2014-12-22

Bowls - Second wave

The Bowl-Season started with no real surprises.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 1

Saturday, December 20, 11:00 AM ET R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette @ MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME, NEW ORLEANS, LA
This looked like a very boring game.
Maybe the fan boys can be happy over a low scoring game, but I like offense and that part of the game was awful.
ULL started nice in the first quarter and die lead 10-0.
Then did Nevada turn the ball over, but ULL did not cash in, instead did Nevada kick a FG on one drive. Halftime.
The 3rd quarter was punt-o-rama and again a lucky Nevada team stopping ULL from scoring.
The 4th quarter was then highlighted by 2 ULL field goal.
Finish.
ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Nevada 3 - Louisiana-Lafayette 16 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 1-0

Saturday, December 20, 2:20 PM ET GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL
Utah State vs. UTEP @ University Stadium, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Let's make it short here.
UTEP did suck.
Not that much as expected, but they did basically nothing on offense, so how win a game like this?
The game was open until halftime, because Utah State did turn the ball over too often, but UTEP were unable to do anything with that.
In the second half did Utah State do a bit better than in the first and UTEP ... not.
At the end, I think all people were happy the game was over.
Utah State 21 - UTEP 6 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 2-0

Saturday, December 20, 3:30 PM ET ROYAL PURPLE LAS VEGAS BOWL
#22 Utah vs. Colorado State @ Sam Boyd Stadium, LAS VEGAS, NV
Easy win for the Utes.
CSU did basically nothing.
I really would like to know, how the team would have played with their regular coach at the side?
This was only entertaining if you are a Utah fan.
#22 Utah 45 - Colorado State 10 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 3-0

Saturday, December 21, 5:45 PM ET FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Western Michigan vs. Air Force @ Albertsons Stadium, BOISE, ID
I really liked the look of the blue Falcons on the smurf turf of Boise State.
Looked almost like a home game.
Western Michigan was not able to control the Air Force on the ground.
They had 284 yards rushing.
They funny fact is, WMU had more yards in total, but it counts where you gain them.
Air Force did handle 4 of 4 of the 4th down tries for a first down, while WMU had 0 of 1.
And it counts when you get penalties. WMU had 9 for 70 yards, the Falcons 3 for 41.
At the end did the Falcons win by a constant effort over the 4 quarters, while WMU did was not able to handle the game with the same effort in each quarter.
Western Michigan 24 - Air Force 34 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 4-0

Saturday, December 20, 9:15 PM ET RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELLIA BOWL
South Alabama vs. Bowling Green @ Cramton Bowl, MONTGOMERY, AL
I would say, this was the most interesting Bowl so far.
After the first quarter it was a one score difference game.
At halftime it looked like Bowling Green was pulling away, leading 7-20.
After the 3rd quarter it looked like both teams were even, but Bowling Green was still leading by 13.
Then the craziness started.
South Alabama did score for 21-27.
In the next drive Bowling Green was held for a FG-try, but the kick was block by the defense.
After that both teams were unable to get anything done, but after that did South Alabama had a nice drive and scored for the lead. 28-27, 1:20 to go.
No special return and then on 1-10?
A deep drop back of the QB, a bomb over the middle, 2 blind safeties and a nice run after catch do add up to a 78 yard TD-catch.
A failed 2-point-conversion resulted into a 28-33 lead of Bowling Green.
Over?
Yeah, sorry over.
South Alabama was intercepted on the first down after the Kickoff.
South Alabama 28 - Bowling Green 33 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 5-0

That's the first wave.
Now comes the second wave of Bowl games.
I will put here 5 Bowl games, until Wednesday.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 2
Monday, December 22, 2:00 PM ET MIAMI BEACH BOWL
BYU vs. Memphis @ Marlins Park, MIAMI, FL
Another brand new bowl game here.
Never played before in the past and so far I don't get the tie ins, means who can be invited to that bowl.
The bowl itself is hosted by the AAC and the feel free to invite teams from the CUSA, MAC or SBC.
But the first edition already features no team from those conferences, but an independent one.
So there is more in this than that. Remember that 4 of the 5 left out teams are exactly from the mentioned conferences.
Looks like someone made a business decision here.
I found a hint that the Bowl spot was sold by the CUSA to BYU, while the AAC gave their Bowl rights to the AAC in the Bahamas Bowl.
Why the AAC did that, I was not able to find yet, but I'm sure money is a factor.
They payout is not public so far, so no numbers are known.
The Marlins Park is the home field of the Florida Marlins, a MLB Baseball team.
Since the AAC send one of their top teams to that bowl they will likely get a bit more money than the CAMELLIA BOWL teams, but you never know.
The Tigers were great this season, Memphis went from a clearly losing season last year (2-10) to a share of the AAC Championship (9-3 overall, 7-1 in the AAC).
BYU had a good season with 8-4 as independent, but did lose their good QB beginning of October after a 4-0 start, lost 4 in a row then and won the last 4 again.
It will be interesting to see, how they will do against Memphis.
All bigger games of Memphis were lost, even if sometimes in a close match.
I'm leaning towards BYU to win this. Cougars should be able to win here with preparation.

