2017-12-27 09:55

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.


Sat. Dec. 23
Texas Tech vs South Florida

@Legion Field - Birmingham, AL
Very dynamic game and open until the end.
Texas Tech did play better than I thought they would, but at the end they were not able to stop USF.
The Raiders had scored for the lead with about 90 seconds left and USF did score after 7 plays to win the game with 16 ticks left on the clock.
The next Raiders effort was stopped and that's that.
Good finish for South Florida, Texas Tech were not able to celebrate their bowl return a bit more.
Texas Tech 34 - South Florida 38 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 7-4

Sat. Dec. 23
San Diego State vs Army

@Amon G. Carter Stadium - Fort Worth, TX
Great game and Army did take home the win with a reason.
SDSU did make mistakes, which Army was able to score on and at the end it was just guts which lifted Army over the Aztecs.
Army had score the almost game tying TD, they needed only the extra point to tie it up, but Monken did decide to go for it and they made it.
Now with 12 seconds to play did SDSU do everything to get forward and fumbled and the teriffic Army defense did score on top of that.
Overall a disappointing season for Aztecs fans and Army fans had the best season since ages.
San Diego State 35 - Army 42 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 7-5

Sat. Dec. 23
Appalachian State vs Toledo

@Ladd Peebles Stadium - Mobile, AL
I have to say this is the most unexpected result so far.
Not only did Appalachian State win this, they win it with a shut out.
The high scoring offense of the Rockets did not get anything done, had only 8 1st downs and was also not able to hold of the Mountaineers anytime.
Great season for Appalachian State, good season for Toledo, with just that one dent in it, losing with zero points in the bowl.
Appalachian State 34 - Toledo 0 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 7-6

Sun. Dec. 24 - 8:00 pm ET
Fresno State vs Houston

@Aloha Stadium - Honolulu, HI
Oh dear another close one which went different than I did pick it.
The game went back and forth with strange events, like the fumble on a kickoff return when Fresno State recovered the ball close to Houston’s endzone and where held to a field goal try and a Houston player just blocked the ball, took the ball and returned it for a TD to tie the game.
But over the periods did Fresno State just play a bit better than Houston and won it.
Good season for both teams I guess, even if they did not get all they wanted.
Fresno State 33 - Houston 27 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 7-7

Tue. Dec. 26
Utah vs West Virginia

@Cotton Bowl - Dallas, TX
Another disappointing pick from my side, West Virginia was bad as it can get.
Utah did capitalize from that big time and won this.
I hope West Virginia does come back from that loss, but my personal opinion is that the HC is a good manager, but not a good coach.
He is not able to bring this team forward, but of cause that a decision West Virginia has to make.
Utah on the other hand might get back better next season and will again challenge the other teams for the PAC12 South title.
Utah 30 - West Virginia 14 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 7-8

Tue. Dec. 26
Duke vs Northern Illinois

@Ford Field - Detroit, MI
Duke did play good football here, while Northern Illinois did make stupid decisions and did then execute those call also badly.
4th and 18 on your own 11 yard line, would you call for a fake punt? NIU did and did through a roughly 11 yard pass, so shorter the 1st down, and the guy did not even catch it.
Down by 12 in the 3rd quarter did NIU then fake a Field Goal at 4th and 14 on Duke 22 yard line and got stopped 11 yard behind the LOS.
Smart move!
Duke won easily by a big margin and finished a so-so-season, while NIU has to rethink their decisions and maybe come back better next season.
Duke 36 - Northern Illinois 14 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 8-8

Tue. Dec. 26
Kansas State vs UCLA

@Chase Field - Phoenix, Ariz.
No star QB on the field for UCLA, so they had to play with their backup, but did good in the first half.
UCLA did lead by 10 at the half and then something did change, big time, because then it was only Kansas State and Kansas State again.
28-0 did KSU win the 2nd half and by that the game.
UCLA can focus on the Chip Kelly era (he was in the stadium, but not at the sideline) and Kansas State has to wait what will happen with their HC, who is 78 and might quit, or not.
I'm not sure what would be best for the team, I guess a smooth transition would be great, or a deal like West Virginia was able to pull of with Fuente coming after Beamer, but if that would be always that easy ...
Kansas State 35 - UCLA 17 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 9-8


