2019-12-19 06:43

And here we go again with the bowls.

We have again 40 bowls inside the FBS, 37 regular Bowls, 2 Bowls for the Semi-Finals and the College Football National Championship game, which will be filled up with the 2 winners of the Semi-Finals.

So, 78 teams did get a call for a bowl, with 1 teams eligible this season getting no call at all.
That teams is Toledo from the MAC, which has a 6-6 record.

Last season 4 teams did not get a call, of that group was Toledo not a part of, which is good.
The season before that it were 3 teams not playing in a bowl, so it seems the numbers are OK, still I think there are way too many bowls.

The Bowl Season will start with the Bahamas Bowl and the Frisco Bowl on Fr. 20th of December and will end with the National Championship game on Mon. 13th of January.
That is roughly for the whole period a week later than last year.

Some quick news before the previews:
Job openings at New Mexico and Fresno State are filled.
New Mexico did hire DC of Arizona State Danny Gonzales. He was with the Sun Devils for 2 seasons in that position. It's his 1st assignment as HC.

Fresno State did hire Kalen DeBoer, which is an interesting hire. DeBoer was HC (2005 to 2009) with NAIA (the association for small colleges, the NCAA is for big ones) Sioux Falls and was very successful there. He then became OC for several colleges, including Fresno State in 2017 and 2018. This season he was the OC of very successful Indiana.

And LSU can pad themselves on the shoulder, the university did cash in the Heisman Trophy with Joe Burrows and got also the Coach of the Year award with Ed Orgeron. Not all awards are given away so far, but honestly there are so many, it's very confusing.

Now let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 1

Fr. Dec. 20
Buffalo vs Charlotte

@Thomas Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas
Welcome back on the Bahamas.
As stupid this bowl was so far, it seems it stays for some time.
The Bowl exists 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, roughly 13.500 people do attend every season.
The payout is 450.000$ in total.
This season the matchup looks awful with a quite good playing Buffalo Bulls (7-5) who did compete for the MAC division title against a Charlotte 49ers team (7-5) from the C-USA, which did always play for a mid field spot inside their division.
On paper they might not look too much different, but if you look just a bit deeper the level of quality looks a bit apart.
Buffalo did win against Temple from the American, and they did also win against many competing teams inside their conference.
Charlotte did avoid most of the competing teams inside their conference and played against the mid level teams and low level teams on both divisions.
Their best win was against Marshall at home, who did finish 2nd inside their division.
No wonder the betting line is quite in favor for Buffalo with -6.5.
I would have given them more, but we will see, how this will go.
Biggest factor on this game will likely be the new environment.
Imagine you get a trip to the Bahamas with all your buddies and you are 18-22 ....
It is really important, how the coaches will handle that situation.
Who every gets his team to concentrate will likely have a huge bonus.
On paper should Buffalo outscore Charlotte a lot.
They also have the best chance to comeback from behind, if the 1st half is rubbish.
Last season did the favorite fall, most of the time did the favorite prevail.
I go with the Bulls here.
Bulls wins.

Kent State vs Utah State

@Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
A new bowl since 2017, 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 650.000$ each as it seems.
It's still an American Athletic Conference bowl, with the opponent planned to be from the Sun Belt this season, so that went wrong in any way.
We have again a Mountain West team against a MAC team, like last season.
Last season I expected a win by the Mountain West teams and the favorite of the MAC did win by 27.
Well ....
This season the matchup looks again awful.
Kent State gets a high when a bowl is even mentioned.
Since ever-ever did the team play only in 3 bowls, the last time in 2012, and lost all 3 games.
This season they play as 6-6 MAC teams against a 7-5 Mountain West team.
Utah State did play in some bowls so far, (14) and won several ones (5) and did play in a bowl annually since 2017.
No wonder the betting line is at Utah State -7.0.
Utah State has a new (returned) HC and of cause they want to win here.
Kent State of cause also want to win here, since a win would be eternal Kent State glory, right?
And their HC is in the 2nd season and did improve the team from 2 wins in 2018 to 6 wins in 2019.
Hard to judge, which HC will be the better one here.
I go with the favorite and take the Aggies.
Aggies win.

Sat. Dec. 21
Central Michigan vs San Diego State

@ Dreamstyle Stadium - Albuquerque, NM
This is played at the University of New Mexico and is played since 2006.
Each team gets around 525.000$ in this bowl organized between the MWC and CUSA.
Both teams did not play so far in this bowl and instead of a CUSA team we have a MAC team.
But overall who cares.
CMU was on track to win the MAC this season, but lost as favorite against Miami (OH) and is now the underdog against the Aztecs who were caught at the end of the season by Hawaii to take the championship game spot inside the MWC.
So I guess both teams have something to prove here, but SDSU is favored by 3.5 points, which is not much.
I'm leaning towards the Aztecs, who should be better suited for the New Mexico weather and who should also be a bit more talented.
But since bowls are something different, this can for sure go either way, depended on the concentration.
Jim McElwain, the HC of CMU did win the bowl when he was the HC of Colorado State and won so far 2-1 bowls overall.
Rocky Long, the SDSU HC did go bowling with the team since he is there (9th season so far) and did win 3 of 8 so far, including losing the last 2).
So this might help CMU, or not.
I think overall is the talent at SDSU a bit better, so I pick them as the winner.
Aztecs win.