Tuesday, December 23, 6:00 PM ET BOCA RATON BOWL
Marshall vs. Northern Illinois @ FAU Stadium, BOCA RATON, FL
This is also a new one, and belongs basically to the MAC.
This season the play a CUSA team, next season it will be an AAC team.
You can call this the very poor man’s Super Bowl, since you will see the MAC Champ vs. the CUSA Champ battling it out and it is played inside the home stadium of Florida Atlantic University (playing in the CUSA).
The payout is not public, yet.
Marshall would have played inside a CFP-Bowl (Former BCS-Bowl) if they wouldn't have lost to Western Kentucky end of November.
At that time they were the highest ranked NON-Big5-team, but dropped out of the rankings after that loss and Boise State took over the pole position (and made it).
NIU did lose early in the season twice and were never considered for a big Bowl, two seasons ago they were in the Orange Bowl as BCS spoiler.
I'm not sure which team will have the upper side here.
On one hand did Marshall only lose once, but had a quite weak schedule, on the other hand NIU plays only the MAC but were able to beat Northwestern on the road.
My guts do favour NIU, but this can become a close match with the luckiest team being the winner.
I pick NIU, with a little doubt.

Tuesday, December 23, 9:30 PM ET SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL
Navy vs. San Diego State @ Qualcomm Stadium, SAN DIEGO, CA
This is played on the home field of the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego State Aztecs, so a real-real home game for San Diego State.
It is played since 2005 and each team gets around 612.500$.
It's a Bowl organized between the MWC (2. place until 2014) and different teams from different conferences each year, if they are eligible.
This season the Navy Midshipmen were able to win enough games (7-5) and accepted the spot.
The Bowl itself was played already 1952-1955 between western and Eastern Military Academies as a championship game.
It was then resurrected in 2005.
Unfortunately has Navy a bit of a down year, so I expect a one-sided game here.
The Aztecs will play at home with more time to prepare and heal and against a good but not great Navy team.
Under those conditions I will pick NOT Navy.

Wednesday, December 24, 12:00 PM ET POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky @ Thomas Robinson Stadium, NASSAU, BAHAMAS
Now it gets a bit strange.
A new Bowl for FBS-Football played on the Bahamas.
Played inside a 15.000 seat multipurpose stadium on the Bahamas, which is mainly used for soccer matches.
So, who will attend such a game?
Tourist? Florida residents on a short trip to the Bahamas?
15.000 seems a bit small for a college bowl, even if the bowl is only a MAC-Bowl and plays against the CUSA.
They payout for each team is not known.
Western Kentucky had a 7-5 season, 4-4 in the CUSA, biggest win was probably the win against a ranked Marshall team on the last gameday.
Central Michigan had also a 7-5 season with 5-3 in the MAC.
Biggest win for them was against now MAC Champ NIU.
Hard to tell, which team will win here, but I think Western Kentucky has the small edge here.
But, last time both teams meet was also in a bowl, 2012 and CMU did win.
Mmmmh.
I still pick WKU.

Wednesday, December 24, 8:00 PM ET HAWAII BOWL
Fresno State vs. Rice @ Aloha Stadium, HONOLULU, HI
Ah ... the Hawai'i Bowl. I like the site.
Normally Hawai'i does play here (if eligible, not happened since 2010) and then some other team.
The Hawai'i Bowl is played since 2002 and each team gets around 650.000$.
It does team up MWC teams against a CUSA team.
This year we have the 6-7 Fresno State Bulldogs (lost against Boise State in the Championship game of the MWC) against the 7-5 Rice Owls.
I'm not very confident this will be a highlight of the bowl history.
But you never know.
At least both teams should be on the same level and we will probably see an open game.
I pick Fresno State as the winner, I don't get my mind around a winning Rice team, sorry.
The Bulldogs did not look too bad against Boise, while Rice got really spanked by Louisiana Tech in the last game.
I'm curious to see the game.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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