Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bowl Picks (Part One)

I failed to take the Sagarin Power Ratings into account when I originally made my picks. Since then I've added it in parenthesis before the school name. Point spread after the favorite's conference name. After my analysis is my cumulative record with the Sagarin record in parenthesis.

12.20 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Superdome) - (74) Louisiana Lafayette 8-4 Sunbelt (1) vs (85) Nevada 7-5 Mtn West – while more are leaning toward Louisiana Lafayette in this evenly matched game, I’m picking Nevada’s running attach to win the day. WRONG 0-1 (S 1-0).   

12.20 Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque) - (49) Utah State 9-4 Mtn West (10.5) vs (103) Texas El Paso 7-5 USA – Utah State wins. I don’t always pick the team that has the shortest trip. CORRECT 1-1 (S 2-0).

12.20 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Sam Boyd Stadium)
(62) Colorado State 10-2 Mtn West vs (12) Utah 8-4 Pac 12 (3) – a good day for the state of Utah. CORRECT 2-1 (S 3-0).

12.20 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise) (89) Western Michigan 8-4 MAC (1) vs (69) Air Force 9-3 Mtn West – the Falcons will better acclimate to Boise’s high altitude and will arrive ready to play, but I’m picking Western Michigan to win the game. WRONG 2-2 (S 4-0). 

12.20 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery) (120) Bowling Green 7-6 MAC vs (125) South Alabama 6-6 Sunbelt (2.5) – with a home crowd on their side, South Alabama wins. WRONG 2-3 (S 5-0).

12.22 Miami Beach Bowl (Marlins Stadium) - (42) Memphis 9-3 AAC (1) vs (50) Brigham Young 8-4 – the Cougars have faced tougher competition all year, and will overcome the longer trip from their cold weather home to sunny south Florida to win the game. Winner’s trophy is that big old ugly piece of “art” out in centerfield. WRONG 2-4 (S 6-0).

12.23 Boca Raton Bowl (FAU Stadium) - (32) Marshall 12-1 USA (10) vs (66) Northern Illinois 11-2 MAC – I’m surprised the spread is ten points. I expect a closer game, but the Thundering Herd overcomes the disappointment of their season-ending loss to beat Northern Illinois. Game to be played early so all the retirees can make it to the 4 pm early bird special. CORRECT 3-4 (S 7-0).  

12.23 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl:
(84) San Diego State 7-5 Mtn West (2.5) vs (81) Navy 7-5 – the Aztecs play at home. The Midshipmen travel across the country. San Diego State wins. WRONG, thanks to a missed chip-shot field goal. 3-5 (S 8-0).

12.24 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau)
(83) Western Kentucky 7-5 USA  (4) vs (104) Central Michigan MAC – the Hilltoppers will be able to better acclimate to the sunny conditions. CORRECT, despite the play of the year by CMU - 4-5 (S 9-0).

12.24 Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu)
(86) Rice 7-5 USA (2.5) vs (98) Fresno State 6-7 Mtn West – Fresno State doesn’t have to travel as far as the Owls, and pull off a mild upset. WRONG - how was Fresno bowl eligible? 4-6 (S 10-0).

12.26 Zaxbys Heart of Dallas Bowl (Cotton Bowl Stadium) (79) Illinois 6-6 Big Ten vs (41) Louisiana Tech 8-5 USA (6) – the Illini have faced tougher competition all year, and are used to playing on the big stage. They’ll pull off the upset. WRONG 4-7 Illinois played terrible (S 11-0).

12.26 Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit) - (63) North Carolina 6-6 ACC (3) vs (72) Rutgers 7-5 Big Ten – while the Heels have the talent to win the game, they’ll play tentatively in the unfamiliar environs of the Motor City. Rutgers is tougher, and will win. RIGHT 5-7 typical UNC (S 11-1).

12.26 Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl (Tropicana Field)
(55) Central Florida 9-3 AAC (2) vs (60) North Carolina State 7-5 ACC – after a long season, the Wolfpack will be up for this game. They’ll play well, but the Golden Knights will find a way to win, like they usually do. Another game where the best quarterback wins. WRONG 5-8 UCF's worst performance of the year, and they almost came back to win (S 11-2).

12.27 Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman (Annapolis) - (51) Cincinnati 9-3 AAC (3) vs (52) Virginia Tech 6-6 ACC – the Bearcats will beat the Hokies in convincing fashion – they have the better quarterback. WRONG 5-9. The inconsistent Hokies showed up (S 11-3).

12.27 Hyundai Sun Bowl (El Paso)
(44) Duke 9-3 ACC vs (24) Arizona State 9-3 Pac 12 (7.5) – the Blue Devils will have few fans make the trip, so this will be like a home game for the Sun Devils. Duke doesn’t have a chance. Take ASU and the points. CORRECT 6-9 (S 12-3).

12.27 Duck Commander Independence Bowl (Shreveport)
(39) Miami 6-6 ACC (3) vs (38) South Carolina 6-6 SEC – will the Gamecocks continue their tailspin, or rise to the occasion? The Ol’ Ball Coach loves a challenge, especially against a former Florida rival. The Canes have been playing decent football, but I think Carolina finds a way to win. Should be an interesting coin toss with Willie Robertson presiding. CORRECT 7-9 (S 13-3).

12.27 New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Yankee Stadium) - (45) Boston College 7-5 ACC (2.5) vs (57) Penn State 6-6 Big Ten – Nittany Lion fans will flood to the Bronx and might stage one of their patented whiteouts, but this game will be won by the better quarterback – Boston College’s Tyler Murphy. WRONG 7-10 PSU QB Christian Hackenberg rose from the ashes for one last win (S 13-4).

12.27 National University Holiday Bowl (San Diego)
(28) Nebraska 9-3 Big Ten vs (16) Southern California 6-6 Pac 12 (3) – the Trojans have a history of flopping in minor bowl games. The Cornhusker faithful will migrate from the chilly plains to sunny SoCal, but I’m picking the Trojans to end a lackluster season on a high note. CORRECT 8-10 (S 14-4).

12.29 AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis) - (27) West Virginia 7-5 Big 12 (3.5) vs (20) Texas A&M 7-5 SEC – though the Aggies played in the brutal SEC West, the Mountaineers played a tough schedule themselves. I’m not impressed with A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, who may still ride the coattails of Johnny Football to a big NFL payday. A&M will fall flat on the Liberty Bowl’s small stage, and West Virginia will take home the trophy. WRONG 8-11 (S 15-4).

12.29 Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando) #17 (20) Clemson 9-3 ACC vs (14) Oklahoma 8-4 Big 12 (3) – as flat as the Sooners played in their season-ending rivalry game against Oklahoma State, there’s no way Clemson can beat a quality opponent with teen heartthrob Cole Stoudt under center. WRONG 8-12 Stoudt had the best game of his career and the Sooners continued their late season slide (S 15-5).

12.29 AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston)
(40) Texas 6-6 Big 12 vs (12) Arkansas 6-6 SEC (6) – with QB Brandon Allen healthy the Razorbacks should be able to sneak past the Longhorns in a game matching two old Southwest Conference foes. CORRECT 9-12 (S 16-5).

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