2016-12-28 13:04

Ok, we are almost at halftime and the main event comes up quickly.
The next few days will feature a lot of football games, which does increase my workload a lot, but ... well, I will continue this until the last game is played.

But before I do cover the next few days, let's review the past few ones.


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

That was close.
Miami out of Ohio played good football and had the winning kick on their foot, but a Bulldogs players hand came between that and the ball went off, was recovered by a Bulldogs player and the game was over.
A bit unlucky for the Redhawks, because at the end of the day it will just say 'SEC team did win against MAC team' but the truth is, that Mississippi was almost done and needed some extra effort to come back from behind and win this.
Miami (OH) 16 - Mississippi State 17 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 10-4

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

I have to say, Boston College defense did look terrific and the Maryland offense did look bad.
BC did lead early, Maryland tried to get back into the game, but a strong 4th quarter by the Eagles was enough to secure that win.
Maryland 30 - Boston College 36 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 10-5

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

Oh boy, that was pick sooooooooooooooo wrong.
NC State did score soooooooooo many points .....
The only thing I was right about was that Vanderbilt will have trouble to score against NC State, but NC State did score from everywhere and won this in stile.
North Carolina State 41 - Vanderbilt 17 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 10-6

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

An open game all quarters long and North Texas did force overtime with a 3-0 4th quarter effort, kicking the field goal with less than 30 second left to play.
In OT did Army score on the first drive and held North Texas on 4th and 9 in check to secure the win.
Some call it revenge for the loss during the season, I call it a good final game for Army to close the season.
Army 38 - North Texas 31 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 11-6

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

At halftime it looks all done for the Demon Deacons, leading 31-10.
But Temple came back and narrowed the gab to 5 points.
Then did Wake Forest score a field goal, but it stayed a one possession game.
With less than 2 minutes to play did Temple start their final offense drive and was stopped on 4th and 3 at around mid-field.
A great finish for Wake Forest, Temple will have to look, whether the new coach will keep the level up or a rebuilding or even a downgrading will happen.
Temple 26 - Wake Forest 34 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 11-7

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

Hey, I thought Minnesota would be unable to keep Wazzus offense in check, but that was totally wrong.
Minnesota did hold the Cougars to 2 field goals and a score.
The big question was, whether the Gophers on the other side would be able to score and, well, just enough.
Most crucial part of that was Washington State late interception in the 4th quarter, which gave Minnesota good field position and later a TD to extend the lead.
Washington did march over the field with good time management and scored, but failed the 2-point conversion.
The onside-kick did fail for WSU and Minnesota did run down the clock.
Good finish for the Gophers, bad one for the Cougars.
There is a little discussion over the players strike and how the Minnesota coach did react on it, but I think he will survive this.
Minnesota 17 - Washington State 12 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 11-8

Tue. Dec. 27 - 10:15 pm ET
Boise State vs. Baylor

And this pick was totally wrong.
I thought Boise State would like to play that bowl, but they did not show up.
No offense, no defense.
Baylor did play a good game to close that tough season with the off field problems, which are still in the air.
It will be interesting to see, how Baylor will act under their new HC and how the off field problems will effect also the next season (and likely also some more seasons, if the NCAA comes down with the penalties).
Boise State 12 - Baylor 31 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 11-9

OK, that was that. Now I will have to make smaller packages, since I can't present you with tenth of games at once, since I just don't have the time to build it all up at once.
So the next 2 days now with 7 games.


Wed. Dec. 28 - 2:00 pm ET
#23 Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern

@Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY
Operated since 2010, it does field an ACC team against a Big10 Team.
Each team gets around 2.000.000$.
Pitt had high hopes this season and had some great wins, especially against Penn State and Clemson.
But they lost too many crucial games, like UNC, Miami and Virginia Tech, so they fell in the standings and finished 8-4 and tied at 2nd with UNC and Miami inside their division.
They do face Northwestern, which had a good season, but which failed also to win the crucial games, like Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The team did finish 6-6 overall.
It's no surprise that Pitt is a 5.0 points favorite in this.
Their overall performance was just a bit better than Northwesterns and I think they will beat the spread in this game.
For me Northwestern does lack something, Pitt does have, if they play 100%, the will to win.
Sounds bullshit?
Yes, that might be.
But that team DID win against very good teams, while Northwestern did only collect the have-to-win-games.
I expect Pitt to play tougher than Northwestern and to win this clearly.
Panther win.