Wed. Dec. 27
Southern Mississippi vs Florida State

@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). Did not work this season. Instead we have an 8-4 CUSA team.
Each team gets around 1.200.000$.
I guess this will be a get-over-with-it-game.
If you are not Southern Miss fan (which are likely proud right now) or a die-hard-FSU fan, which should be a bit concerned after they did had a bad season, lost their coach and got a new coach which will likely be good, but who's name is not that ringing as Chip Kelly, then you will likely be not that interested in this game.
FSU is favored by 16.5 points and can only lose on purpose I guess, of if they did have a really bad day.
Yes, Southern Miss had a good season inside their conference, but should never be able to counter that talent level FSU can offer.
If the Golden Eagles win this, this is a major upset.
Seminoles win.

Wed. Dec. 27
Iowa vs Boston College

@Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY
Operated since 2010, it does field an ACC team against a Big10 Team.
Each team gets around 2.000.000$.
Both team are 7-5 during the season.
Iowa had some great wins, best likely against Ohio State and some bad losses, like against Purdue.
Boston College won against FSU, but lost against Wake Forest.
I'm willing to see Iowa ahead here, they did often play on a higher level than their results do show.
If they come up in good shape and prepared, they should win here.
Boston College needs an error prone Hawkeyes team to win, or a great defense day.
Hawkeyes win.

Wed. Dec. 27
Arizona vs Purdue

@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.
Arizona is a good team, with ups and downs.
Purdue had an up season, but finished only 6-6 (Arizona 7-5).
I take Arizona in this game, anytime.
Purdue needs to prove they can win against a good team and they need to prove they can stop an explosive offense.
Neither do I expect to happen.
Wildcats win.

Wed. Dec. 27
Texas vs Missouri

@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$.
They managed to get another former Big12 team up against a Big12 team.
Missouri had a season which was for me a but under the radar, but finished 7-5.
Texas had a tough season under a new coach and finished 6-6.
I think Texas is way better than their record.
I expect a close game here, but each day until the game I think Texas will become better, while I'm not sure about Missouri.
I give the Tigers credit for winning some games in the tough SEC, but overall I trust Texas more to win here than Missouri, based on the coaches and Talent.
Longhorns win.

Thur. Dec. 28
Virginia vs 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$.
An interesting matchup with Virginia being on the rise and Navy being on some kind of rebuilding mode.
It's played at Navys home, so expect a boost for them by that.
Both teams are 6-6 so far and did show some good games, but also bad ones.
Navy is favored, but only by 2.0 points.
Expect nothing I guess.
If Navy can establish their great triple option offense, they can score often, but if Virginia can shut that down and Navy needs to go though the air, their ship will sink, fast.
Virginia did show a good spirit against Georgia Tech, which plays also heavy ground attack, so it comes down from my point of view, whether I believe Navy can win at home, or not.
I think the time will help the Cavaliers to overcome their 3-game losing streak and take this home.
Cavaliers win.

Thur. Dec. 28
#22 Virginia Tech vs #19 Oklahoma State

@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 of cause was the Bowl also renamed. This is the former Russell Athletic Bowl.
This has offense power all over it and I guess I prefer OSU here.
Vegas does the same and favors the Cowboys by 4.5 points.
I pick them just for one reason, Virginia Tech does not look stable enough to stop OSU.
And if you can't do that, you lose.
Still OSU can lose, as they have proven over the season and if Virginia Tech can come up with a good pass defense, they will upset Oklahoma State.
I hope for a close one here.
Cowboys win.

Thur. Dec. 28
#13 Stanford vs #15 TCU

@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?
That was also the case last season.
I'm not so sure what to think about this game, both teams are good in some way and did also annoy me a bit in some other.
They were successful, but did also lose stupid games.
So now they clash and I have to guess the winner.
My 1st reaction was TCU would win this, but they did show problems with good offense teams, like their loss against Oklahoma.
They are favored by 3.0 points, I think that's OK, but I wouldn't be surprised to see also Stanford as the favorite.
A the end I do pick the offense and Stanford.
Cardinals win.