Liberty vs Georgia Southern

@Exploria Stadium - Orlando, FL
A new bowl since 2015 it is played now the 5th time this season.
It is associated with the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference teams.
This season we have an Independent vs a Sun Belt.
The payout for each team is 575.000$.
This might be a good matchup this year, since both teams are likely on the same level.
Liberty did play a nice season and finished 7-5, but had granted a quite easy schedule.
Georgia Southern did play a bit worse than last year, but did finish also 7-5 inside the quite weak Sun Belt.
Vegas line for the game is Georgia Southern -5.0 which is OK, I guess.
I would have given them a bit better line, but overall it seems we will see a close game.
It's open how Liberty will matchup against GSO, my gut feeling is that the Eagles should have a better stamina and experience than the quite new in the FBS playing Flames (But Georgia Southern is not many years ahead of them).
Eagles win.

SMU vs Florida Atlantic

@FAU Football Stadium - Boca Raton, FL
This bowl is in his 6th season, founded 2014 with a payout of 900.000$.
It belongs basically to the MAC and ties into the American Athletic Conference and C-USA.
On paper we get like a mid-level AAC team against the C-USA-Champ.
But in reality, we get a competitor inside the AAC vs the Champ.
The difference is, that SMU did play really good this season and should be a very good matchup against FAU.
The good news for FAU is, they play basically at home and SMU did play worse late in the season.
The bad news for FAU is, they lost their HC to Ole Miss and have to play under interims control.
No wonder (at least for me) is SMU favored to win this, but only by 3.0 points.
So we might see a very open game.
I think SMU should be much better under given conditions and only the home game aspect does make me think.
FAU did play in this bowl once and won, but against Akron, so no compare to SMU.
I go with SMU with their great offense, but I wouldn't be surprised to see FAU winning here.
Mustangs win.

Florida International vs Arkansas State

@Crampton Bowl - Montgomery, AL
A new bowl since 2014.
The bowl was played under the same name in the past (1948 and 1961-1980) but this new version is played since 2014.
It ties into the SBC and the MAC, but we got a C-USA team instead.
The payout for this bowl is 300.000 $. Not much for each team.
Arkansas State did already play in this bowl and lost in 2017.
This season they are 2.5 points favorite.
FIU with their 6-6 record do not look like a good team but won against Miami!.
Arkansas State (7-5) did win against Troy this season.
Hard to say, which team will come up here.
FIU did play hard in every game, Arkansas State did play ups and downs.
I liked to pick Arkansas State first, but FIUs late season results do let me rethink this and I pick FIU.
Panthers win.

#19 Boise State vs Washington

@Sam Boyd Stadium - Las Vegas, NV
This is one of the highlights so far, at least for me.
This season we have former student vs former teacher.
It's played in the home of the UNLV Rebels.
It is played since 1992 and each team gets around 900.000 $.
It will be Chris Petersens last game as HC of the Washington Huskies and therefore this will be likely have some intensity.
On top of that we will see a matchup against his former team, the Boise State Broncos, lead by one of his former assistants, Bryan Harsin.
I don't think it will be an ugly game, more like a family reunion.
I never heard of any bad blood between those 2, so expect a fair matchup, hopefully on the same level.
Washington had some kind of down year this season, after winning the PAC12 last year they did drop to 7-5 and missed the championship game by a mile.
The Broncos on the other hand did have a great season, won 12-1 and the Mountain West Championship.
But, oh wonder, the favorite is not the Boise State, it's the PAC-12 team by 3.5 points.
I think in Vegas everything can happen.
Boise State did so far play 4 times here and won all, Washington did so far only play once here and lost.
That doesn't mean anything, it's just for your info.
Boise did show a lot of offense fire power but Washington did play quite well against such teams, even they lost against Oregon.
On the defense side we might see something or nothing.
I can't really anticipate both defenses, but it seems both had their defense set up in the last games.
Overall I'm leaning towards the old fox to have his last win, but I can't ignore that Boise did play very well and are hungry.
I flip a coin and take ...
Huskies win.

#20 Appalachian State vs UAB

@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
This is played since 2001 and each team gets around 825.000$.
The teams are chosen from the CUSA and the SBC.
It's the 1st time a ranked team plays in this game.
Appalachian State won the Sun Belt, again, and did get a ranking by that. They won the bowl last season and do return here, this time against the Championship finalist from Alabama.
UAB has now their 3rd bowl in 3 seasons, but this time it will be a very tough cookie.
The Mountaineers are very good this season and favored by 16.5 points.
I doubt they will let this game pass and lose, but you never know.
UAB did lose big time against FAU in the Championship game and I think Appalachian State is even better.
So pending some meltdown, this will be very one-sided.
Mountaineers win.

Don't forget your Pick'em picks.

‘Til next time

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