2015-12-26 10:00

Happy Christmas to all of you.

The next bowl wave is through and the third is coming.

So far some nice games and some surprises.


Mon. Dec. 21 - 2:30 pm ET
Miami Beach Bowl
Western Kentucky vs. South Florida

@Marlins Park - Miami, FL
Willie Taggart is the HC of South Florida did leave Western Kentucky 3 seasons ago to coach the Bulls and left also Brandon Doughty, his freshman QB.
This season is Doughtys final one and he had a great career at Western Kentucky and did play well enough in the bowl to secure the win over his former coach.
It did look all fine until the 4th quarter.
WKU id lead 38-21 when WKU did had some bad plays on defense and the Bulls did score 2 TDs in 2 consecutive drives, while the Hilltoppers went out with a punt in between.
Now 38-35 all of a sudden.
Add an interception by Doughty right in the next drive and it looked like the momentum was swinging.
But USF did miss a filed goal try and Western Kentucky answered with a huge running play in the next drive, securing a 10 point lead and with that the win.
A great season for Western Kentucky, but even if the Bulls did lose this one, the future does look promising for them, also.
WKU will need a new QB next season.
Western Kentucky 45 - South Florida 35 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 4-2

Tues. Dec. 22 - 3:30 pm ET
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Akron vs. Utah State

@Albertsons Stadium - Boise, ID
This was a nice game.
Never boring and close until the end.
I'm always happen when a team beats the odds and wins and Akron ... well ... they played since 1891, had so far ONE bowl game prior to this seasons potato bowl and they lost this.
So second bowl and they ... won!
Congratulation. Huge win for the program.
The Zips did lead 13-6 at the half, lost that lead in the 3rd trailing by 1 and regained that lead after a crucial fumble of the Aggies, leading 20-14.
They added another 3 later and by that were able to hold of Utah States last tries to win.
The Aggies did score a TD with about a minute to go (23-21 now) and were unable to recover the onside kick.
Akron did run down the clock, had to punt, but did stop the lateral-last-try by Utah State.
I'm sure Akron, Ohio went nuts that day.
Akron 23 - Utah State 21 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 4-3

Tues. Dec. 22 - 7:00 pm ET
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl
#24 Temple vs. Toledo

@FAU Stadium - Boca Raton, FL
I think the Owls did just played awful in this game.
Missed tackles, allowing a safety, bad execution on offense ...
The game was open until the 4th quarter, having Toledo ahead by just 3, when Toledo scored another TD, leading 19-9 now.
That was a huge play, just 1 great pass over the middle and the WR did the rest, 80 yards. Great play.
Temples answer?
They went all over the field and throw an interception, which did help Toledo to get a time eating drive and another score, leading 25-9 now (PAT block, which was one of the better moments of the owls).
As if the blocked PAT did ignite the team, the Owls went over the field again, but this time they score for the 25-17 score (2-point-conv. good).
Just an 8-point game!
With 2:50 to go, Temple tried an on-side-kick and did fail.
Just 2 plays later a 41 yard RUN to the house for the 32-17 lead and win.
Temple did not come to play to Florida.
That's the problem with some Bowl games, you never know with how much concentration and motivation the teams do show up.
Might be different, but for me, that Owls team was just a shadow of the team we saw during the season.
Great win for Toledo and well earned.
Temple 17 - Toledo 32 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 4-4

Wed. Dec. 23 - 4:30 pm ET
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Boise State vs. Northern Illinois

@Qualcomm Stadium - San Diego, CA
If you like Boise State, you had fun here.
As Aggie fan ... not so.
Brett Rypien is the nephew of Mark Rypien, that famous NFL QB, and Brett had fun.
As freshman he had a great game and will very likely be a star in Broncos territory for the coming seasons.
NIU was crushed.
Boise State 55 - Northern Illinois 7 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-4

Wed. Dec. 23 - 8:00 pm ET
GoDaddy Bowl
Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green

@Ladd Peebles Stadium - Mobile, AL
Looks like Bowling Green did miss their former HC big time.
Georgia Southern came out and did play great, held that Falcons offense at 27 points at the half (Eagles did trail the Falcons 23-27 at that point) and did held the Falcons scoreless! in second half, adding 35 points on their own, winning by a mile.
The thing is, the Eagles did also lose their HC prior the game (left for Tulane) and were also coached on interims basis.
This is a stupid practice with those interims coaches.
I will never like that.
By the way, Eagles did hire Tyson Summer as new HC, he was the DC on the Colorado State Rams this season.
Georgia Southern 58 - Bowling Green 27 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-5

Thurs. Dec. 24 - 12:00 pm ET
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan

@Thomas Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas
Last season this bowl had about 14.000 visitors, this season it did go down by almost 1.000.
This is a stupid bowl.
Overall was the game OK, but only for offense lovers.
At the end was Western Michigan a bit better than Middle Tennessee, fueled by a crucial interception thrown by Middle Tennessee in the 4th quarter.
Overall a game not worth the effort and I hope both teams and conferences got all back what they invested to travel to that damn game on the Bahamas.
I also hope the players enjoyed the trip. Only upside in that game.
Middle Tennessee 31 - Western Michigan 45 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-6

Thurs. Dec. 24 - 8:00 pm ET
Hawai'i Bowl
San Diego State vs. Cincinnati

@Aloha Stadium - Honolulu, HI
Yeah, this one was fun, if you like a dominance fun performance of SDSU.
The Bearcats got trucked down by Dakota Gordan, a senior FB of the Aztecs, blocking, catching, scoring ... he did it all.
This game also had a 100-yard-return-TD on the 1st play of the day!
San Diego State 42 - Cincinnati 7 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 6-6

Autsch, those picks were not that good.
I hope my next ones will be better.