Thur. Dec. 28
#18 Washington State vs #16 Michigan 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$.
Washington State was also in this bowl last season and lost to Minnesota.
This season the Cougars are a bit better, but do get also a better opponent from my point of view.
They are favored by a point, but that's just nothing I guess.
Michigan State had some good games and bad games and what makes me pick them is their good defense.
Washington State did struggle at the end of the season and if they cannot score, they will of cause lose.
I guess we will see a low scoring game here.
Spartans win.

Fri. Dec. 29
Wake Forest vs Texas A&M

@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$.
I would say that Texas A&M should win this, easily.
But they lost their coach, got a new on from FSU and will face a tough Wake Forest team.
On the talent side this should be all A&M, on the discipline side this is Wake Forest.
Demon Deacons are favored by 3.0 points, but I guess A&M will overcome some shortcomings of the past and win here in a close one.
Aggies win.

Fri. Dec. 29
#24 NC State vs Arizona 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$.
NC State is my favorite to win here.
Arizona State did play a rough season and got a new coach, their coordinators are gone or on the move.
That will not help to play one of the best NC State team in a decade.
The Wolfpack is 6.5 point favorite here and I guess they will beat that, easily.
I'm expecting a blowout, what ever that means in terms of a quite low scoring team like NC State.
Wolfpack win.

Fri. Dec. 29
Kentucky vs #21 Northwestern

@Nissan Stadium - Nashville, TN
Since 1998 is this Bowl played and they field it at the home of the Tennessee Titans.
The SEC send a team versus an ACC team or BIG10.
Each team gets around 2.750.000$.
Somehow a SEC team did sneak in, in place for the ACC team, which makes this interesting, since Kentucky is a team you don't want to play.
By the way, this is a Wildcats fight, since both teams have the same team name.
Kentucky is somehow not that good in the SEC, but good enough to upset a few bigger teams and get a bowl spot at 7-5.
Usually the description would be the same for Northwestern, but his season they had a much better record and finished 9-3 and are a 6.5 point favorite here.
I expect a close game, since I guess Kentucky has something to put up against Northwestern, and expect at the end to have the Northwestern defense to make the difference.
They do allow less then 20 points per game and should be able to keep the Wildcats out of the endzone enough to win this.
Wildcats win (Northwestern).

Fri. Dec. 29
New Mexico State vs Utah State

@Arizona Stadium - Tucson, AZ
And a new Bowl since 2015.
The payout is roughly 155.820$
A 6-6 Sun Belt team vs a 6-6 Mountain West team.
I guess Utah State should be the favorite, right? No! New Mexico State is a 4.0 point favorite.
Expect a high scoring game and a winner, but who that will be ... I have to though a coin here.
Both teams were not really convincing to be a winning team.
At the end I guess I pick Utah State as Mountain West team, but I would not be surprised to see New Mexico State winning here.
Aggies win.

Fri. Dec. 29
#8 USC vs #5 Ohio State

@AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX
This one exists since 1937.
It was named one of the 6 CFP-Bowls.
The payout is part of the CFP-system.
This is the highlight of the Friday and is basically the Rose Bowl, only to be not the Rose Bowl, because the Rose Bowl is one of the CFP-Semi this season.
But it would have been the Rose Bowl in all other seasons, since the PAC12 champ plays the BIG10 Champ, which is usually the Rose Bowl matchup.
Sorry, but the College Football world is confusing from time to time.
If USC wouldn't have an up and down season, this could have been really interesting, but that way Ohio State is a 7.5 point favorite and only 1 out of 4 people do believe that USC can win this.
Well, LA is big I guess, which explains the amount of people picking USC.
But honestly, this would be a great win for the Trojans, if they win this, but I doubt it.
Ohio State made it almost into the playoffs, while USC did only jump that high in the rankings, because many other teams did lose on the last day.
Expect a dominate Ohio State team winning by a good margin.
Sorry USC fans.
Buckeyes win.

'Til next time

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