2018-12-22 13:54

And the 2nd part of the bowl season is over.
It went at least for me quite bad.

Interesting is that all the attention is given the early signing period, the games are as it seems not that important.

Well, for me they are.


Tues. Dec. 18
UAB vs Northern Illinois

Wow, I'm impressed how good UAB did handle NIU and did cap a great season for them.
They did dominate over 3 quarters and did take away the gas a bit in the 4th, where NIU was unable to start a comeback, even after an UAB INT.
I'm a bit disappointed by NIUs performance, but that's usual the thing on those bowl games, you often are left with the feeling the team(s) were not 100% into it.
It will be interesting to see, whether UAB can repeat next season and whether NIU can improve.
UAB 37 - Northern Illinois 13 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-1

Wed. Dec. 19
San Diego State vs Ohio

Oh ... my ... god.
Ohio did leave SDSU scoreless!
That's not the team I had in mind when I picked them to win.
The game was not really over at halftime, but that must have been a shock for the Aztecs going into the locker room at 0-17 and then coming out of it and still being unable to score.
Ohio has a good foundation to build on for next season, in that shape they will challenge every team for the MAC crown, while SDSU will need to focus on the errors and how to get back on track for next season.
San Diego State 0 - Ohio 27 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-2

Thur. Dec. 20
Marshall vs South Florida

Looks like my great pick streak at the start just falling apart.
Marshall did run down USF like they don't even have a defense and did outscore the Bulls big time.
The Thundering Herds HC Doc Holliday is now 6-0 in bowls, while the Bulls did finish 0-6 after a 7-0 start.
I can only hope for the Bulls fans that the team will get this done better next season.
Marshall 38 - South Florida 20 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-3

Fri. Dec. 21
Florida Intl vs Toledo

One of the most entertaining games, unfortunate for most it was played on the Bahamas and therefore not so many were in it as spectators.
Toledo did score alone in the 1st, FIU alone in the 2nd.
With 14-10 for FIUit went to the half.
Then it went back and forth with Toledo and then FIU scoring TDs and suddenly it was 4th quarter and the game was still close.
Florida did the score and went ahead by 11, FIU did answer with a TD and 2-point-conversion, FIU did score again and then did Toledo need almost the rest to get within 3 points.
A last second onside kick did fail and the game was in the books.
FIU looks good for the future, with Toledo I'm not sure.
Florida Intl 35 - Toledo 32 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-4

Fri. Dec. 21
Western Michigan vs BYU

Man, was that a 3rd quarter by BYU.
Trailing by 3 at the start of the 2nd half they did score 28-0 in the 3rd and another score on top of that starting the 4th quarter.
That's 35 points until WMU did answer, too late and to soft.
BYU did finish in stile and this did maybe help to soften the waves after that not so good 6-6 season, now 7-6.
Western Michigan did end on a low performance and all the fans can do is hope for next season.
Western Michigan 18 - BYU 49 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 6-4

That's that so far, next games will be until Wednesday, so whole Christmas.


Sat. Dec. 22
Memphis vs Wake Forest

@Legion Field - Birmingham, AL
Since 2006 is this Bowl played and is fielded at the home of the UAB Blazers.
It's an American vs SEC game. If that does not happen, CUSA or MAC war taken.
And we have a American vs ACC game. Looks like the scheduling rule is perfect. Last season they had the Big12.
The teams get around 900.000$.
Memphis has played in their bowl once (and lost), Wake Forest did not play in this bowl so far.
The Demon Deacons had a rollercoster season which was capped with a win against Duke on last gameday to get the Bowl ticket with a 6-6 record.
Overall they did play well inside the conference but failed to upset one of the better teams of the season, except NC State.
Memphis has played themselves into the AAC Championship game and did almost upset UCF for the title, but was unable to prevent a late comeback and finished 8-5 as record.
I think this is Memphis game to lose.
Not saying Wake Forest is a bad team, but Memphis should be able to score often and regularly, so WF has to do the same and that's not their thing.
Vegas did see Memphis ahead by 3.5 points, which is not much, but likely a nod to the power 5 vs non-power 5 matchup and reflects the fact that this can go any way.
Wake Forest CAN play good defense and if they manage to do so, Memphis will have a big problem.
Memphis DID play bad defense in some games and that could mean Wake Forest could score also often and regularly.
I have a bit more faith in Memphis offense than in Wake Forest Offense, so overall I give Memphis 2 scoring drives more than WF, which should be enough to win this.
Tigers win.

Sat. Dec. 22
Houston vs Army

@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 American Athletic and the Big12 are wanted, but Army and the American Athletic is became.
This is typical for the Bowl which did feature not at least one of the wanted participant since 2014.
Each team gets around 675.000$.
Army is having a great run lately.
Last season did Army beat SDSU in this Bowl here and finished 10-3, this season they have already 10 wins and face a Houston team which went 8-4 so far and which struggled late in the season against SMU, Temple and Memphis.
For them this is the fith Armed Forces Bowl, so far they have won it 2 times and lost it the same number, while Army does have it's 3rd game, with 2 wins so far.
The Knights are favored 6.5 points, which is not much if you think that this team is having a great season and is on a hot streak since 2 years.
I'm surprised that no team did ask for Monken to coach their team, especially not Georgia Tech, but maybe it's best to have it that way, since this help Army and Monken seems to be OK with the situation.
This game here will be a great one, with Army being able to play their game and to stop Houston good enough to win this game, with a score difference.
Knights win.