Sat. Dec. 26 - 11:00 am ET
St. Petersburg Bowl
UConn vs. Marshall

@Tropicana Field - St. Petersburg, FL
This is the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, a major League Baseball team and it is a DOME in Florida.
Not sure it's good idea to play in a dome in Florida ...
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.
UConn did more or less suck the whole season and did finish 6-6 only by having a lot of easy games on the schedule and 1 signature win against later AAC Champ Houston.
Marshall was my pick to win the CUSA, but had some blackouts and lost to later CUSA champ Western Kentucky in the deciding match for the division crown.
Still, with 9-3 overall are Marshall a good team and UConn will have a tough time to win here.
Can the Huskies win this?
Will they win this?
I don't know.
Marshall is really good on offense and I think they will be too good to be stopped.
Thundering Herd win.

Sat. Dec. 26 - 2:00 pm ET
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Miami (Fla.) vs. Washington State

@Sun Bowl Stadium - El Paso, TX
Since 1935 is this Bowl played and since 1963 it's played in Sun Bowl Stadium, the home of the UTEP Miners at El Paso, Texas.
It's a game between the PAC 12 and the ACC.
Each team gets around 2.150.000$.
This might be more fun than it looks like at the 1st glance.
Miami might be flying high on the new HC hiring of Mark Richt, even if he will not coach the bowl game.
The whole season was a mess and the 8-4 record does not reflect this.
Wazzu on the other hand will try to get the great season (also 8-4) they had so far sealed with a bowl win and chances are good, they will get that.
It's very likely the high octane offense of the Cougars will be too much for the Hurricanes.
My pick is on Wazzu.
Cougars win.

Sat. Dec. 26 - 2:20 pm ET
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl
Washington vs. Southern Miss

@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, but obviously it did not work out right this season and a PAC12 team does play a CUSA team.
Each team gets around 1.100.000$.
I love the matchup.
Washington is on the edge to become a real contender, at least that's what the Huskies fans and university do hoped when they hired long time Boise State coach Petersen.
The 6-6 record is not good enough to be such a team, but the PAC12 was very close this season and if the progress does happen again next season, we will maybe see a very competitive team there.
Southern Miss had a great turnaround season with a 9-3 regular season record but losing in the CUSA Championship game.
In this matchup it's hard to pick against the PAC12 team.
Southern Miss will for sure not lose empty handed, but the CUSA is still not the PAC12.
I hope for an open game and a close one, but I think with that time of preparation, Washington will win by a good margin.
Huskies win.

Sat. Dec. 26 - 3:30 pm ET
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Indiana vs. Duke

@Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY
Operated since 2010, it does field an ACC team against a Big10 Team.
Each team gets around 2.000.000$.
Funny thing here is, 2 teams known for basketball do play a football match in a baseball stadium.
That's how the entertaining world looks like today.
And it can become quite entertaining.
Indiana does not look that good with 6-6, but Duke is only 7-5 as ACC team.
I call this at least even, in this case.
The strength of Indiana is their offense and Duke had some problems in the past with stopping such good offenses.
The blue Devils do have a down season and will likely lose in a high scoring game.
Hoosiers win.

Sat. Dec. 26 - 5:45 pm ET
Camping World Independence Bowl
Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech

@Independence Stadium - Shreveport, LA
Since last season 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$.
At the end the American Athletic did send a team to play.
Funny side fact here: Frank Beamers last game with Virginia Tech will be played here and this was also his 1st Bowl with Virginia Tech 1993, his 3rd with VT, and he won.
I'm sure his guys will work harder than ever to secure that last win for their loved HC.
Tulsa will face a tough team and even if they stay in this game, they will lose.
It will be a perfect ending for that great coach.
Hokies win.

Sat. Dec. 26 - 9:15 pm ET
Foster Farms Bowl
UCLA vs. Nebraska

@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.
This is a bit less exciting as you might expect by a PAC 12 - Big10 matchup.
UCLA did almost win the PAC12 South but failed to do so, losing to USC in the final game.
Nebraska did get the ticket only because of their APR, being one of the 5-7 teams selected to fill the last few spots.
So we have a quite good team against a not so good team here, played in the state of the good team.
I will never pick the Huskers in this matchup.
UCLA will very likely win here big.
Bruins win.

