2016-12-25 11:11

Happy Christmas to all of you.

The bowls until X-Mas are through and we (well, I) have to cover the next upcoming bowls.
Before that, the review of the last bowls.


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

Well, that went almost as expected.
Tulsa was too good to lose in this game and CMU got mowed down by the Hurricanes.
The score speaks for itself I think.
It looks like the Hurricanes will be a team to watch next season.
Central Michigan 10 - Tulsa 55 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 4-2

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

The start of the game was all Memphis, but after a while did WKU take over the game and from that moment on it was only playing catch-up for Memphis until the game was over and they lost it.
WKU did again show that this team is a team which can take on teams from stronger conferences and it will be fun to see, what will happen in the future with them under a new coach.
For Memphis, this bowl loss was a small set back.
The team had high hopes to join the BIG12 and to become a major player, but when you lose against a CUSA team with such ambitions, you need to get back to the drawing table and make the team better.
For Memphis I think this will happen, but building a strong franchise takes time and since the BIG12 is done with their expansion plans, the team needs to wait for the next opportunity.
Memphis 31 - Western Kentucky 51 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 4-3

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

Close game and overall I think Wyoming did lose the game more than BYU did win it.
This might be unfair against the BYU defense, which recovered all the turnovers, but for me this all looked like errors BYU was able to capitalize on, and not like plays BYU was able to make.
Still the game was open until the final minutes.
BYU 24 - Wyoming 21 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-3

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

If you like offense scoring, you better look for this game.
111 points on the smurf turf.
Idaho did score early, often and as it seemed always after a scoreless 1st quarter.
The Rams try to make a comeback, trailing 41-7 already.
A 36 points 4th quarter was not enough to prevent the Vandals win, since they were unable to prevent another 20 points in the 4th quarter by Idaho and therefore did lose.
Idaho 61 - Colorado State 50 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-4

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

Another 13.000 visitors on the Bahamas, which is the same region the first 2 games had in 2014 and 2015.
Is this a good sign?
I don't know.
The game itself was an open game where every team could have won it.
At the end was Old Dominion good enough to hold of Eastern Michigan in the final minutes and saved their first bowl win ever.
Eastern Michigan 20 - Old Dominion 24 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 6-4

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

Another high scoring game and it was surprisingly close.
At the end did LT win this game on a field goal with time running out.
I think the game was fun to watch.
Louisiana Tech 48 - Navy 45 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 7-4

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

Ohio had major problems with turnovers, which lead to this loss.
The surprising fact is, the game was still wide open and I have to say, if Ohio would have played a bit better, they could have won this.
For Troy is this a great finish on a great season, even after they did fail to win a share of the SBC.
There is always another season, better keep an eye on the Trojans, they are on the rise.
Ohio 23 - Troy 28 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 8-4

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

Big day for Hawai'i, since the team won that bowl, the first bowl win since 2006.
After a short slow start did Hawai'i outscore Middle Tennessee in the 2nd and 3rd quarter and did score as many points as the Blue Raiders in 1st and 4th.
Almost 90 points in total for both teams does show that there was not much defense in the game.
For Hawai'i it looks promising in the future.
Middle Tennessee did also look good, but were just outmatched by the MWC team.
Hawai'i 51 - Middle Tennessee 35 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 9-4


Mon. Dec. 26 - 11:00 am ET
Miami (OH) vs. Mississippi State

@Tropicana Field - St. Petersburg, FL
This is the Dome of the Tampa Bay Rays, a major League Baseball team.
The Bowl is played since 2008 and each team gets around 500.00$.
It's a Bowl organized between the AAC and the CUSA or ACC. If none is available from those conferences, the SBC or the MAC can send a team.
Great it worked half and they got the 6-6 MAC team out of Miami, Ohio and got the 5-7 SEC team from Mississippi State as a filler.
Funny thing is, this should be very one dimensional, since even a 5-7 SEC team should win easily against a 6-6 MAC team.
The line for that game is -13.5, so it looks like Vegas does have the same feeling as I.
Honestly I don't see the Redhawks pulling an upset here, unless the Bulldogs are so unmotivated that they just don't play.
Bulldogs win.

Mon. Dec. 26 - 12:30 pm ET
Maryland vs. Boston College

@Ford Field - Detroit, MI
The Bowl is backed from the Detroit Lions and therefore played on their home field. It's new since 2014.
This is a Big10 vs ACC Bowl and we got an odd combination this season.
Maryland is a former ACC team, which will now meet Boston College as current ACC team.
Last season was the payout for each team 1.200.000$.
Both teams do have a 6-6 record and they will likely be on the same level, more or less.
I prefer Maryland a bit over Boston College.
Vegas does favor Maryland with 1.0 point.
I think Maryland can become a better and bigger team with their Under Armor link, but that is a process which needs time.
They made a small step this season and I think they did make another small one with that bowl.
Boston College did win only 2 games inside their conference and I just have the feeling that this team will not bring that extra yard needed to win the game to the bowl.
I might be wrong.
Terrapins win.

