and a pity-bowl-participant, but regardless, I will pick a winner.
I did state this during the season and I'm still meaning it, Minnesota is well coached, and I don't understand why they did lose so many games against weaker opponents.
But with the time and the preparation, the Gophers should get this done.
Golden Gophers win.

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
Texas State vs Rice

@Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas
Operated since 2010, this had shifting tie ins, usually some power 5 school vs group of 5 school as intention, but the actual matchups did usually never match the intention.
Plan was to have a matchup between teams from the American or ACC or BIG 12 and the CUSA as alternative. Funny is, the CUSA has send the most teams so far to the bowl and has a record of 4-3.
It's played on the home field of the SMU Mustangs.
Having a Sun Belt team here was not planned I guess and Texas State did play far beneath their potential, from my point of view.
The team did win against Baylor and Nevada, only to lose late in the season against Louisiana and Arkansas State.
It did finish 7-5 and has to play Rice from the American, which has the best season under the current coach so far at 6-6.
You can describe the Rice-season as 'mixed', winning against Houston, but losing against Texas Southern from FCS within 2 weeks is the main pattern.
Which makes this the perfect matchup between to 'mixed' teams.
Texas State is favored by 5.5 points, which I would say is fine.
The Bobcats are capable to win more games and likely we will see more wins next season. And in this bowl, with the time and extra training? They can win here. Rice on the other hand ... not sure whether they did already have the ceiling of their development.
Bobcats win.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Kansas vs UNLV

@Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
This bowl is played since 1989 and it is played as you-buy-it-you-name-it-bowl.
It had several names in the past, from several sponsors.
Regardless, they play in the home stadium of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a baseball team, and it should feature a Big 12 vs BIG10 team matchup, only it does not. The Mountain West does jump in for the BIG10
In this 30+ seasons the tie ins did change a lot, but the BIG 12 did send so far 19 teams to the game and won 14 matchups.
And this season, likely the win again, since Kansas is hot.
When I saw the matchup, I was happy.
Kansas at 8-4 did get a really great makeover, the best since the Mangino day, which ended 2009. Leipold, the HC, has turned the program around in now his 3rd season, what other big names were unable to do. Made it a winner (actually already last year, but the team stayed on that level this season).
And ULNV, got a new HC this season and that gave them the best season since 1984! In 84 they had 11 wins, this season they have 9-4, including a loss in the MWC-Championship game. Still, a great accomplishment.
No surprise, the Jayhawks are heavily favored as BIG-12 team, by 12.5 points, but I hope UNLV can play some tricks and make this a fun game.
Jayhawks win.

That's it for the 2nd set of Bowl games.
Next u p d a t e after Christmas!
Enjoy the holidays, it’s football time!

'Til next time

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