Predicting the College Bowl Games Part II: December 19-24
The College Bowl Season is underway and as the playoff is about to happen in a couple weeks. We are leading up to those games by predicting every bowl game leading to the playoff. Below covers all of the College Bowl Games from December 19th to December 23rd.
December 19th – Boca Raton Bowl
Akron vs Florida Atlantic
Finally, Lane Kiffin can add a conference championship to his head coaching resume. Kiffin, with the help of former Last Chance U star John Franklin III, has propelled the Owls to their first 10-win season in program history as an FBS member and their first C-USA title. The Zips, on the other hand, were this year’s runner up in the MAC Championship. Looking at this match-up consider this another home game for the Owls as they call Boca Raton home.
Pick: Florida Atlantic
This is the expectation. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Qaacpjr78s
— FAU Football (@FAU_Football) December 7, 2017
December 20th – Frisco Bowl
SMU vs Louisiana Tech
Congratulations SMU and Louisiana Tech, you will be playing in the cheapest bowl game of the year, winning a whopping $200,000. SMU goes into this game without head coach Chad Morris who departed to Arkansas. However, all eyes are on wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who is listed as one of the top receivers going in to the 2018 NFL draft. Louisiana Tech, compared to their opponents have a more established defense thanks to Skip Holtz and his commitment to land the Bulldogs a conference crown. SMU also sees this as a home game as Frisco is just a hop and a skip away from Texas. However, the loss of Chad Morris can affect this game.
Pick: Louisiana Tech
December 21st – Gasparilla Bowl
Temple vs Florida International
It doesn’t matter what you call it, Gasparilla, Sarsaparilla, Quesadilla, the only thing that matters is that this game is going to feature first year head coaches. Butch Davis, took FIU out of the conference cellar to a tolerable 8-4 record. Geoff Collins, as it was expeceted, witness a Temple program going back to earth after former head coach Matt Rhule’s departure. Those who have no idea where you can find a Gasparilla, the game is in St. Petersberg, Florida. This marks the second bowl game in a few days where an F(missing letter)U school will be the home team in a Florida based stadium.
Pick: Florida International
December 22nd – Bahamas Bowl
UAB vs Ohio
The story of UAB Football had one of the most dramatic chapters. After a two year hiatus, the Blazers made it clear that football was here to stay. The Ohio Bobcats, look to rebound from a two game losing streak that saw their MAC title hopes diminish. Both 8-4 programs have offenses that will look to tire out defenses. Consider this game a coin toss although Ohio is favored to win. However, I like a storybook ending.
December 22nd – Potato Bowl
Wyoming vs Central Michigan
Prior to the season, Wyoming’s Josh Allen was compared to be the “Carson Wentz” of the 2018 quarterback class. Unlike Wentz, Josh Allen was among a few of the disappointments in this particular class thanks to Wyoming placing near bottom in the rankings in total offense. However the Cowboys, are 13th in points allowed, which tells me is going to be a defensive showdown against a scrappy Central Michigan, who concluded their 2017 season with a five-game win streak. In order for Allen to be taken seriously, he needs to decipher a 54th ranked Chips in total defense. However, the Cowboys are the worst offensive teams to go to a bowl game.
Pick: Central Michigan
December 23rd – Birmingham Bowl
Texas Tech vs South Florida
USF, was among one of the teams in the Group of Five that was going to be projected to go to a New Year’s Six Bowl game. However, the Bulls turned out to be fools’ gold as USF bounced in and out of the Top-25, and an early season loss to Houston. Texas Tech, also had a similar story. Kliff Kingsbury on the hot seat once again, an appearance in the Top-25, and a mid-season slump, saw the Red Raiders look into this bowl game with their future at stake. Both teams have a total of 20 prospects going in to this game. If you are looking for players that your favorite team should draft, focus on this game.
Pick: South Florida
December 23rd – Armed Forces Bowl
Army vs San Diego State
The Black Knights pulled off a thriller against Navy to win back to back years for the first time since 1996. San Diego State will look to stop the option attack in Ft. Worth. The Aztecs also have 10-plus prospects going into this game featured by Rashaad Penny who is the nation’s leading rusher. Penny has been drawn to comparisons to former teammate Donnell Pumphrey, but better.The Aztecs do have experience with facing the triple option, courtesy of a win against Air Force. Expect this one to be a running based showdown, and an entertaining one for fans who want to see the nation’s leading rusher.
Pick: San Diego State
December 23rd – Dollar General Bowl
Appalachian State vs Toledo
For the second year in a row, both teams will be meeting in the same stadium, which has not sit well with Toledo fans after posting their first 11-win season since 1995. App. State will look to continue their win streak against the Rockets to two after a back-and-forth showdown from last year. Toledo will like to avenge in what could be a watchable rematch.
Embracing the expectation… 🚀🚀🚀
— #MACtion (@MACSports) December 10, 2017
This upcoming slate of game will be the beginning of the unwatchables. However, I would recommend keeping an eye on Courtland Sutton, Josh Allen, and the South Florida defense to see if they can perform in the draft. 14 bowls down, 26 to go… I am just getting started.