Mon. Dec. 28 - 2:30 pm ET
Military Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. #21 Navy

@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$.
Having Navy (10-2) here is just a nice add on in a bowl played in Navy stadium ....
Pittsburgh (8-4) will face a hot Navy team, with a QB playing his last game as Midshipman.
The Panthers had a great season but came short a division title.
They will try to win at least the bowl.
It would be a perfect story for Navy to finish the season at home with a bowl win for their star QB and maybe leaving HC.
I like that and do believe they will do whatever possible to make this happen.
Midshipmen win.

Mon. Dec. 28 - 5:00 pm ET
Quick Lane Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Minnesota

@Ford Field - Detroit, MI
The Bowl is backed from the Detroit Lions and therefore played on their home field. It's new since last season.
This is a Big10 vs ACC Bowl, but obviously this rule was broken this season.
Last season was the payout for each team 1.200.000$.
A 7-5 MAC team (from Michigan) vs. a 5-7 pity granted bowl eligible team from the BIG10 (from Minnesota).
This is not an ideal matchup and we will very likely see a one sided game.
Minnesota, even with 5-7, should be able to win here.
They have now a permanent coach, while they disturbing season with their loved coach and his heart-breaking retirement because of health reasons is over.
Central Michigan had an up an down season also, with their coach having cancer treatment prior the season, but that was over before the 1st game.
It's not a bad result with 7-5 in the 1st season of a new HC, having even beaten NIU during the conference games.
But let's face it, Minnesota is not a really bad team from the BIG10, even the 5-7 do hint this.
I think with the time of preparation and with their new HC forming his team, they will come out and play good football.
Too good to be stopped by a reloading team from the MAC.
I wish this will be a close game, but I doubt it.
Golden Gophers win.

Tues. Dec. 29 - 2:00 pm ET
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
California vs. Air Force

@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 MWC and the BIG10 were supposed to send teams, but that did not work out right.
Instead did the PAC12 send Cal (7-5) to face the MWC Air Force (8-5).
Each team gets around 675.000$.
I have to admit I'm a bit lost here.
Both teams did suck for several games over the season, but Air Force made it to a championship game, while Cal did fall too deep to recover.
Air Force lost their Championship game, so they did such there again it seems.
I did believe the Bears could be a good team in the PAC12 this season, but lost too many game inside the conference.
The question is, will they be able to win a non-conference game?
They did win against MWC-team San Diego State, which did win the MWC against Air Force. But that was in September.
In December? I don't know.
My gut says, stick with Cal.
My mind say, you did stick with Cal over so long, it's time to pick another team.
I think I will listen to my gut, again. Win or lose ....
Bears win.

Tues. Dec. 29 - 5:30 pm ET
Russell Athletic Bowl
#10 North Carolina vs. #17 Baylor

@Citrus Bowl - Orlando, FL
This is played since 1990.
The ACC should face up against the Big12.
Each team gets around 2.275.000$.
This could be a bad game or a great one.
It all depends on the health of Baylors QBs.
It did show during the last few games, that their QB bench is not deeper than having a backup.
North Carolina will play this game as another final and they will have an easy game, if Baylor is not able to bring in a good QB.
It could happen that their backup QB will be fit enough to play and then we will have a nice game, but if he is not 100% or does not play, we might see a boring Tar Heels win.
I expect the Tar Heels to win here, regardless of their QB.
It's simply this way: Baylor is a good team, which needs a bit more experience. The Tar Heels did play better and better over the season and will have their last chance for a great win not taken away.
Tar Heels win.

Tues. Dec. 29 - 7:30 pm ET
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Nevada vs. Colorado State

@Arizona Stadium - Tucson, AZ
And a new Bowl!
It's not known what the payout will be.
It was supposed to be a game between CUSA and MWC, but because of the funny team landscape this season will face 2 teams from the same conference, the 1st time that happens since 1979 (Orange Bowl, if you keep the BCS Championship game outside of this).
The game is played on the home field of the Arizona Wildcats, which did host the Cactus Bowl a long time ago in the same stadium, before it moved to different locations.
At least both teams did not meet during the season, but that's all we can get out of this.
Nevada had a mid-level season (6-6) while Colorado State was OK for a 1st season under a new HC (7-5).
Don't expect the Rams to fall here.
Nevada lost 2 in a row in their last 2 game and the Rams do have an up note getting into this game, winning 4 in row on their last 4 games.
It will be fun to watch this game.
Rams win.

Tues. Dec. 29 - 9:00 pm ET
AdvoCare Texas Bowl
#20 LSU vs. Texas Tech

@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$.
I don't know, why Texas Tech (7-5) was chosen for this bowl ... Probably the 'Texas' in their name had something to do with this.
Will this be an open game against LSU (8-3)?
I don't think so.
LSU defense will keep the Red Raiders from scoring a gazillion points and LSUs RB will run for 2 gazillion yards to secure a win and a 2000 yard rushing season (he needs around 260 yards to have those 2000).
Texas Tech will have to show up with a defense, which they did not the whole season.
Tigers win.

'Til next time

Rating (1 users):

Tags: Block of Granite

 Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter