2014-12-26

Bowls - Third wave

Second wave of Bowls are over.
I hope you had a happy X-Mas and got lots of presents.

My picking was not that good for the last few bowls, but I will try to find an explanation.

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
I picked BYU here and I felt juuuuuuuust short.
An incredible game it was.
BYU and Memphis did keep themselves and the other team always in the game.
Sometimes they played good offense and scored, sometimes they played bad offense and turned the ball over.
It looked almost over for the Tigers when Memphis was a TD behind and had 4th and 4 on the BYU 5th.
Paxton Lynch, the Tigers QB was scrambling and avoiding tackles and you all know, given time it's gets almost impossible to find an open receiver in the endzone, since all the defenders are spread out.
Well, Lynch found one and the game went into overtime.
Then BYU had another bad luck moment, when Jordan Leslie did made a one-hand catch in the endzone, which later was declared incomplete after review, because the ball did touch the ground while it was locked between the WR hand and his shoulderpad.
Tough decision by the refs, you can find arguments for a complete or incomplete pass.
Instead of a TD, BYU got a FG, held Memphis also to a FG and then got a TD by Memphis in the second OT.
Now comes the third bad moment, when Christian Stewart, the BYU QB, was intercepted on a pass aimed a bit too high.
Game over.
After the game a brawl broke out, which was a bit ugly.
It was not really caught on tape, who started the brawl, but both sides did not manage that situation very well.
Anyway, Memphis won this first version of the Bowl.
BYU 48 - Memphis 55 2OT -> Jacks Bowl Score: 5-1

Tuesday, December 23, 6:00 PM ET BOCA RATON BOWL
Marshall vs. Northern Illinois @ FAU Stadium, BOCA RATON, FL
OK that one was very one dimensional.
Marshall came in with something to prove and they did.
Northern Illinois was not able to keep the Thundering Herd in check and on the other hand was not able to score as often as needed.
The game was more or less over at Halftime with Marshall leading 24-13.
NIU did not came out of the locker room to turn the table, instead Marshall was able to extend the lead later in the 3rd.
I picked NIU, so I have to blame my guts for that wrong pick.
Looks like the Northwestern win, which lead me to that pick, was a Cinderella win, with a bad Northwestern team, not a good NIU team.
Marshall clearly showed they were the better team.
I still doubt the would do anything good in a CFP-Bowl, but that's a different story.
Marshall 52 - Northern Illinois 23 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 5-2

Tuesday, December 23, 9:30 PM ET SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL
Navy vs. San Diego State @ Qualcomm Stadium, SAN DIEGO, CA
First impression was, Navy was quite competitive and there was no real hometown advantage to see for the Aztecs.
The game was back and fourth with no real advantage for any team.
In fact with about 1:30 min. to go in the 4th quarter the game was 17-16 and SDSU got the ball.
They made it to the Navy 17 yard line with 24 seconds to go.
A 34 yard FG away from the win did the cursed kicker miss wide right.
What sucker .....
I know I should not let my feeling out to that poor kicker, but that's the moment the team needs you and then THAT bad kick?
Man, that's how to destroy Christmas for a lot of players on your team ...
Navy won by that single point, they got their Christmas present early.
Navy 17 - San Diego State 16 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 5-3