Sat. Dec. 22
Buffalo 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$.
I like the matchup this season because Buffalo and Troy do field good playing teams this season, which did lack just the finishing touch to win their conference.
Buffalo did look like a lock for the MAC but lost by 1 point against NIU in the Championship game, finishing 10-3, while Troy did lose the deciding game against later Sun Belt Champ Appalachian State and finished 9-3.
Troy is likely the 2nd best team from the Sun Belt, even if Louisiana did play for the Championship game and lost. The Cajuns won their division with a 6-6 record, while 9-3 was not enough in the East.
Anyway, hard to say, who will really win here, both teams are good, if not great, on their level and they do face each other the first time this season.
Troy did play this Bowl twice so far, 1-1 is their record. But the Bowl record of their HC is 2-0 so far, and they play in Alabama which is almost a home game by that, while those Yankees have to go all the way to the south.
The betting line is Buffalo -1.0, which is OK.
I think Troy has a bit more in the tank than Buffalo and is better prepared for this game.
Trojans win.

Sat. Dec. 22
Hawai'i vs Louisiana Tech

@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, which did work this season.
Aloha to both teams.
Of cause is Hawai'i a very often seen guest in this bowl, last time 2016 (a win) and overall this is their 8th gig here, with a 4-3 record so far.
They did start strong into the season but had some odd games and finished 8-5, which is not bad given their recent history.
Louisiana Tech played 7-5 this season and had a kind of down year, but since Holtz did take over the team it went to a bowl (except their first season) and won every game.
The Warriors were favored at the start now the line is even in this game and as always it is a matter of concentration winning this one.
For Hawai'i likely this home game will give them a boost, while the Bulldogs will face a long travel, a friendly but still strange environment and it will come down to Holtz motivation skills, whether they will play 100% or not.
I hope for a great matchup, but I'm leaning toward the home team with my heart and even I do respect the bowl series Tech has had in the past years, every streak comes to an end and with the Rainbows playing this season, I guess they will come up with a win, somehow.
Rainbow Warriors win.

Wed. Dec. 26
Boston College vs #25 Boise State

@Cotton Bowl - Dallas, TX
Played since 2011, until last season known as Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Don't get confused with the real COTTON BOWL game.
This is only played in the stadium named Cotton Bowl.
For this season is was planned to have a BIG10 team facing a CUSA team, but instead we got an ACC team facing a Mountain West team.
Still an interesting matchup.
Each team gets around 1.100.000$.
Boise State lost the Conference final and finished 10-3.
It looked like they had some problems with tough defenses this season so playing BC will be hard for them.
They do have an 18 game bowl streak with the 19th this season. So far they have a record of 12-6.
Boston College did finish 7-5 this season, which a small improvement to last season, and their current bowl streak started 2016.
Boise State is favored to win this by 2.0 points, which is not much.
Don't forget that BC did lose 3 in a row to finish the season, so they did collapse in some sort late in the season, while Boise State did lose their Conference final, sure, but did also beat Utah State a week before that to get into it.
Now will BC control the Broncos offense like Fresno State did, or will Boise State be able to move the ball, regularly.
Because BC on the other hand will also have a hard time to move the ball against the Broncos.
So either a very close game with a few points, or we will see Boston playing catchup and then things can happen.
Overall I have more confidence in Boise State than in Boston, so they are my pick to win this.
Broncos win.

Wed. Dec. 26
Minnesota vs Georgia Tech

@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.
Last season was the payout for each team 1.200.000$.
Minnesota is 6-6, while Georgia Tech is 7-5.
The Gophers are improving under Fleck but there is still long road ahead.
GT will lose their HC after the season to retirement and I'm sure the boys would like to send Johnson out with a win.
The Minnesota defense could be able to stop the triple option offense of the Yellow Jackets if GT is not playing over the top because of the emotional leave of Johnson.
Vegas does favor GT by 5.5 points, I guess it will be either much more or much less, but GT will prevail and win.
More in case of a great GT performance on the ground, less, if they have to force their way into the endzone by will power.
Of cause Minnesota can win this, but I doubt it.
Yellow Jackets win.

Wed. Dec. 26
California vs TCU

@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.
Each team gets around 3.325.000$.
TCU is 6-6 and did get that ticket on the last gameday. The team did finish strong with 3 wins in the last 4 games to get here and is likely not willing to let this go away.
Cal finished 7-5 with losing their last game against Stanford, and 2-2 in the last 4.
The line was even for a long time, now it is Cal -1.0.
I think TCU did show that they want this and they will get this.
I like TCU and how they did perform over the seasons, so I have hard time imagine they lose against a Cal team which is in 2nd year of rebuilding/recharging.
Yes, TCU has adown year, but with their latest performance I think they can stop Cal often enough to secure a win here.
Horned Frogs win.

Don’t forget your Pick’em picks!

'Til next time

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