2016-12-19 06:13

Wow, I had not a good start on my picks, but that's the law of the bowl season: teams do play sometimes different in bowls.
Whether it's coaching changes or motivation or just bad adjustments is not important.

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

My first pick was right regarding the winner, but it was and stayed a close game and not the big Lobos win I expected.
I think the visitors got something for their money, including a late UTSA TD which did put the game in reach of an upset or tie.
UTSA had an onside kick with 23 seconds to play and was unable to recover it.
The Lobos did run out the clock and the game was over.
For the Lobos it was a very good season, for UTSA it was a good one, I think.
New Mexico 23 - Texas San Antonio 20 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 1-0

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

When I saw the first quarter score of this one I thought, 'damn, SDSU sucks in the bowl'.
Houston was leading at that moment 10-0.
But The Aztecs came back and held Houston scoreless for the rest of the game, winning it behind RB Donnel Pumphrey record setting day, which made him the rusher with the most rushing yards in his career, passing Ron Dayne mark by 8 yards to 6405 in total.
Great game to watch.
Houston 10 - San Diego State 34 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 2-0

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

This was the best game of the first wave, I think.
Close, open and exciting.
Back and forth went the game, over all had Toledo always to play catch up, but they did, every time, until their luck ran out and they missed the game tying field goal with under 2 minutes to play.
Appalachian State did run out the clock and won that bowl game.
Appalachian State 31 - Toledo 28 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 3-0

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

My first wrong pick and I never thought Arkansas State would be able to win THAT big.
The Red Wolves were great on offense, defense and special teams, including a blocked punt for a TD.
I still think UCF can become great again, but it looks like Arkansas State could run the Sun Belt again next season.
Central Florida 13 - Arkansas State 31 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 3-1

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

And another wrong pick here.
I still think Louisiana-Lafayette should have won this, but when you drop a sure TD pass in the endzone and do commit turnovers when you can't effort one, you I can say that the Ragin' Cajuns were the better team yesterday.
Southern Miss won this close game rightfully and ULL has to think about their game execution for next season.
Southern Mississippi 28 - Louisiana Lafayette 21 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 3-2

That was the 1st wave of bowls at the weekend. The 2nd wave will cover all bowl until Christmas.


Mon. Dec. 19 - 2:30 pm ET
Central Michigan vs. Tulsa

@Marlins Park - Miami, FL
This was established in 2014.
The bowl itself is hosted by the AAC and the feel free to invite teams from the CUSA, MAC or SBC.
The payout is according to some web pages 1.000.000$ per team.
CMU had started strong into the season as MAC team, but lost several games they were not supposed to lose and their bowl status was suddenly in limbo.
They managed to get that 6th win (which does include the strange win against Oklahoma State) on the gameday before season finale only and finished 6-6.
Tulsa was long time a contender in the American, but lost against Houston and Navy and went out of the division title contention that way.
The team finished 9-3 and is the favorite in this game.
The line of -12.5 does reflect the feeling I have in this.
Tulsa will dominate here.
Only a miracle like against Oklahoma State could save Central Michigan from a loss.
Golden Hurricanes win.

Tues. Dec. 20 - 7:00 pm ET
Memphis vs. Western Kentucky

@FAU Stadium - Boca Raton, FL
This bowl is in his 3nd season, founded 2014.
It belongs basically to the MAC.
They should get an American Athletic team as opponent here.
Well, that worked, only the MAC team was missing and filled up by a CUSA team.
The payout is believed to be 400.000$ per team.
Memphis has played a good season as AAC team and finished 8-4.
WKU had a great season and finished 10-3 as CUSA Champ.
That makes this matchups more interesting.
In fact, WKU is favored by Vegas by 5.0 points, even they are only a CUSA team and Memphis had proven to become a good one in the AAC.
I have mixed feelings here.
WKU can play and score, often, so does Memphis.
But often it is only a small something that can shift the power on the field in favor of a team.
The game is expected to be an offense fire work, so it comes down to who can score faster and more often.
WKU has lost their HC, so I expect the team to be a bit off, that's why I pick Memphis.
Tigers win.

Wed. Dec. 21 - 9:00 pm ET
BYU vs. Wyoming

@Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
This is played on the home field of the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego State Aztecs.
It is played since 2005 and each team gets around 612.500$.
It's a Bowl organized between the MWC and different teams from different conferences each year, if they are eligible.
Wyoming lost the MWC Championship game and went to this bowl with a 8-5 record, while BYU has a 8-4 record.
Both teams did play quite often in the past against each other and that 78th meeting features a BYU team having 14 more wins than Wyoming.
However that last meeting was in 2010, when BYU did beat the Cowboys.
Wyoming is for sure a good team this season and BYU did not look that good as expected.
Is that enough to win this?
Not sure.
Actually I don't think so.
Vegas has BYU as 9-point favorite, I think it will be closer but still a BYU win.
Gut feeling.
I think BYU has something to prove, while the Wyoming players lost the title game and will play in this not so important bowl game.
Cougars win.