Wednesday, December 24, 12:00 PM ET POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky @ Thomas Robinson Stadium, NASSAU, BAHAMAS
The Bowl season is still young, but this one was probably one of the most crazy ones, if not THE craziest of all.
How so?
Image you are Western Kentucky and you beat the shit out of Central Michigan for the first 3 quarters in the Bahamas Bowl.
Got that? Fine.
Now, comes the 4th quarter.
Your team WKU did just missed a FG to extend the lead of 14 - 49.
Central Michigan switched the side and scored a TD. 21 - 49.
Ha, no problem, right. Well, your teams only managed 3-and-out, so Central Michigan got the ball back.
5 plays later the score again, 28 - 49.
Ha, still no problem, right? Weeeeeeeell, your team sucked and fumbled the ball after 3 plays and gave the ball back.
8 plays a l t e r did Central Michigan again score a TD. 35 - 48.
Getting nervous? Still a good lead and only 3 minutes to play. This one is over, right?
Only that Central Michigan held you to 3-and-out and you gave the ball back with 2 minutes to go.
4 plays later they scored a TD. 42 - 49.
Oh fuck, but it's only 1:09 to go and they have to kick-off. Ha, that lousy onside kick was recovered by your team.
Let the clock run out and all good.
But ... you only manage to get the clock down to 0:10, with CMU calling the timeouts. You punt for a touchback and with 0:01 left to play, Central Michigan gets the ball.
A Penalty helps them to get to their own 25 yard line and then come the miracle.
A deep pass to the 30 yard line if heavy traffic. Over? No. It's caught. The catcher runs 5 yards, but many of your teammates are around him, trying to drag him to the ground.
Over? No, that punk does a lateral to a teammate and that one runs to the left side.
On the 15 yard line he is caught and tacked.
Over? No, that punk does another lateral and the catcher runs of to the right, but is caught very fast.
Over? NO! Another lateral to a teammate and that one runs to the right pylon, hits it in tackling traffic with the ball!
Touchdown! 48-49!
Going to overtime? No, that Central Michigan coach calls for 2!
Lucky for your team, the selected play is a overthrown pass play and Western Kentucky survives with more than one scare.
Central Michigan 48 - Western Kentucky 49 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 6-3

Wednesday, December 24, 8:00 PM ET HAWAII BOWL
Fresno State vs. Rice @ Aloha Stadium, HONOLULU, HI
Aloha.
I herewith apologize to all Rice fans.
Your team did good and did deserve the win.
I'm still stunned how bad Fresno State was.
The game was over after the first quarter, even that was not clear at that moment.
Fresno State was held to 6 points. SIX!
Fresno State is not a offense juggernaut anymore, but 6 points is not their standard.
Good job Rice, I'm curious to see you next season.
Fresno State 6 - Rice 30 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 6-4

That's the second wave.
Now comes the next few bowls.

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
This is played since 2011.
Still confusing to see them playing in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, the Stadium named after the event (which was moved to another stadium).
It's a Big10 Bowl facing off against a CUSA-Team.
Each team gets around 1.100.000$.
Last season the Bowl matchup was boring (UNLV vs. UNT) but this season the matchup is not much better.
Illinois did win 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the Big10.
Louisiana Tech did win 8-4 overall in the regular season and 7-1 in the conference. Lost then against Marshall in the CUSA Championship game. So now they are 8-5.
Illinois did play WKU from the CUSA this season and won.
No real indication, but I'm leaning towards the Illini in that game.
The Bulldogs did not really play well in their last game.
Still, the Illini are beatable and Louisiana could win this.
I'm expecting a close game with a winning team out of Illinois.

Friday, December 26, 4:30 PM ET QUICK LANE BOWL
Rutgers vs. North Carolina @ Ford Field, DETROIT, MI
And another new Bowl game. But the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was cancelled instead.
The Bowl is backed from the Detroit Lions and therefore played on their home field.
This is a Big10 vs ACC Bowl.
It's not clear what kind of money is spend on the teams here, but probably in the 750.000$ area.
Rutgers is 7-5 so far, 3-5 in the Big10.
North Carolina did finish 6-6 and 4-4 inside the ACC.
I don't expect much from the game.
Both teams did not really impress me during the season.
North Carolinas best wins were against Georgia Tech and Duke, Rutgers had no real big win, but were probably happy to win against Michigan at a time when every still expected a bit more from the Wolverines.
I see them quite even, so I'm not sure what to expect here.
Best case would be a high scoring open game, but I doubt that.
My head likes to pick UNC because of the tradition and brand, but that is the worst way to pick.
My gut picks Rutgers as a Big10 team, ignoring the fact that the ACC not worse the Big10 this season, if not better.
So ... I pick Rutgers for what ever reason ... No, the reason is, I'm not sold on the Tar Heels, but this can go either way.

Friday, December 26, 8:00 PM ET BITCOIN ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
North Carolina State vs. UCF @ Tropicana Field, SAINT PETERSBURG, FL
This is a DOME in Florida and home of the Tampa Bay Rays, a major league baseball team.
The Bowl is played since 2008 and each team gets 537.500$.
It's a Bowl organized between the AAC and the CUSA or ACC.
North Carolina State was not that good this season, 7-5 with 3-5 in the ACC.
UCF is one of the three co-champs of the AAC, 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the AAC.
I'm very confident UCF can overcome NC-State here.
First, they are quite hot at the moment, winning 4 straight, second, they play almost a home game here.
NC-State on the other hand can only bring in the reputation as an ACC team and a nice win against rival UNC on the last gameday.
I pick UCF and I'm hoping for a nice matchup.

Saturday, December 27, 1:00 PM ET MILITARY BOWL - PRES. BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech @ Navy Memorial Stadium, ANNAPOLIS, MD
Since 2008 this Bowl is played.
For the next 5 years it will feature teams from the ACC vs AAC.
Cincinnati did win a share of the AAC title this season with 9-3 and 7-1 in the AAC.
Virginia Tech did barely made it into a bowl with 6-6 and 3-5 in the ACC.
Each team gets around 1.000.000$.
Don't underestimate Frank Beamers Virginia Tech team, even they only went 6-6 this season.
I'm not sure if Beamer did lose his juice in the last few seasons or if other factors did lead to a decline in the amount of won games.
Cincinnati is rising with Tuberville in his second year.
He is also a longtime career coach, so this will get interesting.
I think Cincinnati has a small edge here but I doubt VT will go down easily.
Enjoy a nice matchup.
I pick the Bearcats.

Saturday, December 27, 2:00 PM ET HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
#15 Arizona State vs. Duke @ Sun Bowl, EL PASO, TX
Since 1935 is this Bowl played!
It is now played in Sun Bowl Stadium since 1963, the home of the UTEP Miners at El Paso, Texas.
It's a game between the PAC 12 and the ACC.
Each team gets around 2.150.000$.
I'm not convinced this game will be very interesting, I think Arizona State will handle Duke a quite heavy loss here.
I'm hoping for a good prepared Duke team, willing to show the world that they are no fluke (haha - you got that joke? Duke - Fluke? Haha - - - awl, forget it).
Dukes HC has yet to win a Bowl game with Duke, losing the last 2 straight.
ASU did almost play for the PAC 12 championship and I think they are a better team then Duke on any day.
I pick the Sun Devils for the win.

Saturday, December 27, 3:30 PM ET DUCK COMMANDER INDEPENDENCE BOWL
Miami (FL) vs. South Carolina @ Independence Stadium, SHREVEPORT, LA
This is again the Independence Bowl, played since 1976. It was named totally different last season.
Because of the 200 year celebration of independence at 1976, this Bowl had his original name.
The SEC 10th team should face an ACC team (7th).
Each team gets around 1.200.000$.
Miami finished 6-6 with 3-5 in the ACC, South Carolina finished 6-6 with 3-5 in the SEC.
So on paper they are even regarding this.
If you value in the conference strength, you might think the SEC should be valued higher, but especially against the ACC the SEC did suck this season.
On season final did the SEC not win a single game against the ACC.
So maybe we have a ball game here.
I'm still picking South Carolina, giving them credit for a tougher schedule.
I hope it will be a more open game, but I doubt it.

Saturday, December 27, 4:30 PM ET NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
Boston College vs. Penn State @ Yankee Stadium, BRONX, NY
This is operated since 2010.
It does field an ACC team against a Big10 Team.
Each team gets around 2.000.000$.
First Bowl game for Penn State since they were punished for the Child abuse scandal a few years ago.
They are 6-6 with 2-6 in the conference.
Boston College went 7-5 with 4-4 in the ACC.
It's the second Bowl for them in a row, but they lost last season.
I was not very impressed by any of the teams this season, so I'm not sure what to expect here.
Biggest win for BC was against ranked USC in October, biggest win for Penn State was against later co-champ UCF.
Yeah ... that lame it will be.
I pick Boston, since I have to pick a team, but both teams can bore the other team to death here.

Saturday, December 27, 8:00 PM ET NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY BOWL
Nebraska vs. #24 USC @ Qualcomm Stadium, SAN DIEGO, CA
This is played at the home of the San Diego Chargers.
It's played since 1978.
The Big 10 should face up against a PAC 12 team.
Each team gets around 2.825.000$.
Nebraska did fire their HC after the last regular season game and already found his successor, but he will not coach the Bowl.
So it's interim coach time again.
Not good enough against a well coach USC team, which almost won the PAC 12 South, after a slow start.
I hope the Huskers will stay in the game, but this can become a massacre.
I pick USC on any day here.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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