2017-12-23

Bowls 2017 - Part 3

And the 2nd part of the bowl season is over.
It went mostly as expected.

Interesting event on Friday was that on Reddit some College Football guy did state that the FSU win over Delaware State could not count against the Bowl eligibility because they did not have 90% scholarships on the team.
FSU did do their homework and stated that Delaware State did confirm the 90% scholarships, including sports and academical scholarships.
The Reddit guy did only count the sports scholarships which were indeed under 90%, but FSU confirmed that also the academicals ones do count.
FSU had only 6 wins this season, so that win was very important and there were 2 teams left out of the Bowls with 6 wins, it's understandable that FSU did respond quickly.
For me this is interesting, since it shows that platforms like Reddit do have an influence.

Let’s have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 2

Tues. Dec. 19
CHERIBUNDI TART CHERRY BOCA RATON BOWL
Akron vs Florida Atlantic
@FAU Football Stadium - Boca Raton, FL
Destroyed, that's what Akron was.
50-3?
As dominate FAU team did let Akron do anything.
With Kiffin signed for the next 10 seasons, the main question is now, how many of those seasons he will stay as HC of the Owls.
If he stays, the Owls will have a bright future, that's how it looks.
But chances are high that sooner or later a better paid job is offered to Kiffin and he bolts again.
His longest stay as HC was at USC where he was fired in his 5th season.
The Zips did have still a nice season and I hope they can bring that into the next season.
Akron 3 - Florida Atlantic 50 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 3-3

Wed. Dec. 20
DXL FRISCO BOWL
Louisiana Tech vs SMU
@Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Another big win here for my picked team.
LT did stuff SMU very efficiently and won this with a great margin.
For LT this might be a good starting poinr for next season, SMU has a new coach and we will have to see, which direction the team will take.
Louisiana Tech 51 - SMU 10 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 4-3

Thur. Dec. 21
BAD BOY MOWERS GASPARILLA BOWL
Temple vs Florida Intl
@Tropicana Field - St. Petersburg, FL
The Owls limited the Panthers to a field goal and won this one to finish the season with 7 wins.
I think it is a good direction of the Temple team, which is in some kind of rebuilding phase.
FIU should not be desperate, the had a good season and might come up better next season.
Temple 28 - Florida Intl 3 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-3

Fri. Dec. 22
BAHAMAS BOWL
UAB vs Ohio
@Thomas Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas
As I feared the game was different that expected under the strange Bahamas conditions.
Ohio did dominate though out the game and won this.
Not a really bad ending for UAB, since the had a great 1st season after their shut down and reactivation, but I would have liked that season to end with a win.
Ohio can build on that win and maybe we see them back in old strength next year.
UAB 6 - Ohio 41 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 5-4

Fri. Dec. 22
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Central Michigan vs Wyoming
@Albertsons Stadium - Boise, ID
Likely the highest point Wyoming will have in the next few season, when they won this game in style.
Their star QB will go to the NFL (he is a Junior) and the team will likely play worse next season.
But this game was the final statement.
CMU did score only 14 points while Wyoming did score 21 in the 1st quarter and kept then the opponent in check after that.
Wyoming finishes with 8-5 record, CMU also.
Central Michigan 14 - Wyoming 37 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 6-4

That's that so far, next games will be until Tuesday, so whole Christmas.

Here is the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 3

Sat. Dec. 23
BIRMINGHAM BOWL
Texas Tech vs South Florida
@Legion Field - Birmingham, AL
Since 2006 is this Bowl played and is fielded at the home of the UAB Blazers.
It's an American vs SEC game. If that does not happen, CUSA or MAC war taken.
And we have a American vs Big12 game. Congratulation.
The teams get around 900.000$.
Texas Tech did keep their HC, so we will have a offense powerful Red Raiders team playing against a well coached USF team, who's coach did a good job in his 1st season there.
Texas Tech is 6-6 and plays their 1st bowl game since 2015, USF has a 9-2 record with their last bowl in 2016 right at that spot here.
USF did play their bowl 2 times so far and won both.
The betting line is -2.0 for USF, so not much.
Texas Tech his a very good offense team, as mentioned, but their defense lacks strength.
USF did play good on both side of the ball, but came not through when it counted most, against UCF, and lost on a high scoring game.
Means, I expect a lot of points here.
Both teams can of cause win here, but I think USF has the edge.
The only thing which makes we think is that the Red Raiders should have a better talented roster, which might help them to stay in the game or to win.
I think Strong will prepare his team good enough to beat Kingbury, the team just has to make it happen.
Bulls win.

