2012-12-20

BOWLS - the second

The first two Bowls are over and at least one delivered a nice game.

Winning a Bowl is prestige, money and with that you get recruitings and probably more money so I can't understand how some teams get sloppy before a Bowl.

I don't think it was the case in those first two ones, but we will see some sloppy teams losing against the underdog, because they play like it's the Pro-Bowl, not a college bowl.

Interesting development for the Big east this week, seven NON-football schools decided to leave the conference, since they see themselves in a bad position in a Big East Conference raiding other conferences to expend.
Football playing teams will have the majority soon in that conference and so the decisions will be made by them, not as in the past by the basketball powerhouses.
The conferences are still on the move even this one does not change the football landscape.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWLS FROM LAST WEEKEND

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL: Nevada vs Arizona
I expected a quite close game, with an Arizona team leading throughout the game and with Nevada trying to play catch-up until the game is over.
Well ... it came different.
Nevada did challenge Arizona to the bones and beyond. They led them in the fourth quarter and 40 second to go and with 6 points behind, Arizona needed a successful Onside-Kick and a 40 second scoring drive to win this game with 1 point!
Nice ending, at least if you are not a Wolf Pack fan.
48-49 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 1-0

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL: Toledo vs Utah State
This went as expected. Utah State did dominant the whole game and did win by a mile.
I'm curious to see Utah State next season in the MWC.
I said the coach should get an offer and it looks like Wisconsin will offer him the job.
We will see, if he will leave the Aggies for that opportunity. Probably he will.
15-41 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 2-0

And now let’s take a look at the upcoming games.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWLS FOR THE WEEKEND

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL: BYU vs San Diego State
This is played Thursday.
OK, this one is one of the leaders for having the longest and dumbest name of all Bowls this season.
This is played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego where the San Diego Chargers do play and also the San Diego State Aztecs.
So this is basically a home game for San Diego State.
It is played since 2005 and each team gets around 500.000$.
It's a Bowl organized between the MWC (2. place) and different teams from different conferences each year, if they are eligible.
For this year BYU was fixed, if they are eligible (and for example next season it would be Army).
The Bowl itself was played already 1952-1955 between western and eastern Military Academies as a championship game.
It was then resurrected in 2005.
(Regarding the name for Germans: Pointsettia = Weihnachtsstern/Christstern)
This year, this game will be fun to watch, since San Diego State did play very well (9-3) and BYU had a bit of a down-year with 7-5.
I think a smaller majority does see San Diego State as the favourite, which also includes me.
Why?
Home game and they are a tough team with a seven game winning streak.
They did beat Nevada and Boise State on the road.
You have to respect that.
BYU on the other hand did lose five times including against Boise State and San Jose State.
I think it will be close, but BYU can easily win this one, if they come out fast and strong.
But if San Diego does the same, it will be a close game and the Aztecs will take home the win with the help of the crowd.

BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL ST. PETERSBURG: Ball State vs UCF
This is played Friday.
This is played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. It's a DOME in Florida and home of the Tampa Bay Rays, a major league baseball team.
Anyone thinks the same on this? A dome in Florida? Sounds like a waste.
It is played since 2008 and each team gets around 500.000$.
It's a Bowl organized between the Big East and the CUSA. If the Big East does not have enough eligible teams, teams from the MAC or the SBC can be invited.
As it happened this year, since Ball State is from the MAC.
I think Central Florida is a favourite, no doubt.
As nice as Ball State did play, they are still a MAC team and that conference has still some seasons to prove.
They whole MAC did good this season, so this is not matter of decades, especially not with all the team shifting at the moment, but I can't see UCF lose here.
Ball State did lose against NIU (MAC Champion), Kent State (MAC Championship-game loser) and Clemson from the ACC.
Not that bad, sure. But they beat only mid level teams on the other hand.
UCF did lose against Ohio State (Big Ten), Missouri (SEC) and twice against Tulsa (CUSA Champion) and they were the Championship game loser in the CUSA.
That weights a bit more in my book.
Now add the basically existing homefield advantage.
A Cardinals win would be a surprise.

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL: East Carolina vs Louisiana Lafayette
This is played on Saturday.
This is played at the Superdome in New Orleans (oh wonder!).
It is played since 2001 and each team gets around 500.000$.
The teams are chosen from the CUSA and the SBC. And if not enough teams are eligible from the CUSA, they can choose some other team, like last year, when Louisiana Lafayette did beat San Diego State in that Bowl.
In 2005, while Hurricane Katrina did hit New Orleans, this Bowl was actually played at the home site of Louisiana Lafayette.
So it sounds almost like a home game for the Ragin' Cajuns.
My guts are favouring East Carolina, because they are CUSA.
I can't help it.
The Ragin' Cajuns are very dangerous, especially on offense, so this can go also in their favour, but I think the Pirates are strong enough to fight them off.
Most people don’t think so, but OK, I can't always be with the majority. LOL.
Louisiana Lafayette is 8-4 and they did not have one win against an impressive team outside the SBC.
East Carolina is also 8-4 and they also couldn't achieve that signature win.
So I'm expecting a close game with a Pirates win.

MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS: Washington vs Boise State
This is played on Saturday.
They play (oh wonder, too) Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. It's the home of the UNLV Rebels.
It is is played since 1992 and each team gets around 1.000.000$.
The Tie-ins on conferences are since 2001 between PAC 12 (5th) and MWC (1st).
I think this will be interesting.
Washington (7-5) had an up and down season with highlight wins against Stanford (PAC 12 Champion) and Oregon State and bad losses against USC and especially against Washington State.
Boise State (10-2) did beat BYU and did lose against Michigan State and San Diego State.
The question is, will Boise State come out as the old Broncos or like they played the whole season?
Because, Washington will be a tough cookie and they might bite their teeth off on that.
But I still think the Broncos will win this one.
That Coach is very good and has a nice Bowl history; he won his last 3 in the last 3 years.
So I predict a Broncos win here.

SHERATON Hawai'i BOWL: Fresno State vs SMU
This is played Monday!
If I would have the choice to play in a Bowl, this would be it.
Not because if the prestige or the relevance, but because of the Island.
It's played of cause at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu (Home of the Hawai'i Warriors and the former Pro Bowl was also played here).
I would love to go there and have fun for a few days, as a player.
But thinking of that ... I probably would have signed with the Warriors anyway. LOL.
The Hawai'i Bowl is played since 2002 and each team gets around 750.000$.
It did team up teams from either PAC 12 or CUSA against a team from the WAC before Hawai'i did switch Conference.
The rule was that if Hawai'i is eligible and not qualified for the BCS it has a guarantee to play here, regardless of the standings in the conference.
Hawai'i did move to the MWC and the bid was transferred to the MWC.
OK, so Hawai'i did finish last in the MWC this year and that way Fresno State did come into this Bowl.
Fresno State had a great season so far and did only lose 3 times, against Oregon, Tulsa (CUSA Champion) and Boise State.
There is nothing to be ashamed about that.
SMU on the other hand is 6-6 this season and they did lose against Rice and Tulane (which is a shame) and they won against later CUSA Champion Tulsa in a meaningless game (at least for Tulsa).
The Bulldogs are so much the favourite that you have to pull the June Jones card to have some excitement in this game.
June Jones was the Hawai'i coach here, before he bolted to SMU and he is very much respected on the Island.
So there will be a warm welcome for SMU and a fair one for Fresno State.
But this "home advantage" won't give the Mustangs the edge here.
Fresno State will win, probably by a mile.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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