Thur. Dec. 22 - 7:00 pm ET
Idaho vs. Colorado State

@Albertsons Stadium - Boise, ID
This was known as the Humanitarian Bowl.
It is played at the University of Boise in Idaho and is worth around 325.000$ for each team.
This Bowl is played since 1997 and it is played at the moment between teams from the MWC and the SBC.
Welcome to the smurf turf.
This season will Idaho, the team which did decide to go down to FCS level again soon, play in this bowl for the 3rd time since the bowl was founded.
both previous games were won by Idaho, so there is a streak running.
Colorado State has never played in that game and will be as Mountain West team be the favorite.
They should also be familiar with the turf, since they played Boise State this season in October on that field and lost.
CSU is 13.5-point favorite by Vegas, so don't expect too much here.
However did Idaho surprise many people with their 8-4 record, including their win over MWC-team UNLV.
I don't believe the Vandals will win here, but we might see a closer game than expected.
CSU should be able to hold of the Vandals and win on both sides of the ball.
Rams win.

Fri. Dec. 23 - 1:00 pm ET
Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion

@Thomas Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas
It's still there, even when I thought it would fold quickly.
A new Bowl since 2014 for FBS-Football, it's played on the Bahamas in a 15.000 seat multipurpose stadium, which is mainly used for soccer matches.
So far it was never sold out, in both seasons.
I doubt it will happen with this matchup.
The bowl is only a MAC-Bowl and plays against the CUSA.
They payout for each team is not known, I did find 450.000$ for each team.
Eastern Michigan had a miracle season after so many losing seasons in the past.
It's their first Bowl since 1987, when bowls did still mean something.
Old Dominion does have the first bowl game in school history, since they are only playing on FBS level since a few seasons.
So it's a high class field here ....
Well, that doesn't mean the game has to suck.
Vegas sees Old Dominion up front by 4.0 points, which is not that much.
I'm divided.
I think the Eagles do have great season (7-5) and will play with good motivation, but Old Dominion had also a great season (9-3) and won more games.
Motivation will hopefully be there for both teams.
So this is more or less a coin flip.
I would love to see the Eagles win, but I think the Monarchs just have that small edge, which will help them to win.
Monarchs win.

Fri. Dec. 23 - 3:30 pm ET
Louisiana Tech vs. #25 Navy

@Amon G. Carter Stadium - Fort Worth, TX
Since 2003 is this Bowl played and they field it at the moment at the home of the TCU Horned Frogs in Texas.
The Bowl is inviting teams from different conferences, depended on the year and the contracts made with the conferences and with Army as independent.
This season the Navy and the BIG12 were supposed to send teams, but that did not work out right.
Instead we got CUSA title game loser Louisiana Tech.
Each team gets around 675.000$.
After Navy lost to Army, this is now in favor or Louisiana Tech at Vegas, with 6.0 points.
Is that for real?
I'm not sure.
Navy is a good game, but they have trouble right now and it's not sure they will field the best team available on the bowl.
It's not sure who will play QB for the Midshipmen and LT is a good offense power team, which can score fast and often.
I think Navy is in trouble here and will lose.
Bulldogs win.

Fri. Dec. 23 - 8:00 pm ET
Ohio vs. Troy

@Ladd Peebles Stadium - Mobile, AL
Since 1999 is this Bowl played and its played at the home of the South Alabama Jaguars.
Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Bowl, Bowl and GoDaddy Bowl are former names of this 'buy yourself a bowl'-Bowl.
At the moment it is a Sun Belt Conference vs MAC Bowl.
Each team gets around 750.000$.
The matchup looks crappy, and it might be.
Ohio did manage to win their division (and lost the title game) with a 6-2 conference record and 8-5 overall while Troy did manage to lose the conference late in the season by losing to Georgia Southern on season finale.
It does not surprise that Troy is a 4.0-point favorite for Vegas.
I'm totally lost in this one.
Troy is a good team for SBC standards, and Ohio is solid coached since ages, but does lack something this season.
I think Vegas is right and we will see a close one.
My gut feeling is, that Troy is a bit better balanced than Ohio and is a bit better on offense.
Trojans win.

Sat. Dec. 24 - 8:00 pm ET
Hawai'i vs. Middle Tennessee

@Aloha Stadium - Honolulu, HI
The Hawai'i Bowl is played since 2002 and each team gets around 750.000$.
It does team up MWC teams against a CUSA team.
Well, Aloha, Hawai'i! The team is back in their home bowl, since 2010.
They did play 13 games and won only 6, becoming the first Hawai'i team playing in this bowl with a losing record.
They will face Middle Tennessee, a quick scoring team, which is good on offense, but lacks some defense.
So far no line on that game, but I personally think this will be close and Hawai'i will win this, as home team and as team from the stronger conference.
MTSU can win this, if they score fast, often and can keep Hawai'i in check.
But Hawai'i has made a lot of progress since last season and I think that will be the difference here, a balanced team will not let MTSU score at will and therefore will not lose.
Rainbow Warriors win.

'Til next time

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