Alright folks, I was going to try and break the bowl season into three different sections, and I was going to do a beautiful job doing it too. Then I decided to just go ahead and whip one hugemagnormous article with every single one of the 34 bowl games. Yikes. 34 bowl games? Yes sir, that’s a lot of football leading up to the National Championship – and that, well – that was going to be even better. But now, instead of that, I’m going to do 2 parts. The games before Christmas and the games after Christmas. It’s festive – go with it. I have to say it now though, I hate bowls and think an 8-16 team playoff with some non-championship bowl games is the way to make this thing work. 20 bowls and then a 16 team playoff with an actual champion at the end. That would make 35 games. On one, on one… Ready… break! Alright that’s all you get from me, now on to these blasted bowl games after every single team has basically had a month off to prepare for one single game. And to the winners go the spoils!!!
Navy Midshipmen (+3) @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Deacons are definitely the favorite here. With fans and in the name game as well. But I think the Midshipmen would be in an even better bowl game had their senior quarterback, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, stayed healthy this season. Unfortunately for the Deacons, the leader of the Midshipmen is back in action, and since he left Navy has built a powerful defense to help supplement their powerful rushing attack. I know it’s tough to beat a team twice in a season, and that’s what Navy will have to do against Wake Forest, but I think it happens. Kaipo-Noa and his Navy teammates have lost two straight bowl games, and both were as close as they get. This is a team with strong will and great discipline – I don’t see them losing three straight bowl games.
Fresno State Bulldogs @ Colorado State Rams (+3): I have to go with Colorado State because there’s more excitement here. Talent? The Bulldogs do a peel-out runaway with that one, but that’s not what football and bowl games are all about. Neither team has been all that impressive, but it was the Bulldogs that were supposed to be great. They didn’t really beat anybody special, and always seemed to be in tight games against lesser opponents. The Rams will smack you in the mouth and they will be excited to be back in a bowl after missing the post season in each of the past two seasons. The Rams will get a shot at their first bowl win since 2001. But the Bulldogs are 4-1 in their last 5 bowl games under head coach Pat Hill, and while that might be something to worry about, I haven’t seen much trust or team play from the Bulldogs this season – so I’ll go against them here.
Memphis Tigers @ South Florida Bulls (-12): I actually kind of like that South Florida has lost 5 of their last 7 games after starting the season 5-0 and ranked 10th in the Nation. They’ve had an extremely disappointing season, especially with all the talent they got back. Memphis hasn’t lost many games by double digits this season, just twice, Mississippi to start the season and East Carolina in mid-October. Still, I like the Bulls to figure it out between losing a bunch of games and reflecting on their season. They have the talent to win this game by 4 touchdowns. I expect bigger things out of this South Florida team next season, and I have a feeling that they play like they were supposed to and handle Memphis in a game that will take place just 30 miles away from home for them. Home teams do well in bowl games, and this is about as close to home as the Bulls can get.
BYU Cougars @ Arizona Wildcats (-3): Both these offenses are pretty solid, but Arizona’s defense is better. Not consistent, but better. I think Arizona has as much potential as any other team in the Pac-10. They have tons of talent and athletes that can torment the Cougars. Also, this is the first bowl game these Wildcat players have been to in their careers. BYU has been to the Las Vegas Bowl 3 straight years, this is their 4th. There has to be something there. I like Arizona’s team more. BYU hasn’t beaten anybody that I would consider good. I know Arizona plays in the Pac 10, which isn’t good by any means, but this team is talented, much better than their 7-5 record insists. And BYU, they aren’t as good as 10-2 sounds. With more excitement and a little more to prove, I think Arizona takes this game and covers in Vegas.
Troy Trojans (-4) @ Southern Mississippi: Troy is a very good football team. They’ve taken one game on the chin pretty tough, a game against Oklahoma State a year after Troy upset the Cowboys. OK State doubled the Trojans up. Besides that, the Trojans have played pretty well in 3 other losses. They allowed a ton of points in the final quarter in a game they were way up on LSU and lost by 9. They lost by 18 to Ohio State, but that game was closer than the final score says. And they also lost by 1 to Louisiana-Monroe. The Trojans are very well coached, have a very tough-nosed run defense, and don’t make many mistakes on offense. Southern Miss’s Larry Fedora is a solid coach, but in his first year at the helm for Southern Miss, he might just have a tough time preparing for a month for one game. I like the Trojans better and they’ve done this before. They’ll be ready.
Boise State Broncos @ TCU Horned Frogs (-2.5): A lot goes into an undefeated season, and the Boise State Broncos have definitely done well this year. However, I think TCU is easily the toughest team Boise will have played this season, and that’s why this should be a great game. TCU is a scary defensive team and Boise State has a very tricky and well thought out offense. They’ve been good in Bowl games, no doubt about that, but I really think they’ve met their match with the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU’s defense is just too good. The Broncos will find running basically impossible, making them one dimensional against a defense that can really make some plays. TCU has two losses, to undefeated Utah on a game winning touchdown with 47 seconds left in the game and against Oklahoma. Give me the Horned Frogs in California.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (pk): The Irish haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season long. They are, and have been, one of the biggest disappointments in college football. Now they get to go to Hawaii, which is cool, but it also means they are playing the Rainbow Warriors. Not only do I think Hawaii is better than Notre Dame, but they get to play at home. They are used to the environment that will definitely be tough on the Fighting Irish. Well, not tough, but tough on their football play. I expect the Warriors to do even more damage to the Notre Dame name.