Mon. Dec. 26 - 5:00 pm ET
North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt

@Independence Stadium - Shreveport, LA
Since 2014 it's again the Independence Bowl, played since 1976.
It was named totally different 2013 and some seasons before.
Because of the 200-year celebration of independence at 1976, this Bowl had his original name.
The SEC 10th team should face an ACC team (7th).
Each team gets around 1.200.000$.
This could become an interesting game, since NC State had some great game (but also some lame ones) and won or did almost win against much higher ranked teams.
Especially the defense, if they show up, can play.
Vanderbilt on the other side had a much better season than expected and finished the season with 2 wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Both teams have a 6-6 record, but that doesn't mean much here.
I have Vanderbilt a bit up front here, even when Vegas does see NC State as 4.0 favorite.
They had a good finish, which might be an indication for next season.
Yes, NC State had also won their rival game against UNC, but they also lost some crucial games before, I thought they should be able to win.
I'm willing to bet on Vanderbilt, the only unknown here for me is, whether the team will be motivated to play.
I expect a low scoring game in which NC State just can't score enough points.
Commodores win.

Tue. Dec. 27 - 12:00 pm ET
Army vs. North Texas

@Cotton Bowl - Dallas, TX
Played since 2011, don't get confused with the real COTTON BOWL game.
This is only played in the stadium named Cotton Bowl.
It's a Big10 Bowl facing off against a CUSA-Team.
Well, not 100% right this season, again.
Each team gets around 1.100.000$.
The game might be over already.
North Texas is one of the 2 5-7 teams getting a bowl spot as filler and a 5-7 CUSA team is not a good one.
They face a 7-5 Army team, which did surprise a lot of people this season and which is a 10.0-point favorite right now (betting line).
I would guess this will be even more.
But there is hope for the Mean Green fans, since both teams did play already against each other and North Texas won this one.
So how can they be the underdog?
Well, I think the wins by Army over Navy and some other crucial wins did help to give them some momentum.
This could become an open game with everyone to win this, I think Army will have that momentum and will win.
Black Knights win.

Tue. Dec. 27 - 3:30 pm ET
#24 Temple vs. Wake Forest

@Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - Annapolis, MD
Since 2008 this Bowl is played.
For the next 4 years it will feature teams from the ACC vs AAC.
Each team gets around 1.000.000$.
A very interesting matchup, since I see both teams on the same level as not so prominent teams.
Temple had a great season, won the American Athletic Conference with a 10-3 record, but lost their coach by that and will be lead by an interims coach.
Wake Forest finished 6-6 inside the ACC and is believed to be the underdog in this, Vegas see Temple ahead by 12.0 points.
Well, Wake Forest is not an ACC power house but they are not powerless.
The team was hit by a leaked plays affair which had impact on the Louisville and the Virginia Tech game, but whether they would have won those games, if that wouldn't have happened, I'm not sure.
Temple is definitely the favorite in this, but 12.0 points seems to be too much.
The main question is, whether Temple will bring their A-game to the game and whether Wake Forest will be motivated after the affair became public.
I pick Temple, but only because I think that Wake Forest is too distracted to get the things together.
Owls win.

Tue. Dec. 27 - 7:00 pm ET
Minnesota vs. Washington State

@Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
This is played at the home of the San Diego Chargers.
It's played since 1978 and they managed to get the regular PAC12 vs. BIG10 matchup going.
Each team gets around 2.825.000$.
Minnesota had almost declined the bowl participation after 10 players were suspended and the team went on strike.
After a few days did they decide to play, so no substitution team (NIU was in discussion) was selected.
I have the feeling this game will be one-sided.
Minnesota lost 10 players and Washington State is a good team.
The only x-factor here is motivation (again).
I think if all goes normal and both teams do show up to play, the Cougars offense will score quite often and the Golden Gophers will have a hard time to counter that.
But my gut feeling says, we will see two unmotivated teams.
That's not nice to say, but Minnesota has it's package and the Cougars had some games this season where the team did underperform.
Washington State is a 10.5-point favorite by Vegas, so it looks they do see the difference between the teams the same, regardless why.
Cougars win.

Tue. Dec. 27 - 10:15 pm ET (ESPN) Line
Boise State vs. Baylor

@Chase Field - Phoenix, Ariz.
This does operate since 1989.
It's played at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a baseball team in MLB.
It does usually field a PAC12 Team facing a Big 12 team, but obviously it did not work out this season and Boise State got the ticket as Mountain West team.
Each team gets around 3.325.000$.
It's a bit of a mystery here, who is the real favorite.
Vegas does see Boise State (10-2) as 7.5 points favorite here, but Baylor (6-6) did start strong into the season and lost 6 in a row after that.
They might come out good or bad.
My feeling is, they will concentrate on the next season and will come playing but not to play.
I thin Boise State will win here, big.
It's a hungry team and I think they will come to play, especially on offense.
Their defense is not that bad and if Baylor really pushing this we will see likely a high scoring game.
Broncos win.

'Til next time

Rating (2 users):

Tags: Block of Granite

 Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter