2014-12-29

Bowls - Fourth wave

And that's the third wave of Bowls. Over.
A lot of games.

I had some nice picks, but also some quite not so good.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 3
Friday, December 26, 1:00 PM ET ZAXBY'S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech @ Cotton Bowl, DALLAS, TX
That one was kind of depressing.
I don't know why Illinois was THAT bad, but it looked like there was only one team prepared in that game and that was Louisiana Tech.
The Illini QB made mistakes, their offensive line was awful and their defense looked like sleepwalking over the field.
The Bulldogs did score on offense and defense and they deserved that win.
Illinois 18 - Louisiana Tech 35 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 6-5

Friday, December 26, 4:30 PM ET QUICK LANE BOWL
Rutgers vs. North Carolina @ Ford Field, DETROIT, MI
This Bowl went a bit as expected, only amplified by a bigger factor.
Bad play calling. Bad special team plays, especially the Field Goal unit.
The game was open in the first quarter and over at halftime.
Rutgers did everything quite right and was able to dominate on offense on the ground and in the air.
UNC did score most points on garbage time, when they trailed already by 33 points.
Rutgers 40 - North Carolina 21 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 7-5

Friday, December 26, 8:00 PM ET BITCOIN ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
North Carolina State vs. UCF @ Tropicana Field, SAINT PETERSBURG, FL
That one was first a bit boring, since UCF did suck on defense and NCS did score at will.
But the Golden Knights did come back in the forth and were a bit unlucky with the onside kick.
At the end did North Carolina State win and they deserved it really.
You can't play as sloppy as UCF did in the first half in a Bowl game.
Still a nice game.
North Carolina State 34 - UCF 27 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 7-6

Saturday, December 27, 1:00 PM ET MILITARY BOWL - PRES. BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech @ Navy Memorial Stadium, ANNAPOLIS, MD
I was in doubt and I was right.
The VT defense was sharp and the Cincinnati offensive line was not.
It resulted in 2 Interceptions by Gunner Kiel, the Bearcats QB, and a lost fumble, return to a TD, which shifted the momentum in that up to then open game.
Gunner Kiel was also hurt on that fumble causing sack and never returned.
Without Kiel, Cincinnati had no chance to win that one.
Congratulation to the Hokies.
Cincinnati 17 - Virginia Tech 33 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 7-7

Saturday, December 27, 2:00 PM ET HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
#15 Arizona State vs. Duke @ Sun Bowl, EL PASO, TX
I think everyone has to admit that Duke did not went down without a fight.
They even took the lead with 5 min to play in the 4th quarter.
Until then they were basically always on the catch-up path, the trailed 30 - 17 beginning of the 4th quarter.
Unfortunately for them, right after that TD, which gave them the lead, the kick off coverage was a disaster, lead to a 96 yard return to the Duke 4 yard line.
The Sun Devils scored the next play and the game was more or less over. Well, not completely
Duke DID march down the field, but was intercepted 45 seconds to play in the Arizona State end zone on a 3rd and 10 on the ASUs 14 yard line.
Nice game.
#15 Arizona State 36 - Duke 31 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 8-7

Saturday, December 27, 3:30 PM ET DUCK COMMANDER INDEPENDENCE BOWL
Miami (FL) vs. South Carolina @ Independence Stadium, SHREVEPORT, LA
Also a nice game.
Miami came out strong enough to kick two Field Goals for the lead, until South Carolina did light up the scoreboard to a halftime 6-17 lead.
The Hurricanes did shorten that in the 3rd quarter to a 14-17 lead, but the Gamecocks did score again the 4th for a 10 point lead.
Miami came back and scored with about 2 minutes to go, but was not able to stop South Carolina to run down the clock.
Great game, I did found the Miami Uniforms a bit odd, with green helmets and green pants, but that's how it was.
Miami (FL) 21 - South Carolina 24 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 9-7

Saturday, December 27, 4:30 PM ET NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
Boston College vs. Penn State @ Yankee Stadium, BRONX, NY
It's always unfair to blame a kicker, but ... man, miss an extra point in overtime?
Get lost!
Here is what happened.
First quarter open game, game tied at 7.
Second quarter, no scores, still 7 - 7 at the half.
Then did BC find their mojo and took the lead to 21 - 14, start of the 4th.
Then did Penn State respond and tied the game at 21, BC was held to Field Goal and Penn State was able to kick a 45 yarder to tie the game again.
Now comes the overtime.
BC got the Ball and went down the field with 2 plays (remember they start 25 yards from the endzone, so it's not that far) and scored, but that Kicker did hit the ball THAT bad that if went not wide right, it went wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide right.
Penn State did score also a TD and their kicker was able to do the normal XP-Kick like a kicker should be able to.
Penn State wins in a never boring game.
Boston College 30 - Penn State 31 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 9-8

Saturday, December 27, 8:00 PM ET NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY BOWL
Nebraska vs. #24 USC @ Qualcomm Stadium, SAN DIEGO, CA
This one was a close one.
And a strange one.
First quarter was scoring after scoring, Huskers did lead at the end 17 - 10.
Second quarter was only USC, since Nebraska did turn the ball over at the worst moment. At the half 17 - 24.
Third quarter was first more or less USC scoring, but Nebraska came back. USC did lead twice by 14 points, but beginning of the fourth it was only 34 - 45.
Later Nebraska did score and shortened it to 42 - 45.
USC was kept in check then, but also Nebraska.
A Hail Mary by Nebraska at the end was no good and that way did USC win the Holiday Bowl.
Nebraska 42 - #24 USC 45 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 10-8

That's it for that wave.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 4

Monday, December 29, 2:00 PM ET AutoZone LIBERTY BOWL
Texas A&M vs. West Virginia @ Liberty Bowl, MEMPHIS, TN
This one exists since 1959.
It's meant to play the Big 12 #4 vs a SEC pool pick.
Each team gets around 1.437.500$.
At the end did the BIg 12 #5 West Virginia with 5-4 Big12 record and 7-5 overall made it to the game.
The SEC did send Texas A&M after a 3-5 SEC season and 7-5 overall.
It will be interesting to see both teams facing off against each other.
Unfortunately there are some changes at the WVU (The AD left, the OC decided to change team) which might distract the players enough to give Texas A&M the needed edge.
Both teams were not really impressive, playing good and bad games during the season.
There is no real development to be seen, no winning series to be analyzed.
I give Sumlin as coach of the Aggies a small edge over Holgorsen.
I think this will become an Aggies offense against Mountaineers defense battle, which will probably end with an Aggies win.
I pick the Aggies, because of the distractions and the coach.

Monday, December 29, 5:30 PM ET RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
Oklahoma vs. #17 Clemson @ Florida Citrus Bowl, ORLANDO, FL
This is played since 1990.
The ACC should face up against the Big12.
Each team gets around 2.275.000$.
This will be two nice team facing off here.
Oklahoma went only 4th in the Big12 but was 8-4 overall and did play 5-4 in the Big 12 with 3 losses against the later crowned champs or second placed teams.
Only the loss against rival Oklahoma State on the final day at home was bad.
Clemson finished 9-3 with 6-2 in the conference and losing only there against FSU and Georgia Tech, the division champs.
They won against rival South Carolina on the last gameday, so the should be fine.
My first impression was, that Clemson is a more complete team, but Bob Stoobs will bring a sharpe Oklahoma team into the game.
At the end I think Oklahomas Defense will lose a critical matchup against Clemsons offense, which will bring the Tigers the Bowl win.
I pick Clemson.

Monday, December 29, 9:00 PM ET ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL
Arkansas vs. Texas @ NRG Stadium, HOUSTON, TX
This is played at the home of the Houston Texans.
It's played since 2006.
The Big 12 should face up against a SEC Team here.
Each team gets around 3.000.000$.
I have to admit this one is really interesting.
Bret Bielema is having a great season with the Razorbacks, even if 6-6 does not look that good and 2-6 in the SEC does also not look good.
But they won 3 more games than last season, 2 more in the SEC and it looks like the mess, the Razorbacks were over the years, is getting fixed.
Biggest wins were against LSU and Ole Miss at home, both teams were ranked.
Charlie Strong on the other hand did lead the newly taken over Longhorns in a 6-6 season, 5-4 in the Big 12, the worst season for Texas since 2010.
In November it looked like he had the Longhorns on track, winning 3 straight, but they lost the last game against ranked TCU.
I give Arkansas the edge here for following reasons:
The team is a bit longer under new management, they had already their wins against very good teams and because I think the home factor will not be enough.
But ... I think it will be a game to watch and Texas is not without a chance here.
I still pick Arkansas.

Tuesday, December 30, 3:00 PM ET FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL
Notre Dame vs. #23 LSU @ LP Field, NASHVILLE, TN
Since 1998 is this Bowl played and they field it at the home of the Tennessee Titans.
The SEC send a team versus an ACC or Big10 Team.
Each team gets around 2.750.000$.
At the end we have Notre Dame here. Some obvious someone made a decision here.
This is a quite juicy bowl, since you get a lot of money.
My first thought on that matchup was: slaughterhouse. That irish leprechaun will be ripped apart.
I gave no second thought on that.
Notre Dame lost basically against every strong team and even against not so strong teams.
Best win? Then ranked Stanford in beginning of October. The Irish are 7-5 overall.
LSU on the other hand?
They finished 8-4 with 4-4 in the SEC and they won against Wisconsin and Ole Miss.
This is not a championship level Tigers team, no, but it's better than Notre Dame.
It looked like the team got better over the season and they will be prepared.
Sure, Notre Dame will also be prepared, but they are overall weaker, so over the time will LSU gain the advantage and at the end I think the score will not be close.
LSU will win, my pick.

Tuesday, December 30, 6:30 PM ET BELK BOWL
#13 Georgia vs. #21 Louisville @ Bank of America, CHARLOTTE, NC
This is played the home of the Carolina Panthers.
It's played since 2002.
The ACC should face up against a SEC team.
Each team gets around 1.700.000$.
Georgia is 9-3, 6-2 in the SEC and Louisville is also 9-3, with 5-3 in the ACC.
This will be interesting, since Petrino, the new and former Cardinals coach is a former SEC coach.
He should know Richts Bulldogs very good.
Georgia did almost play for the SEC crown, they did even win against later SEC East winner Missouri, but since they struggled against other SEC teams, they had not enough wins.
Louisville had a great start in the ACC (last season they were in the AAC) and had to settle at #3 in their division, behind a good FSU and Clemson team.
Who will win here?
I think Georgia is overall better, but I think they will have to play almost perfect.
Should be a great game.
I pick Georgia.

Tuesday, December 30, 10:00 PM ET FOSTER FARMS BOWL
Maryland vs. Stanford @ Levi's Stadium, SANTA CLARA, CA
Since 2002 does this Bowl operate, even under different names.
It is played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers.
This is a PAC 12 Bowl facing some team from the Big10.
A team get about 2.212.500$ as payout.
This is a bit less exciting as you might expect by a PAC 12 - Big10 matchup.
Maryland is new in the Big10 and finished 7-5 overall and 4-4 win the conference.
Stanford on the other hand had a down year and finished also 7-5 and 5-4 in the PAC 12.
When I did read this matchup I did easily pick Stanford as my favorite.
Maryland was not really good this season and had a very mixed schedule with only 2 teams ranked at the gamedays.
Stanford had to face 6 ranked teams over the season and even if not all of them are now ranked, I think overall they had the tougher schedule, with the same result.
Add a big win over UCLA on the last gameday for Stanford and a loss against Rutgers on the last gameday for Maryland and I think it's clear why I only saw the Cardinals as the winner of that game.
So ... Stanford will win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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