Sat. Dec. 23
LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL
San Diego State vs Army
@Amon G. Carter Stadium - Fort Worth, TX
Since 2003 is this Bowl played and they field it at the moment at the home of the TCU Horned Frogs in Texas.
The Bowl is inviting teams from different conferences, depended on the year and the contracts made with the conferences and with Army as independent.
This season Army and the Big10 are wanted, but Army and the Mountain West is became.
Each team gets around 675.000$.
Army is on a hot streak this season, 9-3 record, Commander in Chief Trophy won and the 2nd bowl game season in a row, which did not happen since 1984/85.
SDSU was supposed to challenge Boise State for the MWC-title (and win it), but lost some games and finished 10-2.
The betting line is 6.5 points for SDSU.
I think the Aztecs can run the table here, if they play it smart.
They are a better balanced football team, while Army has only a strong ground game.
So all in the box and then force a shootout.
I doubt it will be that easy, but I pick the Aztecs here to come up with a win.
Aztecs win.

Sat. Dec. 23
DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL
Appalachian State vs Toledo
@Ladd Peebles Stadium - Mobile, AL
Since 1999 is this Bowl played and its played at the home of the South Alabama Jaguars.
Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Bowl, GoDaddy.com Bowl and GoDaddy Bowl are former names of this 'buy yourself a bowl'-Bowl.
At the moment it is a Sun Belt Conference vs MAC Bowl.
Each team gets around 750.000$.
This season the matchup might be interesting.
Appalachian State (8-4) did win a share of the SBC, while Toledo (11-2) did win the MAC.
I did say instantly Toledo will win here, for me the only question is, how high.
Appalachian State is a good team on their level, but Toledo did stuff almost every team they met during the season.
The betting line is only 6.5 points in favor for Toledo, I think they will outscore that.
An explosive offense and a capable defense against a balanced team.
We will see.
Rockets win.

Sun. Dec. 24 - 8:00 pm ET
HAWAI'I BOWL
Fresno State vs Houston
@Aloha Stadium - Honolulu, HI
The Hawai'i Bowl is played since 2002 and each team gets around 750.000$.
It does team up MWC teams against a CUSA team.
Well, Aloha to an American Conference team from Houston, instead of a CUSA team, which will boost the level dramatically.
Fresno State won 9-4 so far, but lost the MWC Championship game, Houston is in rebuilding mode and finished 7-4.
Houston is favored by 2 points, I think that is close enough to have a valid point for every team.
Houston is a good team and they were strong last season.
They had ups and downs, and their conference strength at all should be a bit higher than MWC.
But Fresno State did win some tough football games this season and will likely play on a high level.
I still pick Houston to win here, since I expect a well prepared team and then the talent level should help to win.
Cougars win.

Tue. Dec. 26
ZAXBY'S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
Utah vs West Virginia
@Cotton Bowl - Dallas, TX
Played since 2011, don't get confused with the real COTTON BOWL game.
This is only played in the stadium named Cotton Bowl.
It's a Big10 Bowl facing off against a CUSA-Team or a BIG12 team.
Well, looks like they never get this done as intended, since they have a PAC12 team this season vs a BIG12 team.
Each team gets around 1.100.000$.
A nice matchup, open as is can be.
West Virginia (7-5) was a tough team this season, but had some booboos also, losing games they could have won.
Utah (6-6) on the other hand had a down season, but is also a dangerous team.
Utah gets the betting line favorite role with 6.5 points.
I pick here West Virginia to win.
They are a balanced team, do lack a bit of defense, but I think the time for preperation should help here.
Mountaineers win.

Tue. Dec. 26
QUICK LANE BOWL
Duke vs Northern Illinois
@Ford Field - Detroit, MI
The Bowl is backed from the Detroit Lions and therefore played on their home field. It's new since 2014.
This is a Big10 vs ACC Bowl but we got a MAC team instead of a BIG10 team.
Last season was the payout for each team 1.200.000$.
Duke is 6-6, NIU is 8-4.
My 1st thought on this game was 'boring', and it did not get better.
Duke is for sure a tough spot for coaching and recruiting, so a bowl season is still a great accomplishment.
Still this team was not that good this season compared to former one.
And NIU is right now only a shadow of their former self.
This was once a dominating team, went even to a BCS bowl, which was the 1st time for a MAC ever and now this team did not even compete for the MAC championship.
Duke is favored by 5.5 points, which is OK I guess, but I expect Duke to control NIU over the game and win here by 1+ score.
Blue Devils win.

Tue. Dec. 26
CACTUS BOWL
Kansas State vs UCLA
@Chase Field - Phoenix, Ariz.
This does operate since 1989.
It's played at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a baseball team in MLB.
It does usually field a PAC12 Team facing a Big 12 team.
Each team gets around 3.325.000$.
KSU gets -2.5 here and I think that is also my impression.
Who will win here is a mystery.
KSU is a team which can win against very good teams and loses against bad teams.
UCLA did play a bad season and did hire Chip Kelly as new HC, but whether he will have an impact here is also a mystery.
I guess not.
So flip a coin and I guess anyone can win here.
I do pick KSU as the boring pick, but that just me taking stability over eventual momentum.
Wildcats win.

'Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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