Bowl Final Thoughts, Predictions & Advice: Pinstripe, Russell Athletic, Foster Farms, Texas Bowls
Check out the final thoughts, a few predictions, and some investment advice for the Pinstripe, Russell Athletic, Foster Farms, Texas bowls – because you have to.
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Game Previews & Predictions
– New Era Pinstripe, Pitt vs. Northwestern, Dec. 28, 2:00, ESPN
– Russell Athletic: Miami vs. West Virginia, Dec. 28, 5:30, ESPN
– Foster Farms, Utah vs. Indiana, Dec. 28, 8:30, FOX
– AdvoCare V100 Texas, Kansas St vs. Texas A&M, Dec. 28, 9:00, ESPN
And now the bowl season really kicks in.
Wednesday is the first full day of bowls filled with all Group of Five program teams. Yeah, it’s a day full of games you’d actually think about watching on a normal college football Saturday.
But it’s also the late December mid-week day of bowls, meaning that if you’re here, there’s probably an issue. If you’re playing in one of these four bowls, most likely you were good, but you probably just missed out on a potentially outstanding season.
So how’s the bowl season going so far? Check out how everyone is doing in the CFN Confidence Pool Picks.
This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …
Northwestern was able to get by Mississippi State a few years ago, but this has generally been a miserable bowl team. The ACC is rocking the bowl season so far, and now the Pinstripe is one of those games to potentially beef up the resume. However …
Pitt doesn’t have a secondary. For those of you looking to see Northwestern quarterbacks have their say in the NFL draft in a few years, here’s your highlight reel. Clayton Thorson will light up the Panthers like a Christmas tree.
But Northwestern’s D won’t have any fun, either. The 65-point total could be hit easily by the third quarter if all goes according to plan.
Call the Russell Athletic the bowl about who cares more. It’s traditionally a dog with fleas – this is where one team comes in sort of disappointed that it didn’t do more. Miami will care a whole lot, and it’ll be up to West Virginia to keep up the pace.
Mark Richt is going to have this Miami team humming in his first bowl game with the program. If you haven’t seen the Hurricane defensive line before, this will be the coming out party for 2017.
But West Virginia should bring the O, too. Just how good will the Miami defense be? I originally thought this would be a 30-24 Miami win, but with the way the offenses are overachieving across the board this bowl season, the 57-point total might get its doors blown off.
This would be a really, really big win for the Big 12. West Virginia was the Big 12’s third-best team, while Miami was just a part of the ACC pack. In the final tally and narrative of the 2016 season, the Mountaineers could play a big role in the message board my-conference-is-better-than-your-conference fight.
Okay, Indiana. You have your head coach in place with Kevin Wilson gone. Let’s just see how strong the team is with Tom Allen not just an interim head man. It didn’t work out so hot for Houston with Major Applewhite vs. San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl, and IU was going to have an uphill climb no matter what in the Foster Farms.
Utah is normally a fantastic bowl team under Kyle Whittingham, and Indiana wasn’t all that great at playing college football this season.
The Foster Farms is usually a miserable bowl game, and Indiana is usually a miserable bowl team. If it’s going to be another miserable bowl, Utah will likely be the one making it that way.
Pac-12, you really, really, really, really need this win. Washington State losing to Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl was bad, but Utah losing to Indiana would be a miserable gaffe for the league.
You’ll be surprised, though, that this isn’t the Indiana defense you’re used to. The run D is just good enough to keep the Utah power ground game in relative check, and the Utes aren’t normally explosive enough to rip off a massive scoring run. With that said, the line is dropping with some books putting it at Utah -5.5, and others at seven. Either way, it’s all good.
Kansas State and Texas A&M are two of the wild-card bowl teams. How much will Texas A&M care after such a hot start and after collapsing as the season went on? Will Kansas State be Kansas State, and struggle to open it up if the Aggies get out to a hot start? The AdvoCare V100 Texas is the big bowl day’s closer, and it’s possibly the flakiest of the bunch.
My belief that the SEC is going to rock this bowl season was shaken a bit by Vanderbilt’s poor performance against NC State in your Camping World Independence. But that’s Vanderbilt, not Texas A&M.
All season long I’ve argued and fought the good “Kansas State is good” fight. I’m not bailing now just because it’s the bowl season.
It’s all about turnovers, mistakes, and early scores. If Texas A&M comes out rocking and gets up to a big first quarter score, forget about it. If the Aggies win the turnover battle, forget about it. If Kansas State ever has to throw to win, forget about it.
If I’m being wishy-washy on this, again, it’s because the AdvoCare V100 Texas might be the toughest read of the bowl season, because it’s impossible to know which A&M team is going to show up. Again, I’m sticking with Kansas State, but A&M has the ability to turn the lights out on this game in a hurry, especially considering it’ll be a relative home game in Houston.
Really? The Texas A&M -2.5 line isn’t budging to Kansas State’s way? Apparently, the investment public sort of agrees with me. Even though I’m picking the Wildcats, the line should really be Texas A&M around -6.5 with Trevor Knight apparently solid in practices – if that makes any sense.
Ehhhh, screw it. Of course Kansas State is going to win. Drive into the skid.
AND FINALLY … you want the sure-fire pick? Go against whoever is the main photo for this piece. So far, the photos have been Houston’s Major Applewhite, Central Michigan’s Cooper Rush and Washington State’s Luke Falk. So, because of my previous pick, I’m making sure it’s right.