2017-12-19 06:50

Not a good start for me, some of the games did turn out to be upsets.
But hey, that's how it is on bowl season.

Let’s have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 1

Sat. Dec. 16
Troy vs North Texas

@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
A high scoring game and surprisingly open until halftime.
But Troy did pull away in the 3rd quarter and won it.
A great season for Troy and also a great one for UNT, since they did become really better this season.
Next season will be interesting for both teams.
Troy 50 - North Texas 30 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 1-0

Sat. Dec. 16
Western Kentucky vs Georgia State

@Camping World Stadium - Orlando, FL
A good game, where Georgia State did have a slightly advantage over WKU throughout the game and did therefore win.
I did pick the Hilltoppers, but I have to admit that the Panthers did play good and kept WKU under control.
A good season for the Panthers, for WKU fans this can only be marked as disappointing season.
Maybe next year.
Western Kentucky 17 - Georgia State 27 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 1-1

Sat. Dec. 16
#25 Boise State vs Oregon

@Sam Boyd Stadium - Las Vegas, NV
Oregon came out very lame and Boise did outscore them 24-0 before Oregon started scoring themselves.
It was 24-14 at the half.
After that, both teams did play football on the same level and Oregon was unable to shrink that Boise lead, so at the end was Boise victorious.
Boise State had a great season with a MWC title and a bowl win over a PAC12 team, Oregon can only hope that their new HC will turn things around next season.
Boise State 38 - Oregon 28 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 1-2

Sat. Dec. 16
Marshall vs Colorado State

@ Dreamstyle Stadium - Albuquerque, NM
For me this is the heaviest upset of the first bowl games.
Marshall did outplay CSU and won by 3 points.
A late comeback try by the Rams did fell short.
A very nice ending of a mid-level Marshall season, CSU fans can only hope for next season I guess.
Marshall 31 - Colorado State 28 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 1-3

Sat. Dec. 16
Middle Tennessee vs Arkansas State

@Crampton Bowl - Montgomery, AL
Also a close game until the end.
MTSU won by 5.
Arkansas State had the chance to score the winning TD with their last drive, but that one was stopped midfield and that way did the Blue Raiders secure their win.
A nice ending for Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State fell short their season goal, no SBC title and no bowl win.
Middle Tennessee 35 - Arkansas State 30 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 2-3

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


Tues. Dec. 19
Akron vs Florida Atlantic

@FAU Football Stadium - Boca Raton, FL
This bowl is in his 4nd season, founded 2014.
It belongs basically to the MAC and ties in a the American Athletic Conference.
Instead of a mid-level AAC team we got the CUSA champ.
Good? Bad?
I don't know.
For sure this will be over fast.
Akron was in the MAC Championship game with a 7-5 record and lost to Toledo by 17 points, while FAU had a 9-3 record when entering the CUSA Championship game and won against North Texas by 24.
Vegas line is -22.5 FAU.
I bet FAU will outplay Akron here massively and will win by a good margin.
Remember, this is basically a home game for the Owls.
Owls win.

Wed. Dec. 20
Louisiana Tech vs SMU

@Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
A new bowl, taking the place of the Miami Beach Bowl, which was sold to ESPN Events, renamed and relocated to become that new bowl.
The payout is unknown so far to me.
It's still an American Athletic Conference bowl, with the opponent planned to be from Sun Belt in 2017 and 2019 and from the MAC in 2018.
That did not work out in the first year of existence, the opponent of the AAC team SMU is a CSUA team, Louisiana Tech.
SMU is 7-5, while LT is 6-6, so don't expect much here.
SMU is also under a new HC, the regular one was hired to become the new Arkansas HC.
Sonny Dykes has taken over.
Overall this should be a close one, so it could become interesting to watch.
Vegas line is -5.0 for SMU.
I personally see SMU ahead, but I have doubts regarding the coaching change.
Will this be an experiment, or will he let the seniors play and the assistant close the season their way?
I don't know.
So I chose to s e l e c t LT as the winner, they are under stable conditions.
Bulldogs win.

Thur. Dec. 21
Temple vs Florida Intl

@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$.
Last season it was called simply the St. Petersburg Bowl.
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.
They got the rebuilding team of Temple (6-6) from the AAC and the competing team of FIU (8-4) out of the CUSA.
Hard to tackle this game.
FIU is quite good this season, but has the CUSA mark, while Temple did struggle some times, but never lost to a CUSA team this season, since they did not play any.
So what will happen?
Temple should be able to hold their ground here.
I have the feeling this could be one of those bowl games where the teams do play out of character and we might see something interesting here.
Vegas sees Temple with 7.0 points ahead.
I pick Temple as a winner, since I think the AAC level will help them here.
Owls win.

Fri. Dec. 22
UAB vs Ohio

@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, all seasons.
Again the matchup is not that good in terms of high value teams.
The bowl is only a MAC-Bowl and plays against the CUSA, so it's hard to get those high value teams anyhow.
They payout for each team is not known, I did find 450.000$ for each team.
UAB had a fantastic season (8-4), if you think that this was their first season after the program was shut down a few years ago only to be reactivated shortly after that.
It's their 2nd bowl ever, the 1st they did lose.
Ohio had a good season (also 8-4), but missed the conference championship game.
Overall this will be an interesting game if you like such matchups between 2 lower teams.
Ohio is favored by 7.5 points, but i'm not sure.
The Blazers did play really good football over the season and do have a good momentum.
Ohio lost their last 2 games, but those were not easy ones.
I'm willing to throw a coin here, because I think both teams can win here and I can't not really decide which to pick.
The experience is favoring Ohio, the heart is favoring UAB. Vegas favors Ohio by 7.5 points.
With that exotic field played on, it will come down to discipline and there I see the Dragons ahead.
Blazers win.

Fri. Dec. 22
Central Michigan vs Wyoming

@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 MAC.
Remember, this means we will see a hot game on the smurf turf.
Wyoming was competing in the Mountain West, but lost the crucial games and finished 7-5 overall.
Central Michigan finished 8-4, but was unable to top Toledo and did therefore not reach the conference final.
Wyoming is favored by 2.5 points.
I would bet Wyoming will win here big time.
The Cowboys did become a good team inside the MWC and should be able to win against almost every team from the MAC.
CMU is good this season, fine, but not THAT good.
Of cause things can be different in a bowl and I hope for a close one, but right now I see Wyoming winning by a good margin here.
Cowboys win.

'Til next time

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