Wed. Dec. 28 - 5:30 pm ET
#16 West Virginia vs. Miami

@Camping World Stadium - Orlando, FL
This is played since 1990.
The ACC should face up against the Big12.
Each team gets around 2.275.000$.
Still played in the same stadium, but the Citrus Bowl was renamed, so don't be confused.
And the original Citrus Bowl game will be played later, it's just in the same stadium another bowl, from the same organization.
Could be an interesting game.
West Virginia had played good games this season, but failed to win the most crucial ones.
Miami on the other hand did play under new HC Mark Richt a good season with a nice upside for next season.
WV is 10-2, Miami is 8-4, still Miami is a 2.5-point favorite here.
Honestly, I'm not sure.
I think a 100% Mountaineer team can play, but good enough to win against Miami?
Miami won their last 4 games, but not against THAT good teams.
I still think that the West Virginia rank at #16 is too high, but they are also not THAT bad, so they should be able to win against an unranked team, right?
I don't know.
In doubt I pick the home team, which does not exist in this scenario, so I pick the best momentum team and that is from my point of view Miami.
I expect a close game, and every team will have a chance here, but my pick is on Miami.
Hurricanes win.

Wed. Dec. 28 - 8:30 pm ET
Indiana vs. #19 Utah

@Levi's Stadium - Santa Clara, CA
Since 2002 does this Bowl operate, even under different names.
It is played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers.
This is a PAC 12 Bowl facing some team from the Big10.
A team get about 2.212.500$ as payout.
A tough Utah team against a team which did play spoiler at some games during the season, but lost their HC on a mysterious 'I'm out of here'-event and which took the next guy in line from within the team as new HC.
If I would be in that team, I would be either glad, if the rumors are true that the old HC did some incorrect stuff with the students, or I would be confused, if there were other reasons for that untypical coaching change.
In both cases I'm not sure whether I would love to play a bowl game against a tough cookie like Utah.
Fine I get a trip to the West Coast, but is that enough to be motivated?
Well, no surprise, Utah is a 6.0-point favorite here and I think they will beat that spread.
Utah has every motivation to play here and seal the season with a win.
They were almost the PAC12 South camp and can play, thanks to that great running game.
Indiana, at full speed, might give them a hard time, but I doubt that full speed aspect, so I pick Utah.
Utes win.

Wed. Dec. 28 - 9:00 pm ET
Texas A&M vs. Kansas State

@NRG Stadium - Houston, TX
This is played at the home of the Houston Texans.
It's played since 2006.
The Big 12 should face up against a SEC Team here.
Each team gets around 3.000.000$.
Nice matchup, since A&M was a long time BIG12 member and will face longtime rival Kansas State again.
A&M is only a 2.5-point favorite in this for Vegas, which I can understand.
The Aggies had played with mixed results over the season and it is not sure whether Sumlin, the Aggies HC, is save or not.
KSU on the other hand had a good season under Snyder and is in good shape.
I think normally should Texas win this, but I respect the Wildcats team and I'm willing to pick the underdog here.
Texas A&M did not look like they are a team, which I can't say from Kansas State.
But sometimes even individual efforts can shift a game and that might save A&M from a loss here.
I don't think KSU will let that happen, so I pick them as the winner.
Wildcats win.

Thur. Dec. 29 - 2:00 pm ET
South Florida vs. South Carolina

@Legion Field - Birmingham, AL
Since 2006 is this Bowl played and is fielded at the (former) home of the UAB Blazers (team was canceled after 2014 season and will play again 2017).
It's an American vs SEC game.
The teams get around 900.000$.
What should I do with that matchup?
South Florida is under interims management, their HC went to Oregon and their new HC, former Texas Longhorns coach, will take over after the bowl.
South Carolina is under new management since this season and went 6-6, which is OK, but not that good.
I'm no fan of their HC, so this might have an influence on my pick.
Normally a SEC team should be able to challenge an American team, even a good one as South Florida, but here I see South Florida as big underdog.
That interims stuff is their only benefit in this.
Vegas sees the Bulls ahead by 10.0 points, which is big.
I say they will beat that.
Bulls win.

Thur. Dec. 29 - 5:30 pm ET
Arkansas vs. #22 Virginia Tech

@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$.
This could be a coin toss game.
Arkansas had good games and bad games and which team will show up here?
Virginia Tech is in year one of the new HC era and had won their division and are favored by a score.
If Arkansas is motivated and prepared, they can beat everyone, but they did leave their fans hanging quite often this season, so I'm willing to say, VT has an edge here.
I expect a close game.
Hokies win.

Thur. Dec. 29 - 9:00 pm ET
#12 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Colorado

@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$.
The BIG12 runner up against the PAC12 runner up?
A good offense team against a good defense?
This could become a great game.
Or a boring matchup.
Colorado is favored by 3.0 points and that's no wonder, since the team did play some great games and does not only feature a good defense, they do also play a good offense.
And I think that will make Oklahoma State the most problems.
I think Colorado will keep OSU enough in check to run down the field and score often and enough to keep up with eventually big plays and to win this.
Buffalos will finish the season in stile, while Oklahoma State will again not win in the most crucial moments.
Buffalos win.

'Til next time

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